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Backup Gear Must Haves

If you’re a wedding photographer who doesn’t already have backup gear, this is for you. If you’ve followed me for long, you know I’m big on backup systems. Putting off investing in reliable backup gear is risky and although it’s a big expense up front, you’ll be thanking yourself later in case your camera gives out mid-wedding day or you drop and shatter a lens.

Camera Body

Did you know shooting with two different camera bodies is a backup in itself? If one set of your cards corrupts within your camera you’ll have all of your images from the other camera as a savior. If you can, purchase the body you already have. Shooting on two different bodies makes it incredibly hard when editing since each camera pulls different colors and captures light differently. Check out the Rose Anvil camera harnesses for shooting single and dual bodies! If you need a cheap option for just a backup camera that you won’t be shooting with alongside your main, I recommend getting a low-cost full-frame camera. For example, a Canon 6D is a great option and not too expensive, which you can also buy secondhand. Just make sure when you’re purchasing a used camera body to check the shutter count on the body before purchasing, as each body has a shutter life and will eventually give out. Slimy people may lie about the shutter count so use a program like Camera Shutter Count in person when purchasing the body to make sure the gear still has shutter life in it.

50mm Lens
You don’t just need a backup body, you’ll need backup lenses as well. I recommend getting an additional 50mm lens (if you don’t already have one, this is a must! It’s by far my favorite lens). It’s versatile and you can get away with shooting an entire wedding day on it because of its range and low light capabilities. If your wide range lens gives out the 50 could get you through the essential wide shots you need, as well as a close range lens giving out. As a Canon shooter, I prefer the Canon 50mm f/1.2 because the glass is beautiful making shooting low light situations much easier.

Lenses are really expensive so if you’re looking to save $ on your backup system, I recommend doing the following :
-Buy a lower quality 50mm. Instead of splurging on a 1.2, you could go with
a 1.4 or a 1.8 . You could also get a Sigma lens which is usually a lot cheaper, and I know a lot of people love the Sigma 50’s Arts
(unlike their notorious 35mm’s).

Buy second-hand. Purchase used lenses through amazon dealers selling used
gear. The review system is reliable so you don’t have to take a chance buying off craigslist. Plus, Amazon is really great
about returns.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
Sigma 50mm F1.4
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
Sigma 50mm F1.4

Flash

Again, a good flash is expensive but you don’t need to splurge on flashes if you don’t want to. I personally use a Canon 600 EX-T external flash but use a Yongnuo 600EX-RT Speedlite  as my backup or secondary flash because they’re fast, easy to use and consistent with my canon version. Plus, they’re only $120!

Accesories

Of course, it’s always a good idea to have extras of essential accessories like cards and batteries. Personally, I would recommend to not go cheap on cards because they’ll surely betray you eventually, and it could happen while you’re shooting a wedding before you get a chance to back up your work. You get what you pay for with SD/CF cards. I typically use theseSD  and CF cards and swear by them! I replace these once a year. Batteries are something you can get away with going cheap on. There are horror stories of cheap batteries exploding inside of camera bodies so that’s kind of scary, but I’ll take my chances on backup batteries. I personally buy these off brand cheap ones for my canon 5d Mark IV’s and they’re only $13!

SanDisk Extreme Pro 256GB
SanDisk Extreme PRO 64GB
YONGNUO YN600EX-RT II 2.4G
STK LP-E6 Battery for Canon 5D
SanDisk Extreme Pro 256GB
SanDisk Extreme PRO 64GB
YONGNUO YN600EX-RT II 2.4G
STK LP-E6 Battery for Canon 5D
Insurance
Lastly, in case shit does hit the fan with your gear you’ll want to be prepared for the aftermath of dealing with getting new gear. Make sure all of your gear is insured so whether it gets stolen, lost or damaged you won’t have to dish out thousands of dollars on new gear. Here are the some recommended photographer’s insurances I’ve gotten from some Instagram polls. I personally use State Farm and love it. Just make sure that no matter what insurance you go through, they give you international coverage and they’ll insure your laptop/desktop as well. -Hiscox -PPA -Hartford -Hill & Usher -Travelers Insurance
If you’re curious about more of my gear, check out the video below!
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