Wedding Photography Speak – A guide to some wedding photography terms.

Here we hope to explain some of the terms used in wedding photography. Whilst we will readily admit that we are biased, but  we believe that wedding photography should be a serious consideration for your wedding day plans. That said when you start to do your research when looking to choose your wedding photographer, you may be confused by some of the terminology that you may come across. From documentary style to RAW images, hopefully this will explain things a bit more clearly for you.

Black & White Photography.

As its name suggests these are photographs with all of their colour removed. This is often done to create a classic photograph and for enhancing the mood and feel of a photograph. The absence of colour can help stimulate the mind looking at the contrast between the shadows and the light. Not every situation lends itself to being a black and white photograph and we use our professional experience and judgement to provide black and white photographs where the situation suggests it. Turning a photo into black and white is done after the wedding in post production. Believe it or not there are different styles within black and white that can be achieved. For us the blacks need to be black, with the whites being white too.

bride and groom during their wedding ceremoiny exchanging rings

Yorkshire wedding photographer, Black Horse Beamish, wedding photography, durham wedding photography

Contemporary Photography.

The next part of our photography guide is a mention about styles of photography. Contemporary is one of the three main styles of photography, this is described as photographs taken in this style can be described as an image of recent times. This style can be quirky and creative, using certain dramatic backdrops for example a wall of graffiti, to achieve the result that is desired. We would advise to check out several full portfolios of this style to make sure this is what you are wanting to achieve with your wedding photographs. 

Urban Photography, Portrait Photography, And Ever After Photography

Reportage Photography.

Also known as documentary or journalistic style photography, and can be described as shooting the most powerful images to convey the atmosphere of the event and, therefore, preserving a moment forever. Reportage shows the emotion felt by the subjects and the images make you feel like you were actually there. This is one of the most popular styles of wedding photography in the UK. It’s non-posed and follows your day as it naturally unfolds. Your photographs will be candid and authentic capturing the emotions and the story of your wedding day.

wedding ceremony showing the groom looking back at his bride walking up the aisle at Matfen HAll

bride and bridesmaids laughing

bride and groom laughing at seeing each other for the first time during their wedding ceremony at Rockliffe Hall

Traditional or Formal Wedding photography.

This used to be the most popular of wedding photography styles. This photography captures formal, posed photographs of your day. This style has now evolved somewhat and photographers are now mixing this style with some reportage style photography too. This style of photography gives you fabulous opportunities to have pictures of your family and friends there with you on your day.

Wedding Portraits.

These photographs are close up or full length pictures of the bride, the groom or both of you together. This style will allow you to get the most fabulous of photographs of the two of you in your chosen surroundings, and in all honesty these photographs are the ones that you will end up enlarging and displaying on your wall. They are a beautiful reminder of your wedding day. Having these style of photographs included in your day give you as the wedding couple to have a bit of a break from the wedding party, and just have those precious five minutes together.

Bride and Groom, County Durham Wedding Photographer

bride and groom stood together in a leafy lane next to their wedding car


More Wedding Photography Terms Explained – The technical bits!

You may hear your photographer talking about or advertising things with some words or phrases that you may be unsure of.


This is the way (format) that your photographs will be captured and stored. Digital is by far the most common way to photograph weddings, overtaking film a number of years ago. There are a number of advantages in having your wedding photographed in digital. Quick turn around with high quality prints. Easy to retouch to make sure each image looks its best. Easier to store and will not deteriorate over time.


Now for the real technical bit! Resolution is a measure of the number of pixels in a digital image. A high resolution photo has a lot of pixels which means that the photo will remain sharp and clear, with the colours maintaining their look, if you enlarge the photo in print. A smaller resolution photograph is ideal for using on the web, for social media or email. This resolution image may not be suitable for using to print your photograph from. Most photographers supply your photos as high resolution and some also provide both types of photos at no extra cost.

RAW and Jpeg.

These are terms to describe the form which your photograph is in. The RAW photograph is the one that comes out of the camera. These are the files that the photographer will use to process your photographs from. These are extremely large files that contain all of the information captured by the camera at the time of taking the photograph. These files may need specialist software to read and display them on a computer. Photographers will not supply these type of files to you.

The Jpeg image is a universally known format for photographs to be supplied in. These types of files are easily uploaded, downloaded and copied. They are much more user friendly and this is the format that you will receive your digital photograph in.

Retouching and editing.

This is the process that the photographer will undertake to process your photographs. Taking them from the camera to delivering them to you in an easily viewable format. This is achieved through specialist software and during this process the photographer will ensure that their style, that attracted you to their photographs, runs through the set of photographs. Some retouching may take place for example removing items in the photograph that distract from what the picture is about.


The photographer will always own the copyright to their photographs. They should agree to you having personal use permission or license, which allows you to print the photos, make your own albums or share them across the internet. You will not generally be allowed to make money from your photographs without the permission of the photographer. They will stipulate that they have a percentage of any income generated from one of their photographs.

Second Photographer

Some wedding packages include a second shooter for you. The advantage of this is that situations can be captured from different angles, giving you a different perspective. This could be at your ceremony with one at the front and the other at the back both focussing on all of the emotions from both the bride and the groom. Having two photographers means that more detail of your day is captured for you including the preparations, the details, the guests, the dancing and moments that you cannot capture with only one photographer.

Engagement Shoot.

Why do I need an engagement shoot?

The short answer is that you don’t. But there are lots of great reasons why you should have an engagement photo shoot. The first and the most common one is that our couples tell us that one of them (or sometimes both) are unsure about having their photos taken. An engagement photo shoot is the perfect way to help you get over this nervousness. To get you comfortable with each other in front of the camera, and also help you to get to know your photographers. This will be the time you can see how they work with you and have chance to ask questions about your photographs on the wedding day itself. 100% of our wedding couples who had an engagement shoot, told us that they were so glad they did.

Read more about engagement photoshoots by clicking here.

engagement photo session with a bride and groom to be holding hands looking at each otehr


Photography Package.

This is the deal that you and your photographer agree on. This will tell you what you are getting including in your photography package. Things like how long they will be with you for, how are your photos supplied, one or two photographers etc. According to the latest figures (from Hitched) the average cost of wedding photography in the UK is between £1500 – £2000. For this amount of money you you can typically expect the following in your photography package.

A pre wedding consultation either in person or by video link. 8+ hours on your wedding day, usually from preparations through to your dancing.  A USB stick containing your high resolution images or your photos accessible from an online gallery of your wedding day. Personal use print license.

We hope that this wedding photography guide has helped you in some way. We are always available if you have any questions about wedding photography or you need any further explanation of any of the topics discussed in this article.

If you waould like to know a;; about us as your wedding photographers, we have written a short article about this. You can find this by clicking here.

We can be contacted by clicking this link here.

Thank you.

Graham & Bridgit



Share this story