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Last week I blogged about the one lens you could shoot an entire wedding with, if you had to.  This week we are talking about the perfect marriage to that lens! Hey, we’re talking weddings here… why not marry the lenses? The Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L IS USM II is like the husband to the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L USM II! It’s bigger and stronger but just as gifted and versatile as the other. They are the perfect mates and the most well rounded duo! Together these two lenses cover from 24-200mm; that means there are few situations that these two lenses together can’t remedy!

Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II USM

But the 70-200 is a MUST HAVE if you’re shooting weddings! No one likes to see the photographer running around during the ceremony, up close to the couple, in their faces, or behind the minister, distracting the guests from the stars of the show (the Bride & Groom)! Even if you never use this lens for the rest of the entire day, it is imperative to making sure you can catch close ups of the Bride and Groom during the ceremony, ring exchanges, and of course THE KISS; all without moving or causing a scene. As the photographer you want to make sure you’re neither seen or heard during the ceremony! For this reason Rick and I each pick a spot before the ceremony where we each have a unique perspective and we aim to stay put (and we both have this lens locked and loaded).

Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II USM wedding photography

When You Only Have 15 Minutes!!!

If our wedding day portrait time is crunched for any reason (and it happens even with the best timeline pre-planning), keeping the 70-200 on my camera body saves me time by not having to stop to switch lenses. I can easily nail 50+  portraits in 15 minutes that are each individually unique. Without swapping lenses you can create a full body, 3/4 body, and upper body shot in both horizontal and vertical without ever even moving. That’s 6 images you can deliver for your client in less than 60 seconds! When zoomed out all the way to 200mm, this lens is sure to satisfy your bokeh addiction and create stunning portraits that are equivalent or better than any prime lens- any day of the week!

Keeping Your Distance

If it’s photojournalism you’re into, you want to stay far enough away from your subject that you’re watching them-anticipating the moment but you don’t want them to see you, anticipating that you’re about to take their picture. The 70-200 is the sniper rifle of lenses! Want to secretly take that shot of mom crying while she watches her daughter dance with her daddy for the last time? 70-200!

70-200 f/2.8 L IS II USM Wedding Photography


The First Look

Do your brides often opt for the First Look (or do you wish they do)? The bride and groom DO NOT want to remember their photographer being a part of their First Look! You should be far enough away that the only thing they are focusing on is each other! I could go on and on about the many uses of the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L IS USM II; but I’d rather you try it out yourself and discover why you love it and how you’ll use it to be a regular part of your wedding day and/or portrait session system!

Yes, this is a pricey lens… but if you’ve read enough of my Photographer & Business Blog Posts, by now you know I preach renting your lenses until you can afford them and to try before you buy! We also highly suggest you do NOT go into debt for your business! The high percentage of businesses that don’t make it in their first 3 years is too great to risk putting yourself in debt. Be smart about your purchases. Also, keep in mind you can also save by purchasing used on eBay , or my favorite: refurbished through the dealer , and you can also consider other brands such as Tamron or Sigma.

Follow Dave Ramsey’s advice and do everything you can to save the money and pay in cash! That may mean taking on sessions you don’t usually like to take (like chasing little Johnny through the park when you’re dreaming of a newly engaged couple in love), having a garage sale, cutting the cable bill, or giving up Starbucks until you’ve saved enough money. Trust us, it will be worth it!!!

70-200 f/2.8 L IS II USM Wedding Photography

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All of these images were taken with the Canon Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L IS USM II




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Five Fourteen Photography

atlanta + North Georgia