What's a wedding photographers toolkit?
Well, there's no easy way of admitting this, but I have a bumbag. Horrible things I know, a cast off from the 80's, but mine looks manly enough I think (I've convinced myself of it anyway). So, within said 'Pouch of Problem Fixing' I have a number of items that have proven invaluable time and time again. The reason I have one is because I find that having the things most commonly needed during the course of a wedding is much handier than having everyone go searching for it.
This has two functions (not counting its main purpose obviously), one being that it helps getting those pesky elasticated hooks at the back of the dress over the tops of those fiddly little buttons, which are an absolute nightmare when you consider you probably have had your nails done. Plus it can help getting the zip pulled all the way up, which it has done done a few times.
New high heeled shoes can be punishing for all concerned (not that I'd know), causing blisters to the backs of heels and little toes. I've seen girls walk around the formal picture area in their bare feet, and that too has it's own hazards. So I always keep a few cushioned plasters in my kangaroo pouch.
Aids with dry mouth after the service, which is when I usually break them out. I'll take the odd one or two myself of course, just incase, nobody likes stinky breath.
There's nothing worse than taking pictures of the registry signing and the only pen available is some disgusting chewed Biro. I always carry a nice fancy pen, and you'll see it make a number of appearances in my wedding pictures where there is an absolute need to use it, which is a lot. I've lost a few, it has to be said. As you get swept up with the hustle and bustle and sometimes forget to pick it up again. The one I've got now was actually a gift, so far I've managed to keep hold of it for the last 3 years.
Mums cry all the time, and sometimes Dads (hence the tissues). The Hair Clips are great as bridal hair loses its shape during the day so you have to be part photographer, part hairstylist and be able to put things back in their place. It's not rocket science, the hairstylist has done the hard work, your job is just to carry out minor repairs.
How big is this bag I'm sure you're wondering? It's honestly not that big, but these things in their entirety are very small, and they'll all come into play in some way shape or form over my career as a professional wedding photographer. I also keep my memory cards and a set of spare batteries in there too. But the safety pins have help me put a grooms trousers back together after he'd split them across his bum, they've pinned many a dress into place by either holding that zip up, or fixing frill that has been accidentally tugged from the dress. They've even held button holed flowers in their place.
This actually sits on the belt that the keeps my bumbag around my waist. It has a set of pliers, a sharp knife, and a bottle opener. The pliers help where the crochet hook can't, with the zip, the knife element to cut car ribbon and loose threads, and the bottle opener, well I'm sure you can guess!
It rains here, a lot! So having a towel to wipe down the cameras when running between locations is a must for me. On the odd summer day that we get here in Northern Ireland, you can get a little warm, so having something handy to wipe my brow work well too. It's just a black golfers towel you'd see hanging off the side of any golf bag. I think I bought while doing a wedding at a golf club actually, I just thought 'genius, I'll have that'. Now I never leave home without it.
I keep them on me at all times! I have two pouches specifically for them too, one to the front for unused, and one to rear for used. This way I'm positive no harm will come to them.
The last thing that I don't share about, for hygiene reasons, is my lip salve, or ChapStick™. I'm a bit of lip licker when stress starts creeping in during the day, doesn't happen all the time, and there's no pattern to it. But as things get busier I find that my lips start to get a little dry as a result of me licking them a little too often. So I keep a handy lip salve stick in one of my side pockets to keep that little issue at bay. You have to also remember to look after yourself too. I'd also keep a drink in the car to to sip from, and a handy chocolate bar to keep the energy levels up when moving between locations, as you'll find you do tend to move about a lot more on days such as these.