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Wedding Photography Kit for a $20,000 Budget | Ask SLR Lounge

By SLR Lounge Official on July 24th 2016

We are excited for our new series, Ask SLR Lounge, where you ask the questions and we answer them on Facebook Live. This is an open forum for you, our community, to ask us anything you want.

To submit your question, go to and leave your question in the comment section of the post. Check out our previous question: Which sites to use to market your photography business online? – here.

Our next question comes from Benny, who asks:

“I am putting together a brand new wedding photography kit. I have a budget of $20,000. What would you guys put together?”

Watch the Facebook Live video to see our answer to the question:


Now, obviously not everyone has the luxury of having such a large dispensbile sum, but the objective here is to prioritize what gear and accessories you require firs,t and then save up and invest for other items in the future. In our latest Wedding Workshop course, we discuss the importance of having certain gear items first in your career, and how beneficial and versatile they prove to be.

Watch the video above to see why we ranked these specific items in this order. For those that want a reference guide, here is our comprehensive list for wedding photography gear:

First priority purchases

Camera Gear

Full Frame DSLR (Canon 5d Mark III, Nikon D810) – $2,600
4 Additional DSLR Batteries (Canon Batteries, Nikon Batteries) – $260
2 64 GB SD Cards (Sandisk, Samsung) – $68
2 64 GB CF Cards (Sandisk) – $100


Zoom Lens 24-70 f/2.8 (Canon, Nikon, Tamron) $1,800
Telephoto Lens 70-200 f/2.8 with IS (Canon, Nikon, SIGMA, Tamron) – $2,000
50mm Prime (Canon, Nikon, Sigma) – $1000

Portable Lighting kit

4 Full Feature Pocket Flashes (Canon, Phottix, Yongnuo) – $1,600
AA Rechargeable Eneloop Batteries – $100
3 Magmod Basic Kits – $270
1 Magmod Complete Kit – $236
2 Wescott 5-n-1 Reflectors 40.5″ – $80
Wescott 45″ Satin with Black Cover – $30
4 Manfrotto Nano Stands – $240
Triple Threat Bracket – $30

Store & Carry

Pelican 1510 with Lid Pockets – $185
UNDFIND One Bag, or bag of choice – $150

creative accessories

Tripod (Mefoto Globe Trotter, Manfrotto, Benro) – $300

grand total: $11,049

Second priority purchases

Camera Gear

Backup Full Frame DSLR (Canon 5D Mark III Used, Canon 6D, Nikon D750) – $1,800


100mm Macro (Canon) – $850
85mm Prime (Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Tamron) – $1,200

Creative accessories

5 Stop Tiffen ND Water White (Sqaure) – $100
Prism – $16
LED String Lights – $10

grand total: $3,976

Third priority purchases


35mm Prime (Sigma) – $849
90mm Tilt Shift f/2.8 (Canon) – $1,400
24mm Prime (Canon, Nikon, Sigma) – $800

Creative accessories

Free Lens – $80

grand total: $3,129

Fourth priority purchases

Store & Carry

TrekPak Dividers for Pelican 1510 – $115


Profoto B2 Air TTL Kit – $2,000
Profoto Air TTL Remote – $400
2x Profoto B2 Spare Batteries – $460
Profoto Speedring for OCF Flash Heads – $100
Profoto OCF Softbox 2′ Octa – $150

grand total: $3,225


click to enlarge

Refer to the image above to see the gear guide for the lead and second shooters at Lin and Jirsa.

For more specifics on education and comparisons for essential gear, check out our Premium Subscription membership where you’ll find access to photography and post-production education like any other.

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Articles by SLR Lounge Official are created by multiple authors. They represent official announcements by SLR Lounge.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Peter Loo

    Thanks a pretty good article. I am a wedding photographer from Fantastic Work studio, who use 5D3 and 24-70 f/2.8 to take most of the photo shoots.

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  2. Aravind Sheela

    + Photoshop , Lightroom.
    a newcomer who dream to buy this lens collection :)

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  3. Andy Chang

    Hi, I know you guys recommend shooting to two cards as backup on a dual slot camera like the 5DM3. I remember reading somewhere that having an SD card in combination with a fast CF slows the write speed down so that the bottleneck is around 20 MB/sec for both cards (regardless of what speed the SD card is) because the 5DM3’s SD slot is not UHS compatible. I’ve stopped shooting with two cards since I like keeping burst mode on, especially for runway fashion shows. Does your staff generally find the two card method on a 5DM3 limiting during a wedding during fast action sequences?

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  4. Griffin Conway

    1 missing item
    ***$348- SLR Lounge Premium :)

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  5. Lauchlan Toal

    Quick note for Nikon shooters, while there’s no 90mm tilt/shift lens there is the 85mm PC-E lens. Bit more expensive at around $2000, but it has 1:2 macro capabilities so it’s also great for ring shots, food, and other details.

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    • Paul Nguyen

      Basically negates the need for a specialist macro lens. You’re not going to be photographing anything so small that will require 1:1 reproduction at a wedding.

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