We know that wedding photographers are always on the hunt for great new songs to pair with their videos, so we asked international wedding photographer Jerry Ghionis how he goes about selecting music when he creates a video slideshow.

Jerry Ghionis

Jerry’s picky about his wedding tunes, and with good reason: “Quite simply, great music makes my photographs look better.”

Jerry Ghionis

His favorite songs have a few things in common. “A song always needs to have a smooth, subtle introduction. I also look for a consistent beat that’s not too fast throughout but also not too slow and mellow (which will make it drag on). I prefer a crescendo at some point and an obvious break in tempo to keep you interested in what you’re seeing. And finally, a powerful and sudden finale really works best.”

And what sorts of songs have those qualities? Take a look at Jerry’s top 5 tunes for wedding photography videos. His favorites are dramatic and emotional, and set the stage for images of couples in love.

1. “Daydreamin’” by Porsche Smith: This is the kind of song you can picture a happy couple swaying to for their first dance. The R&B ballad has lyrics tailor-made for weddings: “You’re the kind of man I see myself marrying.”

2. “Mi Ibiza” (Instrumental) by John Gentry Tennyson: The slow piano and subtle chimes of this quiet, thoughtful song would work well as a showcase for pre-wedding activities.

3. “Something’s Come Over Me” by Ernie Halter: With a gospel organ, guitar, and light drums as accompaniment, pop/soul artist Ernie Halter sings about wanting to make that special person happy every day. The song matches the tone of many engagement videos – sweet, loving, and with the couple focused on each other.

4. “You Are Why I Sing” by J’Nae: Slow, soulful, and sexy, this song is another one with wedding-ready lyrics. “You rescue me; you challenge me; you comfort me; you embellish me; you awaken me.”

5. “Destiny” (Instrumental) by Barrett Yeretsian: This instrumental features the clear beat and emotional drama Jerry looks for, with a recurring violin melody that lends the song elegance.

Of course, before you can select a song, you need a great style to go with it. A good choice for weddings is Chic, the style Jerry co-designed with Animoto and used in the video above.