The Three Must Have Lenses for Wedding Photographers

September 27, 2018

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camera lenses for photographing weddings

The three MUST HAVE lenses for wedding photographers | Wedding Photography Education

When I was just starting out as a photographer, I didn’t have thousands of dollars to invest in equipment. I winced at the thought of dropping $1800 for ONE LENS (hello 85 1.2 *insert heart eyes here*), so I rounded up the three most important (and, really, the only lenses you “need”) to have to photograph a wedding day like a pro.

(***Disclaimer*** Everyone is different and has different preferences for how they photograph weddings. These are just the lenses that I use and love and can’t live without! You do you, friend!)

PS I am always getting the question of “where to buy” camera gear, and I absolutely LOVE Green Toe! You place your offer, and companies will either take your offer or counter with their offer. I’ve bought a lot of my camera gear this way, and have had great experiences each time. Plus I save hundreds of dollars! Click here to try it out for yourself! 

Related Post: “How To Use Macro Filters”

1. 70-200 or 135mm 2.0

Used for: Ceremonies, my second shooter during portrait time, first dances

Really, any long lens will work as long as you can stay out of the way and still get great shots of the vows and ring exchanges. I prefer to be unseen and unheard, so I go for the 70-200 AT 200mm. haha! Some of my photog friends get in there with an 85 and squat down in the middle of the aisle. Either way works! (PS I have this Tamron version and love it)

Classic White Tulip Wedding at The Club at Garden Ridge Texas Wedding Venue 0053Classic White Tulip Wedding at The Club at Garden Ridge Texas Wedding Venue 0070A Classic Minimalist Blush and gold greenery wedding at La Cantera Resort and Spa in San Antonio Texas 0053

2. 50 mm

Used for: EVERYTHING! bridal details, reception details, portraits, post first-dance dancing.

I currently have the Canon 50 1.2 and absolutely love it. It’s sharp, it’s creamy, and creates dreamy bokeh. But if you’re just starting out the 50 1.4 is absolutely a great option. I used that lens for most of my career, up until I bought it’s big sister, the 1.2 ;). Here are some examples of my photos with the 1.2 and the 1.4. I love this focal length because it is flattering and convenient(I don’t have to back up to Timbuktu to get everyone in the shot). I also have trouble projecting my voice, so using a longer lens than this for group photos would be difficult while trying to give direction. Light and airy wedding photography lenses to use 0001 Light and airy wedding photography lenses to use 0003 Light and airy wedding photography lenses to use 0004

3. 35mm

Used for: getting ready photos, wide shots, extended family photos, wide ceremony shots, reception.

This isn’t my favorite lense length for portraits(I say it makes people look like they have alien heads if you get up close with this lens), so I use it sparingly, but I definitely use it for every wedding. It’s a must for venue photos, getting ready photos, big family photos, and epic dancing photos. A lavender and ivory summer wedding at the lodge at country inn cottages in Fredericksburg tx by Allison Jeffers photography 0069


Bonus: As a wedding photographer you NEEEED to be able to take close up photos of the rings and little details throughout the day. None of these lenses will allow you to get close enough to your subject and focus, so I suggest these affordable macro filters! You just attach them to your lens and it acts as a magnifying glass.


Read this post to learn more about macro filters


I hope this was helpful! Feel free to ask questions or share your struggles in the comments below :)

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xoxo, Allison

 Allison Jeffers is a photographer and educator serving sweet couples and helping other creative entrepreneurs reach their goals. She specializes in wedding photography, elopements, and proposals as well as Bridal and Engagement portraits in Texas. She is available for travel worldwide and has her passport ready!

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