Tuesday I started my own wedding photography dictionary and realized writing a dictionary is a long process! So I’ve split up my collection of wedding photography definitions into multiple posts and linked them all together for your convenience. Since this collection is meant to help couples who are looking for a photographer I’m going to avoid getting to technical on you when it comes to camera lingo and instead help you define the words photographers throw at you when you ask them what should be simple questions about how they work. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Silhouette: (noun sil·hou·ette \ˌsi-lə-ˈwet\)

  1. An outline of a body.

Generally this technique is accomplished when a person(s) are photographed with a bright background such as a sunset. It is a photographic technique that allows for a lot of drama and can be very beautiful or very cliche’ depending on the execution.


ijphoto_seattle_wedding_photographer699 ijphoto_seattle_wedding_photographer845

Backlight: (noun \back·light \-ˌlīt\)

  1.  When a  subject is illuminated from behind; also:  the source of such illumination.

While backlighting can produce a silhouette, not all backlit images result in a silhouette. Often if there light reflected on a subject or a second light source the subject can be seen more clearly than in a silhouette. This is often the case in wedding photography. It’s important for couples to choose a photographer that can work in all lighting scenarios since some wedding venues have large windows that face west. During an evening ceremony this would create nothing but silhouette images unless the photographer know how to remedy the problem. Backlighting can also be very beautiful way to create high contrast images.

ijphoto_seattle_wedding_photographer495 Favorite Wedding Moments ijphoto_seattle_wedding_photographer198 Wedding Flower ideas ijphoto_seattle_wedding_photographer641

Environmental Portrait: (noun \en·vi·ron·ment·al por·trait  \in-ˌvī-rə(n)-ˈmen-təl, -ˌvī(-ə)r(n)-\

  1. A pictorial representation of a person usually showing the face, and including the location with which they are surrounded.

Oftentimes environmental portraits at weddings are done to show where a couple were married. By including the couple within the landscape the photographer is helping to establish a connection between the two people and the events of the day. It is a nice addition to any body of portraits since it adds variety. In the example below the name of the venue is included purposefully  as well as the rain and blurry cars to tell a story about the couple’s wedding day.


ijphoto WAC Wasington Athletics Club wedding seattle WA


Thanks for reading!