Lens recommendations for wedding photography?? (Canon)

Lens recommendations for wedding photography?? (Canon)

34 posts
12 Jan 2014
Ron_H
Photographer
Ron_H
Hi guys,

A friend of mine has asked if I'll do the photos for her wedding.
Having never done weddings before I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what would be a good lens (Canon) for this so I can hire one for the occasion?
If you have done any wedding photography yourself I would really appreciate your recommendations.

Thanks.
Ron

Posted 12 Jan 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
Use the lens you are most used to, it makes no sense to be familiarising yourself with a new lens while working (and being unaware of what it can achieve/its limitations).

Posted 12 Jan 2014
FrameworksMedia
Photographer
FrameworksMedia
I shoot weddings full time (but use Nikon). However the following advice may be useful.

Use a lens with the fastest aperture that you have, normally in the region of f1.4-f2.8. There's generally a no flash policy during ceremonies , so you'll be after any available light that you can get, particularly during these dark winter months.

If you are the main shooter, avoid long telephoto's as your primary lens, it'll place you too far away for accurate communication and allow plenty of space for some a@@hole to walk between. Obviously if you need a long zoom during the ceremony and speeches due to positioning then use it, but you may find a monopole useful to avoid camera shake. Even better if you have a second body is to have 2 lenses to avoid wasted time switching

Generally a 24-70 and a 70-200 should cover it, possibly with a nice 85mm prime for some money shots (focal lengths for full frame). It's worth remembering that 'true' friends will be on the guest list to allow them to enjoy the wedding and relax, so don't scrimp on the bill.
Posted 12 Jan 2014
Edited by FrameworksMedia 12 Jan 2014
Ron_H
Photographer
Ron_H
Thanks FrameworksMedia, some very useful tips there....particularly the advice on lenses for photos during the ceremony. I never considered a "no flash" policy. I don't have a 2nd body but could probably borrow one (another great tip).

Thanks a lot

Posted 12 Jan 2014
mantisphoto
Photographer
mantisphoto
Well, somebody has to say it....

Dont ruin your friendship with them by screwing up their wedding photos... tell them to get a professional!

Only joking... we all start somewhere...
Make it clear to them you arent a wedding photographer tho, so not to expect miracles. On my first wedding as a favour, I got them to sign a contract saying they knew I was a beginner and there would be no blame if the photos didnt turn out how they expected, just to cover myself. They couldnt afford anyone else so were happy with it.

If shooting Full Frame then as already said, a 24-70 f2.8 and a 70-200 f2.8 would be ideal... both available for rentals from several places if you dont have them.
If those arent available I have had decent enough results with a 24-105 f4 but its not ideal. Depends what body you are using tho, as my 6D is ok with noise at 3200 ISO if really needed to get back the extra stop lost on aperture.

Most of all, make sure you know the running orer so you dont miss the key events, be in the right place for the rings, kiss etc. Speak to the person conducting the ceremony before hand so you know whats allowed etc. Some can be a bit funny, but pthers can be very helpful allowing time to get shots, telling you the best places to stand etc if you are unsure.

Most of all, just try to enjoy it!


Posted 12 Jan 2014
oscar
Photographer
oscar
When and where is the wedding? Your feet are the best zoom you have -use them. Plan so that you know where you will be for each image.
Posted 12 Jan 2014
FrameworksMedia
Photographer
FrameworksMedia
oscar

When and where is the wedding? Your feet are the best zoom you have -use them. Plan so that you know where you will be for each image.


Although there are times when it's best not to move too much. Many officials have tightened up their photography regulations over the last few years, mainly after having experienced previous  weddings ruined by inexperienced photographers who act as a distraction. practice your Ninja moves and certainly don't get yourself in a corner and walk between the bride and groom (I have the video evidence!)

Remember it's their day, not yours so try to be concise and allow the day to revolve around them and not  you. A good photographer will help the day flow as well as have the camera skills.
Posted 12 Jan 2014
Moorlane
Photographer
Moorlane
and after every group shot just say...thank you !


Posted 12 Jan 2014
eosfan
Photographer
eosfan
And don't forget the practicalities i.e.

Know where you can park at the church (town centre churches sometimes have no parking), at the reception.
Know the route from church to reception.
Where will you take photos at the church, what is your plan if it is pouring with rain as bride/groom come out of church?

Carry a spare of everything if possible - fresh set of batteries for flash, sufficient memory cards, spare camera body (if possible), spare lens (50mm, 24-105mm), spare fully charged camera battery.

Before the big day, drive/walk your routes - your house to brides house (if applicable), brides house to church, church to reception. Know where you will aim to park at each location but have a second option ready.

If possible talk to the vicar before the wedding day, find out what his house rules are, where you can/cannot stand etc

Dave


Posted 12 Jan 2014
CSD_Images
Photographer
CSD_Images
The lenses the pro's use most are:

24-70L 2.8
70-200L 2.8

Covers pretty much all the live fire situations in the ceremonies/parties. They also rely on 50mm and 85mm for low-light work and a macro lens for ring shots. They also generally have two bodies so no need for wasting time for lens swaps and missing the moment.

For weddings you literally going to be covering long and short range, low-light and no light situations. You've got to be able to think on your feet and plan accordingly. Plus have the gear to adapt to those situations.

As to everything else you plan, engage and if all else fails. Run.

Posted 12 Jan 2014
Ron_H
Photographer
Ron_H
Thanks for all the advice guys - both on lenses and on planning the shoot. I'll ask the bride and groom to send me some form of itinerary as soon as they can, and that I could do with tagging along to whatever rehearsals they have
Posted 12 Jan 2014
FrameworksMedia
Photographer
FrameworksMedia
Ron_H

Thanks for all the advice guys - both on lenses and on planning the shoot. I'll ask the bride and groom to send me some form of itinerary as soon as they can, and that I could do with tagging along to whatever rehearsals they have


More often than not, the rehearsals are held on a weekday evening just before the wedding date. This is an ideal opportunity to meet the vicar/preist, check on any restrictions during the service, check your positions and route in/out along with parking. If you are covering the brides house prior to the actual wedding, bare in mind that many of the parking spaces may be taken by guests, so you need to have a plan B.

If it's a civil ceremony, there is no rehearsal.
Posted 13 Jan 2014
OldMaster
Photographer
OldMaster
..Well, somebody has to say it....

Don't ruin your friendship with them by screwing up their wedding photos... tell them to get a professional!"

Well now somebody else has said it to

All you are doing is reinforcing the myth that any one with a decent camera and some experience of taking photographs can be a wedding photographer.

I fear if you are asking what lens you should be using you should probably be recommending they choose another route, like get a wedding photographer! I know, I know they would prefer to spend the money on people that are going to enjoy their hospitality and then say "thanks for all the fish...!"

And in a few months time what will they have, the dress on e-bay, no cake left and probably only snaps from the guests to remember what is supposed to be an important event for them..

Its becoming tiresome with repetition, if you want a plumber, you get a plumber or at least someone with all the right skills of a plumber. If you want a wedding photographer apparently you can get anyone who has a dslr!

I am not making any personal criticism of your talents but I have shot weddings for 28 years now and apart from knowing your kit, (which must be backed up) you must also have people management skills to manoeuvre groups around and be able to instruct the B&G and Bridal Party on posing, etc. You have to work in away that is efficient and also ensures you have got all the required members of the families in pictures..no good leaving the mother in law out!!

So there you have it, your choice of lens is of least concern. For most of those 28 years I shot on one lens, the standard lens, but today the 17-55 F2.8 on dx sensor probably covers 95% of what is needed, but I think I would reconsider the whole issue if I were you!!
Posted 13 Jan 2014
Edited by OldMaster 13 Jan 2014
jivago
Photographer
jivago
Weddings + photography = oxymoron. Wedding!!!!! - Can you get out of it? Make the excuse that there is a tripe tasting evening or an exhumation that you would rather attend!
Posted 14 Jan 2014
Plymjack
Photographer
Plymjack
It is a lot less about photography and more about crowd control - you need to be clear about what shot you are taking and communicate this with the guests. I "loud but friendly" voice helps - and then let them know who is next to save time too...
it is very "seat of your pants" stuff as it is a live and none repeatable event so make sure your 100% happy with your gear - as you will have no time to think about that side of it - make the bride feel like a vip and get everyone on your side and then you will have a chance.
After each shot look and see if anyone is "copying" you - let them, tell them too and then they will let you get on, if you don't let them they will just get in your way so work your "mirrors" and they will help you.

Posted 14 Jan 2014
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