Mens Wedding Shoes and Watch

Do We Need to Give Our Photographer a Shot List?

We often see and hear this question come up in the wedding community and our short answer is both yes and no. Let me explain.

If you have hired an established wedding photographer, they will know all of the traditional photos to get. They will know to offer to take pictures of the bride’s dress being zipped up, the first kiss, the first dances and other very traditional things that occur at most weddings in the US. Giving your established wedding photographer such a list could actually cause missed shots of natural and tender moments. If the photographer is busy checking off the photo checklist you give them, they might not be able to be as present at your wedding and could easily miss spontaneous and beautiful candids of once-in-a-lifetime moments that happen so frequently and naturally at weddings.

This being said, photographers are not mindreaders. If your deceased relative’s favorite flower is going to be in your wedding bouquet, or if you are obsessed with your shoes, or if you have given your future spouse a special gift for the wedding day and would like your photographer to focus on these items, tell them! You will be very pleased with their attention to details that matter to you, rather than being sad that in the hundreds of photos you receive, these details were not made a prominent focal point.

In addition to key details, you will also want to give your photographer a list of group photos you would like. In creating this list, please take into account that each grouping will take roughly three minutes to set up. If children under eight are involved in these pictures, please provide for five minutes per grouping to make sure the photographer is able to catch everyone looking in the correct direction.

For group photos, please provide your photographer with a list of names. Calling for “James” rather than “Uncle-of-the-Groom” will help Uncle James know when to stand next to you during group shots. It is often helpful to have members of your wedding party help make sure people waiting to be in group shots stay close by and even more helpful to chase down people you want photos with who might have wandered into cocktail hour.

We hope this has been helpful in thinking about what photos are most important to you and we hope that this helps you form a stronger team with your wedding photographer.

Congratulations and best of luck on your big day!