My Wedding Photography Gear Bag : Sony, DJI, Godox, Rotolight, & More!

What camera should I buy for wedding photography? What gear do I use throughout a wedding day? I often get asked these questions about our gear and lighting so I thought I would put together a comprehensive list of my gear and why we use it! To see or purchase any of the gear you see listed, please visit our links at the bottom of the page!

Chad-Winstead-Sony-A9-Gear-Rotolight-Godox-DJI

Sony A9

The best camera I have ever used, period! The EVF is a game changing tool for photographers. The ability to see what you are getting in real time, without any blackout lag, is a marvelous step forward in camera technology. Paired along with the best focusing technology on the market today, I have confidence knowing I can capture any shot in any condition. The ability to put the focal point anywhere on the frame alongside the ability for the camera to automatically lock focus on an eyeball is simply stellar. It just does not miss! It holds its own and even outperforms the flagship professional cameras from other manufacturers, such as the Nikon D5 (I have tested them side by side.)

The fully customizable buttons were also essential for me when switching from Nikon. I was able to reprogram just about every button for me to never need to dive into the menu system while shooting. This is much appreciated, because Sony's complex menu system leaves something to be desired. Also, the fact that the menu does not contain the ability to shoot time-lapses or in-camera multiple exposures is probably my biggest knock on the camera. I really wish Sony would add this in future iterations. 

Another pro included is the tilt screen that really comes in handy for me to get high and low to the ground without compromising my body. You can also touch on the screen itself to change the focus point, which is fantastic when shooting both photo and video. The ergonomics of the camera are great for me as the camera fits nicely in the hand without needing an additional grip. The body is super light and my back thanks me at every wedding for switching from the VERY HEAVY D5. 

Last, but not least, is my favorite feature of this camera... The ability to shoot in complete silence using the electronic shutter. Gone are the days of me shrieking from hearing the shutter clank of my D5 in a quiet church, or during an intimate moment between the bride and groom. I no longer feel intrusive. The smaller size of the camera helps as well, as sometimes the D5 can be a little intimidating. 

Sony-A9-Chad-Winstead-Photography-Review

DJI Mavic Pro

I love to use the drone when I can for that unique, overhead look! The Mavic has great image quality in such a tiny package. It is a great versatile tool to have in the bag. However, it does come with some limitations with the sensor. Don't expect to be able to get stellar images in low light situations, as the images above ISO 400 can be considered very noisy. 

  DJI Mavic Pro

DJI Mavic Pro

Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GM

This lens is so amazingly sharp for a zoom that it could pass as a prime. The out of focus areas fall off smoothly and beautifully that sometimes you can't even tell it's a wide angle zoom. It is my favorite lens for receptions, unique prep images, and wide landscape style portraits. 

  Sony A9 + 16-35mm 2.8 GM + 1 Godox AD200 with MagGrid & MagSphere

Sony A9 + 16-35mm 2.8 GM + 1 Godox AD200 with MagGrid & MagSphere

Sony 28mm f2

This cheap and compact lens is very underrated. It does have some very funky distortion, but it is easily and nearly perfectly correct in LR and other software programs. It's so light and small that it turns the A9 into a perfect everyday, walk around camera. 

  Sony A9 + 28mm f2.8

Sony A9 + 28mm f2.8

Sony 35mm f1.4 

This may be my favorite lens due to the sharpness wide open and beautiful rendering. It's a fantastic all around lens for any event or documentary styled photographer. The clickable aperture ring is useful for video, but can be kind of annoying if you want to use the camera dials to control aperture. I sometimes find myself bumping it off A to f16 when pulling it out of the bag. 

  Sony A9 + 35mm f1.4

Sony A9 + 35mm f1.4

Sony 55mm 1.8

This little lightweight packs a heavyweight punch. It is SO SHARP and has great rendering of skin tones.

  Sony A9 + 55mm f1.8

Sony A9 + 55mm f1.8

Zeiss Batis 85mm 1.8

This is my go-to portrait lens. I compared it to the 85mm 1.4 GM and found that I preferred the smaller and lighter Batis. It has excellent rendering, warm colors and focuses quicker than the GM. It has weather sealing and built in stabilization which is great for video or still subjects.

  Sony A9 + 85mm f1.8 + 1 Godox AD200 with MagSphere & 1/2 CTO gel  (behind couple)

Sony A9 + 85mm f1.8 + 1 Godox AD200 with MagSphere & 1/2 CTO gel  (behind couple)

Sony 70-200mm 2.8 GM

Probably the best 70-200mm lens there is.  It is amazingly sharp and gives me the compression and extra reach when I need it. It has excellent image stabilization and is fast to lock on to moving subjects. There isn't much more to say other than this is a must have for wedding and sports photographers. 

  Sony A9 + 70-200mm f2.8 GM

Sony A9 + 70-200mm f2.8 GM

Godox AD200

My favorite, versatile light. It provides excellent power (around 3x the power of a speedlight) and portability with amazing recycling time. The head can be swapped out and transitioned into a mini strobe, or you can connect 2 of the AD200's together using a AD-B2 and double the power! I trigger them using the X1ts triggers for now, while anxiously awaiting the new Xpro trigger for Sony! 

Godox v860ii + Godox TT350 Flash 

Portable and lightweight speedlights. The v860 uses a Li-ion battery which means extended battery life and near instant recycling times. The TT350 uses two AA batteries, but is small enough to fit in your pocket on a wedding day. 

Rotolight NEO 2

The Rotolight is the newest addition to my gear bag! This little thing is wonderful, as it doubles as a flash and LED video light. It has 0 recycle time and utilizes High Speed Sync which means I never miss a shot when using this during prep or reception. The light is surprisingly soft. With the ability to change the color temperature of the light, this light could be one of the most versitile on the market.

  Sony A9 + 85mm f1.4 + Rotolight Neo 2

Sony A9 + 85mm f1.4 + Rotolight Neo 2

MagMod Lighting Modifiers

I use all MagMod modifiers on the wedding day depending on the situations. I will use a MagBeam when I need a lot of light from far away as it basically turns your light into an even brighter source. MagGrids are probably my most used for tight lighting as they provide a narrower beam of light for me to work with. I can stack grids to control the light even tighter if needed. I use the MagSphere to diffuse light when needed. The MagBounce is perfect for soft light for group shots and portraits. I also love to use gels to enhance the color of my light, match ambient color temperature, or for a unique flash of color to transform a scene into something totally different. 

  Sony A9 + 16-35mm f2.8 GM + 1 Godox AD200 with MagBeam & 1/4 CTO gel

Sony A9 + 16-35mm f2.8 GM + 1 Godox AD200 with MagBeam & 1/4 CTO gel

SpiderLight Mirrorless Holster System 

I no longer use straps or harnesses. The SpiderLight allows me to grab and put the camera high, low, or anywhere I want to go with no limitations. It also is kind to my lower back and shoulders.

Cheetah Stand C10’s 

I use automatic light stands so I can quickly grab and move the light where needed. These are perfect for receptions, especially when shooting alone or with an assistant!

Sandisk 128gb SD cards

I like reliable large cards in my cameras. With data redundancy in the A9 by utilizing the two card slots to both capture my RAW images, I don't have to worry about losing data. I personally don't like changing cards during a wedding day or having to worry about missing a shot because one filled up. 

Prism's

Prisms are the perfect neat little trick to get reflections and different effects into our images! 

  Sony A9 + 70-200mm f2.8 GM + 1 Godox AD200 with MagMod Grid & 1/4 CTO gel

Sony A9 + 70-200mm f2.8 GM + 1 Godox AD200 with MagMod Grid & 1/4 CTO gel

Manfrotto Nano Clamp + Novoflex Ballhead Flash Shoe

I love being able to clamp a light anywhere I need to. This is useful during prep and even the reception where I don't want the footing of a lightstand getting in the way. 

  Sony A9 + 16-35mm f2.8 GM + 1 Godox AD200 with MagMod Grid & 1/4 CTO gel

Sony A9 + 16-35mm f2.8 GM + 1 Godox AD200 with MagMod Grid & 1/4 CTO gel

We carry all of this gear in a giant ThinkTank Airport Security bag. We also typically bring a couple of small messenger bags with us to carry around the gear we need on location. We hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into our gear and hope that it may benefit you if you are switching to Sony or to get an insight on how we light our images! Remember to visit the links below purchase and try out any of the gear mentioned throughout this blog post! 
 

Links to our Gear

  Sony A9 + 85mm f1.8 + 1 Godox AD200 with MagGrid & MagSphere

Sony A9 + 85mm f1.8 + 1 Godox AD200 with MagGrid & MagSphere

  Sony A9 + 35mm f1.4 + 1 Godox AD200 with MagBeam

Sony A9 + 35mm f1.4 + 1 Godox AD200 with MagBeam

  Sony A9 + 85mm f1.8 + 1 Godox AD200 with MagSphere & 1/2 CTO gel (behind the couple)

Sony A9 + 85mm f1.8 + 1 Godox AD200 with MagSphere & 1/2 CTO gel (behind the couple)