Best Lenses for Elopement Photography | Opinions from Industry Pros

Photography Education

Best lenses for elopement photography

Opinions from Pros

The best elopement photography lenses to add to your kit

So you’ve landed here because you’re curious on the best lens for elopement photography!  That likely means you’re interested in starting your elopement photography journey.  As former landscape photographers turned wedding photographers turned elopement photographers, we wanted to offer a list of the best lenses for elopement photographers as shared by real professional, six-figure making elopement photographers all over the world.

When we started photographing elopements we were confused.  Do you use the same lenses as you would at weddings?  Why or why not?

How the best lenses for elopement photography differ from wedding lenses

Weddings & elopements are similar vibes, right???? Kinda, kinda not!  Wedding timelines are much more standard and can be copy/paste.  Elopement timelines offer much more variety in potential!

You’ll not only need to consider what elopement photography lenses are best concerning their general ability, but you’ll want to consider weight, focus speed, and versatility.  This is because elopement photographers need workhorse gear as you’ll likely be miles from gear replacement should gear malfunction or an unexpected situation occur.

We’ve gotten opinions from other professionals on the best elopement photography lenses with that in mind!  Bear in mind your personal lens choice could be dictated by the brand of body you have, so we’ll share multiple lenses and consider all body types.

Related: How to Find Wedding Photography Clients –even if you hate social media

Best elopement photography lens for getting ready indoors


We’re Montana elopement photographers who specialize in two day elopements with guests!  As such most of our couples want getting ready photos indoors with their loved ones.  This is one of the best lenses for elopement photography because of how effortlessly this lens captures indoor portraits.  From candid moments between couples and their guests to getting ready portraits indoors, this 35mm performs beautifully in low light and in cramped spaces due to the shorter focal length and low aperture capabilities.


For Canon – Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM

For Sony – Sony 35mm F1.4 GM

For Nikon – Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G


From the mouth of pros:

“I absolutely LOVE that 35mm is a macro as well. It makes it a game changer for weddings not having to swap lenses for details.” – Fly Free Photos

Best elopement photography lens for ceremonies & adventurous activities


The reason 70-200mms (& comparable focal length lenses) are a great benefit during ceremonies is due to a few factors.  First, you have the capability to be further away from the couple so as not to intrude in their elopement ceremony.  Giving couples space during their elopement is even more important than during weddings.  This makes this lens a MUST during elopements.  It’s also one of the best lenses for elopement photography due to the potential for variety.  Back far enough away and you can use 70mm to get a decently wide shot.  Zoom in to 200 & make the views behind the couple larger than life.

It’s also great for adventurous activities are they’re often happening on their own time!  You don’t have time to use a prime lens to not only capture the moment but capture it in a great composition by moving your feet quickly.  Instead opt for a zoom lens like the 70-200 so you can get beautifully composed & candid shots from far away if need be.


For Canon – Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM EF

For Sony – Tamron 70-180mm F/2 

For Nikon – Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II


From the mouth of the pros:

“This is very specific to Sony users, but I LOVE the Tamron 70-180mm 2.8. It is much like the 70-200mm 2.8 most photographers are used to. However it is about half the size and half the weight.” – Shell Creek Photo

Best elopement photography lens for portraits


85mms are notorious for creating gorgeous bokeh behind couples for elopements.  It’s one of the best lenses for elopement photography due to its capability to make a couple stand out among epic & “busy” backgrounds.  From city elopements to mountain elopements, you name it, this workhorse focal length will make our couples look back on their elopement day to remember how they felt zeroed in during that moment.


For Canon – Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM

For Sony – Sony FE 85 mm F1.4 GM

For Nikon – Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G


From the mouth of the pros:

“The 85mm is the most beautiful lens I’ve ever owned – incredible separation of the subject from the background, sometimes I’ll shoot mostly with my 85 during an elopement because the images just turn out so dreamy every time.” – Brittany Hamann Photography

Best elopement photography lens for activities & celebrations

24-70 or 28-70mm

If your eloping couples bring guests or even if they have a solo celebration, you may find you need a zoom lens with shorter focal length capabilities.  The 24-70mm lenses are great so you can be in small spaces but quickly capture a candid moment from across the room, restaurant, private venue, etc.  This lens is also versatile in low light situations when celebrations would typically occur!


For Canon – Canon RF28-70mm F2 L USM

For Sony – Sony E 24-70 mm F2.8 GM

For Nikon – Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G


From the mouth of the pros:

“I love the versatility especially when I’m shooting on cliffs and tricky terrain! It is a crisp lens that works great in low light thanks to the low aperture capabilities!” – Wilder West Elopements

Best elopement photography lens for low light & astrophotography


Generally speaking, prime lenses like the 24mm are built for lowlight situations due to their build and low aperture capabilities.  While photographing elopements you may find a couple wants star photos to finish off their elopement experience.  Come prepped with a 24mm, and you’ll be good to go.


Protip for star photos with couples: be sure you practice ahead of time with a live subject.  Astrophotography takes a lot of practice and nuance.  Adding a live subject like a moving human can make it even more challenging.


For Canon – Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II

For Sony – Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM

For Nikon – Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G


From the mouth of the pros:

“I do have a Sony 24mm f/1.4 G series lens specifically for wide land shots and for star photos. For star photos, I can open my shutter for longer than my 35, and can take more of the sky in with this lens—it’s awesome.”  – Wentkez Photo

Best elopement photography lenses for miscellaneous uses

“My all time favorite lens that I use at every single elopement is my Sony 24-70 2.8 G! It is so versatile and allows me to get so many different kinds of shots no matter where I’m at in the mountains. It’s also great for indoors! I feel like my Sony 35 1.4 and 24-70 2.8 never leave my camera. They are also lightweight which is great because I’m hiking during every elopement.” – Alpine Vows


“I love my 35 and 85 primes for portraits but for ceremony and more intimate moments I’ll use my 70-200 2.8 and my 16-35 2.8 to get the overall story.” – Wild Wed


Quick tips on knowing which of the best lenses for elopement photography to purchase

  • Double check that your camera’s mount matches the mount on a lens before purchasing.
  • Just because a lens is a newer model or more expensive doesn’t mean it’s actually the best.
  • Never buy lenses from Amazon as they can be fake lenses.  
  • Get the best bang for your buck by purchasing used gear!

No need to be scared.

We’re chill folks just like you.

and we have a passion for serving photographers just like you too.

Glacier national park elopement commute times

Maybe branching out into elopement photography seems a little daunting.


We know the feeling, and we won’t let you drown in it.

Here’s exactly how we get started helping you so those feelings of angst, confusion, or blank slate syndrome are gone!

Check out our freebie resource below to learn how to blog & attract your future clients in a FUN and manageable way!

Still just perusing?


Check out these quick reads for photography business tips you can put into use today!

Backlinks for Photographers | A Newbie Guide & 13+ Ideas

Backlinks for Photographers | A Newbie Guide & 13+ Ideas

Backlinks for Photographers  A Newbie Guide & 13+ IdeasBacklinks for Photographers Guide You’re marketing the heck outta yourself to get your photography business booming, but you’ve heard you need backlinks to build your SEO!  Backlinks for photographers work...

Hey, it’s us!

We’re Des & Dan! Husband & wife elopement photographers, planners, and officiants! We help couples like you create elopement days full of meaningful details, authentic moments, and creative experiences because we believe you deserve a wedding day where you are truly heard—a wedding day you can truly remember.

We’d love to help in any way you can, so check out our other free planning resources or send us an email by hitting contact! We’d love to hop on the phone and see what you’re envisioning for your elopement day.

You deserve this.

Des & Dan


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This