Almost every couple hires a professional wedding photographer to capture their wedding on film. Usually, this is one of the decisions you spend the most time deliberating. There are hundreds of wedding photographers in any given area in the United States! So, trying to find the one that is the most qualified can be a very time consuming process; especially if you don’t understand wedding photography terminology. Most couples don’t shop for a wedding photographer every day. Sadly, there is a whole slew of new vocabulary words that you’ll need to learn; and you still might not understand what type of options a particular artist is offering. From sepia tone to using sparklers as props, it can be chaos.

With so many options and specific terminology that you’ll need to learn, the best thing you can do is educate yourself. Ideally, do this before you start shopping for and interviewing prospective wedding photographers. To help you make sense of it all, we have created a guide to wedding photography terminology. Hopefully, it should help you on your mission.

Standard Wedding Photography Terminology

  • Image of a Bride and Groom Kissing in Sepia ToneColor-Processed Color: This is a technique used when editing photos that results in the photo having colors that are very saturated in appearance. Processing a photo is the easiest way to give it that “finished” look. It can add a very dramatic effect to certain photos; particularly outdoor shots. I suggest choosing a few ideas in advance and sticking to them.
  • Hand-Tinted: Though originally done with film, this is a vintage technique that is used to alter black and white photos by coloring certain portions by hand using a wash. Overall, this is still a popular technique; but now digital editing software is used to accomplish the effect.
  • Sepia Tone: At first glance, many people see sepia tone photos as black and white, but it is actually a reddish brown color instead. This effect will give your wedding photos an antique appearance. I suggest choosing a few ideas in advance and sticking to a plan.
  • Fish Eye Lens: This is a lens that the photographer will place on their camera to create a specific effect that is similar to looking through the “peek hole” on your door. Essentially, it is a wide-angle lens. Except, it magnifies the center to give a rounded look to the edges of the picture. However, it’s best to use this technique for only a few pictures, such as your sparkler exit. Additionally, it works very well if you are in a tight space.
  • Proofs: This is the term used for all of the photos that were captured by your wedding photographer in their original untouched state. Most wedding photographers will supply two sets of pictures to you. First, they give you “proofs” which are unaltered versions of your photos. Second, they’ll provide “finals” which are cropped, edited, and color-corrected versions of your photos.

Using This Information

The terminology listed above should allow you to better understand the conversation. Ideally, it will help when potential candidates are talking “jargon” while they pitch you their services. Hopefully, I’ve covered most of the important topics that you’ll encounter. However, the above guide to wedding photography terminology is just the tip of the iceberg. Photography trends are always changing, so you’ll want to ask to see examples; especially if there’s a technique or process you don’t fully understand such as photographing wedding sparklers.

Hopefully you found this guide to wedding photography terminology helpful. If so, please feel free to share it on your favorite social media platform. Good luck and have fun planning your wedding!