Getting creative at weddings – trying out unique lenses

One thing I have consistently learned after years of photographing weddings and running a business is that your work must stand out and be different. It has to be good for sure but also different. Most of how your work will stand out is your creative vision, we all have a different vision and take on a wedding day and being true to yourself and your passion will allow for your vision to shine through in your work. Although creative vision does not come from tools or equipment at all it can be helpful sometimes to use unique lenses that will help bring your vision to life.

At wedding I will sometimes use a few unique lenses like the Canon TS E 24mm Tilt Shift or a 15mm fisheye lens to capture something different. In today’s digital age everyone is used to looking at lots of photos, many people have DSLR’s or great point and shoot cameras now but don’t have access to a unique lens like a tilt shift. Using something that is unique can give a fresh perspective to some images and make them really stand out to your clients. The one thing to always watch with this though is not to overdo it. I have seen too many people that get a brand new fisheye lens and the next shoot is 50% fisheye. For me I will use a few of these lenses very sparingly, sometimes not even at all for a wedding. It really depends again on my vision for that shoot and if that vision matches using a different type of lens.

One of my favorites though for weddings is the Canon TS E 24mm Tilt Shift. A tilt shift lens gives you the ability to tilt the lens axis (and shift the lens also, thats why it has that creative name). When tilting the lens axis you will have a plane that is not parallel to your sensor giving you a skewed focus. This way you can fine tune the focus to have a very small strip of the image be in focus and the rest beautifully blurred. It adds a different visual depth to the image due to the narrow focus point and is a very fun lens to work with. It’s something that you can use for a few key portfolio pieces during the day and will really make the image stand out to your clients. If you have never used a tilt shift lens before I suggest renting one and checking it out for a few days, it will get your creative mind really thinking and is the most fun lens to shoot with.

You can check out my full review of the Canon TS E 24mm Tilt Shift Lens for more information on this awesome lens. It’s not a cheap lens at all but really can produce some amazing stuff, you can get it through Amazon for a little under $2,000: Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Ultra Wide Tilt-Shift Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

Here are some images from a wedding this year that show how cool this lens can be:

tilt shift lens for weddings

tilt shift lens for weddings

tilt shift canon lens wedding photography

Also if you like the tilt shift look and want to try it out on your current photos check out these tutorials:

  • Creating a tilt-shift effect in photoshop
  • Using lightroom graduated filter to create tilt shift look
  • Another great way to separate yourself from the crowd is through amazing lighting and i’ll be covering lots of tips on lighting coming up soon!

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    Author: Mark

    Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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