Best Lenses for the Canon Wedding Photographer

Wedding Photography and Travel Photography are very different but as I photograph both I thought I would talk a little bit about some of the equipment that I use  that best suits my style.

The Best Canon Wedding Photography Lenses and Travel Photography Lenses

Canon 17-55 efs 2.8 Lens for the Travel Photographer and Shooting HDR in the Tokyo Rain

I love shooting in the rain, as you get loads of cool reflections and light bouncing off every surface. Tokyo is the perfect place for this as there's so much light and colour about, unfortunately my lens is not such a big fan. My larger L-Series Canon lenses that I use for my Wedding Photography in Kent and around the world usually get left back at the hotel when I'm shooting Travel Photography. I normally take out a Canon 7D and a Canon 17-55 efs f2.8 which is possibly the best travel lens for the Canon cropped sensor range for the type of photography that I do. The image quality is on par with an L-series. and it's a perfect match for the D7. I don't like carrying around the 5D and my L-Series lenses as the red stripe of the Canon L-Series Lenses make them a prime target for thief's. Japan is very safe indeed but other parts of Asia are not and it's just a habit that I have picked up and follow through wherever I am in the world. Here's a photograph that I took in Japan using the Canon 7d and the 17-55mm efs f2.8 lens that I use for the majority of my travel photographs.

Best Lenses for Wedding photographers and my choices for Kent Wedding Photography

Wedding photography is a whole different thing though and all my most expensive gear gets used. Canon 5d Mark iii, 50mm f1.2 and Canon 85mm f1.2 Prime lenses , Canon 70-200 f2.8 L-Series, and a whole lot more. With my travel photography there's no pressure to get a particular shot and plenty of time to get the right angle or composition with whatever lens you're carrying. With Wedding Photography, you really need to be prepared as you only ever get one chance for an image so you need to make sure you're covered for all focal lengths with a combination of lenses.

Many people ask me what are the best lenses for wedding photography? There's no perfect answer for this as it really depends on what style you shoot. If you really don't know what lens combination works best for you as a Wedding Photographer then you may need to re-think photographing weddings until you do. My style as a Wedding Photographer is very natural and I tend to favour natural, unposed images or posed images with a natural feel. I prefer the longer reach of the Canon 70-200 f2.8 for the storytelling moments. This creates really fresh crisp Wedding Photographs and the subjects are mostly unaware of the camera which enables me to capture those natural unposed images. This lens also works amazingly for my portraits as it creates a nice amount of compression and isolates the subjects from the background nicely. Take a look through my wedding galleries as most of my 'posed' couple shots are taken with the 70-200

Travel Photography lens of choice. The Canon 17-55mm efs f2.8

The Canon 35mm f1.4 is a must have for the wedding photographer as it's wide enough on the full framed 5d mark iii to capture wide angle shots of the whole of the church scene and is also a great lens for getting full length portraits, group formal wedding photographs and general candid documentary photography.

Camera bodies for the Wedding Photographer

I love the Canon 5d Mark ii (now upgraded to the Mark iii) for its full frame so this is my main body. I also use a Canon 5d mark iii as my backup and 2nd camera. This has far quicker auto focus, better low light focusing and the full frame sensor adds a whole new dimension. 

Wedding Photography Lighting

I'm a big fan of natural light and Wedding Photography with natural light can be amazing. As I rule, I never use flash photography during a service even if is allowed as I feel that it is a huge distraction to the couple and guests to have flashes going off every few seconds. For the rest of the day I work with natural light as much as possible although if it's a very bright sunny day than I may need to use a bit of fill flash.

During the evening reception I combine fast lenses and higher iso to capture photographs using available light for around 60% of my photographs. This captures the mood and feel much better than with artificial lighting. For the remaining 40% of my evening wedding photography I will use some flash photography either off camera or bounced on camera (depending on the location), with 2 or 3 speedlites to produce some crisp, well lit shots. I dial down the flash as much as possible to still capture as much ambient light as possible and this gives you, what I believe to be, the best combination of lower light images and the best of both types of naturally and artificially lit photographs.

London Wedding Photography and Destination Wedding Photography

To find out more about me as a Wedding Photographer, a Destination Wedding Photographer or a Travel Photographer please visit the main website or browse the Nick Rose Photography Blog or galleries. Any comments are always welcome and you can follow me on twitter @nickrosephoto or find my Facebook page under nickrosephotography.com or just click on the links directly from the site.