So, you think you’re a photographer, eh? Well, if you have a camera and you’ve ever taken a photo, you are well on your way. But there’s a huge difference between taking a half-face selfie at the zoo with a blurry background elephant and taking a perfectly framed photo of a majestic lioness in that pregnant pause before pouncing. Wedding photographers know this. Moments happen in the moment, not on demand. That’s why at just about every wedding you’ve ever been to, the photographer can be seen variously leaning into view from behind pillars and pianos and curtains, hoping to capture the perfect shot, (usually followed by a hopeless facial expression that says “this person is about as photogenic as two train-station pigeons fighting over a burst ketchup sachet”). Anyway. If you want to get it right, there are some things you might need along the way to help you.
Let’s begin with portability
Some cameras are cheap, but they work. They don’t have to be mortgage-sized investments to get you up and running. Other cameras are so expensive you might need a job at NASA to book time on them, because you’ll never be able to afford them on your own. Then there are professional cameras that you can afford. Not cheap. Not space-station quality. Just right. And when you decide to take your equipment out for a spin, you’d better believe that the weather may have other plans. You’re going to need a camera bag. Plan ahead now so that you’re ready to grab your equipment and dash out the door without worrying that your lens may get scratched en route or that water damage from the rain will render your pride and joy ruined.
Keep it clean
Most carry-around essential guides will tell you that you need an array of lenses, an external flash, and maybe a prism through which you can take strange and wonderful shots of buildings and lakes and other things that will do you the favor of sitting perfectly still while you faff with your setup. But if we’re honest, most things are extras that may or may not benefit your photography depending on your skill level, so that makes them hardly essential. What you need is a camera cleaning kit, because the wind and the rain and even the summer pollen bring all manner of smudges and smears that must be kept at bay if your lenses are going to perform.