The first time I picked up a 50mm lens, it was love. It was a Christmas gift from my parents and the very first image I took was magical. The image was of a Mickey Mouse Christmas decoration that happened to be sitting on the table in front of me. The image was tack sharp with beautiful bokeh. It made my heart sing and quickly became my favorite lens for everything. It was the primary lens I used for family sessions and to document my own family adventures.
Out of the three aspects of storytelling – setting, details, and conflict – my favorite was detail shooting. Hands down. So much so, that I often left out setting. All of my images were as close as I could be. Which is not a bad thing, but I wanted to be able to tell the entire story. I started focusing on shooting wider, showing more of the settings of our lives. Suddenly, the other lenses in my bag became favorites and the 50mm lens only came out for Fine Art School Portraits, This year, however, as I began another 365 project, I added in a few new goals. One was to learn to free lens. Another goal was to start using lenses besides my beloved 135 outside. Both of these goals meant picking up my 50 much more often. And I have to say, it is love. I’m capturing the details again. I’m also loving free lensing. I’m no pro at it, that’s for sure. But I am getting more comfortable with it. I love the feel of the image and the lack of perfection that I so often feel pushed to obtain. My goals have given me somewhere to focus and allowed me to fall back in love with my 50mm lens. Below are a few of my favorite recent images, all taken with my 50mm lens. If you do not have a 50mm lens, or haven’t picked yours up in a while, I encourage you to try. See what stories you can capture with it.