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Say Bye to “Authentic,” and Choose One Of These Words Instead

You’ve asked and you’ve patiently waited, and now the day has finally arrived! Here are ten words you can use to replace “authentic!” 

“Wait…what’s wrong with authentic?” you ask. 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, boys and girls, but unfortunately this beautiful word has been overused (and incorrectly used) until all meaning has been pretty much wrung out of it. 

From the most adventurous elopement photographers who fill their galleries with candid images to the editorial photographers who rigidly pose each photo, everyone calls their work authentic. And I suppose there are aspects of authenticity to every photographer’s work, but, sadly, the days of boasting an “authentic photography experience” and having it mean anything at all are in the rearview. 

But that’s okay! The great news is that there are plenty of other, more specific words to choose from to illustrate what you mean when you’d naturally reach for “authentic.” So, let’s dig into a few of my favorites so you can find the ones that perfectly match your style:  

1. Genuine

This one-to-one synonym for “authentic” is a great way to describe the candid emotions, interactions and connections that happen in front of your camera. 

2. Honest

This replacement for “authentic” is perfect for describing an open, truthful relationship with a client. If you pride yourself on sharing an unvarnished view of your life or the behind-the-scenes of your business, this is a great option to use in your tagline, too. 

3. Unrestrained

For describing photo sessions filled with the kind of laughter that lights up your clients’ entire faces, you won’t find a better word! This word also brings with it a vivid sense of freedom and abandon.

4. Sincere

If your work thrives on tender moments (looking at you, in-home lifestyle, maternity, and newborn photographers), this is the word you’ve been searching for your whole life. 

5. Earnest

This word describes intense authenticity, like the kind dark and moody, atmospheric photographers always seek to capture. It carries with it a seriousness that many of these other words don’t, so avoid pairing it with frivolous language to keep it, well, authentic.

6. Heartfelt

Because it is the perfect way to describe something that is deeply, strongly felt, this word should be in the back pocket of every wedding photographer. Use it to describe the letter a bride wrote to her groom or the first kiss they shared after being pronounced husband and wife. 

7. Unpolished

If “authentic” is THE MOST overused, the word “raw” isn’t too far behind. Rather than using either of these words, opt for “unpolished,” instead. 

8. Real

Sometimes the simplest way to say something is the best way. In those moments, don’t overwrite or try to get fancy. Instead, just go for this simple but effective option.

9. Carefree

This one is a perfect choice for family photographers who express a love for letting children play and run wild during sessions. If your work is defined by a candid, unposed, overwhelmingly joyful style, keep this word on hand. 

10. Liberated

If your photography experience is all about stepping outside of the ordinary and letting your clients’ personalities shine freely, this word should definitely be somewhere on your website. It’s an excellent option for adventure elopement photographers or destination photographers of any kind.

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Meet the copywriter for photographers.

Oh, hey!

I’m Erica, the brains behind the clacking computer keys! I’m an introverted extrovert, a sympathy crier who also loves to box, a person who reads comic books while wearing floral dresses…and plants flowers in Wonder Woman t-shirts. I’m a crazy collection of opposites and beyond excited to turn your astonishing personality into words that will build your business.

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