What Do I Do If I Don’t Like My Wedding Photos?

Updated May 5, 2023

You’d be surprised if I told you how many brides dislike their wedding photos.

Sometimes, the reason is the bride’s look. In other cases, it’s the editing style.

It doesn’t undermine your concerns in any way, but the issue is common and, most often, fixable.

First, you should remember that your wedding isn’t a Vogue shoot. Of course, wanting to look your best in the pictures is natural. However, the core objective of a wedding photo shoot isn’t your appearance.

Don’t go too harsh on yourself. Other people view you completely differently and likely overlook the imperfections you do.

Most importantly, for your husband, you’re the most beautiful woman in the world, no matter how you look in the pictures.

Photography contracts exist to help you resolve misunderstandings. If you’re unhappy with the photographer’s work, communicate your concerns with them. Together, you’ll likely find a solution that suits both of you.

If you believe the wedding photo shoot is ruined and there’s no way to fix it, you may opt for a reshoot. However, remember that while you can recreate your look, you won’t replicate the emotions you’ve felt on that day.

Have Realistic Expectations

Naturally, every bride wants her wedding pictures to be perfect -best of best. But in real life, numerous factors affect how your pictures will turn out.

These include your own look, your communication with the photographer, the lighting in the wedding venue, and that’s only the gist of it.

You shouldn’t expect brilliant results if you’ve found the photographer at the last minute, haven’t checked their portfolio, or didn’t communicate your preferences and vision.

So it’s crucial to prepare for your wedding photoshoot in advance to prevent regretting it afterward.

You must also bear in mind how professional cameras work. Each lens has some degree of deformation.

If the wedding photographer was shooting the entire event using the same lens, you could expect some photos to be not as good as expected. For instance, a wide-angle lens makes people on portraits look a few pounds heavier.

If the wedding venue had dull yellow lighting, post-editing might help shift the pictures into cool tones. You must evaluate the environmental conditions and the photographer’s professionalism to set realistic expectations.

Don’t Be So Critical

Wedding is supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, and many brides feel pressured to look their best in wedding pictures.

That’s understandable, as you have no other chance to repeat such a photoshoot. However, don’t go too harsh on yourself and the pictures.

The path to self-love is rocky for some of us, but the journey is worth it. When we’re free from criticism of ourselves, we can judge our looks adequately.

First, you need to evaluate your perspective. Don’t rush to judge the pictures based on your first impression. Instead, relax and look at them a couple more times.

It would help if you determined what exactly has caused your dislike. Then, after deciding whether the issue with your photos is reversible, you can start thinking of the solution.

You can’t do much if you dislike your own choice of dress or makeup. Of course, that isn’t very pleasant, but that’s your opinion that may differ from how others see you.

Editing issues can be easily solved by communicating with the photographer. We’ll talk about it in detail in a minute, but you should understand imperfect editing isn’t the end of the world.

Ask for a Second Opinion

Our vision of ourselves doesn’t always align with the vision of others. As a result, every person you meet sees a different version of you. That’s disturbing and relaxing at the same time.

Ask your friends, mom, or husband for a second opinion. People who love us tend to see us as beautiful no matter the angle and hairstyle. And these people may love you even more than you love yourself.

That’s not to say that your mom or husband can’t judge you adequately because they think you’re always beautiful.

But, on the other hand, they’re the only people who can see the real you as they’re free from prejudices and criticism towards you.

Other people may pay attention to other things on your wedding pictures or evaluate the same things differently.

For example, your nose, arm, or asymmetrical brows may not be visible in the big picture. And while you see a messy hairstyle or odd facial expression, others may only notice your natural locks and a happy smile.

Check Your Contract

If neither a second opinion nor self-persuasion help, you may want to investigate more practical methods of solving the issue.

The first step in determining how to deal with your dislike of wedding photos is checking the wedding photographer contract.

In your wedding photographer contract, you’re searching for information about post-editing, amendments, and quality of photos.

You need to know exactly what was promised before you contact the photographer. That’s if you haven’t read the contract thoroughly in a pre-wedding rush.

Some wedding photographers don’t edit pictures at all or only edit a few of them, though this is rare. Others may only use their distinct editing style and not accept any changes.

You’re lucky if the contract welcomes amendments and additional requests after the photos have been sent to you. However, such post-work is typically limited to a certain number of pictures or may come at an additional charge.

Another point to check is whether the photographer lets you choose pictures for editing or does this themselves. If the photographer chooses photos for editing without consulting you, misunderstandings may occur.

When we look at our own photos, we typically pay attention to our face and body look and neglect the rest. The photographer, in turn, evaluates the composition and lighting and only afterward how you look at the picture.

Be aware that your appeals may not be adequate from the contract’s side. In other words, your subjective perception of the photos may not reflect the real picture.

If the photographer didn’t follow the contract, you could feel free to request additional editing or total re-work free of charge.

Other ways, be prepared to pay extra for tailoring the result to your expectations that weren’t addressed with the photographer in advance.

Request Extra Editing

Photoshop can do wonders. Most of your photos can be fixed with extra editing unless the entire composition is wrong.

If the contract allows it, request your photographer to help. If they refuse to, you can hire a professional photo retoucher to do it instead.

Sometimes, you may dislike your wedding pictures solely due to wrong color grading and not even realize the fix is so simple. The color may change the perception of the same photo drastically.

In other cases, you may wish to remove something from the background, fix your hairstyle, or make your waist thinner.

Depending on the background, this may not be possible on some pictures, though. So, again, it’s best to consult the photographer to find out whether they can meet your request.

Request More Unedited Files

You may dislike the wedding photos you’ve received, but have you seen all of them or only 10-20 edited ones? If the latter, you may request the photographer to see unedited files.

Usually, after such a request, the photographer sends out photos in JPG format. However, this file type isn’t suitable for high-quality editing as it’s compressed. So, after checking the pictures, create a list of the ones you like.

You’re lucky if your contract allows amendments or if the photographer is a nice person who agrees to do extra work.

But if they refuse, you’ll need to find someone else to do the editing. In this case, request the chosen pictures in the RAW format used for editing by professional photographers.

Try Out Black and White

If the photographer refuses to do additional editing, you may try this simple fix yourself.

Black and white filter can make any picture seem more artistic and hide skin imperfections.

Plus, black and white wedding photos are a timeless classic. This solution is especially suitable for pictures made in bad lighting.

Reshoot Them

The very last option you should try is to reshoot your wedding photos. After all, you can’t replicate the sincere emotions you’ve expressed on your real wedding day. Plus, it’s time and money-consuming.

You’ll have to pay not only for the second photographer’s services but also for the venue, makeup, and hairstyle.

Of course, you can try to make everything yourself and make the reshoot in the nearby park, but do you want to risk it again?

Some couples deliberately don’t hire a photographer for the actual wedding and make a photoshoot in advance or afterward.

Firstly, a pre or post-wedding photoshoot eliminates the stress and tension and lets you feel more confident in front of the camera.

Secondly, your guests don’t have to wait for you to finish the session. Thirdly, you can try out different looks in a single photoshoot.

Either way, it’s better to opt for a reshoot than to become upset every time you open your wedding album. The pictures are supposed to bring back good memories, not ruin your mood.

Image credit: Pixabay

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