Everyone who has ever shot a wedding has LEARNED some things while doing so. I can’t tell you how many times I thought to myself I wish I had something that I just didn’t have while in the middle of an intense, demanding day. These days I keep a go-bag packed and ready to take with me to wedding days - which can be very physically grueling and limited on time for you to get things you might need. Here are eleven things I’ve realized every photographer needs to keep handy on a wedding day to survive!
1 - EXTRA SHOES. 10+ hours on your feet is a recipe for pain if you don’t wear the right shoes! For me, the magic trick has been to switch it up for myself once or twice wedding day - going from close-toed to open, or flat to supported. I usually change shoes before ceremony and then partway through reception. When I used to wear one pair the entire day, I’d have numb toes and such severe foot pain that I could barely stand. NO THANKS.
2 - COLD WATER. These two water containers are insulated to keep your hots hot, and colds cold. I’ve literally left the gray one in my car for four, five, six hours in the Georgia heat and still had cold water to drink when driving to the next location! Miracles DO exist.
3 - SUNSCREEN. I usually remember to put it on prior to heading out, but this is there for when I forgot. I’m out in the sun for hours and I don’t want to burn or get skin damage from all that accumulated time getting cooked.
4 - SPRAY DEODORANT AND HAIRBANDS. Need I say more?! The deodorant sprays on and helps me feel less like a disgusting melted trash monster when the day gets long and the armpits get spicy. The hairbands are for when my hair has gotten on my last damn nerve and needs to be put in a time out.
5 - CHAPSTICK AND BREATHMINTS. Leathery lips and stank breath are not a good look. These do the trick.
6 - LINT ROLLER AND PERSONAL FAN. I have dogs and their hair gets on everything, even if I’m halfway across the world I’ll be finding their hairs on all the things. This lint roller does the job of making me look pet-free, and the fan is great for sweltering days when I’m sweating to the oldies. Plus it even clips onto my camera strap so I can look even more hip and with it.
7 - BUSINESS CARDS. Seriously. Always have these on you, no matter the day or time.
8 - PROTEIN CRAP DISGUISED AS SNACK FOOD. I have problems with blood sugar crashing and making me fainty, so I always keep cliff bars/protein cake bites on hand to make sure I don’t pass out and scare all the small children who may be present at whatever event I’m shooting.
9 - BAND-AIDS. For cuts, scrapes, and even blisters that pop up unexpectedly.
10 - MEDICINE CABINET STUFF. Pain reliever, allergy tablets (for if I need an extra dose past what I took that morning!) and cough drops. I’ve gotten a few severely dry throat/coughing fits at weddings throughout the years and the throat drops really help in a pinch - that and grandmas respect your game more when they see you packing these things.
11 - LIQUID GOLD. I mean, 5 Hour Energy shots. These save me when I feel like I am dying inside and there’s still five, six hours to go. I get fatigued very easily so these are often just what the doc ordered before ceremony to get my energy levels up again after several hours of intense portrait taking.
And that’s the list! Did I miss anything YOU always bring to events? Let me know in the comments!
Huge shoutout to Bridesmaids Gifts Boutique for the personalized stemless wine cup pictured above! I just got it and have been rigorously, heroically testing it with all the wines this week ;) I put cold liquid in it and left it for five hours as a test and it was still cold when I checked on it. WINNING! And so cute too. Great gift idea for wedding parties or even your wino friend (me). Get yours here.