Tilt-shift lenses offer unique control over perspective and depth of field for photographers who have used them. These lenses are used to photograph architecture, landscapes, and creative portraits. However, they can also be great for creating stunning wedding day images. These lenses create a dreamlike appearance that works well with bright, airy images. Tilt-shift lenses are not as common as they used to be, but they can produce great results if used correctly. This article will show you how and when to use a tilt shift lens in wedding photography.

Our Favorite Tilt-Shift Lenses

Let’s begin with my top tilt shift lenses. These are my top picks as a Canon shooter.

  • Canon 24mm TS-E
  • Canon 90mm TS-E

Major camera manufacturers should offer an equivalent focal length.

Practice before the big day!

We recommend that you thoroughly understand your lens before taking a tilt-shift lens to cover a wedding ceremony. To master manual focusing, practice shooting with the lens. This will help you to perform well under pressure while capturing creative shots at a wedding ceremony.

Shooting Guidance

While wedding ceremonies are unique to each culture, there are some key moments you will likely see in the majority of ceremonies. These include the exchange of vows/rings and the first kiss. These moments are a great time to try a tilt-shift lens. This is a great opportunity to experiment with tilt-shift lenses, but we recommend only doing it if there’s another photographer covering the main angle using a regular auto focus lens. You could miss a crucial moment by taking an out-of focus photo.

These moments can be captured in a variety of ways depending on how long your lens is and what vision you have for the final image. These are two side-by-side photos that compare the images taken with a zoom or prime lens and a tilt-shift lens.

Ceremony – Wide Angle

Below is an image of a wedding scene taken with a standard zoom lens.

The same scene is shown below, but taken with a tilt-shift lens.

Recession – Medium Angle & Wide Angle

The four images below show the differences in the overall aesthetic and look.

Multi plane Focus: Use creativity

Tilt shift lenses are a great tool for photographers who want to capture multiple planes in one shot.

 

This unique look can’t be achieved in camera without a tilt shift lens, or without the ability to combine multiple images in post-production. We used tilt to shift the sharpness of the sign at the foreground and the couple at the altar in background.

You can find more reward than risk if you plan ahead

To ensure you don’t miss any crucial moments, it is a good idea for a second photographer to cover the action when you use a tilt-shift lens. If you plan on using a tilt-shift lens at a crucial moment such as the exchanging of rings, the first kiss, or the recessional to capture it, you can have the second photographer take the lead with a 24-70/70/200mm.

Conclusion

A tilt shift lens is a great tool for adding creativity to your wedding photos. It can be a great tool to enhance the photo’s impact if you use it with care and the right intentions. It can have a negative impact on your overall photos if you overuse it. Find the balance that suits you and your style.