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5 Wedding Photo Editing Trends You Need to Know About in 2021

Editing wedding photos are no longer just about cropping or straightening an image. Today, wedding photo editing involves color correction, retouching, spot removal, and many more steps. Each wedding photographer has their unique editing style. However, every year, certain trends gain popularity and are specifically asked for by many brides and grooms. You might be someone who sticks to a classic editing style, but whether or not you like to experiment with what’s trending, it’s always good to learn more about what’s going on in the wedding photography industry. In this blog, we bring you five photo editing trends that we think are here to stick around in 2021.

Wedding Photo Editing Trends in 2020

Four smart phones placed on top of a hay covered platform showcasing people video calling
Image Credit @brianbossany

While the coronavirus pandemic completely changed weddings as we knew them in 2020, wedding photo editing didn’t see as many changes. Elopements and backyard weddings quickly became common due to the restrictions on the size of the guest lists. With elopements came the trend of bright, airy, and romantic photographs that also required editing techniques that didn’t undermine those features. Wedding photos became all about the couple, their love, and the boho-chic yet whimsical nature of elopements. Even backyard weddings were all about creating that fairytale vibe at home.

2020 also saw many couples even get married virtually or in the presence of virtual guests, with wedding photographers adapting to this new normal and learning the art of creatively documenting these weddings in the new normal. These photographs then had to be edited to look aesthetically pleasing during post-production. After all, a virtual wedding is still a wedding. However, with the COVID vaccine and life returning to normal, we might not see these trends flourish in 2021.

Suggested Read: Staying Safe At COVID Weddings: A Guide For Wedding Photographers

5 Wedding Photo Editing Trends We Will See in 2021

1. Light, Bright, and Airy

Infographic stating there are so many photography editing trends that we love

The light, bright and airy wedding photo editing trend is about enhanced contrast and pink tones, giving photos an almost over-bright look. This technique is all about making photographs look smooth, sharp, and bright without making them look like they were worked on during post-production. Whether it’s a portrait of your couple or the venue, this editing style can be used for several settings. It’s a perfect technique to be used for photos for fairytale-inspired weddings. If you are photographing a wedding outdoors, this could also be your go-to editing wedding photography editing technique.

This trend has been around for a long time, and we don’t think it will be going anywhere in 2021 either. With more weddings shifting outside during the pandemic and brides opting for more natural and dreamy decor, we think this ‘barely there’ editing technique certainly has the potential to be the number one trend this year.

2. Dark and Moody

Bride and groom posing in a dark and moody outdoor setting
Image Credit @saltpinephoto

When you use a dark and moody tone to edit wedding photos, the photos will likely be darker with primarily more saturated, warm brown tones. However, a dark and moody vibe can also be obtained with the use of deep blues, blacks, and black and white, keeping an emphasis on the shadows. Most dark and moody editing techniques include forest greens, desaturated purples, maroons, silver, dull golds, navy blue, and gray. In contrast to the bright and airy wedding photo editing trend, dark and moody is all about enhancing the drama of a photograph.

The photographer might include moody and dark skies or play with lighting to add some shadows – either way, we think this photo editing trend is the go-to for many wedding photo editors trying to add a certain mysterious element and highlighting the mood in photographs. With more couples being open to unique wedding photos and ideas, this editing technique is great for couples who want to add a twist to their romance.

3. Black and White

Black and white photo of a groom holding the bride in his arms in front of a wall
Image Credit @cyndi_araujo

Black and white has always been a classic photo editing technique, and it will never go out of style. Some moments are just more impactful in black and white – especially those that aim to capture emotions. The first look with the parents or the groom, the father daughter dance, the toast – these are all extremely emotional and raw moments, and some of these could narrate the story better when in black and white. Applying the black and white editing technique is the best way to make these photos stand out. It can really help bring a candid moment to life. Many people associate black and white photographs with candid or photojournalistic wedding photography styles, and we couldn’t agree more because these photos are all about the story behind the shot!

Related Read: Black and White Wedding Photos: Why They Are Timeless

4. Grainy

Infographic stating make images look like film by adding grain

While there’s no substitute for film, in the age of digital, high-definition photographs, adding grain using post-production techniques and wedding photo editing software can make your photos look like they were shot on film. Since it tends to get expensive to shoot on film, it’s not common for couples to ask their wedding photographers to do so. However, this style of editing enables couples to get those film-like photographs without having to shift their budget too much.

Adding grain to photos during post-production is a trend that has been around for a while and seems to get more popular by the year. This effect tends to give photographs more texture, and it goes without saying, takes the viewer to a different era. Since shooting on film is still an expensive option, and various photo editing software have enabled many wedding photographers to add a film-like effect to photos with ease, we think this style of editing continues to be a strong and timeless contender in the race of wedding image editing trends in 2021.

Related Read: How To Add Grain In Photoshop

5. HDR

A jumpshot of bride and groom along with the bridesmaids and groomsmen
Image Credit @iqphoto

HDR editing, which stands for ‘high dynamic range’, gives a more 3 dimensional look to images. Details really stand out in this style of photography and colors are often saturated. It’s not in very high demand since it takes some getting used to, but it’s certainly a wedding photo editing technique that’s seen a strong rise. This style works best with interior, landscape or nature photography but can often be used for group wedding photos too. But both photographers and wedding photo editors use it with caution since HDR editing tends to appear jarring and often makes skin tones look unrealistic as well.

Even though this is not an extremely popular wedding photo editing trend, it’s certainly something to experiment with. In 2021, since more couples may prefer outdoor venues, HDR editing could prove to be a popular choice for editing photos that feature wide-open spaces, mountains, or other scenic landscapes.

Infographic stating you do not need to incorporate every wedding photo editing trend into your editing

There are so many styles of editing photos. What style a photo editor or photographer picks depends on the subject and nature of the photograph, but it also depends on the kind of wedding and any specific expectations that the couple might have. There are no big changes in wedding photo editing, but there are definitely trends that we see rising in demand in 2021. It goes without saying that you don’t need to incorporate every trend into your post-production photo editing process, but knowing about what may trend in 2021 could help you expand your skill set, offer more to your couples and stay up to date with what’s happening in the wedding photography industry.

Further Read: 10 Wedding Photography Trends That Will Rule 2021

At ShootDotEdit, we believe that wedding photographs can do it all. However, you don’t have to be the photographer and the photo editor too, and therefore, we offer professional photo editing services that match your style and requirements. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, take a look at our price plans.


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