Using Focal Length To Make A Bride Look Her Best | Cliff Mautner

Posted by on Dec 18, 2014 in Featured, nikon, Photography Tips, portrait

Using Focal Length To Make A Bride Look Her Best | Cliff Mautner

When it comes to a wedding day, some of the most important images you need to create are those of the bride. Sure, there are tons of other moments throughout the day that you need to make great images of, but let’s face it, the bride takes center stage at almost every wedding. Women always want to look beautiful, but on their wedding day, they want to look extra stunning. Many times, we as photographers are faced with a situation of choosing the best lens to create a perfect bridal images, and honestly, it’s a subjective decision based on what you like. In the Nikon sponsored video below, acclaimed wedding photographer Cliff Mautner shows us a great example of how lens choice can really change the look of your bridal images.




Cliff’s technique is simple and one of my personal favorites. He uses diffused natural window light, a beautiful pose, and shoots down on the bride to create a wonderful portrait of her, but that’s not why I’m sharing this video with you. I’m sharing it to show you how much even a small amount of focal length can change the look of your image. Have a look for yourself, can you can see the differences between the focal lengths?

35mm Focal Length Image


85mm Focal Length Image



The 85mm lens does a great job of creating a more shallow depth of field to help draw your eye to the bride’s eyelashes, and it also gives her face a more natural look. The 35mm lens has less depth of field and when compared to the 85mm, tends to warp her face just enough for me to say it just does not look natural enough.

Final Thoughts

In the end, the focal length you choose is just one part of creating a great image. Cliff uses beautiful soft light and a great angle to make this image really stellar, but when I see the differences in the focal lengths, the 85mm wins. Next time you’re creating bridal images, if you have a longer focal length lens, give it a try. It might be just what you need to make your brides look just that tiny bit more stunning.

Via: Nikon USA Youtube Page

Images via screen grab.


    1 Comment

  1. nice comparison, love 85 for close portraits, yet 35 still looks nice even with a bit of wrap… specially love her hand with 35mm more 🙂

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