Wedding Photography Shot List

Do you need a wedding photography shot list for your wedding day? In my experience as a wedding photographer, that depends on a few things. You should probably bring a shot list to your big day if:

  • You have a very large family attending the wedding
  • You would like to get very  specific combinations of family and/or friends in your formal portraits
  • You have a number of specific wedding shots you would like to receive that aren't typical for all weddings

You likely do not need a wedding photography shot list if:

  • You prefer a more organic feel to your photos, and would like to see mostly candid shots of your wedding
  • You would rather not have formal, posed portraits taken with your family (or would like only a select few)
  • You have talked with your photographer about capturing your wedding in a more photojournalistic or documentary style

What Else Does My Photographer Need to Know about My Wedding Style?

Communicating well with your photographer before your wedding day is the number one thing you can do to ensure that you are ecstatic when you receive your professional photos. Any wedding photographer worth his salt will come with fresh ideas, help you with posing, and get all of the 'typical' wedding shots- photos of your rings, bouquets, shoes and invitations, first kiss, first dances, toasts, ceremony, final send off, etc. 

However, every bride and every wedding is a bit different and so it is important for the couple and the photographer to communicate their expectations clearly. Here are a few things your photographer needs to know to photograph your wedding.

Important Details for Your Wedding Photography Shot List

Are there elements to your wedding that are particularly important to you? Perhaps the necklace you are wearing belonged to your grandmother. Maybe your groom's cuff links belonged to his late father, and it's very important that they are documented. Details like this are unique to your wedding alone, so make sure to communicate these to your photographer so he/she knows to pay them extra attention.

What Do You Prefer to Leave out of Photos?

I've met plenty of brides who couldn't care less about receiving photos of their invitations and save-the-date cards. Some brides would rather we not spend any time photographing the kids who attend their wedding. Others would rather we skip photos of her pulling her dress on, and opt to dress in a private changing room instead. Take some time to look through others wedding photos (Pinterest is a great place to start!) and try to determine what type of things you keep seeing that you'd rather not have. Communicating this to your photographer in advance will ensure that you don't feel like you've received a number of photos that don't speak to you.

Family Details to Consider

Every family has its own intricacies, and these are the things your photographer needs to know about before the big day. Perhaps either the bride or groom's parents are divorced, and you suspect there will be some tension between them in the family portrait. Maybe one of the bride or groom's parents is remarried, and you'd like to have several sets of photos with the step parent and biological parent, but not in the same photo together. Or perhaps two members of your wedding party used to date, and you'd like to arrange the wedding party formals accordingly. As photographers, we have seen all of these things happen in weddings. Every family has it's own unique situation. Alerting your photographer in advance can make these situations go much smoother on your  wedding day, and you'll find that your guests feel more at ease too.

General Expectations for Your Photographer

There are certainly a lot of details to cover with your wedding photographer, but please don't forget this last one! Setting general expectations regarding your photos and your experience with the photographer in advance is critical. A wedding photography shot list can help, but it is certainly not the whole picture. Try to envision yourself receiving your photos for the first time. What are you hoping to see? Would you prefer lots of photos of your guests talking and laughing, or just a handful? Do you really love and want close up photos of your table settings, or do you find these to be rather unimportant? Are formal portraits important to you? Would you rather not spend much time standing for posed shots? Would you like your photographer to focus heavily on the details of your day (rings, tables, venue shots, close up details of your dress and hair pins)? Are candid shots of you and your groom the most important part to you?

Below is a sample wedding photography shot list. It is always a good idea to customize your shot list to meet your needs, and to communicate this to your photographer in advance of the big day!

Wedding Photography Shot List

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Wild Fox Weddings provides beautiful wedding and engagement photography, boudoir photo shoots, custom wedding packages, and pre-wedding photography in Portland, Oregon. We gladly support LGBTQ weddings and ceremonies. 

Oregon based wedding photography includes Bend, Salem, Springfield, Eugene, Corvallis, Seaside, Oregon City, Medford, Grants Pass, Roseburg, Oregon Coast, and Eastern Oregon. We also serve many parts of Washington, including Vancouver, Seattle, Kent, Bellevue, Renton, and Olympia.

We are available to travel- please contact us for details on your area.