Most people especially those just getting into photography tend to use zoom lenses because they seem more convenient and there’s the idea that you’re getting multiple lenses in one so it also seems like a good deal. It depends on what kind of photographer you are and what kinds of photographs you want to make. A zoom is great for certain people and is all they need. Zooms are also really helpful for certain commercial jobs where you can’t move as much, like the ceremonies at weddings or architecture photography where you maybe can’t get into the position you want to get the composition you want. But for all but very experienced photographers who have been photographing for decades, using a zoom all the time will limit your ability to expand creatively. When people shoot with a zoom lens, they wind up depending on the zoom too much and using their minds and imaginations less. They usually see a subject that interests them, put the camera up to their eye while standing in the spot where they noticed this subject, then just zoom in and out to compose the image and take a picture. The thing that is missing from this process is pre-visualization. This is incredibly important for the creative process of image making. It’s about not just documenting subjects, but creating an image out of the subject. To photograph with more of your creative ability, you need to learn to see a subject and then see an image made out of that subject in your imagination. And then go about creating that image with the camera. See it in your imagination first, then ]create it with the camera second. This is pre-visualization. Creating images in your mind instead of just documenting things. Pre-vizualization happens before you make the photograph. You are looking at the subject and your imagination is creating an image out of it that captures the various elements that will give the subject context and communicate what it means to you. This involves the light, the angle you take the image from, what you include and exclude from the frame, and your composition. The problem with shooting with a zoom lens is that they make pre-visualization very difficult to the point that everyone but photographers with decades of experience won’t be able to do it. Zoom lenses are constantly changing the perspective that you see through the lens so you don’t learn and get to know what frame and perspective the camera will see when you put it up to your eye. This is critical to learn, so you can imagine what your camera will see. If you can’t imagine what your camera will see, pre-visualization becomes very very difficult. When you shoot with a prime lens, the perspective is always the same. So as you photograph with it more, you learn to know what a scene will look like through your camera. You know where it will crop the edges of the frame when you put it up to your eye, and you know the perspective it will create. So as you learn to get to know this well, you can start pre-visualizing subjects by seeing what your camera will see in your imagination without even putting the camera up to your eye. You can then think with your imagination and move around the scene in your mind and find a frame and composition that communicates what you want to communicate. And then go and create it with your camera. The affect this has in the end is that instead of seeing a subject, standing there with the camera at head height and just zooming back and forth with random focal lengths in every shot, you will see a subject, spend some time imagining it (in time this will become quicker and quicker until it is almost instantaneous) and then you will move around the subject, approach it from different heights and angles and create an image that really communicates something more than just "this is a subject" I highly recommend all beginning to moderate photographers use one prime lens - for full frame DSLR’s a 35mm lens is a great one to use, but a 50mm works as well. Only use that lens. Don’t even switch between different primes. You need to learn how your camera sees. Do this for a year or more and see how it changes the kinds of images you make. Even if you’re just photographing your kids and your life but want to learn to be more creative this is a great practice. Yes, you will often find it limiting because sometimes you can’t move to where you want to be. But oftentimes limitations force you to be more creative. And the trade off is worth it. Use one prime lens, and put that zoom and your other lenses away. I’ve been photographing for about 23 years and I have always just used one prime lens with the exception of certain moments or situations in commercial jobs. The most creative photographers in history all used prime lenses. If they did what they did with a prime, you will be fine.