Glossary on Wedding Photography: Common jargon and Wedding Photography Techniques Explained

If you're not sure what wedding photography style you like best, this helpful article will help you understand the various types and jargons on offer

Wedding photography is so important, making your very special day a permanent record and memento.

Whether you are studying wedding photography online or approaching your future photographer first, however, the language used can be disconcerting!

For anyone beginning their quest for the perfect photographer, our glossary of common wedding photography terms and descriptions of wedding photography styles is important. Take the time to find the right one and keep in mind that this is an environment that really does pay off your investment.

From reportage to second shooter, here's the styles and terminology you need to learn about wedding photography.


sydney wedding photography black and white

Black and White Photography

Just as the name implies, this is colourless photography, done to achieve a timeless, classic effect. The images would usually be taken in colour by the photographer and edited in post-production, so that you have both choices.

Will of Silverton Photography explains: "Black and white photography is great for enhancing the mood of an image, or the use of light and composition is of particular interest. For mixed or bad lighting conditions it is a safer option because it can be less distracting, making the happy couple the absolute subject of the shot.

Boudoir Shoot

A sexy collection of images usually given as a gift to your partner. It's best done by a professional boudoir photographer in sydney who will have the best angles and lighting experience. Such pictures are not supposed to be shared with anyone else – they are only for the enjoyment of your friend!

Bridal Session

Bridal sessions are less popular today but usually entail the bride coming in several months before the wedding for a portrait session with their photographer. She'd be wearing her wedding dress and also holding a replica of her bouquet, much like a big day test run. Although they used to be used in engagement announcements, bridal sessions now provide an opportunity to get bride portraits in a private, comfortable atmosphere.

Contemporary Photography

Contemporary photography, alongside conventional and reportage, is one of three primary types of photography. What this suggests is that the photographer has a trend-led style that sometimes looks more like an editorial shoot for a magazine than a wedding photograph. The style is imaginative and innovative with dramatic backdrops, odd angle and lighting, or more abstract shots in focus.

If you're looking for a quirky, innovative wedding photography theme in sydney, that's perfect. It is recommended that you browse through several full wedding albums to make sure you like and appreciate the vision of the photographer, and address what you need.While you’ll be left with incredible photos, you need to weigh up how much time you want to spend away from the action of the day.


The photographer still holds the rights to their images but in your arrangement they will agree to a licence for personal use. It allows you the ability to print digital copies – for prints, photobooks and thanks cards, etc. – and post the images online, do not sell or publish the pictures. Photographers can request that someone you share carry a watermark on social media.


One of the first choices you'll have to make about your photographer is whether they're shooting digitally or with video. Digital is the most common way to take wedding pictures and has many benefits, the most important being time:

-Crisp, high-quality photos and prints
-Quick turnaround, meaning photos can be back in a matter of days
-Better at adjusting to very low-light conditions
-Easy to digitally retouch to make your photos look their best
-Possible to preview shots as the photographer is taking them to see if any adjustments are needed
-Digital negatives are easy to store and won’t fade over time
-Unlimited photography as digital has no extra processing fees and camera have a high storage capacity

Engagement Shoot

Pre-wedding shoots have become increasingly popular, either as part of photo packages, or as an add-on to them. You can fly to a place with your photographer and take beautiful pictures of a couple that can be used to save the date cards or your wedding website. An accomplished photographer may have scouted out unique shooting sites, and can consider using props or several outfits.

A shooting engagement is a perfect opportunity to get to know your photographer and learn how to feel confident in front of the camera and take direction. If there is something you find you don't like, that will be known to your photographer for the day.


Movie is the Electronic Photography option. Performance often varies little, but analogue images add grain, softness and warmth. Shooting with film is likely to cost more – the photographer will incur higher processing and editing costs; you will obtain less images, because their shots will be more judicious; and it will take longer for your pictures to arrive. Find a photographer who's able to shoot for both digital and film to get the best of both worlds if possible.

Fun Photography

'Fun photography' generally refers to the photographer directing dumb or somewhat cheesy shots. This is all from the bridal party jumping in the air to a lightsaber thrown in with apps for editing. It's a matter of choice if you want this; explain what kind of 'fun' shots you'd like to take with your photographer before the big day.

Photography Package

Your photography package is the deal you agree with your photographer, which will cover everything from how many hours they’ll shoot on the day to what form the photos will arrive once processed. We have a comprehensive article of wedding photography prices and what to expect from each price band. The average cost will be $3,000- $4,000 and you can typically expect:

-A pre-wedding consultation in person
-An engagement shoot
-8-14 hours of work on the wedding day; from the bridal party preparations through to the first dance
-A USB stick of high-resolution, gentle-edited digital images from the day (800-1000)
-Personal use copyright license
-You can get cheaper packages by cutting down on the hours the photographer is working – meaning they also have less images to edit.
-More expensive packages will include a second shooter and -extras like a bespoke album of photos.

Shot List

Couples often provide their photographer with a list of shots they absolutely must have, like the groom waiting at the altar or the bride getting dressed. Don’t go mad with your list – you’re hiring an experienced photographer for a reason, they know what they’re doing! Give the photographer time to capture the candid photos, which will often be the most memorable ones.

What can be useful is making a list of any group photos you definitely want so you can call your grandma and auntie over only when you need them.

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Posted in Wedding blog.