Wedding Photographer Words to Know


Like any industry, weddings have their own terminology and language - this can be broken down even further by vendor type. It can be incredibly overwhelming to understand exactly what a vendor is saying and what they mean with their words.

So today, we're going to break down some common terminology used with photography and wedding photographers, to help clarify some language you'll probably hear over the duration of hiring vendors.


Contract - this is the signed agreement for paying/hiring professional photography services. This document outlines the policies of the photographer you hire, as well as some legal guidelines.

Copyright - the government given intellectual property rights given to photographers to protect from theft and illegal use of created images

Coverage - the time spanning from when your photographer arrives at your event to when your photographer leaves at the end of the night.


Digital Images - these refer to the digital image files taken at your session or event. Modernly, most wedding collections include the delivery of all the color-corrected digital files so you can print/share them at your discretion.


Engagements - this is a session done of the two of you a few months ahead of your wedding. It's done as a way to create professional images for save-the-dates or invitations, but also to immortalize the engagement period of your lives where you're about to be married, but aren't quite yet.


First Look - an orchestrated viewing for the bride and groom to see each other alone before the ceremony.

Getting Ready - the portion of the day where people are still getting dressed and prepared for the day ahead.


Golden Hour (Sunset) - this refers to the time period just before sunset, when the light is soft and even. This is often just referred to as sunset, and is often a choice time for couples to sneak outside for a few minutes alone of warm portraits.

Portraits - the section of the day where we might snap a few formal photos of family, bridal party, and the bride and groom.


Printing Rights - the rights often extended to couples by their photographer so they can use, print, and share the images from their wedding.


Reception - this typically refers to the time from cocktail hour through to the end of the night where guests can "receive" and celebrate the couple.


Retainer - the amount of money placed down to reserve a vendor prior to the wedding, often done in a percent or a flat amount.




Are there any words we missed? What was some language you've commonly heard around wedding photography? Start the conversation below!




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A wedding and portrait photographer based in Duluth + Minneapolis MN, traveling outward.

A believer in the honest and a photographer of the true moments that surround your life.