A lot of times when I talk to Brides and Grooms, not everyone recognizes what they want when it comes to wedding photography. Surprise! They have usually never been married before.
Everyone’s wedding is different, you have simple weddings, traditional weddings, and really big extravagant weddings. I’ll be honest, I charge differently for all of them. A simple wedding with 25 people and no reception will turn out to maybe 150-200 photos and could just be a couple of hours of my time and less time to edit fewer photos vs. an extravagant wedding to where a photographer is needed for 8 hours or more that has a thousand portraits that I have to edit. Those are two very different events, as most weddings are anyway.
Don’t get me wrong, a good photographer won’t need you to provide a shot list with minute details, such as “flower girl walking down the aisle” or “ring shot.” If your photographer doesn’t understand that the “ring shot” is important, you probably should look into hiring a new photographer. A good photographer will already know those things and use their talent. However, there are some things that you may want to prioritize on your special day that you may want to make sure you get covered, such as Grandma placing that family heirloom necklace on you.
That’s why knowing what you want in relation to your point of view on your big day is an important task and something all Bride and Grooms need to think about. Coming up with a shot list will help with that. The shot list isn’t so the photographer is looking at a paper the whole time during your wedding and missing other great shots. It’s truly for you and your photographer to stay on your timeline and understand your priorities so they can focus their energy on the stuff that’s most important to you, while still letting them use their talents to photograph your wedding.
Here is a wedding photography shot list I provide to really get a general detail of what I am needed for and during the wedding, and or reception.
It also just helps to get the Bride and Groom thinking a little more about their timeline and perhaps adding more shots they would definitely like to provide. I include this, along with with a wedding questionnaire, that ask more details about the wedding so I can plan for their special and unique day.