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What's In My Bag: The Top Tools For A Luxury Wedding Photographer

Sony Artisan Sara France (@sarafrance) is a luxury wedding photographer based in Southern California. She has traveled all over the world shooting weddings, and her photography kit adjusts based on where she is going and what she will use most. France's collection of gear is formidable because she needs to be ready for anything at any time. Always having the right tool to make the perfect photo is part of why she's in such high demand. Put simply, on the day when there are no do-overs, France doesn't miss the shot. We connected with her to learn more about the gear she would bring to a wedding in Southern California. Keep reading as she shares what's in her kit for luxury wedding photography.

Product Preview – In This Article You'll Find:
Sony Alpha 1
Sony Alpha 7 IV
Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master
Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master II
Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master II
Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master
Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master
Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master
Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G
Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master
Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II
Sony TOUGH SD Cards
Sony NP-FZ100 Batteries
Sony NPA-MQZ1K Multi Battery Adapter Kit

I wear two cameras and keep a Peak Design Everyday Sling around my waist with two additional lenses. Throughout the day, I switch out the four lenses I have on me based on what I will need. This allows me to be mobile and get around but also have a large variety of lens options available to me throughout the day. Below I will tell you the lenses I use the most a well as what I use each lens for.

Sara France's wedding photography kit

Cameras

Sony Alpha 1: The Alpha 1 is the ultimate camera in Sony’s lineup. The feature I use the most that my other cameras do not have is the expanded shutter speed option. I use this a lot to photograph couples in bright sun on the beach but still with a wide open aperture to allow for a shallow depth of field. The camera has almost every feature of all of the other Sony cameras, so it is the best all-around camera. A nice bonus is the sound of the shutter!

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II. 1/320-sec., f/2.8, ISO 320

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II. 1/320-sec., f/2.8, ISO 320

Sony Alpha 7 IV: For wedding photographers, this camera is a workhorse and is all you will usually need for great value. All of the photographers on my team use this camera model exclusively. The focus, flexible screen, and quality of the image, matched with a perfect RAW file size for weddings, makes this an ideal wedding camera.

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/1600-sec., f/1.2, ISO 100

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/1600-sec., f/1.2, ISO 100

Lenses

Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master: The Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master merits a place in my bag for its ability to capture wide, expansive shots that are essential for setting the scene. I personally use it to photograph the ceremony site and reception as a whole, and I love to use it for detail shots to get the full environment as well as the detail I am focused on. I value this lens for its sharpness and low-light performance, which helps me capture the ambiance and scale of the event without distortion, giving a true representation of the beauty of the wedding.

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/640-sec., f/2.5, ISO 200

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/640-sec., f/2.5, ISO 200

Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master II: I love the look and feel a prime lens gives you but when you are in a pinch, either for processional, or dancing, the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master II is my newest go-to lens for its versatility. Whether it's capturing wide environmental shots, mid-range portraits, or candid moments, this the best 24-70mm on the market. It has the look and feel of a prime lens with the flexibility of such a great range when you want to capture a whole moment or crop in to make a moment feel more intimate. It ideal for fast-paced situations where I need to adapt quickly to changing scenes, ensuring I can capture every moment seamlessly.

Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master II: No matter how much I love the Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master, sometimes I just need a lens with more versatility or that even wider angle than a 20mm can give me. Also at times I will shoot this lens because I know it only going to a 2.8 and I know I want to shoot with more depth of field like when people are dancing and I was to get more people in focus as well as the zoom capabilities of capturing the moment with just the right framing. The Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master II is also perfect for capturing wide, sweeping views of the wedding venue. Its flexibility in focal length allows me to switch from wide-angle to closer perspectives seamlessly. I value this lens for its ability to include architectural elements and expansive outdoor scenes, adding context and grandeur to the wedding album, which is essential for luxury weddings where the setting plays a significant role.

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master II. 1/160-sec., f/2.8, ISO 1600

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master II. 1/160-sec., f/2.8, ISO 1600

Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master: The Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master is one of my all-time favorite lenses. I have this lens on me most of the day. If I were to have to only bring two lenses this would be one of them. It is indispensable for its versatility and ability to capture both intimate and environmental portraits. I use this lens during bridal preparations and candid moments, as it provides a natural perspective that is neither too wide nor too close. Its fast aperture and stunning bokeh are invaluable for isolating subjects and creating beautiful, dreamy images, making it perfect for capturing emotional, up-close moments without being intrusive.

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/400-sec., f/2.8, ISO 800

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/400-sec., f/2.8, ISO 800

Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master: I love this as a classic portrait lens – it has a very flattering perspective and is incredibly sharp. I rely on this lens to capture the emotional expressions of couples and guests, as well as detailed shots of wedding elements like bouquets and decorations. Its fast aperture allows for excellent performance in low light and creates a beautiful background blur, helping me achieve the soft, romantic look that defines my photography style.

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/1600-sec., f/1.2, ISO 100

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master. 1/1600-sec., f/1.2, ISO 100

Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master: The Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master is a gem in my photography kit, perfect for capturing stunning portraits, intricate details, and heartfelt moments. Its exceptional sharpness and creamy bokeh make every moment captured more intimate. You will rarely find me without this lens, which is a staple in what I carry on me throughout the day. I use it the most during portraits, details of any kind, toasts, and formal dances.

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/500-sec., f/1.4, ISO 100

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/500-sec., f/1.4, ISO 100

Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G: The Sony 90mm Macro f/2.8 G earns its spot in my kit for its exceptional ability to capture fine details. I use this lens for close-up shots of rings, invitations, and other intricate decorations. Its sharpness and ability to reveal textures make it indispensable for creating stunning detail images that add depth and richness to the wedding images, highlighting the small but significant elements that contribute to the overall story.

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G. 1/500-sec., f/2.8, ISO 200

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G. 1/500-sec., f/2.8, ISO 200

Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master: The Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master has beautiful compression and bokeh, perfect for capturing intimate moments from a distance. I use this lens to isolate the couple during the ceremony, ensuring their emotions are highlighted against a soft, blurred background. Its exceptional sharpness and depth of field make it a favorite for creating dramatic, portrait-like images that stand out in the wedding gallery, adding a touch of elegance and focus on the couple. Also, in low light it can be a life saver to get a couple extra stops of light into the camera.

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master. 1/160-sec., f/1.8, ISO 2000

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master. 1/160-sec., f/1.8, ISO 2000

Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II: The Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II is an essential workhorse lens for wedding photographers, and I am no exception. This lens is perfect for capturing distant moments like ceremonies and candid interactions during receptions. Its zoom range allows for quick framing adjustments without changing lenses, ensuring no crucial moments are missed. I love this lens for its image stabilization and sharpness, which help me capture clear, vibrant images even in challenging lighting conditions. Unlike other 70-200mm lenses, which are usually very heavy, the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II is the lightest in the industry, making it much easier to use for extended periods. This is especially valuable for second photographers who need flexibility and endurance.

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II. 1/800-sec., f/2.8, ISO 200

Photo by Sara France. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II. 1/800-sec., f/2.8, ISO 200

Accessories

Peak Design Everyday Sling: I have this around my waist on wedding day to carry extra lenses.

Sony TOUGH SD Cards: I keep these in a range of 64gb - 256gb. The TOUGH cards are amazing.  The durability and speed are great. I shoot to two cards at all times so I use a TOUGH card in slot one and a backup Sony 64GB SF-M UHS-II SDXC Memory Card in the other.

Sony NP-FZ100 Batteries: I keep about 10 batteries in my gear back at all times just in case! Not much you can do without power.

Sony NPA-MQZ1K Multi Battery Adapter Kit: Also, love this for charging my batteries after a shoot.

Profoto Flashes

See more of Sara France's work on her Alpha Universe Profile and on Instagram @sarafrance.

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