What’s in my wedding photography kit bag?

I’ve been a UK & London wedding photographer for over a decade now. I started on a Nikon D700, but since 2014 I’ve been shooting with Fujifilm X-series cameras. Over time the camera kit I take to a wedding has evolved somewhat but it’s still basically just two cameras and a bunch of prime lenses. So I thought fellow photographers might be interested in what goes into my Fujifilm wedding photography kit, and I’ve expanded the kit list into bags, lighting, and other accessories too.

By the way, some links on this page may earn me a teeny tiny commission if you buy anything – but I’m only listing what I actually use.


My main wedding cameras:

Two Fujifilm X-T5 bodies

I’ve photographed weddings all over the UK and the world with every Fujifilm X-T camera except the X-T4, which I skipped mainly because I hate the fully articulating screen they gave it. Those are good for video, but the three-way tilt screen is waaay better for stills and I was so relieved Fujifilm recognised that and brought it back for the X-T5.

Some photographers may feel like Fujifilm wedding photography can’t be as good as full frame, but I absolutely disagree – almost everything on this website was shot with Fuji X-T cameras! I switched to Fujifilm from Nikon for two main reasons:

  • firstly, the reduced size and weight (that’s one reason, okay?) means I’m less conspicuous than someone toting a full-frame body with their monster-sized lenses, and I can keep more lenses in my little bag all day;
  • and secondly, I just have much more fun using them than I ever did with my Nikon D700. It might sound shallow to put importance on aesthetics and ‘fun’, but if you’re not having fun being a wedding photographer then why are you even doing it?

As I write this in January 2023 the Fujifilm X-T5 has been out for a couple of months so I’ve only photographed a couple of small weddings with them – here’s the very first wedding I shot with the X-T5.

There’s always a few teething problems with new cameras and I’ve found a couple of bugs and questionable new interface choices but I’m in touch with Fujifilm UK and I’m hopeful these things can be fixed or refined with firmware updates. Upgrading from the X-T3 the biggest improvements for me are:

  • the slightly chunkier handgrip
  • much quieter shutter sound (this one really took me by surprise, it’s almost silent!)
  • vastly improved battery life
  • in-body stabilisation
  • faster autofocus and better face recognition
  • increased sensor size (24MP was fine, but at least I can crop in a bit more if I need)
  • and of course the three-way tilt screen, one of my favourite design choices about the entire X-T series


My backup cameras

Two Fujifilm X-T3 bodies

Normally when I buy a new body I trade-in my old ones. This time I’ve hung onto them. Mine are very well used now and only worth about £400 each to trade in, which obviously isn’t to be sniffed at. But, I’ve had a few close calls when I’ve needed to send one in for repair and it’s been tight getting it back before the next shoot.

Thankfully the team at Fujifilm UK provide an exceptional service and it’s usually been back in four or five days! But I can do without the stress so for now I’m hanging onto them as a ‘repair backup’. I did take them both along for the first few shoots with my X-T5s just in case the new cameras let me down somehow, but no need any more. If you’re interested, here’s the last wedding I shot with my X-T3 cameras, back in October 2022…

One Fujifilm X-Pro3 body

I’m very close to selling this camera. I can see now that I bought it purely to satisfy my Gear Acquisition Syndrome triggered by the disappointment of the X-T4 announcement and its horrible articulating screen.

I thought I’d get used to the strange choice to make the rear LCD unusable unless you fold it out, but I never did, really. I don’t like the EVF design (it’s too small, and too flush with the camera back) and the lack of a D-pad to access shortcuts was much more annoying than I’d expected.

So I used it for a few jobs as a third camera clipped to my lens bag with a Peak Design quick release plate, but I don’t think I’ve used it properly for two years now. It doesn’t even get taken as a backup any more.

My principle lenses for weddings

Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4 R

Superb wide prime lens, roughly equivalent to 24mm on a full frame sensor. Not a fan of the focus ring that moves back and forth between manual and auto, I’ve never seen the point of that. Maybe it’s an old-school street photographer thing? It’s great in busy rooms where the 23mm is a bit too tight, and for wide shots in dark venues, especially during dancing.

I did used to have the Fuji 14mm but it was too wide for most ‘people’ shots, but also not as wide as I wanted for really spectacular venue shots (which is why I got the 8-16mm). It’s also only f/2.8, so not as useful as the f/1.4 on the 16mm so I traded it in eventually.

Fujifilm 23mm f/1.4 Mk2

Along with the 56mm this has long been one of my most used lenses and you’ll find it in most if not all Fujifilm wedding photography bags. Recently I’ve started trying to avoid falling back on the 23/56 combination too often (or 35/85 on full frame) simply because I think my work can stagnate if I stick to the same lenses all the time. But it’s a popular combo because it works so well!

This version is vast improvement over the original, which I relied on heavily but was feeling slow to focus and showed up far too much chromatic aberration wide open. The new version fixes both those things and adds weather resistance too. The design is bit more ‘boring’ than the old Fuji lenses, but at least it loses the manual/auto shift on the focus ring, I never liked that. Currently (Jan 2023) it’s very hard to get hold of, but it’s worth it if you can.

Fujifilm 33mm f/1.4

This replaced the near-legendary Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4 in my bag. I did love that wee 35mm lens, especially the square metal hood I used on it, but like the original 23mm it was feeling slower to focus than I’d like at a wedding, with lots of CA wide open.

The 33mm is faster to focus, sharper across the image, and no serious CA to speak of. It’s fast becoming my favourite all-rounder, even supplanting the 56mm as my lens of choice due to how useful it is for medium-close-ups during the reception, for example. The 56mm can be too tight and my wedding photos benefit from capturing more of the story happening around people, than just close-ups of people themselves.

Physically it’s bigger than the 35mm, mostly in the length, but it feels like a better balance on the camera to me. My only real annoyance is that it’s virtually indistinguishable from the new 23mm when you’re trying to grab it from a lens bag on the day. I’m seriously considering coloured or raised stickers of some kind, anything to help identify them by touch or in poor light.

Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 Mk2

Ahhh, the mighty Fuji 56mm. Like I say above, anyone into Fujifilm wedding photography probably relies on the 56mm and the 23mm for most of their work. This new version of one of Fuji’s most famous lenses has weather resistance, slightly faster focussing, and a much closer focus distance. It’s a tiny bit heavier and bigger but feels great on an X-T5.

It’s excellent in churches if they won’t let you get close (I detest using f/2.8 zooms for my wedding photography, so if I do need to go tighter I use the 90mm – f/2.8 is too slow most of the time) and of course it’s stunning for wedding portraits but you do need to be a fair distance away to get more than just head-and-shoulders.

Eventually I learned that the 35/33 field of view often tells better wedding day stories as it can include more of what’s going on around a person, but I still use this a ton for longer-range shots of people, and especially while people are seated for the wedding breakfast, so I can get relatively close-up shots without people feeling too self-conscious; nobody likes to feel like the photographer is shooting them eating – which I’m not, but they don’t know that!

I ended up owning two copies of the original as I used it so much it got into more scrapes than other lenses, and needed repairing more often, so I needed a backup! But I also had real issues with the original randomly defocussing itself after taking a shot while still half-holding the shutter button. I missed too many moments to that issue, on both my copies.

This new version hasn’t had that issue yet. Although there does seem to be an issue on the X-T5 with this lens attached, where the EVF will freeze briefly if it’s asked to refocus on a point close to where it was already focussed. I’ve taken several videos and sent them to Fujifilm UK to look at.

My secondary lenses for weddings


Fujifilm 8-16mm f/2.8

I know I said I hate zoom lenses, but this doesn’t count as I pretty much only use it at 8mm (or thereabouts). It comes out for a few specific shots: venue shots before the guests arrive, scene-setting throughout the day as we move to a new space, and a few first-dance/dance-floor shots. And those wide shots really do look incredible – sharp pretty much corner-to-corner, and no noticeable distortion. Rectilinear wide shots for the win!

The relative slowness of f/2.8 isn’t as much of an issue on really wide shots as you can get away with hand-holding slower shutter speeds – but of course on the X-T5 (and X-T4) the IBIS takes care of that almost completely unless you need longer than a second.

All that said, it’s big and heavy. Although still probably not as big and heavy as a full frame 85mm!

Fujifilm 90mm f/2

I love the solid feel of this lens, the reach it gives me, and the fantastic bokeh at f/2. But although I always take it to weddings I rarely use it as I prefer to be much closer to the action. It steps in when I’m forced to be too far away for my 56mm to reach, because I refuse to use my 50-140mm (70-200) zoom at a wedding!

It’ll typically come out if I’m restricted to the back of the church (only happened once, some officious twerp of a vicar in Twickenham) and sometimes during speeches if it’s all packed so tightly I can’t physically move closer. I’ll usually have had time to assess if I’ll need it and move it from my kit bag to my lens bag. Otherwise it tends to stay in the kit bag all day.

So for me it’s one of those ‘better to have and not need, than need and not have’ lenses!

Lensbaby 35mm Composer Pro

The only non-Fuji lens in my Fujifilm wedding photography kit! This is a purely creative (aka ‘gimmick’) lens which vaguely mimics the look of tilt-shift lenses by defocussing all but an angled sliver of the image depending on how you ‘bend’ the lens barrel. It’s manual focus, and the optical quality of the glass is pretty poor compared to Fuji’s lenses, obviously. But with the right scene, the right framing, and the right couple, it can work really nicely.

I like to use it for a couple of creative wedding portraits, but the problem is because I’m so focussed on keeping the couple comfortable and getting them back to the party quickly I almost always forget to use it! It does require slowing down to compose a shot – hence the name ‘composer pro’ I guess.

First you need to adjust the barrel to create the effect you want, then manually focus as best you can. I usually use the camera’s ‘EVF zoom’ feature to check focus. To get the best effect you really need to open the aperture to accentuate the defocussed areas, but that makes focussing even more tricky. So once I think I’m focussed I tend to shoot a burst and then veeery gently rock ever so slightly backward and forward while shooting a few more, just in case.

The rest of my wedding photography kit…

So that’s all of my Fujifilm wedding photography kit covered. What about the rest? Here’s a list of the bags, flashes, and other accessories I use, and as I find the time I’ll add a few more paragraphs about why I use them over the alternatives…

  • Thinktank Hard Drive backpack – I have the V1 and it’s still going strong. The perfect size for both my cameras, all the lenses listed above, a couple of flashes with triggers, plenty of spare batteries and cards, a fistful of packets of ear-plugs (for the dancefloor), Spider holsters, cables, my handheld LED, a couple of bow-ties, a bunch of surgical face masks, a water bottle, and even a large laptop. Although by this point it’s incredibly heavy! I don’t take a fully loaded bag with laptop to a wedding, but it’s useful for getting everything I’ll need for an overnight shoot in one bag to carry from the car to the hotel before re-packing for the wedding day.
  • Peak Design Everyday Sling 6L – the perfect size to carry spare Fuji lenses, which are small enough to be able to fit up to six in here depending which ones! Typically if I have the 23 and 56 on my cameras I’ll have the 16, 33, maybe the 8-16, and maybe the 90 in here. Plus batteries, lens cloth, snack, and maybe a metal tube and a prism for some creative portraits. I can also attach a Peak Design Capture Clip to the side and hang another camera off it, such as the X-Pro3, although I tend not to bother these days. When I’m packing my Thinktank backpack I load this up with most of my lenses and pack it inside the backpack in the central space. Very handy bag, I love it.
  • Two SpiderPro mirrorless holsters – I hate having cameras swinging around off my shoulders. I tried a Holdfast Moneymaker and stopped using it after two weddings because the cameras are still swinging around and getting tangled, and still putting weight on my shoulders, but you’re also restricted by the length of the tether. The Spider Holsters are AWESOME. Cameras can go anywhere you can reach, hang almost weightlessly on your belt when you’re not using them, and if you have a flash or trigger attached it hangs down rather than sticking out like it does with the Peak Design Capture Clip. The only thing to be aware of is missing the holster when you replace the cameras carelessly in a hurry. I’ve done that once, and broke a lens casing open. I never did that again! That might be enough to make someone go for the Holdfast but honestly I hate those things, they tangle up constantly.
  • Boling P1 LED light – my secret weapon for quick and easy informal posed shots in a dark room, such as the dancefloor. I try to avoid using on-camera flash at all, but sometimes you need a bit more light for a posed shot, so it’s quicker for me to hold this in one hand and shoot with the other, than faff about with flash. Also super handy for adding directional light on detail shots in a badly lit room. Watch out for people looking at the light and not the lens, I’m not sure why but LOADS of people do that!
  • Glass prism and a piece of metal piping
  • Spare batteries
  • Godox speedlights
  • Godox triggers
  • Manfrotto lighting stands with Magshoes
  • Magmod grids
  • Instax printer