Your wedding is just weeks away, and your photographer requests your photography shot list for your wedding day. Oh dear, another task to add to your never-ending wedding checklist. Never fear, here are some tips on how to make a great photo shot list without adding stress to your day!

  1. Details

All great photographers are going to capture details of your wedding day. In fact, they are going to capture moments and details that you may not see yourself on the actual day. However, there may be some details that you want to make sure your photographer does not miss, so you will definitely want to include those on your shot list.

Perhaps you are carrying an heirloom brooch in your bouquet. Or maybe you are wearing a piece of jewelry from your soon to be mother-in-law on the big day. Make a note on the shot list of what that special family item is, and be sure to collect it, along with other detail items like your wedding rings, invitation suite, and shoes in one place for easy access for your photographer. 

  1. First Look

Whenever we are asked about whether or not a couple should have a first look, we can honestly say that our couples are evenly split as to whether or not they choose to schedule one into their wedding day. Some couples want that first moment to be private, while others want to save that first moment for the aisle. The decision to have a first look is entirely up to you as a couple.

Still can’t decide? How about an almost first look? Find a beautiful door at your venue, stand on either side of it, and hold hands without actually seeing one another. This is a great moment to exchange letters and have a moment to speak while still leaving the first look for the aisle.

Did you know there is more than one kind of first look? The most well-known is a first look for the couple, but you can also have a first look with your parents and your wedding party. You will love the reactions and photos of a big reveal with the father of the bride or your bridal party!

  1. Family Photos

Our couples often find the family photos to be the most daunting part of their shot list. If you have large families, it can be hard to decide how many different photo combinations you should have. If there are simply too many people, then we recommend one large group photo on both sides. If you are going to create smaller group photos, it is most helpful to list each family member’s name within that group. Instead of saying aunts, uncles, and cousins, list their actual names. This is tremendously helpful to your photographer and your planner who are calling out names during family photos. Insider’s secret – immediate family means your parents, siblings, and grandparents. Extended family is everyone else!

We recommend checking with parents and grandparents as they may have a particular photo they want captured and you would hate to upset them by not adding it to your list.

Families come in all shapes and sizes. Let your photographer know ahead of time if there are special circumstances when it comes to your family photos. The last thing a photographer wants to do is create an awkward moment by inviting people to be in a photo together when that may cause tension. They don’t know what you don’t share, so take a moment before your big day to make that note on your shot list.

  1. Planned Special Moments

Always include details on your shot list of special moments that your photographer may not be expecting. If you have a choreographed first dance, the photographer needs to know so they are properly set up before it starts. Planning a sorority or fraternity send-off song during the reception? Definitely important to include your photographer in that plan. Finally, talk to your photographer about your chosen send-off plan so they can perfectly capture that moment!

Just remember that a photography shot list is your friend! You will be so grateful you carefully thought through it once you get those beautiful photos back! What photos will you make sure to include on your photo shot list?