How to Create a Shot List for Your Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography

Though a shot list isn’t necessary for every wedding photography, it can be beneficial. A shot list helps guide and direct your photographer while allowing them creativity.

Your initial shot list should include pictures of your immediate family. This might involve taking multiple combinations of everyone.

Decide on Your Style

Weddings are significant milestones that you’ll remember for years to come, which makes working closely with your photographer to develop an agenda of shots that includes everything you want captured on this crucial day.

Wedding couples should include certain essentials on their shot list for any successful celebration, regardless of style and theme. First, identify what elements reflect your aesthetic;

There are various photographic styles to consider for your wedding photography needs. Traditional photographs might take the form of conventional portraiture, while documentary-style shots offer a more documentary feel. Elopement weddings have also gained in popularity. Some photographers specialize in film or analog photography to capture weddings with a more organic look and feel.

Your photography style should reflect your interests and best encapsulate your special day. However, regardless of its identity, it’s crucial that you share a shot list with your photographer so they know exactly what shots are needed on the big day.

As you plan your shot list, consider any family group photos you would like taken – from all immediate family to grandparents and godparents – plus any “special guests” such as an efficient or other close family or relatives with whom you’d like pictures taken.

Create a Timeline

Many brides-to-be find wedding inspiration on platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and wedding blogs. However, these posts often offer standard photos likely to be captured during an average wedding day. But remember: your special day should celebrate everything unique about your love story—not the usual photos from past celebrations.

Therefore, it is crucial that you work closely with your photographer to develop a wedding shot list that details all the pictures you need for your big day. This will not only ensure you capture every important shot but also allow your photographer to easily track what photos need to be taken throughout the day.

One of the critical components of creating a shot list is selecting which family groupings you want to capture. Weddings provide couples with their first opportunity to bring extended families together, thus making these photos valuable heirlooms and legacies of future generations. Therefore, an organized plan for photographing these essential family moments is paramount.

As part of your wedding photography budget, it is also advisable to create a shot list that enumerates any additional groups or combinations of people you would like captured, such as grandparents, cousins, or any other significant people that should feature prominently in your photographs. This could include grandparents, cousins, or anyone else important enough for inclusion.

Pre Wedding Shoot

Prioritize Your Most Important Photos

Your wedding day will undoubtedly include many unforgettable moments that won’t fit perfectly into a single photo. That’s why sharing an extensive shot list with your photographer before your big day begins is wise. This allows them to be creative while still ensuring you capture all of the essential images you envisioned a photo album of.

When creating your shot list, prioritize family groupings and personal details. Inform the photographer of any family dynamics that might make for uncomfortable moments (e.g., divorced parents, elderly relatives in poor health, or someone who recently passed) so they can plan accordingly and avoid potentially awkward moments.

An integral component of your shot list should include taking photographs that capture your venue’s details, ceremony sites, and reception—such as place cards, table settings, floral arrangements, favors, or centerpieces—that will help you remember this special day years later.

Keep it Simple

Moments on a Pre Wedding Shoot day that you only get one chance at are often emotional shots, such as the newlyweds’ first look or photos right after the ceremony. Making a shot list can help ensure you capture these critical moments before they pass you by.

Another category of must-have shots involves your family and loved ones. Weddings often serve as an occasion for extended families to come together, and the images captured here will become treasured legacies for you and your partner. To keep things organized and efficient on the big day, we advise creating a list of family and loved ones you plan to photograph with your bride or groom.

This list can be easily adjusted during the portrait session to include new combinations. This makes for faster portrait sessions with all your family and loved ones and allows your photographer more time to capture all those candid and fun images that make wedding photography such a meaningful memory.

At our studio, we strongly encourage our couples to be creative with their photos. Sure, a cake photo is excellent, but don’t overlook taking close-ups of flowers or shots of you and your groomsmen laughing as part of telling the story of your big day! These moments are what will truly capture its magic.