Who knew, the perfect lens for everyday use is the 35mm lens. I'm a details girl. I love details. I love getting in close and capturing tiny fingers and toes of newborns, and the way my toddler holds her spoon. So never, in a million years did I think I'd like the 35 mm lens. However, I recently switched to shooting only prime lenses and knew I needed a wider lens then a 50 for in-home newborn sessions. I did a ton of research before finally purchasing the 35mm lens for my camera. I was so surprised at the reviews I was reading and the responses I got from other moms/photographers in my local photography group. They all LOVED their 35mm lens. How could that be? I purchased the lens figuring it would be used mainly for business - newborn sessions and indoor family sessions where I don't have a lot of room to work with.
When the lens arrived I put it on and took a random picture of my cat (who happened to be sitting at my feet). I hated it. Oh man, what a bummer. Of course, the shot was spontaneous and random, I didn't think about it at all or work to tell a story. Instead I used my camera like a point and shoot. Of course I hated the shot. But I like to get comfortable with a lens before taking it on a shoot, knowing its limitations, quirks, etc. So I tried again, this time, taking the lens on a trip to the local fire department for my son's friend's birthday party. A new bond was formed and a discovery of the perfect lens for everyday use was made.
What do I love about the 35 mm lens? It is tack sharp and fast. The low aperture ability is perfect for letting in as much light as possible for those low lighting situations that are so common during the long, dark winter months. But a favorite part is that I don't have to back up. I can be right there with the kids and still capture the moment. (Yes, my kids are on the counter in these images. They love to help, and with the 35mm I can stay close for security and still capture them helping - or eating).
And although you are limited with how close you can get to your subject (getting too close can cause distortion), you can still capture beautiful detail shots. These are a couple of images from my recent baby shower (or "sprinkle" since this is Baby #3)!
While the 50mm lens is the one I typically recommend to moms wanting to capture their kids, this is a close second favorite. If you're looking to add to your collection of lenses, I suggest the 35mm as it is the perfect lens for everyday use! I have the Sigma version and LOVE it. Upon lots of research I found that not only is the Sigma 340101 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Lens for Canon (Black) $600 cheaper then the Canon version, most photographers actually preferred it.
Here are a few other favorite shots I've taken since getting the lens last fall!
P.S. Understanding your camera is most important when trying to photograph your kids, no matter what lens you have. Sign up for my next Photography Workshop to take control of your camera and capture what YOU want to capture! Click here to learn more.