What is the point of a wedding photography list? Let me preface this with a not so good reason to create a wedding shot list. If you want an exhaustive list of every possible shot you can imagine, because you don’t want your wedding photographer to miss something, then your wedding photos will end up missing out on something more important than getting “all the shots”. What a wedding photographer does is incredibly creative and nothing kills creativity like an exhaustive “to do” list. You want your wedding photography focused on getting the best, not just getting it all done. Great wedding
photographers are graded on their creativity, not the completion of a list. Now, of course, your photographer shouldn’t be missing “the kiss” and other important shots, but all of these shots are obvious to a seasoned wedding photographer. If a photographer is overwhelmed with trying to get in every shot on a list then you’ll be missing out on the most valuable asset you paid for, that which makes professional wedding photographers so good: their creative ability to capture moments. After all, this is what makes one photographer stand out over another, their creative choices. All photographers are driven and motivated by their creativity and passion, be cautious to not put out that flame of creativity. It’s important to examine the results a wedding photographer had with past weddings in order to understand how he/she captures every important moment. And then, trust them to capture your wedding with the same love, attention, creativity, and passion. Trusting your photographer should be one of the reasons you decided to hire your wedding photographer over others.
So what is the use of a wedding shot list? It has its uses when planning out your day. Our wedding tip to you is to use a wedding photography list to help you plan for the “complete” picture and to help you with the timing of your wedding day. There is nothing worse than making the mistake of having a beach wedding, having incredible decorations, only to discover that the backdrop of your photos as you walk down the isle is going to be a beach access parking lot. An experienced wedding photographer can help you think through and planning these details. You, or your wedding coordinator, are going to be talking with other vendors to prepare for what the day will look like, and a conversation with your wedding photographer can help you prepare for those conversations. A photographer is not only thinking about what will be at your wedding, but also what your wedding will look like in pictures. As for the timing of a wedding, this may require a more lengthy conversation with your wedding photographer. You don’t want to make the mistake of allowing 30 minutes for wedding party photos when the kind of pictures you’re hoping for
and the size of your group ended up taking twice as long. Don’t leave the timing of your wedding pictures up to guessing or the opinion of a non-photographer. Hopefully you and your photographer will have conversations that will allow for a good evaluation of how long the photography moments you value the most will take. One final important note, as you think through photos that include people other than you, a helpful list to share with your photographer is what family members need to be in the shots. But even then get someone else to handling this list, who knows all of those family members and can spot them in a crowd and corral them. The photographer should also be made aware, ahead of time, of any family dynamics that could complicate photos. We hope this helps you make the best decisions for your wedding photography.
All photos courtesy of Mary Basnight Photography.