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Wednesday Wedding Tips | Shot List

Wednesday Wedding Tips


I’ve decided to start a blog series for the month of October called Wednesday Wedding tips. This series is geared towards photographers who are just starting out in the wedding industry, or who are looking for ways to better their wedding photography and workflow.

Over the last two years I’ve learned so much about wedding photography, from capturing my own couples, to second shooting along other photographers, and reading up on the industry itself.  I want to share everything I’ve learned to hopefully help others grow too!

So, let’s get this started!

To kick off this series I will be discussing shot lists on a wedding day. When I first started booking weddings I was pretty nervous. I was afraid of all the things that could go wrong, while this wasn’t super fun, it did help me to learn strategies to combat those very things that might go wrong. I started out by creating a shot list.

Although you may already have an idea of what shots you want from the wedding day, writing a list won’t hurt. This not only allows me to have all my desired shots listed in one place that I can refer to, the process of writing it helps me remember the shots better. I remember in high school I had a teacher who had us write down specific things, it’s said that writing something can help it stick in your memory better-I agree. I add my shot list to my printed timeline that I carry with me on the wedding day. Not all photographers do this, and as you become more seasoned you’ll mentally go through a list on the wedding day, but for now, writing it down is very beneficial. I also find that my couple’s feel more assured knowing that I have certain shots written down. This year one of my brides had a heirloom that they wanted photographed, I was sure to put this on my shot list, not only for my sake but for my bride.

One thing I consistently remind myself to do, is taking a portrait and a landscape of each frame, so I will include this on my shot list. I like to have both options when I am editing, and to include in the couple’s gallery. I use key words in my shot list to remind me of new strategies I want to implement into my wedding workflow, and shooting style. An example would be “Detail shot of center piece at eye level”, of course I will take detail shots, but this simply reminds me to get a shot at eye level.

Shot lists are especially important for family photos. Ask the bride and groom to put together a list of family groupings they want prior to the wedding day. This will keep things organized during the chaos of the day. When you start doing family portraits, go down the list and check off each grouping as you photograph it. I usually have my second shooter in charge of this list, while I photograph.


As you capture more weddings you will pick up a workflow of how you shoot, and getting each shot will come more naturally. You’ll find a comfortable routine for wedding days and go through your shot list mentally. Personally, I still include a shot list with my timelines to ensure I don’t forget anything, or if there are special heirloom pieces of the day that I won’t miss them.

To get the ball rolling you can google “Wedding photography shot list”.

| a: Rockville, Maryland | Snapchat: @thekatymurray |

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