| Tampa Wedding Photographer |
As my summer season comes to an end, I wanted to get ready for the
crazy…ahem… Fall wedding season starting up very soon with a few educational posts.
One of the questions I get asked more than any other is what my favorite lens is or which lens I use the most. That’s always such a tough question to answer because it usually depends on what I am shooting, but really, I love all my Canon gear! As much as I love all my lenses and camera body though, it’s important to note that I really believe that it is not the lenses and cameras that make an amazing image, it’s the person using it. When I first started shooting I had a $150 Canon Rebel xt and kit lens, and as my pro gear collection grew, so did my experience in how to best use them. Although I always feel there’s something to learn in this field, my experience included lots of shooting, experimenting and making MISTAKES so that I now feel comfortable using my gear to it’s full potential.
Cameras and lenses are just tools that in combination with the proper use of lighting, posing, timing and a multitude of other aspects can make a beautiful image happen. Having said that, I also believe that having the right or better tools can help make the job of a professional photographer more efficient and improve the final shot they are aiming for.
Below is the gear that you will find in my camera bag on wedding days and some pictures that I’ve shot with each lens! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments!
My primary camera body is the Canon 5D Mark iii (above) – It’s full frame, 61-point autofocus capabilities along with it’s possible 25000 ISO make it an awesome body to work with in almost any situation.
First lens up is my Canon Macro 100mm 2.8L– I mostly use this lens for the smaller details. Photographing and styling details is how I start my wedding days and it’s one of my favorite parts!! It’s how I get the creative juices flowing 😉 Below are a few images taken with my Macro lens.
Canon 50mm 1.2L-
One of the most versatile lenses out there! I could shoot entire sessions and most of a wedding day with only this lens! On wedding days, use it mostly for bigger details (like bouquets and reception decor) and bridal getting ready shots. It’s a great portrait lens with the added advantage that it’s wide enough to allow me to shoot in tight quarters and with an aperture of 1.2 also darker rooms when necessary.
This veil shot is one of my favorites to do with my 50mm because it’s wide enough to be very close to the bride’s veil with the speed and sharpness of a prime 1.2 lens
Canon 24-70mm 2.8L – I have a love/hate relationship with this lens. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome lens but for my personal taste and style it’s not my favorite to use. The “wideness” of it goes against my nature because I consider myself a more intimate- close up shooter, but in a wedding day, there are many times that my 50mm is just never going to be wide enough to capture the scene…in these occasions, I will use my 24-70mm. The range it gives is a must for wedding day- in my own opinion. I will mostly use it for wide ceremony shots, large bridal party shots and wide reception shots. It also captured my most favorite bride dress shot ever (see below)!
Canon 70-200mm 2.8L- Another wedding day must-have for me is this zoom lens. I use this lens mostly during ceremony and reception time. During ceremonies, I try to be as much of a ninja as possible and not interrupt the flow of such an important part of the day, sometimes I am limited by the rules of the church or venue as to how close I can get to the couple so using my zoom lens to have the reach is vital.
I also love to use this lens to capture the candid reactions of day…when someone is having a genuine emotional moment, having me approach them with my big camera and get in their face is a sure way to immediately stop that from happening, this lens gives me the advantage of being across the room and catching these reactions.
Another favorite part of the day! Being as far away as I can be and letting a First Look reaction be as genuine as possible is key to catching these kind of pictures…????
Canon 85mm 1.2L- This lens is everything. If all my gear was in immediate danger of destruction and I could only pick one lens to save -it would be this one! lol
This lens is sharp, has amazing compression and creates the most delicious buttery bokeh ever. It’s my go to for all bride and groom portraits and for engagement sessions (or any other portrait session for that matter) it’s 1 of 2 lenses I carry in my bag (the other is the 50mm). If I had to find one negative thing to say about my 4th baby it’s that it’s a tad slow to focus so it’s not the best for catching a quick moments like a bouquet toss but otherwise this is definitely a lens I adore.
Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT – When I need to use flashes, which is most receptions and end of night events, I love using these. They are powerful enough to light any room and usually keep a charge for the entire night without any trouble. Another huge advantage is that they sync to each other wirelessly via radio transmission so I don’t need any additional equipment with them. I attach them to my EZ Light stands from Denny Manufacturing.
I carry it all in my ShootSac. In addition to this gear I also carry:
- A TON of batteries
- Sandisk CF and SD cards
- Rogue FlashBenders
- Back up cameras
- Westcott Omega Reflector
- Ice Light
- and of course I never leave home without Walter the Stool 😉
Hope you enjoyed this post and found it informative!
Let me know what you think of this series and if there’s any other questions you would like me to break down for my next educational post!