As another wedding season quickly approaches, it’s time that I start to double and triple check my gear to make sure everything is ready. After all, the wedding day only happens once– no do-overs, no second chances– and it’s absolutely necessary that I know everything is performing as it should be!
While they (whoever “they” is) say that the equipment doesn’t make the photographer (and it’s completely true!) I think that one of the things that sets a professional apart from the amateurs is their investment in professional-grade lenses.
On the wedding day, I lug around a big case with all my gear in it. But when it comes down to it, I shoot 95% of the day with the same lenses, over and over again! These lenses are all tried-and-true work horses, so if you’re in the market for your next lens, consider one of these!
Durham Region, Toronto, Kingston, Labrador, Newfoundland, Goose Bay
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART – I’ve been having a steamy love affair with this lens since I bought it a couple years ago! Anytime I need to shoot large frames, or when I want to catch that epic Ackland Couple portrait with a vast background, this is what I use! And because I always find myself working in pretty tight spaces on the wedding day (especially for prep photos), it’s important to me that I have a wide angle lens that has minimal distortion while still giving me a nice creamy background. On top of doing all those things, the 35mm also is super quick, lightweight, and works well in low light.
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 – Oh man, I couldn’t possibly choose a favourite between the 35mm and the 70-200mm! One of these 2 lenses is on my camera 90% of the time (except when I’m doing ring shots)! The 70-200 allows me to get in nice and close during the wedding ceremony while still standing behind the guests, and gives me killer compression during portraits. I use this lens for three quarters of the ceremony, most of the portraits, and during some of the reception when I want get tight shots of guests or the wedding couple without coming too close.
Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 – This is Trevor’s go-to lens. He can shoot wide prep photos at 24mm and also gets beautiful compression at 70mm. The zoom allows him to recompose without having to move his feet, which is an advantage when you’re at the front of the ceremony and want to draw as little attention to yourself as possible. It also means he can easily track the wedding party as they’re dancing their way into the reception!
Canon 135mm f/2.0 – This is Trevor’s favourite portrait lens (and sometimes I steal it because it’s gorgeous)! It does limit him somewhat because he needs quite a bit of room to shoot with it, but it makes up for it with the incredibly dreamy bokeh he achieves with it.
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro – I hummed and hawed for awhile about buying a macro lens– did I really want to spend the money on a piece of glass that would only go on my camera for a few details and the ring shot? As usual, Trev wore me down, and I’m really glad that he did! Yes, this lens still sits in our case for 95% of the day, but the ring shots we get with it just can’t compare to the shots we got without it, and our Ackland Couples sure looove their ring shots! And that makes it completely worth it.
The next on my must-buy list is the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 ART, and Trevor’s been bugging me for a Sigma 15mm f/2.8 fisheye! Because a photographer can never have too many lenses in their bag!