Shooting a wedding with a 50mm prime
Wedding photography is probably one of the hardest of genres to shoot. A wedding photographer has to literally work through a day of chaos making his clients, the bride and the groom, look their absolute best on the most important day of their life. A million different things can go wrong and as a wedding photographer you will always have challenges to overcome. No wonder, a lot of first time wedding photographers get intimated by all this.
For some, wedding photography is a genre that’s best left to others.
Ask any wedding photographer and they would list a minimum of two professional bodies and three lenses as their bare minimum gear for shooting a wedding. Not to mention the other accessories such as speedlights, monopods, light stands etc. Lenses, however, occupy the most important place in a wedding photographer’s kit bag.
Though there are many which fit the profile as a great lens for wedding photography, such as the 85mm, 28mm, 35mm, 28-70mm and the 70-200mm; here in this article we shall be looking at the 50mm prime.
50 mm prime
The 50mm prime is often not the natural choice of wedding photographers. It is not ideally suited for portraits, especially if you plan to shoot close to the subject. Having said that, there are some photographers who would have one of their camera bodies mounted with a 50mm lens for the entire duration of the shoot. It is, without doubt, one of the best lenses for candid and photojournalistic styles. It is sharp, fast, accurate and ideally suitable for low light conditions.
The biggest reason why one would shoot a wedding with a 50mm lens is because it gives consistent results in all kinds of lighting. At a wedding you can use your 50mm lens both indoors with ambient light and outdoors, when the sun has gone down, with equal ease, never worrying about the lack of light.
As it gives you a standard perspective of things it is ideal when you are shooting group photos, couple shoots from the knee up or even those special candid moments which were not on the list.
When shooting those getting ready shots, because of the larger field of view with a 50mm lens compared to something like the 85mm, you can cover a larger section of the bride’s dress, instead of focusing on a smaller area.
Another reason you would want to use the 50mm is because it will force you to be creative, thereby make your images from the weirdest of angles possible. I saw a photographer shoot one of the getting ready shots lying flat on the floor! He later explained that he needed to get the reflection of his lens hood out of the mirror. The result was a unique image, which I had never seen before.
There are a number of choices when it comes to 50mm lenses. Both Nikon and Canon offer some excellent options. Any one of them would do. The real trick is in able to use the lens properly. With a 50mm lens you would be working 2 to 3 times as hard as you normally would with a zoom lens, because you would have to run around a lot!