Photography Terms all Brides and Grooms Need to Know

Wedding photography has moved beyond the basic engagement photo and classic wedding pictures. When shopping for a photographer for your Pennsylvania wedding, you may see phrases like “boudoir shoot” and “trash the dress.” Before you interview your first photographer, learn some of the terms they may use before reaching out to one of the many photographers listed in our Wedding Directory.

Digital vs. Film: Most photography is done digital. However, some photographers are still using film which requires developing in a lab.

Digital Negatives: Digital negatives allow you to take them to your own photo lab for printing, rather than requiring you to purchase prints from the photographer. The negatives will be provided on a DVD in high-resolution formatting. Photos will not be edited, scaled, corrected or cropped.

Flush-Mount Album: An alternative to the traditional wedding album, each page is a borderless photographic print that can include multiple images and backgrounds. All of our flush-mount albums, also known as magazine-style albums, are hand crafted with the highest quality materials.

Day-of slideshows: Some photographers offer to create slideshows of images from the ceremony that you project on to a screen during dinner. It can give guests a glace at what they just experienced and given them something to discuss at their tables.

Second Shooter: A second photographer at your wedding and reception.

Online Proofing vs. Printed Proofs: Online proofing means you can see your proofs online, usually by logging into a special website. However, you can request printed proofs–which means they are printed out.

Magic or Golden Hour:  The hour or so before sunset and after sunrise when the light coming from the sun is warm and creates a somewhat magical glow.

Sessions and Shoots

Bridal Session: A session with the bride alone. It typically takes place before your wedding day. Many brides use it as a “test run” for their gown and accessories. Some brides choose to include this with their wedding announcement instead of the traditional engagement photo.

Engagement Session: A photo session with the couple. It takes place months before the wedding, typically in a casual setting.

First Look Photos: This set of shots, which is done before your ceremony, captures the first time you and your about-to-be-spouse see each other all dressed up on your wedding day. Doing a full set of photos beforehand frees you all up to fully enjoy your cocktail hour post-ceremony).

Example of a Trash the Dress wedding shoot.

Boudoir Shoot: Photos done separately from your spouse so you can give them as a gift.

Day After or After Session: An after session is an additional photo shoot, with you and your partner decked out in your wedding gear, that takes place anywhere from a few days to a few years after the big day.

Trash The Dress: This is a special session done after the wedding. They are done in a setting that may may effectively ruin the dress in the process by getting it wet, dirty, or, in extreme circumstances, tearing or destroying the garment.


Photo & Video Styles

Photojournalism or Documentary is the art of documenting an event or situation without affecting the event’s outcome. Unlike traditional wedding photography, which relies on extensive posed and formal shots, our goal is to unobtrusively document the spontaneous and heartfelt moments of your day. These shots feel intimate and “real.” Also known as Candid.

Artistic gives the photographer the ability to take unique photos.

Classic style would be the type you saw in your parents’ or grandparents’ wedding album. Photographers typically work from a “shot list” to capture them.

Dramatic usually involves artistic lighting, the dramatic style is all about making moments appear like they’ve been pulled straight out of a Hollywood film.

Lifestyle is similar to photojournalism as it includes mostly candid photos, but will allow for some direction and styling.

Blown Out refers to overexposure, an image appears blown out when certain areas or the entire image is void of any detail and looks almost completely white.


Now that you’re familiar with some wedding terms, check out our Business Directory for Wedding Photographers.


Author: admin