The important must-have shot list


No matter how much you’re spending on your photographer and how experienced they are…or not, you need to compile a must-have photo list. Several wedding planning sites have a checklist that you can give to your photographer, which is fine, but I suggest doing this in visual form. I’m not asking my photographer to do a straight-on copy of the photos in my must-have list, but I’m hoping the images will give her an idea of what I want to have captured. Since I only have a photographer for five hours and no second shooter, I’m realistic. In my shot list, I put an asterisk next to the photos that were the most important. I honestly don’t expect to get every shot, and I think as long as you go into your wedding knowing that, you’ll be fine.

My must-have list is stored in my wedding bio, and if you don’t already have a bio (either at the Knot or I also have one at Weddingbee) I suggest starting one as soon as you can. Not only are bios a great place to store ideas as you’re starting your planning, but I know for myself, I feel quite accomplished as I’m adding information to them, they’re kind of like a visual checklist if you will.

Once you have your bio, the next thing you’ll need to do is a Google image search for photos of your wedding venue. Our photographer has never shot at our venue before, but even if yours has, this can be helpful to them, as they’ll know where you want to have your portraits taken, that you want a shot of aunt Gladys standing in front of the fountain, etc. I also included sections for portraits, and detail shots. The detail shots are very, very important to me as I’m spending so much time on the details and losing a bit of my sanity in the process, so I want professional photos of them, thanks!

To find the photos I wanted I stalked photographer’s blogs and wedding blogs for months. I’m finalizing this list now since my wedding is next month, so this is a project I’d start as soon as you start planning. I have had more than one occasion where I saw a photo I liked and forgot to save it, then I couldn’t remember where the heck I found it! If you have your must-have shot list, you can save it there, with credit to where you found it, of course, and then you can refine your list as you get closer to your wedding, as you don’t want to show your photographer a list of 200+ photos!

Enough of the talk, here’s my must-take photo list! I’m not quite done with it, but I hope to be by the end of the week as we’re meeting our photographer at the venue next Sunday.


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