15 Terms Wedding Photographers Use and What They Mean • rebeccaellison.com
15 Terms Wedding Photographers Use and What They Mean

I’ve always avoided cooking. It’s not something I find a lot of joy in, and I usually find myself stressed because I didn’t time things correctly and I end up with a super hot plate and a Luke warm plate, or when I am in the middle of cooking, the recipe will through out some fancy cooking term like braising and continue on like I know what they are talking about.
I’ve found that instead of getting overwhelmed and confused and wondering what the h the recipe is talking about, I just avoid cooking all together. I’m not a fan of feeling stupid and recipes make me feel stupid all the time.

So it dawned on me that you, as a bride or groom might be having that exact same overwhelming feeling I get about cooking when looking at all these different options listed out on photographers packages and product listing pages. We assume you know what we are talking about when, really your eyes may be glazing over with a “say what” feeling in your gut.

To remove that uneasy feeling in your gut, here are 15 terms wedding photographers use and what they mean!


Wedding Coverage
While this one may be a no brainer, we got to start somewhere! Wedding coverage refers to the time that your photographer is there being paid to cover your wedding. Coverage is done consecutively, so asking to have three hours of coverage in the morning and then another three later with an hour or two in between usually is a no go because the photographer can not take another job in the in between.

All Day Coverage
This is when your photographer doesn’t limit the coverage of your day to a specific hour limit. It includes from getting ready on through the most important parts of the day until all the photographic moments have passed. While this can differ from photographer to photographer, this is a great start (and how my packages are laid out).

Main Photographer
This refers to the photographer in charge and responsible for the images on your day. If booking a boutique studio (like mine), the studio owner and then one you meet with is usually the main photographer, but if you are working with big studio who has lots of different photographers, you may not know who your main photographer is until their show up day of. If working with one of those large studios, always ask if the images you have seen in a portfolio are from the photographer that will be at your wedding.

Digital Negatives
Usually considered the “original” Raw digital file, but some photographers use it this term as the final JPG that the client will receive. It’s best to ask the photographer in question to clarify.

Print Resolution Image
Not all jpgs are created equal. Jpgs can be processed out in different quality settings. When they say print quality jpgs they mean these are of a quality that when you take them to a lab to print the print will look good and not be pixelated.

Web Resolution Image
This is a much lower quality of jpg. While it will look just fine on your screen and social media, when you attempt to print it, the quality will be super low. Web resolution images are not meant to be printed, and are commonly watermarked.

The practice of putting the photographers logo or website on the image. It shows who is the legal owner of the image. Photographers commonly have a watermark on any image destined for online usage to protect the image from unlawful use elsewhere online.

Printing Rights
What the client commonly gets when they get a disc of their wedding images. It provides the rights for the client to print the images for any personal use while the photographer retains copyright and ownership of the images.

The legal ownership of the image. Automatically given to whomever creates the image and presses the shutter. Copyright always stays with the photographer unless they expressly give written copyright to the client along with the raw images.

Different terms relating to the amount of post processing (computer/photoshop) work done on an image.
Raw is what an image looks like right out of camera (and the more editable file that the camera produces). Photographers won’t usually give a client a raw image. And most clients would not have the knowledge or programs to be able to manipulate, edit or even see the image.
Processed is what the image looks like after it’s been run through Photoshop or Lightroom. Usually color, contrast and exposure tweaks only.
Retouched is the final level of post processing when pimples are removed, bags under eyes, skin softening , fly away hairs etc are manipulated. Images will usually not ever be retouched unless prints or albums are ordered. But ask your photographer what their policy is.

Shoot and Burn
The term used for photographers who shoot your wedding and literally download all images and burn the client a disc of the images. While you get all the thousands of images they take, they are not processed and don’t look as good as they could be. Shoot and burn photographers are on the lower price point as they don’t do any post processing.

Engagement Session
A pre wedding photo shoot that gives you a chance to work with your photographer before the big day.

Online Gallery
This refers to an online place where all of your images will be visible and prints can be purchased for a limited time after the wedding. It’s great for sharing with guests as then they can see the images and purchase prints that they would like without having to bother you with their requests.

Print/Album Credit
A credit towards prints or products you’ll be choosing post wedding. While you know you’ll want an album but you don’t know the size or amount of images or style you may want till you see the images, the print credit lets you chose that later.

So there you are:) Hopefully that helps! If there are any other terms you’ve heard or seen and aren’t sure what exactly they mean, ask in the comments below.

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