The goal of creating the shot lists in the Wedding Worksheet is so that 1) no one gets forgotten, and 2) we make an “order of operations” designed to help me facilitate those photographs as quickly and efficiently as possible for you.
In the question about the formal group photos, this is (for most weddings) where either before or immediately after the ceremony, family pictures are taken. These are often at the ceremony location (such as a church altar) but can be just about anywhere. It’s advised that you start with the largest groups such as extended family, and work your way down to just the two of you. Be also mindful of anyone who might need to be done first, such as an officiant, an elderly or ailing relative, and small children. The wedding party knows they are going to take longer, so put them last. It also helps to reduce people coming in and out and back and forth as much as is reasonable.
Here is a quick sample of a typical formal group shot list.
- Couple with officiant
- Couple with grandparents
- Couple with extended family (one side)
- Couple with combined extended families
- Couple with the other extended family (now anyone not in the wedding party or immediate family can be released!)
- Couple with one side’s parents and siblings
- Couple with combined family parents and siblings
- Couple with combined parents
- Couple with other side’s parents and siblings
- Couple with combined siblings
- Couple with entire wedding party
- One member of the couple with their wedding party members (individually and together)
- The other member of the couple with their wedding party members (individually and together)
- The couple
The second shot list will consist of people who might not be part of the group family formals. This is frequently things like “work colleagues” or “college friends” or some random guest who you haven’t seen in fifteen years and who flew all the way in from Siberia. There are no wrong answers here, just let me know who to make sure I get shots of you with. These shots are frequently done at cocktail hour and/or during the reception. One thing to bear in mind is, the larger you make this list, the more of your reception I am going to spend pulling you aside from your celebration to get photos with people. So, keep that in mind when making this part of your shot list.
The final shot list question is about you, specifically. This is an opportunity for you to convey to me any particular photographs you want taken. Some people have researched wedding photographs on sites like Pinterest and want to re-create one or two they really like. I’m very happy to do that. I do recommend that you choose pictures which tell your story. This is also an opportunity to specify images you do not want me to take. You might absolutely hate some pose that I sometimes do with my couples. Please don’t be afraid to let me know. This isn’t a dictatorship, it’s a collaboration. 🙂