A professional wedding photographer will know how to capture both the major and minor details of your celebration, such as a shot of the rings, the bridesmaids seeing the bride’s finished look, or, of course, the kiss. However, every client is different and will have unique expectations about what they want their photographer to shoot – this is where a shot list comes in. A wedding photographer will often request that their clients give them a shot list to establish any important moments that need to be captured or portraits that need to be organized. This helps ensure they end the day with a camera roll filled to the brim with all the photos you could ever wish for! If you aren’t sure exactly what to include on your shot list for your photographer, these tips will help you think of every detail that can’t be missed.
Use the Shot List as a Guide – Not an Artistic Direction
Your photographer is the artist in this situation, so don’t try to stifle their artistic vision and tell them how to actually get a shot. Of course, if you want a specific shot at a certain location – such as a photo of you and your partner in front of a beautiful water fountain at the venue – let your photographer know. However, don’t get too caught up in the nitty-gritty details of the shot, such as the angles or the exact poses. Let the photographer know about your general ideas, and then let them work their magic!
Leave the Obvious Shots Off
Your wedding photographer is a professional – they know what major moments need to be captured, and will have their own basic shot list they will be working off. Listing out the standard shots will just be a waste of your time, so don’t focus on those. If you are worried about them not getting some shots, you can have a casual conversation about the basics that they are planning to capture so that you can make sure you are both on the same page.
Create Portrait Groupings for Family Members and the Wedding Party
Your photographer likely won’t know every family and wedding party member, so it is important for you to create a list of the different groupings that they need to capture. You’ll likely want a photo of the newlyweds with both sides of immediate family members, or maybe some less obvious shots, such as a photo of the bride with all of her cousins. Make a list of each portrait group that is important to capture, so that the photographer can easily run down the list and get every photo you request. Be sure to also give the actual names of each person in the group (rather than just “group of cousins”). This will make it easier to gather everyone for the photo op.
When it comes to making the final order of these family and wedding party shots, try to group them in a way that makes the most logical sense. You won’t want to take photos with some family members, have them go off to enjoy cocktail hour, and then have to spend time wrangling them again for another series of shots. Try your best to schedule it in a way that makes moving from group to group as easy as possible.
Think of Sentimental Items or Moments
Maybe your “something blue” is a piece of jewelry that your grandmother wore on her wedding day, and you want a photo of you, her, and the piece. Maybe you’ll be sharing the father-daughter dance with both your father and your step-father, and will want to capture both moments. Maybe you want to recreate a shot that your parents took on their wedding day. You’ll likely have some unique moments or items incorporated into your wedding that might not be obvious to the photographer, so make sure you inform them of these aspects so that they know to capture them!
Create a Sensical and Concise List
Make your list easy to follow so that the photographer doesn’t have to spend too much time figuring out exactly what you are requesting. Create the final shot list draft in chronological order so that they can better see how the day will flow. Also be sure to be reasonable about what they can capture – if you’ve hired a main photographer and a second shooter, don’t make a list that requires at least 5 photographers! Talk to your photographer if you aren’t able to grasp exactly how much they can capture. They can give you some guidance in creating a list that is achievable and encompasses the important details.
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you to connect with wedding vendors in Georgia and the Southeast. These impressive professionals of all talents will help bring your wedding vision to life!