I remember the first time I put my Nikon 35mm 1.4 lens onto my camera. It was the second prime lens I ever bought (the first one was your traditional nifty-fifty). But it was my first lens with that sweet, sweet 1.4 f stop capability. My first lens with that holy golden ring around it. From that first *click* with my 35mm, I was completely in love. There was just something so CRISP, so real, and so sharp about that lens. I first aimed my camera with that lens on my then 1-year-old Axton! I felt like I was capturing HIM and not just a photo of him. I screeched with excitement, and showed Adam my camera screen. “Doesn’t it look just like real life??!” I hollered. Now I was getting the kind of images I had always dreamed about getting. I was completely hooked on this lens!
That was 5 years ago, and I am still just as in love with my 35mm as I was then! I want to dig into what I use my 35mm for most in my business and in my personal life!
Using the 35mm for weddings
I love using my 35mm for all parts of the wedding day! While the bride is getting ready, we are usually in a tight space, such as a hotel room or a bedroom, which means I need the wider view of the 35mm. When getting makeup applied, zipping up the dress, and sometimes even for flatlays if the invitation suite is really extensive or I am working in an even smaller space.
The next chance I usually get to use my 35mm on a wedding day is with the bridal party! If it is a small bridal party (1-2 bridesmaids and 1-2 groomsmen), then I’ll usually use my 50mm but if it’s much larger than that, I bring out the 35. I love the walking, interactive shots with the bridal party and the wider lens ensures I am not cutting people off when they are moving.
I typically sneak in at least one wide shot of the ceremony location with my 35mm, and of course after the ceremony when there are large groups for family portraits!
Lastly, I love, love, love using my 35mm for dancing shots!! By the end of the day, my feet and back are tired and the 35mm is no light lens, (not to mention I have a flash on my camera at this point usually), but it is always worth it. I love getting right in the middle of the crowd, especially when they are dancing and having a great time, and just having that lens right up close to show how happening that party is getting!
Using the 35mm for family & couple portraits
I’ll be honest; I don’t usually use the 35mm in family or couple sessions. Most of the time I am happy with the 50mm, but occasionally the location will demand a wider lens be used. Or, occasionally the moment will demand it. For example, those dreamy golden hour shots that highlight their embrace while still reflecting a piece of the environment around them. I do this pretty sparingly, though.
Using the 35mm for personal photos
When I am at home with my family or we are out exploring, the 35mm is on my camera body 95% of the time. Like I mentioned above, the 35mm is a pretty heavy lens so occasionally I will swap it out for the 50mm if I am really concerned about the weight or size, but this is pretty rare and I usually end up regretting it. For some reason, when I am taking personal photos, I crave the entire story to be told. I like the tiiiiiny bit of distortion that comes with using a 35mm right up close to my children’s little tiny faces. To me, it emphasizes their tiny-ness. It feels more real. It shows a more complete picture of what life looks like with them in it. Not to mention it’s tack sharp and it’s fast, which is always a plus when you’re snapping quick movements of crazy kids like mine.
So! Tell me below – do you have a 35mm? If so, how do you love to use it? If you’re ready to snag yourself a 35mm of your own, I’d love for you to use my link and help support our family on the road! <3