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10 Common Wedding Photography Terms (that you need to know!)


September 27, 2021

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With wedding planning comes an influx of professional terminology to learn. As an engaged couple, you probably want to feel as informed as possible when reviewing vendor contracts and participating in meetings about your special day.

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Your wedding photography is a major aspect of your wedding. So, I am sharing the 10 common wedding photography terms that you actually need to know! Let’s get started.

Engagement Session

You will probably be working with the same photographer for your engagement photos and for your wedding. Expect your photographer to ask if you are also interested in an engagement session with them. They will help you scout locations and find the style to compliment your big day. After all, these photos will most likely end up on your invitations or wedding website!

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 Shot List

Once you have selected your wedding package, you will chat with your photographer about the shot list often. The shot list simply includes everything the photographer will be capturing from getting ready photos to the ceremony. In fact, you have probably already viewed or discussed a rough shot list during the booking process. Once you set more programming details for the day, the shot list will become more specific. This clearly displays every photography moment to expect in your future gallery. 


The shot list will be displayed in a photography timeline as you get closer to the big day! Timelines are not just for wedding planners! Almost every vendor you work with will have a schedule for the day, working alongside your wedding planner to make sure everything runs seamlessly. The photography timeline includes their start and end times and when each option from your shot list will be captured.

High Res. and  Low Res.

Once you receive your final wedding gallery, there might be the option to download high or low res. photos. High-resolution images are perfect for printing and low-resolution are ready to share on social media!

First Look

You might have already heard this term when wedding planning. If you and your partner are choosing to see each other before the ceremony, this is called the first look. Your photographer will capture this moment along with some posed couple’s photos. 

Bride and groom first look before wedding ceremony

Second Shooter

On wedding day, your photographer might bring an assistant along! This individual is known as a second shooter. They might be there to capture different angles of the same moment or different details while your photographer takes care of the main shot list.

Details Photography

Speaking of details photography, what all does this include? Your details will cover everything from your wedding outfits, florals, tablescapes, to the invitations. Tip for engaged couples: bring along extra ‘details’ materials specifically for your wedding photographer on the big day. 

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The portrait photos are the common, posed photos you envision when picturing your wedding photography. These portraits can cover groups like your family or wedding party. Portraits can also capture individuals on their own – like you and your spouse! Screen Shot 2021 09 27 at 12.38.20 PM -

Candid Photos

Candid photos are the moments that organically happen on your big day. Maybe this includes you and your partner laughing during the toasts or guests dancing during the reception! If you prefer these moments, don’t be afraid to tell your photographer. They will want to know your preferences to ensure your wedding gallery is just right for you.

Sneak Peeks

While waiting on your full wedding gallery, your photographer might provide some sneak peeks. These are a small group of images from the day for you and your spouse. This is such a fun way to curb the anticipation of your full wedding gallery! Sneak peeks can be offered as soon as the week of the wedding to a few months after.


Love this blog? Read how to plan for the best bridal party pictures next!

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