One very popular tool for wedding photographers are telephoto lenses, and it used to be one for me. This will take us to the SLR days for me compared to being all mirrorless for over 3 years, and how that platform switch changed many things about my approach. Despite what most wedding photographers do, I haven’t used telephoto lenses for wedding photography since that switch to Fuji in 2014. I am not here to make fun of those who use them but more rather explain my thought process on why I stopped using telephoto lenses for wedding photography.
I work from the inside out-
I have seen a difference in my work since getting my system of working refined based on my smaller mirrorless systems. I can’t say it’s just because of gear, but as gear changed, so did some of my thought process and what weddings are all about. Human interaction. For me, doing so non intrusively and traveling lighter help me be less noticeable. As I work closer to my subjects, I blend in with the guests and am close enough to feel in my heart what is going on. This helps me more effectively watch for the moment and document it when the time is right. I don’t have that advantage standing in the back and looking through the lens.
The longest lens I have is the Fuji 56mm 1.2 which is great for shallow depth of field if needed, but that isn’t the most important part of my approach. If I was doing a very restrictive church ceremony, which I seldom do, I have the option of renting a telephoto if needed. They do have a purpose, even though I don’t own one. I just feel that not using telephoto lenses for wedding photography has brought my work to a more intimate level. With compact gear, I blend in and can work closer without establishing a presence. Plus I don’t experience blocked shots because I’m right in the vicinity. The energy rubs off on me and I can report it from the inside vantage point.