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  • gillianerea

Words to Describe Different Photography Styles

Does the idea of explaining what photography styles you 'like' vs 'don't like' stress you out? I get that! There are so many unique point of view that every creator has their own version of. It's super helpful to have a shared language that you and your photographer can use to narrow this vision down. The words below are a great place to start!


Take note of the words that you gravitate towards, and the others that make you wince.


Also, keep in mind what you can create by mixing words that may seem like they belong in "different categories". Here's an example: "Traditional" and "Classic" looks less exploratory in nature, and more true to life in coloring and posing. "Vintage/Old School" and "Classic" looks a little more stylized, maybe more movement, and creative in nature, but it sounds like you're still looking for a timeless affect that won't age in 5 years.


  • Traditional/Formal - It’s common for at least some of your wedding photos to be shot this way, like family and some wedding party photos.

  • Classic

  • True to Life

  • Light & Airy

  • Fine Art

  • Editorial

  • Fashion

  • Vibrant

  • Warm

  • Cool

  • Dark

  • Moody - You can totally split "dark and moody". Maybe you like "warm and moody"!

  • Desaturated

  • Earthy

  • Vintage

  • Grainy

  • Film

  • Sepia/Aged

  • Black & White

  • Landscape

  • Adventurous

  • Photojournalistic

  • Street Style

  • Candid


Here are some more descriptive words that are so helpful to attach to your photography styles!

  • Fun

  • Casual

  • Vivid

  • Serious

  • Soft

  • Calming

  • Clean

  • Real/Honest

  • Story-led

  • Unposed

  • Playful

  • Artistic

  • Bold

  • Minimal

  • Simple

  • Depth

  • Flat (think Wes Anderson)

  • Sharp

  • Blurry

  • Unique

  • Historic


Okay, that's a ton of ways you can describe what you're looking for! Maybe you're not sure exactly what each of those mean or look like... I would encourage you to make your list and start a conversation with your photographer. Define them a bit more, talk about your interpretation of each, and also ask questions about your venue, day-of schedule, and lighting limitations to ensure the images you're looking for are doable.


Remember, the goal is to create that "shared language", and there are no right or wrong combinations! Have fun with it!

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