What’s in my Wedding Kit Bag: Out of the Darkroom with Ruth Medjber

Hello, and welcome to Out of the Darkroom on AdoramaTV. I’m Ruth Medjber and today I’m going to be taking you through my kit bag and showing you exactly what it is I pack when I’m off to shoot a wedding. AdoramaTV presents ‘Out of the Darkroom’ with Ruth Medjber. So when I’m off to shoot a wedding, I have to pack for every eventuality. No longer do couples just want you to shoot the ceremony, they want you to shoot candid shots outside. They want you to shoot candid shots inside. They want posed shots. They want everything. So you really have to pack everything.
So let’s just have a little look. This is my D4S, which is my trusty camera, and on it I’ve got my 24-70mm. This would probably be on my camera for about 80% of the day. It’s what I use the most and I absolutely adore it. 2.8, so it’s super fast and then the 24-70mm is a great, really flexible width. When you’re also shooting a wedding I would definitely, always have a second body as a back up just on the very odd chance that something happens to your main body, you’re not going to be stuck two hours from home with no other camera, so my old D700 which still works perfectly, comes with me as a back up camera. Now there are times where I might actually use both of them at the same time and it can get a little bit difficult, especially if you’re using single straps. So what I like to do is use my BlackRapid straps which is quite handy. It goes over both shoulders and then each camera attaches just at the bottom like that. It’s like a quick fire strap. So I can have both cameras and the weight is going to be evenly distributed across my shoulders. There’s nothing worse than shooting a wedding for twelve hours and getting home and just being hunched over with the weight, so the BlackRapid just gives me just a little bit more freedom. I’d have, then, a really long lens and then the 24-70mm on both cameras. A long lens that I use is this 80-200mm Nikon, also an f/2. Now this is handy. This is old. This was my very first
long lens and it’s absolutely super. This lens is absolutely perfect for what I need. So
this will be…I’d use this maybe in the ceremony, where I don’t want to get too
close to the priest or the vicar or the celebrant and I don’t want to disturb
the ceremony, so I’ll shoot from the back of the venue with this. The great
thing about doing weddings is it is kind of similar to working on stage
with bands. You should always dress in your stage blacks so that no one really
notices you and you have to kind of creep around like a little ninja. At the
end of the day, it’s not your big day, it’s theirs, so you shouldn’t be the
focus of attention. So always try and be really, really sly when you’re
shooting weddings. Another thing that I bring with me is my 50mm 1.4 . Now, the
reason I favor this and what I use it for is shooting stuff
like the bouquets and the rings, the little still life objects that people
love to have in their albums. Now, it’s not a macro lens because I don’t really need a macro lens in the rest of my life so I wouldn’t really… I couldn’t justify the
expense of another lens. I like to keep my lenses across the board and shoot in
everything that I can, so what I do with this is I might not be able to get as
close as I like to the subject so I’ll just shoot and then crop afterwards. The quality you get from the D4S really is great so it doesn’t matter that you’re going to lose a bit of the frame around so when I’m doing the rings and that kind
of thing, I shoot at f1.4, shoot it nice and wide and then crop in
after. It’s just as good and it’s quite handy as well. The greatest thing that you should
always pack in every Kit Bag, especially on a wedding, you only get one shot at
weddings so you want to make sure that you’re prepared. Extra batteries, extra memory cards and don’t scrimp on the memory cards. I know it’s really easy to go to
anywhere and buy really, really cheap memory cards but it’s the last thing you want, is for them to
become corrupt when you’re shooting a wedding and erasing everything. There’s nothing more heartbreaking. You’ve got these people’ss best day of their lives on one
file. Just spend that extra few quid and get really, really decent memory cards. You’ll thank me for it . How I’d shoot, then. Say something like the first dance and you know you’re
going to be in, you know, a pub or a dark type venue when they’re doing this on
the dance floor and you’re going to be dealing with disco lights and that kind
of thing. I always bring a flash with me and what I do is, if you can see it here,
I’ve got the flash mounted on a stand with a diffuser. So you can either go with
the diffuser or not, but I could have one flash mounted onto the camera, another flash mounted on a stand and then just shoot across the dance floor
so I’m standing here, the couple’s in the middle. The flash might be across the room and
I’m controlling it using a set of pocket wizards and they’ll help me control the
off-camera flash and it gives us great shot where the light just bounces through the couple as they’re dancing. It’s really handy as well to have that with
you because, well, I’m based in Ireland and I do weddings in the UK and Ireland.
our weather is so undependable and just really atrocious so it could be raining
all day for the entire day and you won’t be able to make it outside, so I mean
that’s really disappointing for a bride and groom not to have your photographs
outside, so I always try and tell them “Don’t worry. I’m going to bring some
extra lights and we’re going to find some really nice places to do your shots
inside,” but I will definitely be depending on an off-camera flash for that. There’s nothing worse when you’re doing a couple’s portraits indoors and you
flash straight at them or you bounce it off the ceiling and you get really heavy shadows, it just looks a bit cheap and a bit nasty so flashes are so important when you’re
shooting weddings, especially an off-camera flash. So I tell everybody to really get
to know your flash. Get to know how to use it so it doesn’t look like you’re using
flash and that will get you out of so much trouble when those clouds come over and
then, where they all go. Everything goes into… I have two bags that I use and I
have used this Lowepro bag for about 10 years and I use that, not just
at weddings, I use it at festivals. It’s got a rain jacket which is a godsend and
it’s the most durable and just hardy bag I’ve ever bought my life so that’s a
fantastic Lowepro. Again, I’m a bit addicted to camera bags. I buy them kind of
more than I buy handbags and I always seem to come back to the Lowepro bag
when I need something on both shoulders that can hold a lot of weight and it’s
just so reliable and then there’s my Billingham, which is my day to day
camera bag and I love this bag I love the whole Billingham range because if…you wouldn’t really know that it’s a camera bag, unless you know what
Billingham is so I always think it’s just a little bit safer than walking
around with a great big logo bag because no one’s really going to rob you if they
don’t know it’s a camera bag. As well, it’s so neat
and it’s so tidy and it’s so formal and professional and it’s such good quality as well. Every single day I’ve used this for the last four years and it’s still in top
shape, so that’s definitely something I would consider investing in if you’re just
starting out in photography. Get yourself a really good, decent, hard wearing bag that you
can absolutely rely on and then that’s about it then. I’m really good to go and
shoot weddings. I think I’ve got everything covered here, every
eventuality. We’ve got the lights for indoors if it rains. You’ve got all different lenses
to shoot all different situations but don’t be worried if you don’t have that much
gear yet if you’re just starting out, I mean I’ve been doing this for over a
decade now but I can easily just go and shoot a wedding quite happily on the 24-70mm and my camera. You don’t have to have all the little bits and
pieces. If you do, well and good, if not just go with what you have. Make sure you know how to use the
equipment. Be a little bit, like, a little clever in the shops that you’re shooting
for. Research everybody else’s work online, see what you should be doing and
go and give it your best shot and enjoy the day. That’s what’s most important about weddings is that you enjoy it as well. If you’re enjoying it then the couple is
more likely to enjoy it as well. Thanks very much for joining me today. I
hope you enjoyed having a look through my wedding photography Kit Bag. If you’d
like to see more videos, subscribe to the Adorama YouTube channel. If you’d like to
brush up on your own photography skills have a look at the Adorama Learning Center, and as always if you have any feedback for me to feel free to post
them in the comments section below thanks so much and I’ll see you again soon. Do you want great looking prints at low-cost, be sure to visit our easy to use online printing service. Adorama Pix has professionals who
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