Photography Tip: Lenses || The Authentic Portrait

Today we’re going to talk about lenses! With so many options it can be hard to know which way is up, so here’s a brief rundown of the ones you’ll most likely come across and use:


Prime Lens

What is a prime lens?

A prime lens is a lens with one focal length, so you can't zoom with it.


Although I've shot a lot with zoom lenses in the past, I personally only own prime lenses and prefer them because of the great quality they provide and their maximum aperture (some can open all the way to f/1.2!). These lenses give you beautiful depth of field, (depending on the quality of lens you buy). The other advantages are that they are usually less expensive and lighter than the comparable zoom lenses. (While I say this, there exist, of course, lighter zoom lenses than prime but I've found this usually isn't the case with the lenses I use.)


Zoom Lens

What is a zoom lens?

A zoom lens is a lens where you can smoothly change between focal lengths to zoom in and out.


Zoom lenses are incredibly versatile, especially when you're learning to photograph. You can easily switch between getting very close to your subject to getting a wide shot of the whole scene without switching lenses. Personally, I've used both zoom and prime lenses A LOT in my career, and I prefer prime lenses for the sharpness, price and weight but those are my opinions. So many professional photographers love zoom lenses and swear by them! The trick is to look at your priorities when purchasing your lenses and choose that way. If you want one lens for everything, zoom lenses are probably your way to go! If you don't mind having a few lenses to use for different occasions, then go with primes. 


Macro Lens

What is a macro lens?

A macro lens is a lens specially built for taking photos very close to the subject. We all know them from the pictures of flowers with very blurry background that everyone who owns a macro lens took. 


You can do so much more with a macro lens, go outside or inside and experiment, macro photography gives us a possibility to look at things closer, differently and play with textures and compositions. 


iPhone Lenses

There are lenses for iPhone?

Yes, lenses for your iPhone are a thing! For the ones among us who only photograph with their phones these lenses allow you to take your photography to a whole other level. You can buy fisheye lenses (to get a wide view), macro lenses (to get very close up views) and so much more to make your photographs better. 


Olloclip and iPro are the most popular right now.


If you are an adventurer or just a photographer and don't want all of that heavy equipment with you, then iPhone photography is just the thing for you. You can improve it with many different lenses that are special designed for your phone.


Check out my FREE iPhone Photography Course HERE to find out more about how to take amazing pictures EASILY with your phone! 


These are just some of the solid, easy to implement tips and tricks for photography that I talk about in The Authentic Portrait: A Parent’s guide to Documenting Childhood, an ebook perfect for anyone who want to learn the basics of photography and improve their photos without spending hours and hours taking classes. Find out more here!

Get out there and try out some different lenses! Share your photos with me over on Instagram in #TheAuthenticPortrait series, a series for learning and growing in photography.  Don’t forget to tag your photos with #TheAuthenticPortrait!