Lensbaby Wedding Project

I love the Lensbaby lenses and will pull out the Lensbaby Composer at every wedding to snag a couple of dreamy portraits and will often use it for a few special pics of the rings and details. For a long time now I have wanted to shoot an entire wedding with one as a pet project. What would possess me to use a selective focus (and manual focus) lens to shoot an entire wedding? First off, its a challenge. As photographers we generally do not push ourselves with our personal projects as much as we should. Many have taken up trying to use their cell phone camera but its still all automatic, although you can still work on composition and lighting. Using a Lensbaby on the other hand is all manual. Since the Lensbaby lenses have a small “sweet spot” of sharp focus and the rest has a unique type of blurring to it, focusing is a real challenge. Try holding a camera, adjusting a focus manually, while holding a flash off to the side with one hand and you can imagine how awkward it can be at times.

In talking to a friend of mine, Chris Diset, who also shoots weddings in southern California, we got to talking about our pet projects and when I told him I wanted to shoot an entire wedding with a Lensbaby, he immediately invited me to do it at the next wedding he was shooting.  This is why its great to make friends with other photographers, I would never have tried this for a client that was paying me to get the best images as I knew going into this project that my “keeper ratio” was going to be far below average. In the end, a little over 800 images were taken. The camera was a Canon EOS 50D with a Lensbaby Composer. Most images were taken with the dual glass optic, many of those with the super wide angle attachment, and a handful were taken with the FishEye optic.

Without further ado, I present an Entire Wedding Shot with a Lensbaby.

26 thoughts on “Lensbaby Wedding Project

  1. I really enjoyed the slideshow. There were some awesome shots. I really love my Lensbaby Muse and I use it alot. For me I am not sure I could shoot a whole wedding with the Lensbaby but I think that also depends on what the wedding party wanted. What type of shots they desire are whats important. However, you did an aweosme job. Have you ever used a Lensbaby Muse or Control Freak? Thanks for sharing.

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  3. I loved this!!! I have the composer with the Fisheye and the Soft-focus optics. Used them in a wedding just last weekend for some great shots… don’t think I’m ready to do a whole wedding with them… but, then, if someone else was the main shooter and I was ‘extra’ I’d give it a go.Thanks for sharing this!

  4. I would not use a lens baby for a whole wedding, for trick shots yes and I do this from time to time during weddings, weddings are for the couple, not the photographer and for a whole wedding its way over the top, remember you don’t get total sharpness in these or at least on this one you were using, I have used some and own one for tick shots only.

    Best of luck but don’t do a whole wedding if your getting paid or they are counting on them, it just does not come across totally professional.

    Good luck

  5. I don’t know if you read the text, I said I would not do this for a paying client. This was a personal project that had nothing to do with the primary photographer who was shooting the wedding.

  6. Wow! You really did an amazing job and I´m sure the couple is very happy to have gotten these shots as an extra. I know I would be. I think the dreamlike quality of the lensbaby shots is perfect for wedding pictures.

  7. Wow, this is crazy amazing. I have tried to learn more about my lensbaby but would never have the courage or confidence to do an entire wedding with one. What an interesting personal project and I’m sure you loved it. Its definitely a different perspective on photography.

  8. Hey, Kerry. What a fantastic idea, and I agree completely that it is yet another benefit of connecting and collaborating and supporting other photographers.

    You sure were able to get some really good Lensbaby practice, weren’t you? It’s fun to get to get more familiar with lenses and cameras, isn’t it?

    It all makes me smile. I bet this couple was happy, since they had both sets. What a great combination. Hey, what aperture were your using most of the time? With the 50D sensor, I imagine you must stay wider so the sweet spot isn’t too big, especially since too much bending with an adapter requires cropping to deal with vignetting.

    I’m impressed, too, that you were able to bend the Composer around that quickly. I got a Muse as a present from my brother first and use it with people and parties because it’s so much quicker, but I just bought a Composer I use with a tripod and the Soft Focus Optic.

    Finally, though, great pictures, which have to do with the photographer first, the lens 2nd, and the camera 3rd. I really smiled at the flower tasting session! They would make a great triptych.

    Cheers,

    John

  9. There was no client. This was a personal project. Some of the images may be used by the primary photographer but they were not necessarily intended to be used by anyone besides myself.

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  11. What a wonderful project. You have some amazing material here and it really shows your skill. It amazed me that you got so many good shots since it is a very slow process using a lens baby. Kudos for your skill with such a challenging lens.

    Who cares what anyone else thinks about these. There is no question that you created an artistic vision here and that is what a project like this is all about. I like some of these and might not choose others, but I can see that there is some serious art, vision and skill here and that is what it is about. Good for you!

  12. Thanks Keith,
    Good to see some that some people “get it”. Of course nobody is going to like every shot and nobody would want their wedding shot like that. Obviously that wasn’t the point. The whole project was to see if I could turn out reasonably good shots from the entire wedding and I think I succeeded in that.

  13. Nice project. I didn’t like a lot of the shots but I think it was a good starting point. I would like to try this in a more controlled situtuation than a wedding. Maybe with a tethered laptop.

    Funny how so many people didn’t get that this was an experiment and not the only photos, or a suggestion as the only photos for the wedding.

  14. Kerry,

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful Lensbaby wedding shots. Learned of them on the Pro Photo podcast. I expect that shots from your personal project added immensely to the photos of this special. i know that you have inspired me to get my LB out and spend some significant time shooting with it.

    Thanks,
    CLS

  15. #1 nice work, exactly what I would have done.
    #2 cool Idea I always wanted to do something like this
    #3 do you agree that after a while it is TOTALLY annoying that all the shots are the “lensbaby” look. Mine get’s used less and less every wedding. It is cool but too much for more than 2 shots out of 800 in a job.
    #4 check out my blog I tried the “Diana F” plastic camera (actually used more the lenses on my DSLR) it was a similar experience. Cool but annoying in the end. I am going to a friends wedding that I am NOT shooting and I may try that approach.
    #5 AMAZING how no one read the text “i did this as a 2nd etc…” people are funny.
    Keep up the good work

  16. My goal was to use it for shots that you wouldn’t typically use a Lensbaby. Whether it worked or not is open to personal taste. I usually have very specific shots at each wedding where I use it like ring shots, cake, details, but that’s about it. So I wanted to do something outside the box. For that purpose it worked great. Will everyone like every shot…most likely not. Thanks so much for the comment.

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