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Your Wedding Day Must Have Shot List

Mar 12, 2020

Your big day may be a year away or even just a few weeks away, but either way, you’ve probably been thinking about what photos you want to get from your wedding day.

While every photographer is different, and every wedding day is sure to be different, there will always be a list of photos that each bride wants to have in her wedding album. After photographing weddings for 10 years, we have a pretty good understanding of what those photos are.

Now, we have to stress that because each wedding is different, that means that each wedding has a different timeline, different key players and different brides and grooms whose photo priorities are different. For example, some brides want photos of each of their guests that they invited to be a part of their magical day, whereas other brides tell us “Don’t spend time photographing my guests, we’ve hire you to photograph us on our big day, not them”. So because of that, the shot list changes for each wedding. Additionally, since things happen so fast on a wedding day, no photographer can ever guarantee EACH and every photo on your shot list, but we always try our best to get them all, especially the most important ones.

One last thing to think about, your photographer will NOT appreciate if you print this out and hand it to them to cross off as they go throughout your day. In fact, having to do that will slow them down immensely. Simply talk with your photographer beforehand and ask if any of these shots aren’t ones they typically get and can they be sure to get them for your day. This is a list our photographers have in their head and just capture throughout the day, so having a physical shot list isn’t necessary, but be sure to communicate expectations with your photographers.

With all that being said, this is the shot list we aim to get at each and every wedding we photograph:

Bride’s Detail Images (in a combination of images) (Usually 10-40 images)

  • Dress
  • Rings
  • Shoes
  • Garter
  • Bouquet
  • Jewelry
  • Perfume
  • Ring Box
  • Hair Clips
  • Any heirloom pieces

Groom’s Detail Images (in a combination of images) (Usually 10-30 images)

  • Shoes
  • Cologne
  • Belt
  • Tie / Bowtie
  • Pocket Square
  • Cuff Links
  • Watch
  • Cigar
  • Bottle of Drink of Choice
  • Boutonnière
  • Any heirloom pieces

Wedding Day Detail Images (in a combination of images) (Usually 50-100 images)

  • Centerpieces
  • Invitations
  • Programs
  • Menus
  • Signage
  • Cake
  • Gift Table
  • Remembrance Table
  • Front of Venue
  • Room overview photo of Reception Hall
  • Ceremony area empty
  • Seating chart
  • Bar menu
  • Signature Drinks
  • Wedding Favors

Bride’s Prep Photos (Usually 50-100 images)

  • Bride getting makeup done
  • Bride in robe
  • Bride + Bridesmaids in robe
  • Bride + Bridesmaids toasting champagne
  • Bride giving bridesmaids gifts
  • Bride giving mom gifts
  • Bride getting into dress
  • Bride putting on shoes
  • Mother-of-Bride helping put on jewelry
  • Bride putting on garter
  • First look with Bridesmaids
  • Bride getting veil put in
  • Bride spritzing perfume
  • Prayer photo with bride + bridesmaids
  • Beauty shot with bride in bridal suite

Groom’s Prep Photos (Usually 10-20 Images)

  • Groom buttoning up shirt
  • Groom Putting on tie
  • Groom Putting on shoes
  • Groom + best man putting on cuff links
  • Groom + best man putting on jacket
  • Groom with mom putting on boutonnière
  • Groom with guys adjusting pocket squares
  • Groom checking watch
  • Groom spraying cologne
  • GQ photo of groom
  • GQ photo of groom + groomsmen

First Look Photos (Usually 20-50 Images)

  • First look with dad
    • Dad standing alone
    • Dad with bride behind him
    • Dad turning to see bride
    • Dad hugging bride
    • Bride’s Gift to Dad
    • Portrait of Bride and Dad
  • First Look with Groom
    • Groom Standing Alone
    • Groom with Bride behind him
    • Groom turning to see Bride
    • Groom hugging Bride
    • Groom Kissing Bride
    • Gift Exchange / Letter Reading

Couple’s Portraits (50-150 Portraits)

  • 50-150 images of various couple portraits

Bridal Party Portraits (Usually 20-40 Images)

  • The entire Bridal Party Posed in Classic shot
  • The entire Bridal Party Posed in relaxed shot
  • The Entire Bridal Party with Ring Bearers and Flower girls
  • Bride + Flower Girls
  • Bride + Groom + Flower Girls
  • Bride + Groom + Flower Girls + Ring Bearers
  • Groom + Ring Bearers
  • Bride + Bridesmaids + Flower Girls
  • Bride + Bridesmaids in Classic Shot
  • Bride + Bridesmaids in Fun shot
  • Bride + Each Bridesmaid individually
  • Groom + Bridesmaids
  • Bride + Groomsmen
  • Groom + Groomsmen + Ring Bearers
  • Groom + Groomsmen in Classic shot
  • Groom + Groomsmen in GQ shot
  • Groom + Each Groomsmen individually
  • Bride + Groom + Maid of Honor + Best Man
  • Bride.+ Groom + Any couples in bridal party

Ceremony Photos (Usually 50-100 Images)

  • Each person walking down aisle
  • Groom waiting for Bride
  • Bride + Dad walking down aisle
  • Groom’s reaction
  • Wide Shot Portrait (vertical shot)
  • Wide Shot Landscape (horizontal shot)
  • Close Shot Portrait (vertical shot)
  • Close Shot Landscape (horizontal shot)
  • Close up of rings
  • Anyone crying during ceremony
  • Side shot of bride
  • Side shot of groom
  • An array of additional images as the venue / location allows
  • First Kiss
  • Celebration Photo
  • Walking back down the aisle
  • Kiss at end of aisle

Family Portraits (Usually ~25 images)

  • Bride + Groom + Officiant
  • Bride + Groom + All extended family
  • Bride + Groom + Bride’s Extended family
  • Bride + Groom + Bride’s Parents, Grandparents & Siblings
  • Bride + Groom + Bride’s Grandparents
  • Bride + Individuals with Bride’s Grandparents
  • Bride + Groom + Bride’s Parents & Siblings
  • Bride + Groom + Siblings
  • Bride + Each sibling individually
  • Bride + Groom + Bride’s Parents
  • Bride + Bride’s Mom
  • Bride + Bride’s Dad
  • Bride + Bride’s Parents
  • Bride + Groom + Bride’s Parents + Grooms Parents
  • Bride + Groom + Groom’s Extended Family
  • Bride + Groom + Groom’s Parents, Grandparents & Siblings
  • Bride + Groom + Grooms’s Grandparents
  • Groom + Individuals with Groom’s Grandparents
  • Bride + Groom + Groom’s Parents & Siblings
  • Bride + Groom + Groom’s Siblings
  • Groom + Each sibling individually
  • Bride + Groom + Grooms’s Parents
  • Groom + Groom’s Mom
  • Groom + Groom’s Dad
  • Groom + Groom’s Parents

Reception Photos (Multiple Photos Documenting all Events) (Usually 100-300 Images)

  • Grand Entrance
  • An array of First Dance Photos
  • An array of Father + Daughter Dance Photos
  • An array of Mother + Son Dance Photos
  • An array of Toast Photos
  • An array of cake cutting photos
  • An array of Tosses Photos
  • An array of Open Dance Floor Images
  • Grand Exit
  • Get-Away Vehicle

Additional Images You’ll Want to Think About Depending On Your Day

  • Any additional family heirlooms at the wedding
  • Portraits of family & friends who have traveled to be here
  • Portraits of work friends
  • Portraits of school friends
  • Controlled Exit Photos
  • Dollar Dance Photos
  • Anniversary Dance Photos
  • Cigar Photos
  • Multi Generation Photos
  • Special Images that are taken at all family events
  • Other Photos You’ve seen that you’d like to try to re-create


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