I love lists. They make me feel reassured; that everything is accounted for and nothing will be forgotten. I would be lost without my ‘To Do’ list and like to put post-its on my suitcase before traveling so I don’t forget my toothbrush. While list are part of my daily routine, when it comes to documentary photography, a wedding photography shot list can distract your photographer and cause them to miss the REAL moments. You want your photographer to be immersed in the day, observing every moment and recording the day as it unfolds. A professional wedding photographer will know what to capture and it is important to trust them.
If you are planning a few surprises throughout the day or have specific details with lots of sentimental value, let your photographer know. They will be sure to take note of it and be more prepared on the day. I always ask my couples if there are extra special guests outside the immediate family and wedding party that they may have a close relationship with. This may be an Aunt who was like a mother to you or your Dad’s friend that was there for you since a baby. Being more informed allows me to keep an eye out and capture them candidly throughout the day.
There is one aspect of the day that requires a shot list – the formal photographs. I personally like to keep these short and sweet as my priority on your wedding day is to capture moments while you and your guests enjoy yourselves. If this sounds good to you, I suggest the following for a thirty minute session:
Bride & Groom with all parents, siblings and grandparents
Bride & Groom with Bride’s parents, siblings and grandparents
Bride & Groom with Bride’s parents
Bride & Groom with Groom’s parents
Bride & Groom with Groom’s parents, siblings and grandparents
Bride & Groom with Wedding Party
Bride with Bridesmaids
Groom with Groomsmen
I also like to get the names and relationships of everyone in the formal photographs. This helps me prepare a location that will fit everyone comfortably and it is so much nicer when you can address everyone by name.
If you liked this blogpost you may also like my previous post ‘Choosing Your Wedding Photographer’