Creative Tips

Best Lenses for Wedding Photographer

January 17, 2021

Grey Loft Studio
We met online 10 years ago, fell in love, 3 babies, lots of cameras, and here we are. Want to know more about our story? 
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Best Lenses for a Wedding Photographer really comes down to personal opinion. Sharing our experience around what we actually use and what gets us the gorgeous photos our clients love is so important. When you are just starting out it can be hard to choose. Here at Grey Loft Studio we shoot both photography and videography. We actually prefer the same lenses for the same reasons, regardless of what we’re doing (ie. photo or video).

Our business started in 2015 and we have many years of trial and error. Don’t get us wrong, we’ve been fooled by a blog or a Youtube video telling us what the best lenses are before. Sharing what our experience because we know that ultimately it’s truly your decision. Only you can know which lenses you prefer over another by trying them. That being said we’ve always been a big advocate for renting before you buy. Preferably rent a lens for the whole weekend and plan as many shoots around that weekend.

Photographer styling Wedding Day Invitation Suite - Behind the scenes- Best Lenses for Wedding Photographer - Ottawa Wedding Photographer - Canon Lens

Choosing the Best Lens for your Wedding Photography Business

Since we are self-taught wedding photographers and videographers and went to the school of YouTube, we’ve heard ALL the best lenses! What we’ve found is that our set-up is a bit different. Nothing is wrong or right as long as both you and the client are happy overall that’s what’s important. It’s been most useful for us knowing what kind of variety we like in our photos in the shortest amount of time.

Don’t get me wrong I could photograph a bride and groom for 3 hours alone and never get bored. However, the couple would be missing out on the wedding that they’ve spent so much time and money planning. What we’ve found is that you need to be quick about what you want. How fast you can deliver a variety of shots from just a handful of “different” poses is key to keeping everyone happy.

Best Lenses for Wedding Photographer - Ottawa Wedding Photographer - Canon Lens

Choose a Lens that you Need not one you Want

Often times we have to trouble shoot worst case scenarios when it comes to wedding day. Knowing that getting ready might be in a darker smaller condo or hotel room with little to no natural light for instance. Capturing large group photos is also a tricky situation to be in especially when it comes to lenses. Keeping these situations in the back of our minds is what makes you a professional. Best Lenses for Wedding Photographer are truly a choice you have to make early on to save money too!

Understanding the ins and outs of the day will only bring you success raving reviews. One thing we know is how fast a wedding day can go by. If you aren’t prepared for anything you may not be ready for this type of work. Just because we use the lenses we recommend doesn’t mean we don’t have other lenses for these types of situations as well.

Best Lenses for Wedding Photographer - Ottawa Wedding Photographer - Canon Lens

Dual Camera Strap to use Prime Lenses

One of the most epic changes in my ease of a day was purchasing a dual camera strap. It’s not a cheap investment but neither was my chiropractor visits each week because my back and hips would kill. Standing 12 hours on a wedding day with heavy gear is very tiring. Investing in a good camera strap saved my back and my nerves about dropping my camera (which I’ve done before when a dog knocked it out of my hand). The one we recommend is by Holdfast (I use the Black Money Maker).

Choosing the Best Lens for your Wedding Photography Business- Photographer Taking Photos of Invitations at a Wedding -Best Lenses for Wedding Photographer - Ottawa Wedding Photographer - Canon Lens

#1 Best Lens for a Wedding Photographer – 50mm 1.2 Canon

Canon is the type of camera we’ve used since we started in 2015 because of its amazing true to colour capabilities. If you’re on the fence, try a Canon and let us know. Our favourite lens for wedding photography & videographer is the Canon 50mm 1.2. It’s a prime lens that works extremely hard offering us beautiful shots time and time again. The 50mm also allows you to create stunning portraits, as the low aperture creates the shallow depth of field that softens your subjects’ skin and makes them pop off the page. However, we didn’t start with this lens. Use a non-red ring lens if that means you can start experimenting with prime lenses until you can save up to buy the 1.2.

Best Lenses for Wedding Photographer isn’t something that we take lightly because of course we would feel awful if you bought it and hated it. Trust us when we say rent. If you don’t fall in love right away, that rental money is still a write off anyhow.

Best Lenses for Wedding Photographer - Ottawa Wedding Photographer - Canon Lens
You can see I have my 50mm on one side and the 100mm on the other.

#2 Best Lens for a Wedding Photographer – 100mm Macro 2.8 Canon

This may be controversial but this is my opinion. I’ve tried not using it and it hurts my heart. Powerhouse is how I describe this lens and really adds so much when it comes to variety in my shots. Macro shots are fabulous and what better than to be able to get some really beautiful details any time on a wedding day. Think rings, dress details, floral details, candles at reception, invitation details, and the ring shots during the ceremony.

With this lens I could go on with all the variety it offers. Call me crazy but I believe it could be even better than the 85mm 1.2. Best Lenses for Wedding Photographers can also be zoom lenses. First starting our business we used a 24-70mm 2.8 lens and even when I was pregnant, less movement for me.

Best Lenses for Wedding Photographer - Ottawa Wedding Photographer - Canon Lens
This is from a real wedding this past summer (2020). At the end of the night I usually only have one camera on me with a flash. I always carry things in my fanny pack too (all memory cards).

For links to all our gear check out the links below:

Canon 50mm f/1.2
Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro IS
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8
Canon 135mm f/2.0
Holdfast Money Maker Camera Strap

Watch the full video to see WHY we love these lenses!

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