wedding shot lists

Capitol Advice: Wedding Photography Shot Lists

It’s been too long since I’ve written an advice piece. However, a few weeks ago I started working on a timeline guide for my wedding consulting clients and I had a photographer give me some feedback on my line item concerning “shot lists.”

She shared,

“… as a photographer, one of the biggest problems I have run into is couples that are really “in love” with their shot lists.  I think many of them get that idea from online wedding sites and magazines who recommend making a shot list for the photographer”

After getting that feedback I thought it would be useful to blog about this – the important difference between giving your wedding photographer a list of important portrait shots…. and giving your wedding photographer a detailed list of EVERY picture you want taken that day.

Our expert photographer continued:

I know each photographer is different, but I personally cringe when I see lists suggest making a “shot list” or “must-have” list because then I receive a list like “my mom’s hands as she zips up my dress” and “me putting my shoes on” and “a shot of our rings” – I work with each of my couples to get their list of “out of the ordinary” shots that aren’t standard shots that I am obviously going to get, and as I do that I explain to them why I don’t take a shot list.

Here is my advice:

1. First and foremost, make sure you have this conversation with your wedding photographer early on. Manage both yours and their expectations.

2. Do not become married to the idea of “shot lists” [like what i did there?]. While it’s OK to want certain groupings of your family in portraits, you should not expect a photographer, who is a talented, professional artist, to stick to a long list of the shots YOU want. You are not the photographer, they are!

3. Do not pin “pose shots” on Pinterest. This will only cause you to want your photos to look like other couples’ photos … and why would you? Don’t even tempt yourself here!

4. Realize that your photographer is the professional and most likely knows better than you.

I think in the end you will be 100% happier with your wedding pictures if you don’t create a shot list. You won’t be driven mad that your photographer didn’t get that carbon copy picture of a pose you saw on Pinterest and instead you will be enlightened by the amazing, UNIQUE, and personalized shots that the professional photographer captured of YOUR day.

I mean plus, you just can’t plan for pictures like THIS on a shot list:

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