Does your wedding photographer have backups?

Hiring a wedding photographer who does not have backup equipment is like going on a road trip without a spare tyre!

No matter how good a photographer is, when your photographer does not own at least 1 backup camera you run the risk of losing some or all of those special moments which can never really be recreated. In today’s technologically advanced world even the best of the best cameras can fail. What happens when your hired photographers’ camera fails during your wedding day? Yes, you may get some photos and a refund, but do you REALLY want a refund, or would you prefer the photos that preserve the memory of that special day.


Just a few pieces of my backup equipment for wedding photographyThere are NO excuses that are valid for not owning backup equipment if you are a professional wedding photographer. It is accepted that when you start out in Wedding photographey you may not own any or all the backup equipment needed, but a client should be made aware of this as well as the risks involved.

When I started out in Wedding photography I had only a single camera, but I informed every customer that this is what I had and that in a worst case scenario would refund the full amount paid for the wedding photography if I am unable to produce an acceptable set. I still do this even though I have a full range of backup equipment ranging from backup camera to extra lenses to extra flashes, batteries, chargers, stands, tripods, softboxes, memory cards and even remote flash triggers!

When you want to hire a wedding photographer you should ask more than just their to see their photo portfolio. Ask your wedding photographer what backup equipment they have in case their camera, lens, flash or other important piece of equipment should fail.

Chances are that equipment will not fail, but I have experienced other factors that had me resort to backup equipment.

Imagine one of the following scenarios on your wedding day. You arrive at the church and start walking in. The photographer rushes in ahead of you to get that perfect entry shot, but on his way in a guest is just inside the doorway holding an object hard enough to crack the lens as the photographer bumps into him. Photographer switches cameras and carries on without blinking. During the ceremony the broken part is replaced with another spare and everything continues without the bride even knowing anything had happened!

Here is another: During the exit from church shots a guest with a camera rushes in to grab a few shots of the shower of rose leaves on the bridal couple and accidentally knocks into the hired photography and breaks his on-camera flash right off the mounting! Hired photographer clicks off the remaining footpiece, clips on backup flash and continues photographing without the wedding couple even noticing!

When you hire a photographer without backup equipment, just remember the above as they happened to me and would have resulted in loss of photos.

Ideally your photographer should have:

  • 2 Cameras
  • Spare batteries for cameras
  • Spare Flash unit
  • Spare lens for each camera

Perhaps it is overkill, but I have the above and more, using 6 lenses, 4 camera batteries, 20 flash batteries, 6 memory cards, 3 flash units, 2 tripod stands, 2 flash unit stands, 2 soft-boxes and 107cm scrim and smaller extras all in spare.

Don’t get caught next to the road with a flat tyre when this road trip is going to be your most important one!

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