Lenses We NEED For Weddings! | Photography

We’ve been receiving this email for years and we haven’t done a post on it yet?! Here we go pals! The lenses we need for weddings and portraits — and why!

I’m the realest. Just kidding! But really, I am going to tell this so honestly and probably with ZERO technical terms because I want to make this as simple as possible for those who need this post! Ready?

1. My first year in business I ONLY owned a 50 1.4 and a 24-105 4.0 — yeah, the Mark II kit lens! I did an entire year of weddings with this extremely limited equipment…but having the Mark II helped a LOT. You DO need a nice camera body, in my opinion…but it isn’t everything. Want to know why? I shot a couple of images for my sweet friends baby shower recently using my other amazing friends Canon Rebel and 50 1.4 — and I don’t think I did bad at all! They are definitely similar to my Mark III images considering they are indoors in mild lighting!


2. Lenses are IMPORTANT, yes…but learning that camera is absolutely KEY. There are people who jump right into shooting with a Mark III and 85mm 1.2 II and their images aren’t even close to the ones above with the $300 lens and Rebel! A post here and here are helpful ones for beginners!

3. It’s expensive but worth the investment. So if that was my first year in business…when I did I get the rest? The second year. I bought every single additional lens the second year. With EVERY dime that came in. We’re talking 100mm Macro, 50 1.2, 35 1.4, 70-200 II and 85 II — and yes, we were broke! I didn’t shop. We didn’t wine and dine. Just heart and soul working SO hard to build up this equipment list!
So what do we own? (Sidenote…these are ALL Canon lenses)

50MM 1.2 — aka my heartbeat. I can’t even tell you how much I love this lens! It’s PERFECT for my 5 foot tall self, it just works beautifully for me. It’s FAST. 90% of the time I don’t take this off my camera during a session which shows you how much I love it, if I have the luxury of switching it to other lenses but choose not to! Sharp, fast, love of my life.


35mm 1.4 — I secretly don’t love this lens…but I use it A LOT! It’s only because it’s wide angle lens which isn’t my preference, and there’s a slight bend (but you can just click in Lightroom to enable correcting that bend!) — but it’s imperative that I have a 35 during lots of moments on wedding days.  If I didn’t have it, I don’t know what I would do! I need it for group shots and getting ready in tight shots and wide portrait shots where I can’t move back too much to get the whole picture! I know..some of my friends think I need to switch to the 35 Sigma, and I’m seriously thinking about it! Rich Coleman you wanna let me borrow yours for a day? :):)


85mm 1.2 II — This is by far the PRETTIEST of all when it comes to results with the Mark III! I mean…the bokeh is UNREAL. It’s the BEST one quality wise I own but……I’m short and the 85 is just a hard focal length for me based on where I want to stand while shooting! But gosh, I can’t say enough about how great it is! It’s MIKE’S fave! 🙂 Especially for his angle during ceremonies!

100mm 2.8 Macro — This is my very necessary ring shot and jewelry detail lens! A lot of people use it for portraits too or during ceremonies which is great! But I only EVER use it for 10 minutes in the beginning and then never again the entire wedding day!


70-200 2.8 II — Absolute staple. Wouldn’t ever shoot a ceremony (unless it was a tiny distance situation) without it! This is my way to be close without having to be TOO close! It’s sharp and fast and always works hard for me!


24-105mm 4.0 — To be honest..it’s only in my bag because I bought it the first year and I do NOT like it at all except that it will save me for HUGE (like entire wedding guests) group shots and and some wide angle church or reception detail shots! One of my favorite ones from that lens is below!:


That’s what in our bag/Think Tank! All lenses were order from B+H Photo!



Want to keep up with an Outer Banks mama of three sweet little girls shooting wedding & small business photography while making time for the things that matter most? Click on the links below + let’s connect!🙂


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sara says:

    Love this. I have an off brand 72-210 and I really haven’t used it much. I keep debating if I really need it or not. I feel exactly the same way about the macro. Details and then good night little macro. 🙂 I’m going to be looking into the 50 1.2 now. I have 1.8 and i too shot an entire wedding season with my 50 and kit lenses. First “real” lens I owned hHah. 85 is my fav. I’m with Mike on that one. It’s so pretty!

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