Bride and Groom in Woods

4 Things to Look for in a Wedding Photographer’s Portfolio

Don’t think about booking your photographer until you see these elements

You’ve clicked through dozens of wedding photography portfolios and viewed hundreds of pictures. You feel like you’ve seen it all but how do you know? Is there something you might have missed?

To help guide you through this seemingly daunting task of choosing the right wedding photographer, we’ve outlined the top five most important elements to look for in a portfolio.

1. Diversity

Now, we’re not talking about skin tones. That’s great if your photographer loves all people, but what you need is someone who can produce great quality images. Therefore, you need a photographer who knows how to handle variations in light and can shoot in a range of conditions.

When looking through a photographer’s portfolio, you’ll want to see a mix of images. For example, it is important the portfolio includes pictures not just of the ceremony but throughout the day including getting ready and the reception. Look for images shot indoors and outdoors, low light and back-lit; smiles and candid emotion; groups of people and individuals; action and movement.

If the entire portfolio is made up of posed portraits of the bride and groom outdoors, you should consider another photographer.

It’s fine if a photographer specializes in a certain style, but be wary of photographers who say they only shoot in natural light, or that they don’t photograph indoor weddings. Limitations like these are signs that the photographer does not know how to shoot in a range of lighting conditions. Hiring a photographer who has experience working in all types of light is critical, since after all, photography is all about capturing light. Besides, your photographer should meet the needs of your wedding day, not the other way around.

2. Emotion

This can’t be stressed enough. Weddings are a momentous occasion filled with emotion. Your wedding is the only time in your life where you and your fiancé will bring together such a large grouping of family –some of whom have not seen each other for months or even years.

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This unique gathering of loved ones is opportune for bursts of laughter and tears of joy.  Don’t miss this chance to capture great moments of emotion on the faces of your loved ones. These are the moments you want to immortalize because they capture the magnitude of the day. These are the pictures you will cherish for many years to come and cause you to tear up and smile when you pull them out thirty years from now. If you don’t see any emotional pictures in the photographer’s portfolio, move on.

3. High Quality

You may not be an expert in photography but after viewing several portfolios you’ll start to get a feel for what gets you excited and what you can easily click past.

Of course, quality comes with experience and the more experienced the photographer the higher the price. Find the best quality photos that fit within your budget.

Styles and types of wedding photography

Remember, you get what you pay for. A photographer will only reveal her absolute best work in the portfolio. If you see any pictures that are mediocre, then you’ll know at best you can expect mediocre pictures of your wedding.

4. Storytelling

A single image can tell a story. When looking through a wedding photographer’s pictures, if you see pictures that tell a story then consider hiring him.

It is not always easy to create an image that tells a story, therefore, if you see storytelling images, then you know the photographer is talented.

A storytelling image is one that makes you pause and wonder. You look at the picture and begin to put ideas in your head of what occurred in order to bring this moment about. Or you may tell yourself a scenario of what occurred to the subjects in the photo moments after the picture was created. Storytelling pictures are important because they are interesting and captivating. Storytelling images are unique and exceptional.

Here is an example of a storytelling image.


What’s he so excited about and where are all the other guests? Maybe his parents are in the wedding and he’s just seeing them for the first time that day…

Of course, there are other elements of a portfolio to consider, mainly do you like the photographer’s style. However, regardless of the particular photographer’s style of shooting, these four aspects of image diversity, emotion, quality and storytelling can and should be evident in a photographer’s portfolio before you consider hiring him or her. If not, then don’t be afraid to click to the next site.

We are Elati Wedding Photography, a Denver Wedding photographer specializing in capturing beautiful, natural moments on your wedding day. Call us to learn more about our photojournalist style or how we can help capture the best moments for your wedding.