Like any industry, the photography industry has it's own 'lingo' and sometimes we forget that some of the general public has NO idea what we are talking about! So here is a quick guide to what the most coined 'terms' are on photography websites and blogs, so that you know exactly what you're getting into! If there's any phrases I haven't included, just leave me a comment! "High Resolution Digital Image" - High Resolution means the photographer has provided you with a file that has ample quality for printing. However it doesn't necessarily mean you can print the file to any size you want, as it is possible to limit the file size to a certain size and then enlargements beyond this will be blurry or pixelated. A digital image is usually provided in 'jpg' format.
"Matte Print" - Type of photo paper provided by professional print labs - the print doesn't have the 'glossy' texture of cheap print labs.
"LIfestyle Photography/Lifestyle Session/Lifestyle Newborn" - These types of sessions involve the photographer spending a few hours with a family and capturing the day to day details of their life, for eg the baby having a bath, being fed, cuddles with mum and dad etc. Lifestyle photographers often use what the family already owns as 'props' , so with a newborn session the photographer would include the family's own blankets, or family bed etc.
"Natural Light Photographer" - A Photographer who doesn't (or usually doesn't) use flash or studio lighting, and only uses the light naturally available to them (ie, the sun!). What does this mean for you? It depends on the skill of the photographer, as some stick to natural light because they do not know how to use professional lighting, and others just prefer the look of natural light. Using professional flash does require skill to learn and use properly and is not the same as the flash available on small point and shoots or some dslrs.
"Creative Fee" - Another name for 'session' fee. Some photographers will include products within this fee, others do not. Session fees go towards covering the time of the photographer to edit photos, arrange the session, paperwork, conducting the session etc. Photographers who don't have a session fee are not necessarily 'cheaper', it just means the cost of running the business and their time is built into an inclusive package instead.
"Print Release" - A print release is generally used to give you the rights to print the photos you've purchased, as in most cases the copyright will remain with the photographer. Some print releases only allow you to print at certain places, so that the photographer can control the quality of the printing. Buying the digital images does not mean you have copyright.
"Professional print lab" - These are places that only service professional photographers, and they provide high quality printing. One of the benefits of using a pro lab is that they allow the photographer to match the colours/contrast of their monitor with that of the print lab, so that the digital or proof you are presented with will match the final product.
"Consumer Lab" - Refers to printing labs that the general public can use.
"Mounted Print" - Some photographers offer mounted prints, usually medium prints & over. This means they come with either a matboard or foamcore backing, which protects the life of the print and simply makes it more durable when handling.
"Post processing" - Changes made to the digital file after the shot has been taken.
"Editing" - Each photographer has their own 'look' or 'style' and this is achieved partly in camera, and partly through editing the digital file on the computer. Editing can involve anything from changing the colour, sharpness or contrast of the image, to getting rid of things like pimples, snot or hair in the wrong place! Most professional photographers shoot the image in a format that is 'RAW' which means unlike little point and shoot cameras, the camera itself doesn't do any basic edits, which leaves all the control in the photographer's hands.
"Gift prints" - refers to small sized images like a 4 x 6 and 5 x 7, generally too small for the wall.
"Flush Mount" - In reference to photobooks, it basically means the photo runs 'flush' to the end of the page, as unlike traditional albums, the entire page is a photograph. Flush mounted albums are actual printed photographs that are mounted onto thicker board, so that the pages don't bend and are rigid. They are much higher in quality than the photobooks you can get at places like Snapfish or Harvey Norman, as they are just photos printed onto paper.
"Investment" - The Photographer's pricing.
"A La Carte List"- This just means a list of all the products the Photographer sells and their pricing.
"Proofs" - Either small printed versions of your session or watermarked digital versions.
"Mini Session" - Mini Sessions, as you'd guess by the name, are usually shorter in length than the photographer's standard session, as well as discounted in price. If the photographer normally provides some digital files with their session, there are usually less included with a mini session. Mini Sessions really suit people who've already had a session before and just want some updated family photos. Some mini sessions are 'themed', ie a Christmas or Valentines Day theme.
"Canvas WRAP" - The image on the canvas wraps around the sides instead of having white/black on the sides of the canvas.
"In Person Ordering/Viewing Session" - This usually involves going to the photographer's studio or house, or having the photographer come to you, and going through your images and any products you'd like to order on the day.
"AIPP Accredited" - The AIPP stands for the Australian Institute of Professional Photography. To join the AIPP you need to submit a folio and have your work assessed. Many AIPP accredited photographers also submit their photos into national competitions in order to be judged by their peers.