But I highly DO NOT RECOMMEND IT!
There is a saying that “it’s not the camera, it’s the photographer behind it.” That’s true for the most part, but when it comes to weddings, it’s a different story.
Wedding photography is expensive for a reason. It’s because you are paying for the photographer’s experience and their usage of high-end equipment, as well as the photographer’s time coordinating before the wedding and editing the pictures after. In 2017, I have booked 4 weddings on my own and have worked as either the main or second shooter for other people. For all these weddings, I have used my higher-end Nikon D750 (with my Nikon D300 as a backup) and quality lenses with fixed apertures. A few lenses alone were way over $400. Per my “Shooting on a Budget” project, all my equipment had to total at $400 or less!
During my cousin’s wedding, not only I used “downgraded” equipment, but I also used a system I was not very familiar with. I did not want to use my money-making equipment during my trip to the Philippines, so I used my Dad’s entry-level Canon Rebel T1i and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and 55-250mm f/4-5.6 kit lenses. To ensure I had decent shots, I had to quickly learn how to use the camera prior to my trip. I also had to adjust my way of focusing. I was using back-button focusing (BBF) on my Nikon, but it was a pain to do BBF on the T1i, so I had to re-learn how to use shutter button focusing.
It was extremely frustrating using my Dad’s camera. It was a pain setting the focus points, so I had a few out-of-focus shots. Because of the lenses’ changing apertures (if you’re shooting at its widest possible) as you zoom in and out, I had to constantly adjust the shutter speed to get a well-exposed shot. I missed the first kiss because of this. The closest thing I got was the bride and groom about to kiss, but the shot was pretty under-exposed. Thank goodness I shot in RAW!
Even though I was shooting this wedding with entry-level Canon gear, I would have just as much frustration shooting with comparable entry-level Nikon gear. Learning the Canon wasn’t that much of a huge learning curve for me.
In summary…yes, you can shoot a wedding with entry-level gear. However, it’s best to use that gear if you’re sitting in the audience as a guest, NOT as the main shooter.
I hope I didn’t lead you all to believe I was the main shooter of this wedding! Fortunately, I was just a guest and took pictures from my seat in the back rows. The wedding had 2 photographers and 3 videographers in a pretty small space, so I didn’t want to get in their way!
I know the main photographers did a much better job than I did, but here are a few shots I took during the ceremony.