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Wedding Photography Focal Lengths and lens choices


pulsar69 15 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
25 Jun 2013 6:11PM
Hi All

Just doing a little research on possible new lens additions for the future and made a little graph though might be of interest to those taking up wedding togging.

The graph shows from a 600 photo edit from a full day wedding how many shots were taken at different focal lengths and gives some idea of how my style fits with lenses , be interesting to see if other wedding togs can post similar figures to see how differently people shoot.

I was using Canon 5D2 and 5D3 , 24-70mm, 40mm , 50mm and 70-200mm for the shoot. Obviously everyone style budget and choices will differ but these are mine.

wedding-photos.jpg

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lawbert 12 1.8k 15 England
25 Jun 2013 6:37PM
Very Interesting
Am I right in guessing by the info that the zooms done the grunt of the work?
scottishphototours 15 2.6k 2
25 Jun 2013 6:38PM
Perfectly illustrates that all you need is a 50mm lens!
pulsar69 15 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
25 Jun 2013 6:41PM
Yes i noticed the heavy leaning towards the 40-70 range too ! However it could be argued that's possibly due to sometimes being racked out at 70 on the 24-70 and sometimes wide at 70 on the 70-200 so the 70mm length gets a lot of use. There is no such animal as a 70mm lens is there ?
pulsar69 15 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
25 Jun 2013 6:43PM
Yes Lawbert the two zooms in main the 24-70 and for the speeches outdoor casuals etc the 70-200 with the primes being used for arty shots as and when needed and some details stuff too
keithh 15 25.5k 33 Wallis And Futuna
25 Jun 2013 6:59PM
I've shot weddings using a 1Ds and a 24-70 exclusively.
pulsar69 15 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
25 Jun 2013 8:43PM
Agree and To be honest I can easily cover the whole wedding with the 24-70 too its a fab lens , it just depends on the circumstances for me though there are times especially with the layout of some rooms where more distance is needed to be covered and as there are two of us its easy to run with the 24-70 and the 70-200 at the same time.

I reckon changing lenses to a more prime based shoot would have to change your style too especially as i am shooting in the 40-70 range a lot, and I was considering a 35mm 1.4L as an option , this would obviously change my approach and results quite a lot.
ianrobinson 9 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
26 Jun 2013 9:03AM
Sounds to me all you need is the 24-70mm f2.8 l lens for all your weddings, simples.

If your asking us what we all use Lens wise in a round about way then I think you'll find that most of the time it will be around the 50mm-70mm average, lens wise I use a 24-105mm f4 L, 70-200mm f2.8 L, 50mm F1.8 L and very rare but love using it when i can the 85mm f1.8 L.

I know a very well established friend and wedding photographer who exclusively uses a canons 50mm f1.2 and the canon 5d mk ii only and his wedding photography is sublime, he charges 2k plus and is always booked, the skill he has with this set up is nothing short of stunning, I highly admire his work and his eye for the shot.
He just knows when to take that all important candid shot of people just at the right moment and telling a story with there facial expressions, not easy to achieve in it's self lat alone getting that photo with correct settings for that given moment.
ianrobinson 9 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
26 Jun 2013 9:18AM
It's a shame that when you search google for wedding photographers you get no end of rubbish photographers at the top of the page, they are obviously clever enough to get to the top of google so why are they not clever enough to take great images, I am for ever amazed for all the wrong reasons Sad.
mikehit 10 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
26 Jun 2013 10:30AM
Who knows? Maybe they have ways to get themselves to the top of the search lists. Or maybe the age old formula applies:

Good marketing + good people kills + decent photography = successful business
Poor marketing + mediocre people skills + great photography = failed business

And if you have a successful business, spending time developing your skills may mean less time marketing.
pulsar69 15 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
26 Jun 2013 1:35PM

Quote:It's a shame that when you search google for wedding photographers you get no end of rubbish photographers at the top of the page, they are obviously clever enough to get to the top of google so why are they not clever enough to take great images, I am for ever amazed for all the wrong reasons Sad.


SEO and Photography skills are two very different ball games , there are a few average togs in our area who have great SEO mainly through using dummy sites and inbound links and all that stuff, I prefer to spend my time on my photography and clients and what time i have left on SEO. One thing is for sure GOOGLE is a damn site cleverer than the wedding photographers at the top of the list and is forever changing its algorithm to catch out people who are simply playing the system. They then are on a no win streak of spending countless hours on SEO and the lack of photography skill shines through leaving the rest of us to book up the grateful and appreciative clients whilst they get the wheat and chaff.

In SEO terms , the crap floats to the top - then disintegrates and is soon replaced by more crap. The real stuff is found by digging deeper.
scottishphototours 15 2.6k 2
26 Jun 2013 7:11PM
I'd rather spend an hour cultivating a relationship with a current client/new clients/clients parents than spend an hour on SEO.

Wedding photography is 90% people skills, so developing relationships through advice, experience and civility is much more important to the on-going development of the business than SEO. People recommend people, full stop - and personal recommendations between people mean much more to me than anyone finding me on Google. I easily get 90% of my work from personal recommendation these days.
pulsar69 15 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
26 Jun 2013 7:35PM
Granted Andy and I quite agree there is nothing better than a recommend and you end up doing full families for years to come.

However where i am in the densely populated North East of England there are a stupid amount of wedding togs and as our business survives at the moment on weddings alone so we have to rely on Google to bring in a large part of it too and that requires some time spending on the website seo and marketing in general.

Wedding photography to me is a mix of Business Skills , People Skills and Photographic Skill with the first two being the largest part. All i can say is give yourself a big pat on the back if you are getting 90% wedding work from recommends as that is an amazing figure.
scottishphototours 15 2.6k 2
27 Jun 2013 12:38PM
Thank you - no exaggeration, must be 90% from recommendations easily.

Have done several families - all 3 kids weddings for example, have done lots of Police officers weddings, have done lots of workmates weddings too. Also getting lots of new enquiries from Facebook "likes" and we also put 3 brochures on every table at every wedding and offer any engaged couples at weddings we are attending a 100 immediate discount on any booking within 3 months of the wedding they're attending - gives them a chance to see the couples results and make up their minds!! Wink
RavenTepes 10 226 United States
27 Jun 2013 7:00PM
To be fair, why not switch to a 2 body system, keeping the 24-70 on one, and the 70-200 on another? You could even opt for a crop sensor to keep costs down, something like the say the 7D. Put the 70-200 on that, and with your 5D2, the 24-70.

It's a thought, at any rate. It'd also be productive for workflow, streamlining it so you never miss a shot... with the added bonus of a built in excuse to get a new body Smile


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