The five most commonly misused words by wedding photographers

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Dear Miss Communication,

Please answer this once and for all, is it isle or aisle?

Love, Photographer


Dear Photographer,

As photographers, we write all the timeprobably even more time than we’re taking photographs! We’re responsible for a whole lot of correspondence with clients, social media statuses, blog posts, website content, marketing materials and more, so it makes sense to get the words right. I’m glad you wrote in today.

I polled 16 wedding photographers, and these were the words they reported as most likely to misspell or misuse. Since it’s difficult to be a wedding photographer and not use these words, I hope this tip sheet will be useful when presented with an aisle on an isle.

1. Aisle and isle

This is the most common mix-up reported by wedding photographers, so here’s an easy way to remember the correct usage:

“The amazing bride walks down the aisle.” (Amazing and aisle both start with an “a.”)

“After the wedding, the couple will escape to a tropical isle for their honeymoon.”

2. Sneak peek and sneak peak

Think of this as being EASY, and you’ll remember that the correct version has two ee’s.

“I posted a sneak peek for the client.”

If you insist on using the word peak, it would fit in this case. “I invited the client to come to my mountaintop studio for a sneak peek on a peak.”

3. Alter and altar

If you photograph weddings in churches or chapels, you’ll want to know that the ceremony will almost always have an altar. An easy way to remember this one? Altar is spelled a little like star, and your clients should always be the star.

“The couple stood at the altar and exchanged vows.”

“The couple stood at the altar so that the seamstress could alter their hemlines.”

4. Literally

When you use the word literally, you are are describing what actually happened, so it is a good idea to stick to the facts.

Poor choice of words: “She literally fell over backwards when her new husband sang a solo at the wedding.”

Better choice of words: “She was thrilled and surprised when her new husband sang a solo at the wedding.”

5. Its and it’s

This might take you back to elementary school, but it’s (it is) a good basic to review, since it comes up so frequently.

“It’s a great day for a wedding!” (To check on proper usage here, see if you can substitute it is for it’s. Yes? Then it is a great day for a wedding!)

Pencil & Lens

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