We are frequently asked what lenses and gear we use to shoot a wedding day and I am FINALLY here to break it all down for you!! When starting out in photography one of the most daunting tasks can be deciding what gear to invest in, camera bodies and lenses are expensive and you don’t know which lenses you’ll end up needing the most! Before you read through our full arsenal and feel overwhelmed, just know that this took us years to accumulate and you can easily grow your set up one item at a time!
If you’re just starting out and wondering what to get, I would definitely recommend investing in a Canon 50mm ASAP! The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L is the basic portrait lens that every photography should own! From there we invested in the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 art series, Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS,Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS, and the RIDICULOUSLY heavy and large Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II. Since my husband and I shoot every wedding and engagement session together, we actually own a whole second set of these lenses too! We crazy, ya’ll! Just know that it took us YEARS to accumulate this collection and it’s easy to start small, make smart calculated investments, and grow your gear list as YOU grow!
We are BIG time Canon lovers through and through but if you read on you’ll notice a new piece of glass has taken over my heart. Enjoy this close up look of what’s in our bag and read on to find out our favorite lens and watch a fun OCF video from Wesley!!
When starting out as a wedding photographer there is some gear you buy right away and some that you think about for years, stare at weekly, obsess over, and finally fiiiiinally tell yourself you deserve to buy! That lens for us was the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 II with Image Stabilization. We rented this bad boy for YEARS because I was so scared of the price tag but looking back, I wish I had taken this leap sooner. This lens is pure gold and the only way to capture beautiful ceremony images from the back of a church! Every image out of this camera is CRISP and sharp and it never hunts for focus! While carrying this around is definitely a work out, it’s totally worth it!!!
So, you remember how I mentioned that we are big time Canon lovers? Well, I should probably correct that statement because Sigma lenses are quickly becoming my latest obsession. Ask anyone thats converted to the Sigma Art series lenses and they will most likely tell you the same story: this glass is so SHARP!! I now turn to my Sigma 50mm f/1.4 art lens more than I use my Canon 50mm! Sigma art series lenses greatly outperform the Canon f/2 in sharpness and beat L series glass in controlling chromatic aberration. Plus, they are generally more affordable. You can’t beat that combo!!
When we need to shoot wide, our go-to lenses are the Canon EF 24‑70mm f/2.8L II USM and theCanon EF Wide‑Angle 35mm f/1.4L! We typically don’t use our wide lenses as often as the others but sometimes I need it to capture large bridal parties, getting ready moments in tight spaces, or large family portraits! I also like to get a few wide bride and groom portraits, especially if there is a beautiful landscape just begging for it, and I like to take one ultra-wide ceremony shot with ALL guests seated so I usually switch to the 35mm once during the ceremony too!
Now, onto the OCF gear we use! We have several light stands, umbrella, two Youngnuo flashes, two Canon Speedlite 580EX flashes, and a set of four wireless Phottix! Phew! What a mouth full! We invested in OCF education early on. Wes always had an interest in off camera flash and we quickly grew frustrated with properly lighting dark reception venues. I will say this, the Youngnuo set up was a game changer for us and allows us to capture those beautiful brightly lit reception images our couples love!!
If you’re interested in learning more about how to use Yongnuo flashes at a wedding reception Wes made a fun little video that you can check out here!
Another great question I get asked is, “what’s your favorite lens to use?” Well, right now I would say it’s my Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM lens and of course my 5D Mark iii! Although, I can’t help but eyeball up that 5D Mark IV; the latest and greatest from Canon!
As I stated above, it took us years to collect all of our gear and I think it’s best to start with one lens, master your craft, and then slowly add on! Start small and scale up! Happy shooting, ya’ll!
Bri & Wes