My Favorite Lenses | What’s In My Bag

I have been asked a few times what lenses I love to bring with me for a wedding. Wedding photography keeps you on your toes and you need a supply of trust lenses to help you cover the day! But before I show you inside my favorite lenses, I have to say this. There is ALWAYS the urge to buy new gear. I mean ALWAYS! I have to constantly prioritize my list of “wants” and focus on my business needs when creating my gear budget for the year. Every photographer has a different style of shooting. The gear that I have carefully researched and bought might not work for another photographer. Stick with what works for you! Great gear wont get you great images until you master your skills. As you grow as a photographer, you gear might change to match your improvement!

So with that all being said, here is my typical line up!

From left to right: 100mm L Macro f2.8, 70-200mm L f2.8, 24-70mm L f2.8
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Although this post is mostly about my lens selection, Let me introduce you to the newest member of Breanna McKendrick Photography! My 5D Mark iii! You lenses are completely useless without a camera body to shoot them with! I have been oohing and ahhing over the mark iii for about a year. There were a few major things that pushed me over the edge to finally purchase my mark iii and now it is in my hands! It is only a week old, so I will have to share with you the pro’s and con’s of this purchase after it has a few weddings under its belt. I have been shooting with it every day to get the feel of it, test out its capabilities, and see how far I can take it! I will let you know what I think when I have broken this guy in!

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First up: My 24-70mm L f2.8 Lens.
This is my wedding workhorse! It is on my camera almost all of reception time and family portraits. It is the master of flexibility.  I could shoot an entire wedding with this lens and feel like I could capture the feeling of the day just fine. Often times, professional wedding photographers who are not a fan of zoom lenses, replaced the 24-70mm with 3 different prime lenses (The 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm). If you were like me starting out, and couldn’t afford three individual L series primes, then this lens is a great option for a similar focal range, but cheaper than getting three prime lenses. Canon has two versions of this lens. I did go with version II. It is SHARP, fast, and a little better than its preceding version I.

The top image is at 24mm and the bottom image is at 70mm.
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The Beast! 70mm-200mm L f2.8 Lens.
This lens makes me melt. Yes, it is heavy but it is worth doing an extra push up or two to build up the strength to carry this around all day. This is my go to long portrait lens. I love the compression it gets, I love how it makes my brides and groom pop off of the background, and I LOVE how sharp it is. I can stand 50 yards away from my subject but can still get the details of every hair. It is beautiful! There isn’t really a lens that can replace this guy. It is almost a necessity for ceremonies for the bride walking down the isle or to capture intimate moments without being inches from everyone’s face.

The top image is at 70mm and the bottom is zoomed in all the way to 200mm.
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Details, DETAILS! 100mm L Macto f2.8 Lens.
One of my favorite parts of the day is shooting details. And for a wedding day there are details galore. Rings, hair pieces, bow ties, stationary, florals, earrings, cufflinks, shoes, veil, handwritten notes, etc. I bought this lens with all of your wedding day details in mind! the 100mm macro lens lets me get close! I mean CLOSE! The wide apertures lets the background melt away in a beautiful, creamy bokeh. In the picture below, I focused on the fence in front of the plastic barrel that has been in the other images. The fence is right in front of my lens, and this guy still has no problems focusing on it. Some people use macro extension tubes instead of a whole macro lens itself. I have heard these work alright. I have ever used them myself. The investment to buy this lens was worth it to me because I use it a lot.

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Every photographer has a different style, and what works for me might not work for you. However, I love these lenses! Even as I add to my collection, I don’t know if I would get rid of these fantastic 3!

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