I see posts in Facebook bride groups about the wedding day shot list all the time. Here is what I see: “hey girls! I’m working on my wedding day shot list and photography Pinterest board. What should I put on it? What are some absolute must-have photos?”. Here’s a secret though. Experienced wedding photographers don’t need (and often don’t like) bride’s presenting them with an over-detailed shot list or an entire Pinterest board laying out all the photos that should be taken.
Many of these brides aren’t micromanagers. They just don’t know any better. In fact, they have been wrongly educated by wedding blogs and magazines. Many large wedding blogs will tell brides that they need to create detailed shot lists so that their photographer can be sure to photograph everything. But this is a completely unnecessary task.
You can cross coming up with a photography shot list off of your wedding planning to-do list! If you have hired a professional wedding photographer, he/she knows what photos to take of the day. As wedding photographers, this is our job. A good photographer will already have a list of events and details that he/she always makes sure to photograph on wedding days.
You may have received a questionnaire from your photographer that asks for a shot list. We have this in our questionnaire too. That can be a little confusing. It’s not that we are looking for you to tell us all that you want photographed. Rather, we want you to list the things that are especially important for you and events/details that we may not know about.
Examples of this could be that you have an heirloom bracelet that you will be wearing. That would be a great thing to list so that your photographer can be sure to get it included in the detail photos. If your friend is singing a song during your ceremony and you want that photographed, include that in your list. Doing so will help to make sure that your photographer knows to be in a good spot (at the right time) to photograph your friend. Or perhaps your groom and groomsmen have plans to play golf before they get ready for the wedding. If you want photos of that, it would be necessary to include that in the wedding day shot list so that your photographer can make sure that his/her timeline allots for that.
What is important is to provide your photographer with a detailed family photo list. This list should include all the names of the family members you want in your formal family photos. You should also list all of the family combinations that you want. We (like many wedding photographers) photograph the family formals strictly based on the list provided to us. If a family member or a family combination is not on the list, it will likely not be photographed.
So, to wrap this up succinctly: If a particular shot is especially important to you, you have something unusual planned or have special details, let your wedding photographer know. That and a family photos list is all you need to come up with. Your wedding photographer will be able to capture the rest of your day without you needing to come up with a wedding day shot list.