Understanding Wedding Photography Language

This is the first time for most couples to plan a wedding and sometimes it is a little overwhelming to understand the language or terminology used by wedding photographers or wedding venders.  It can get rather confusing hearing a bunch of new phrases.  It would be helpful to have a list of terms with definitions to help couples understand what’s going on.  So here are a few terms to help you on your wedding planning journey.


The creatives are the special portraits of the bride and groom.  These are when the couple set aside some time for themselves on their wedding day for the photographer to create some romantic portraits.

Shot List

This is the list of people that the bride and groom want in the family portraits.  It also could be any special request that the bride and groom have.  Generally the photographer will have a standard shot list that is expected and obvious.  

Save the date

Most couples send out the invitation 2 months prior to the wedding but often couples will send a Save The Date card more in advance so folks will block off their wedding date on the calendar.


Photograph proofs are a gallery of all the photos from the wedding either in print form or digitally presented online.  From this gallery the couple can order prints or download.  Once the couple views and gives feedback further action can be taken.


These are the wedding party and family portraits.  


This is a general guide for the over all plan for photographs on the wedding day.  This will include getting ready, details, bridals, bridesmaids, groom, groomsmen, first look, wedding party, family, ceremony, reception and exit.  Sometimes the timeline gets behind but we always leave a little space for that.

First Look

This is when the groom breaks the tradition and gets to see the bride in her wedding dress before the ceremony.  It allows for intimate moments that make amazing photographs.  It also gives more time for all the rest of the formal portraits before the ceremony so the couple can go straight to the reception after the ceremony.

 www.brownsphotoart.com  @Brown's Photography


These are close up and creative photos of the special details of the day - decorations, flowers, centerpieces, shoes, the dress, the rings, etc.  

Digital Images

These are like the negatives back in the film days.  These are what the prints and albums can all be created from.  With the digitalis we can reproduce prints, albums, and other products over and over and at any size we want.  The digital image is very important.


 www.brownsphotoart.com  @Brown's Photography

This is like a deposit to hold the date of your wedding.  It is a set amount of money that is non-refundable if you cancel your wedding.  It will be deducted from your wedding package.

SOOC/ Edited / Retouched

Straight Out Of Camera.  This is a raw photo as it looks when it was taken.  It then can be edited.  To be edited it will be color corrected and the exposure will be corrected.  To be fully retouched involves removing objects, blemishes, and even more stuff.  

Well, I am sure there are more terms that I could list but I think this will do for now.  Have a great time as you plan your wedding.