First off I am a Nikon guy so, if you're looking for Canon advice, you have come to the wrong place. There is nothing wrong with them, one of my second shooters even has one. I just think Nikon is a superior camera.
- First off of course you need a camera. What is the best option for you? A full frame is a must if you are taking photography seriously and want to make money. There are a few options but it depends on what you are wanting to spend. If inexpensive is your goal, then the D600 or D610 are good choices. The Nikon D600 line is great and inexpensive. With great video quality shooting in 1080 at 30fps and 720 at 60fps. The down fall with this camera is low light isn’t as good as higher models and it's very fragile. Any drops with the D600/D610 camera and it is off to Nikon with a minimum of $330 repair fee. If you’re looking to do a mix of photo and video you would want to go towards the Nikon D800, D810 or even the new D750. The D800 line is fantastic for video as well as photography. It has a whopping 36.2 mega pixels which comes in handy for cropping photos. For video, it has an adjustable aperture on the fly which is not offered with the other Nikon DSLR’s. Now the D750 I have not gotten my hands on and I have only seen it online. What I have learned about it is mostly about video with 1080 at 60 fps and an adjustable screen that helps with high and low shots. If you are looking for top of the line then Nikon D4 is where it is at. There is nothing that camera can’t do. It has a 10 fps shutter speed. This camera can shoot in the lowest of light no problem and focuses on a dime. It is a bit over kill for weddings and I might just be envious to want to use it for weddings. That camera is manly for sports shooting.
- Secondly you need lenses. In my opinion lenses are more important than the camera. If you need to save money, lenses are not the department to do it in. The one must lens is a 2.8 24-70mm. Nikon makes a great one if not the best one. There is also a Tamron 2.8 24-70mm that is almost as good. The one improvement that Tamron has over Nikon is VR or vibration reduction. VR is not that important if you are just doing photography. If you are also looking to do some video, this lens is by far the way to go. The 2.8 24-70mm is going to be your bread and butter lens. This lens is going to handle most of the work load. The second must buy lens is the Nikon 2.8 70-200mm. Now this is a pricey lens from Nikon but it is far superior. Tamron makes a good 2.8 70-200mm as well that is almost as good but is far more affordable then Nikon. The Tamron 2.8 70-200mm is good but doesn’t focus nearly as fast and has a hard time in low light. It also doesn’t have VR which is not a big deal but makes filming only feasible from a tripod. The last must have lens is a prime lens. Now a prime lens is great in low light and for depth of feel. They are great for portraits, as well as your ring, shoes, and dress pre-wedding shots. Now I use a 50mm at 1.4 but a 85mm is a great one as well. There is a 1.8 option that is slightly cheaper but if you are getting a prime lens, you might as well pay a little bit more for the 2 extra f-stops.
- The third thing you need are the flashes. Now flashes are not an absolute must but if you want to be a paid photographer you need to learn flash photography. Controlling the light in a wedding is a big part of your photos turning from good to great. I recommend Yongnuo flashes that can be used with a remote. You need at minimum 2 flashes, one for the back light and one for your key light. You can get a Yongnuo transmitter that will program up to 3 flashes at the same time.
These are the three must haves to start shooting weddings. Camera equipment is expensive so make sure you get the right stuff so you can look professional. Please email me or comment any questions that you have if you are looking for equipment and need advice.