Shooting a wedding can be a bit overwhelming. You need to get everything just right because weddings only happen once and your photos will be a reminder of the couple’s special day. While it takes some experience to become an expert, having a photography checklist can work wonders. Here’s a wedding photography checklist for photographers looking to get the best shots.
Wedding Photography Checklist for Photographers
The Pre-Ceremony Shots
These are likely to the easiest to shoot. Take this time to grab a few bridal party photos and detailed shots. Consider having a second shooter so you can split between taking shots of the girls and the guys. Some of the shots to take include:
- Bride’s Shoes
- Candid Shots of Everyone and Everything
- Groom and Father (If applicable)
- Groom’s Cake
- Wedding Cake
- Wedding Programs
- Groomsmen Plus Groom Group Shots
- Bridesmaids Plus Bride Group Shots
- Grooms Shoes
- Bride’s Jewelry
- Any Sentimental Items
- Groom’s and Groomsmen’s Ties
- Bridesmaids’ Dresses
The Ceremony Shots
You’ll need to communicate with your client before the actual wedding dates because you need to know what’s happening and when it’s happening. You don’t want to risk missing some shots at the wedding venue because you weren’t told about it. Nonetheless, you need to be prepared for anything. Here are a few shots to consider:
- Best man, groom and minister walking to the venue.
- Bridal party walking to the aisle (most often they’ll stop for a second to allow for a shot).
- Bride and father before walking out.
- Bride and father walking down the aisle.
- The groom’s reaction.
- The bride’s father giving her away (you’ll also want to capture the grooms face too).
- Specific shots as mentioned by your client..
- Speakers during the ceremony.
- Exiting the venue.
- The kiss. You cannot afford to miss this one.
Post Ceremony Shots
For these, consider starting with the largest group/family then work your way to immediate family. Ministers will often have somewhere else to be so you might want to start with them. here are some shots to consider:
- Wedding couple plus ministers.
- Wedding couple alone.
- Full bridal party.
- Wedding couple plus bride’s parents and siblings.
- Wedding couple plus bride’s grandparents, parents and siblings.
- Wedding couple plus bride’s entire family.
- Wedding couple plus groom’s parents and siblings.
- Wedding couple plus groom’s grandparents, parents and siblings.
- Wedding couple plus groom’s entire family.
For the reception, you can breathe a little. Work with the DJ as they can be quite helpful at this stage. Some of the shots to take include:
- The bridal party entering the venue.
- Bridal parties dance.
- Bride and groom’s first dance.
- Groom and mom’s first dance.
- Bride and dad’s first dance.
- Garter toss.
- Cake cutting.
- Toast with the bridal party.
- Bouquet toss.
- Bride with whoever caught the Bouquet.
- Groom with whoever caught the garter.
- Candid photos of people eating, talking, dancing, etc.
- The exit.
This wedding photography checklist for photographers can act as a simple template. Of course, different situations and cultures will call for different shots. Make sure you talk to your clients before and come up with an exact list of what they want.