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5 Essential Tools for Wedding Photography That Aren’t Gear-Related

Weddings are fast-paced with long hours. So to get you through the wedding day, we’re listing five essential tools for wedding photography that are going to make any wedding day go much smoother for you. These aren’t gear-related. They’re the things that you may have never thought of but will make all the difference during those long wedding days.

wedding pond garden

1. Bring comfortable, durable shoes

Bringing comfortable and durable shoes is almost as important as bringing your favorite lens. Shoes can keep you from falling or tripping, and they can stop your feet from hurting after several hours on the job.

Shoes that have thick soles are what you’re looking for; they must be able to withstand hours upon hours of wear. It’s also important that they’re comfortable on the inside.

uncomfortable shoes-essential-tools-for-wedding-photography

Unfortunately, flats and dress shoes don’t really fit into this category, since neither are very durable or can withstand long hours of use without giving you major discomfort. Shoes that aren’t made for long hours can fall apart or rip.

Most importantly, flats and dress shoes provide no actual support for you as you photograph the main events of the wedding. Durable and comfortable shoes that are high quality and can be worn for long hours will keep your feet safe, comfortable, and will give you the back support you need.

beach bride groom wedding-essential-tools-for-wedding-photography

If the wedding you’re photographing is mostly on pavement, you’ll be glad you looked for comfortable shoes, because those hot pavement and cement sidewalks are terrible on thin-soled shoes.

You can also get shoe inserts that help support and cushion the inside of the shoe to better withstand long hours. While this is a fast and convenient fix, it’s best if you find a shoe that provides this from the get-go, and then you can add the insert for extra support.

2. Hire an assistant

If you have the budget (maybe factor this into your wedding package) hire an assistant. This is not to be confused with a second shooter who helps you to photograph a wedding. No, an assistant is there to help you carry your things and be an extra pair of hands.

hands near a wedding dress

Assistants can be responsible for equipment, lens changes, battery changes, helping fluff out the bride’s dress, keeping you on track with the timeline, and lining up the family during group portraits. Assistants are great because they help you with things that don’t need your full attention.

They can also be quicker at getting a forgotten bouquet or holding your flash at a certain angle. Plus, the extra pair of hands will keep your gear close, so that you can focus on making the shots and not worrying about whether you forgot your tripod at the ceremony.

bride and groom under a tree

Have assistants be a part of your team. It’s good to highlight this before you cover the wedding. Outline the responsibilities, show them your equipment and what you’ll need, along with any details specific to the event you’re photographing.

3. Bring snacks

Snacks are crucial for long wedding days or even short ones. Weddings take a lot of energy out of you both mentally and physically with the posing, styling, photographing, directing, customer service, and being in charge of your team, so it’s really great to have easy and light snacks on hand.

wedding food-essential-tools-for-wedding-photography

Best snacks for wedding days include small packets of trail mix with nuts and chocolate to get your energy up, energy bars or protein bars, small reusable water bottles, fruits like an apple, and granola bars.

Keep snacks small. That way, they won’t add weight to your bags, are easy to carry, and won’t make a mess. You can also keep a small lunch bag with you and have your assistant carry it during, particularly long wedding days.

dessert on a wedding day

Having your own snacks will keep your energy up and keep you feeling great all throughout the event. No one likes a grumpy, hungry photographer!

4. Bring a small hand towel

Due to the fact that weddings are long, they tend to have a lot of sun. This means that, while your clients might be in the shade, you may find yourself in harsh sunlight.

kissing couple on the grass

A small hand towel can keep sweat off your face and your camera during those really hot summer days. This will keep you looking fresh and stop you from having to ask the guests or venue for something to wipe off your sweat with.

The hand towel can also be useful for other things: You can use it to shine wedding rings or to wipe a table you want to use in the background.

bride and groom kiss on dance floor

5. Bring command hooks and other styling items

Command hooks are super versatile, and getting a couple can really help you when it comes to styling certain wedding details. For example, because the strip can be taken off walls without doing damage, you can use a command hook to hang the wedding dress anywhere you want.

command hooks - essential-tools-for-wedding-photography

Examples of really elegant command hooks that are removable.

These hooks come in different styles and finishes, and it’s good to stock up on a few so that you won’t be without one come the wedding day. Make sure to get hooks with an adhesive that can be taken off without harming walls.


bride and groom with car

Not all wedding day prep is about gear. These tools will help keep you at 100 percent while photographing one-of-a-kind moments for your clients.

Do you have any essential tools for wedding photography to make the day run smoothly? Share them in the comments!



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Jackie Lamas
Jackie Lamas

is a destination wedding and portrait photographer based on the beautiful beaches of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. She earned her degree in photography from California State University, Fullerton. Jackie has over 10 years of experience as a professional photographer and teacher. When she’s not on the beach, you can find her writing on her blog and spending time with her baby and husband. See more of her work on Instagram.

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