How to Choose the Right Lens for Storytelling Photography

Whether you capture photography as a hobby or as a full-time profession, the goal of a photographer is to capture the very best images they can. It probably comes as no surprise that photographers are constantly asking themselves,”Which lens should I use?”, “Which lens should I purchase?”, or “Which lenses will I require for my session today?” To help look at your photography in a whole new light, Mark Wallace created this tutorial to help explain how you can use different camera lenses to tell your story:

Before you begin your photo shoot, Wallace stresses you take in your surroundings. Look around and see what elements are a part of the scene. Think about what you can use and what elements you want to avoid (e.g., the bench on the dock or the rugged mountains in the distance).

Once you’ve figured out what you want to shoot, you have to decide the best way to portray your images. Think about the lens options you have, and choose the lens best for accomplishing your storytelling goal. For example, if you are trying to put things into context, try utilizing a wide angle lens. Remember, the longer the lens, the more your image will focus on specific object (or area) within the designated lens view.

determining lens choice

Leica 21mm f/3.4 Super Elmar-M Aspherical Lens

When you think about a great photographer, you probably think of someone who uses all types of lenses and camera equipment to capture breathtaking images. However, to truly create a unique experience with your images, you need to think long and hard about your lens choice. While there are plenty options out there, only you can determine how you want your story to be told. Choose wisely, and you can create the ultimate storytelling experience.

For Further Training on Lenses, Deal Ending Soon:

Mastering Lenses: A Photographer’s Guide to Creating Beautiful Photos With Any Lens is written for everybody who wants to learn how to use their lenses to create better photos. As you get to know your lenses, and understand the effect of focal length and aperture on the aesthetics of the photo, you will learn how to use them to create dramatic, eye-catching images. We were able to negotiate an exclusive 50% discount for our readers which ends soon ($7 down from $14).

Learn more here: The Mastering Lenses eBook

Like This Article?

Don't Miss The Next One!

Join over 100,000 photographers of all experience levels who receive our free photography tips and articles to stay current:

One Comment

  1. It is an important question, but sometimes with wedding photography, I just grab the lens that fits my needs for my focal length (wider for small rooms and longer for ceremony for example). When it comes time for the portraits, I guess it gets more difficult because more decision making needs to be done :)

Leave a Comment

Personalize your comment with an avatar from!

Prove Your Humanity * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

New! Want more photography tips? We now offer a free newsletter for photographers:

No, my photos are the best, close this forever