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The ultimate wedding photographer’s shot list

A wedding photographer is one of the most important vendors you’ll book. Take a look at this recommended shot list for a picture perfect album.

Couple looking at wedding album

Once you’ve done your homework by exploring photographer websites for countless hours to make sure they’re a fit, the next step is to make sure you’re on the same page about what kind of photos you want. Photographers put together what they call a “shot list” which simply means a checklist of photos they must capture at your wedding. While the professionals know what pictures to take, it can’t hurt to give them your list as a way of agreeing that you have an understanding.

Here are some great shots you definitely want on your list:

  • Prep shots of the bride and groom
  • The dress — hanging or draped
  • Bridesmaids, moms helping to get the bride dressed and accessorized
  • Bride getting hair and makeup done
  • Groom fixing his tie, suit, hair, etc.
  • Groom looking at his watch
  • Groom with his groomsmen and dads
  • Bride walking down the stairs, entering a room or being presented
  • Bride looking out of a window or a doorway
  • Bride with bridesmaids and moms
  • Bride with her mom and dad (and any other family members)
  • Groom with mom and dad (and any other family members)
  • Bride and groom — first look
  • Bride being helped into and out of the limo
  • Groom waiting at the altar, chupah, etc.  (alternately, groom walking down the aisle)
  • Wide shot of the church, temple, etc. with guests and without guests
  • Bride walking down the aisle
  • Parents giving away the bride
  • Bride and groom exchanging vows
  • Bride and groom holding hands
  • Bride and groom kiss
  • Bride and groom exit as a married couple
  • Reception venue outside shot
  • Reception venue inside shots
  • Food shots of cocktail hour, drinks, any specials or extras
  • Shot of each table full of guests
  • Bride and groom portraits
  • Bride and groom with bridesmaids and groomsmen
  • First dance
  • Family dances
  • Speeches
  • Bouquet and garter toss
  • Cake cutting, bride and groom feeding each other
  • Guests dancing
  • Centerpieces
  • Venetian table
  • Favor table
  • Bride and groom dancing with guests

The most important thing to remember is the candid shots are the best ones. Provide your photographer with a general list of what you definitely want, but trust that they will leave you very happy. After all, you did spend quite some time researching and you did pick them for a reason!

More wedding tips

Selecting a wedding officiant
To marry for love or money
Romance red flags to look out for before you say “I do”

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