With an average of 3-5 hours of shooting time, engagement sessions require us to think on our feet to get creative, unique, and artistic shots while still showcasing authentic emotions. With such a limited amount of time, it is essential to pack the right gear with you to ensure that you have a variety of outstanding shots for your portfolio. This is why we created our Engagement Photography 101 course, to take away the stress of worrying about how to best utilize
While you have a variety of lenses to choose from, these are my most frequently used lenses for engagement sessions and the reasons why I love them to tell a full story.
A prime lens is often the second or third lens most portrait photographers purchase because they crave the shallow depth of field look in their images. Chances are you already own a 24mm or a 35mm lens, but I urge you to choose between the two and keep just one in your kit. They are a bit too similar in focal length to justify owning both. The reason I opt for the SIGMA 24mm F1.4 | Art for my gear kit is purely to make sure I am covered in situations where I want to be wide enough. It’s great for walking or moving sequences when you want to stay close and get in the action.
50mm lenses are probably one of the first non-kit lenses that most photographers get, or at least one of the first prime lenses that most people get. The SIGMA 50mm F1.4 | Art is arguably the perfect lens for portraits, wide enough to capture full body portraits but tight enough to not have to worry about edge distortion for close-up portraits.
While I have vast experience using the 85mm focal length on wedding and portrait shoots, there are certain attributes that the SIGMA 105mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art brings to the table that are hard to replicate with my other lenses, especially with an f/1.4 aperture combined with a longer focal length. Here are some of my favorite aspects of this lens and how I best utilize it on my shoots:
One of my favorite compositional components is layering subjects and shooting through things to create depth and interest from the foreground to subject to background. As portrait photographers, we are constantly looking for beautiful backdrops for our subjects that will yield that much-desired bokeh aesthetic or blurred background. Without a doubt, the 105mm focal length is the ideal choice for blocking out unwanted objects within your frame.
You can see a full list of my engagement photography gear bag to see what tools and equipment I like to have on me for engagement photography sessions. If you are interested in learning more about how I utilize these lenses on real-life shoots, check out our Engagement Photography 101 course to see behind the scenes videos and learn posing guidance, advanced camera techniques for natural light photos and more. You can use the code SIGMA30 to receive $30 off this course!