When I turn up to a photo shoot I quite often get told that I have a lot of
equipment! I take all my gear to every shoot so I can be prepared for any
eventuality but thought it would probably be quite useful to write about the
lenses I use to photograph a wedding starting with the preparation, set up and
ceremony through to the portraits and evening reception.
So, I will usually start with the bride. I LOVE my prime lenses and of course I
shoot with Canon ;-) For most of this part of the day I will switch between my
100mm macro f/2.8 and my 50mm f/1.4.
The 50mm is certainly the most versatile but the macro is great for not only the
small details like the jewelry or intricate beading on the dress but its also great
when you’re capturing the natural and candid shots of the bridal party getting
ready :) You have enough distance from them that they don’t suddenly freeze up
when they see a camera pointing in their direction!
For the set up shots I will again use both the 100mm macro and 50mm but will
also play around with the 16-24 f/2.8 wide angle.
For the ceremony I use the 70-200mm f/2.8 and again the 50mm makes a
regular appearance too, I use 2 bodies during the ceremony and like to keep
my distance so that I can be unnoticed by the wedding guests.
For the portraits I will use 24-70mm f/2.8 for most group photographs and bring
out my wide angle for any larger groups, then for the couple portrait session I
will mainly use my 50mm but sometimes bring out the 70-200mm too. This is
my favourite part of the day. Golden hour has usually set in so the light is
PERFECT, everyone is beginning to unwind and congratulate the new couple and
the drinks and canapés are flowing :-) This is the best time to capture as many
candid natural light photographs as you can before the sun sets down for the
During the reception the sun has usually set, or with some weddings starting
earlier at least beginning to, but as per a previous post, the last hour before
sunset is the best time to capture the couple portraits and group photographs so
always bear this in mind when planning your day.
The reception, or once there is no longer any natural light, this is when you will
need your prime lenses most. I usually shift between the 50mm f/1.4 but also
have both my 24-70mm and 70-200mm ready, depending on the space you have
around you, when it comes to the cake cutting and the first dance I find I need my
24-70mm readily available in case it becomes too crowded with wedding guests,
during these moments it can be quite difficult to keep guests back to give you
space to capture everything so a wider angle option is always a good shout. Nothing can beat those prime lenses though.