Photography Slang

Photography Slang

In the world of photography keywords, there will be many photography terms that you'll hear through word of mouth, through research, experimenting with equipment or conversing with other photographers.

Now it's not essential to learn every single word in the English language and its definition off by heart in the world of photography keywords, but it would really help you out as a photographer to know the basics. So, the standard photography terms are what we’re going to be focusing on today. You can rest assure that certain phrases will crop up day to day and others will make themselves known to you over time. Regardless of the details like 'when and where?', here at Weddit we've put together a list of the most common photography terms (also known as photography slang) so that your learning process can begin...

Photography Terms (N01: Aperture) – If you're a keen reader of our blog, you will recognise this word from a number of our previous blog posts and that's because it's one of those photography slang words/ photography keywords that are inevitable to use. So, with that being said, this is the first common photography term that you should learn.

So, what is aperture? To put it simply, aperture is the size of the opening in the lens when you take a picture. Think of the lens as a window... large windows (or wide angles) let in more light, while small windows let in less light. A wide-open aperture will let more light into the image for a brighter photo, while a smaller aperture lets in less light. Pretty simple right? So, let's learn a little more about aperture now that we’ve covered the basics...

Aperture is measured in f-stops. A small f-stop (like f/1.8) has a wide opening and a large f-stop (like f/22) has a very narrow opening, so it hardly lets any light into the image. Aperture is one of the three camera settings that determines an image’s exposure. Exposure simply refers to how light/ dark the image is. Aperture also affects how much of the image is in focus so, that’s pretty important to know and understand! Wide apertures result in that creamy, unfocused background while narrow apertures keep a larger portion of the image sharp and in focus on camera.  

This information is really handy to memorise for when you’re on the job and need to adjust your camera settings quickly to suit the environment that you’re shooting. Now that’s the first of our photography keywords covered, we can move onto the second one...

Photography Terms (N02: Bokeh) - You may be surprised at how many professional photographers use this style of photography but have no idea what its official photography slang name is! Don't worry though, you won't ever have this problem because you're about to find out exactly what Bokeh means in the world of imagery...

Have you ever seen photography or videography where the lights are out of focus in an image/ moving scene to the point where they become light orbs? They're pretty cool actually and look really beautiful! Well that's what the term Bokeh is referring to. Bokeh is the technical name for the orbs which are created when the lights in an image or moving scene are out of focus. They're a neat effect to have in the background of a photo.

Light orbs are created through wide apertures, so our first two photography keywords are actually linked! Bokeh is an awesome way to shoot, especially at a wedding. Can you imagine the gorgeous shots that you’d be able to capture, featuring gazebo fairy lights at wedding receptions or the candles inside the wedding venue? Of course, there will be a time and a place for its use, but you could capture some really gorgeous shots after the ceremony as the evening draws closer and the wedding reception is in its prime! The lighting will be perfect at this time of day to really show off the lights and their glare!

This particular style of imagery works great outside and at a wedding there will be many opportunities to capture the couple having their first dance under the gazebo with fairy lights decorating the sides of the exterior. Imagine standing at the corner of the party in full swing, with the Bride & Groom dancing into the night, with the fairy lights lightly tipping into the sides of your image. With a wide aperture, they will become orbs. You can play about with this feature for a magical set of images!

Photography Terms (N03: Burst Mode) - Now this feature is really cool! Burst mode is especially useful for when you have a fast-moving subject in front of the camera and you want the chance to capture different angles in order to pick the perfect shot out of the bunch. Well burst photography has got you covered, as you'll have plenty of pictures to choose from! That should be like magic to your ears. After all, your clients are going to be expecting the best so, if you’ve got a bunch of gorgeous images, they’re not going to want to pick just a handful, they’ll want the whole lot and what’s more? They may want certain shots featured in their wedding album or hung up on a large print for their home.

You can take photos one at a time, or, you can turn the burst mode on and the camera will continue snapping as long as you hold the button down, or until the buffer is full. This is a fancy way of saying that the camera can’t process anymore data, but here at Weddit, we are pretty cool (even if we do say so ourselves), so we can pull it off! But anyway, you get the drift. Using burst mode comes in particularly handy during the party-portion of the evening, where the Bride, Groom and their guests are dancing the night away.  

Another opportunity may present itself if you’re photographing a group of people after the ceremony itself. After you’ve captured your prim and proper group portrait images of the Bride, Groom and their families, turn on the burst mode and start shooting when capturing a free style of image. We recommend shooting around 3-4 times to avoid blinking eyes. You could also use a burst during the ceremony to capture the happy couple’s first kiss as Husband and Wife. You can capture some really gorgeous shots if you’re camera ready. Just keep your finger on the button!

Photography Terms (N04: Aspect Ratio) – If you have read our blog before and you're sat there thinking I'm sure that I've seen this photography term before, then you have a great memory because you would have indeed!

Aspect ratio is a term that you'll come across often and it's important that you understand what it is, as it's a basic foundation of photography. Aspect ratio is simply the ratio of the height to the width of an image. An 8 x 10 has an equal aspect ratio to a 4 x 5, but a 4 x 7 image is a bit wider. You can change the aspect ratio in your camera settings if you know the height and width that you need it to be from your client.

If the Bride & Groom may have a specific idea in mind, it may require you to change your aspect ratio to a certain size. Your clients may be planning on using the images for something special. So, it’s important that you have a chat with them about any specific requirements that they may have to ensure that you deliver the best quality service to them. If you don't know the measurements beforehand, it's not too big a deal, you can just crop your photo when you edit it to the right ratio. Simple enough right?! Although, we would say it is better to know the ratio beforehand, just to ensure that you’re not going to crop off the best parts of an image. If you need a little help calculating the ratio that your images need to be, check out the link we’ve provided for you. It should help you out big time!

Photography Terms (N05: Depth of Field) - Depth of field is a photography term that refers to how much of an image is in focus. The camera will focus on one distance, but there’s a range of distance in front and behind that point that stays sharp, that’s what is known as depth of field. Portraits often have a soft, unfocused background (this is known as a shallow depth of field). Landscapes, on the other hand, often have more of the image in focus (this is a large depth of field), with a big range of distance that stays in focus. Pretty cool right?

If you take the time to glance over these commonly used photography keywords and their definitions (known as 'photography slang'), your job will become ten times easier and you'll be able to act quickly given the situation to adapt your camera to the settings which you need for the scene or subject!  

We really hope that you’ve enjoyed this article, if you wish to get in touch with us or connect with us on social media, why not give us a follow? Check out our Instagram to stay updated with our articles...

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Photo + editing credit: All images in this blog post edited by the team here at Weddit and photographed by Lukas Griffin. To get started with our wedding photo editing service, you can create an account here. 

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