10 Things to Look for in a Wedding Photograph

Do you find yourself asking these kinds of questions?

How can I tell which photographic style I like? The images from all wedding photographers look the same to me, how can I tell the good from the bad? I noticed I liked images if the wedding dress is beautiful, but what else should I look for?

Wedding photography may seem overwhelming at first especially if you have no experience in visual art. There is good news though, the more you look at the wedding pictures the easier it is to tell a good wedding image from a bad one. By browsing a lot of wedding photography sites you will soon become an expert at selecting a photographic style that you like.

Here are 10 very simple suggestions that will help you know what to look for when you start looking for the perfect wedding photographer for you:

Story – Can you make-up a story in your head when looking at the image? Even in a portrait your imagination should starts working. You should be trying to guess what the person is thinking by the look in their eyes. The greatest example is the famous painting of the mysterious Mona Lisa.

Emotion – Does the image make you feel something? Do you connect yourself with the characters in the picture? Do you believe that the people in the image are happy? Do they look in love or they look like they were asked to create that strange pose? Great Pictures should evoke emotions in you even though you do not know the people in them.

Dynamics – Is there movement, motion, momentum in the images or the photographer’s entire portfolio consists of static posed shots? Is there any beautiful wedding moments captured? People tend to look their best when they are in action, not thinking about posing or looking in the camera. Capturing action also makes much more interesting wedding images.

Exposure – Are there details in the wedding dress or is it just a bizarre white shape? Does everything look dark and dreary? If images do not have the correct exposure no amount of Photoshop and post processing will make the image look right. This is an easy way to separate the Pros from the beginners.

Use of Lighting – Does the photographer use lighting creatively or just blasts every image with the direct on camera flash? It is great to have interesting lighting effects in wedding images like shooting into the light, flare from the sun, shadows, dramatic cinematic lighting, etc.

People’s Expressions – Is the photographer trying to capture emotion, expression, reaction or just presses the button at the awkward moment. For example when exchanging wedding vows there is so much emotion on the faces of the couple that if nicely captured, a viewer gets involved into that image just by looking at that tear running down a the bride’s face.

Does the Bride Look Beautiful? – Was the photographer able to capture her at her best angles, with her most flattering expression? Photographing bridal portrait requires a good amount of skill and a great eye. No matter what shape or size you are it is the photographer’s duty to find ways to photograph you well.

Variety – A good combination of wedding images close-ups, half-body, full body, details and establishing ambiance shoots should be present. It should be interesting to go from one picture to the next, if you get bored looking though their gallery this would be indication that their style isn’t for you. There should be an element of surprise in every wedding image.

Artistic Elements – Look for graphical elements, creative use of light, composition, reflections, and silhouettes. The photographer should be full of creative ideas on what and how to shoot. Every wedding image should be a small piece of art.

Post Processing – Wedding images shouldn’t be overly photoshoped but rather natural looking. The photographer also shouldn’t have to spend hours and hours retouching a single image. If a picture is taken right in the first place little retouching should be needed if at all.