As a wedding photographer, you know that the wedding day can move at a million miles an hour! You’re so busy working to capture the perfect photos that you don’t often have time to stop and think or strategize. You’re working on someone else’s timeline, and you usually have to keep in mind that daylight will only last so long, too! This can be stressful, to say the least, especially because you want to make sure you don’t miss any great shots and important moments.
One of my favorite ways to simplify wedding photoshoots and ensure I take all of the essential photos couples want is to work from a wedding photography shot list. This kind of list is helpful for all wedding photographers to have, especially if you’re just starting out in wedding photography (Incidentally, if you’re new to wedding photography and you’re wondering what to wear to weddings, I got you! Check out my guide.)
A wedding photography shot list is basically just a list of the kinds of photos you want to include for every wedding you shoot. Your shot list should include photos from throughout the entire day, starting with getting ready all the way to the end of the reception. The goal is that your photography captures all of the important moments of the day that the couple wants to remember.
Of course, you probably won’t be able to include every kind of photo in every wedding you photograph, and that’s okay. Every wedding is unique and will require slightly different photos with a slightly tailored wedding photography shot list, and that’s what makes each event so special.
The beauty of a wedding photography shot list is that it takes out a lot of the planning and guesswork on your end. If you already have a list of standard shots you know you’re going to take, that takes care of a lot of the planning before the wedding! You can just refer to your list for the majority of your shots. Before you know it, your wedding photography shot list will be second nature to you, and you won’t even have to think about it.
That being said, I’m not saying that having a wedding photography shot list removes the need for all planning. Brainstorming ideas, communicating with your clients, and familiarizing yourself with the venue are all still important. Your wedding photography shot list will simply help you be more focused as you plan these aspects.
As you plan your individual wedding photography shot list for each wedding, don’t forget to…
If you need to work on building out your own wedding photography shot list, I’m sharing mine with you today. Here are the essential photos that I recommend all wedding photographers capture…
Note: if the couple has opted not to do a first look, many of these shots can be portrait options to take after the ceremony.
Note: If the couple opts for a first look, you may take some or most of these photos before the ceremony.
Whew, that was a lot of photo ideas to get through! If this wedding photography shot list feels overwhelming to you, I want to encourage you: you’ve got this! You’re a wedding photographer for a reason… because you already have an eye for capturing these kinds of photos.
This wedding photography shot list isn’t meant to intimidate you. Rather, use this as a tool to simplify things for you. You can use it as a guide so you don’t have to spend as much time planning the logistical details of your shoots, and instead can focus on what you do best: capturing magical, romantic photos that your clients will love!
Happy photographing, my friends!
P.S. Do you have any essential wedding photos you’d add to this list? Let me know! I’d love to hear your ideas.