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I remember receiving an email from a bride a few years ago, just weeks before her wedding. When I opened the attachment she included, I was presented with a SIX page shot list.

The top of the page read “Things to take pictures of”.  The list includes things like this:

Wedding dress
Wedding rings
Bride’s shoes
Bride putting on dress
Bride putting on veil
First kiss
Bride and groom together

….you get the idea

My heart sank.  Such a detailed list made me feel as though my bride didn’t trust me.  As a wedding photographer, I have my “mental list” of must-have shots; the shots that you just can’t have a wedding without.  My bride was, in a way, telling me that she didn’t trust that I knew this.  And in a way, I felt that I failed her.

I know that The Knot, along with other wedding websites, have these types of lists, telling brides that they ‘have to’ pass it along to their photographer.  Let me say….The Knot is wrong.

Had I taken lists to the wedding I’ve photographed, marking off each number as it was shot, I would have missed these moments:

Brides, trust that your photographer will capture the usual ‘must have’ shots.  The best type of ‘shot list’ includes things that a photographer wouldn’t ordinarily know about, such as your grandma is 103 years young, your mother handmade the dress you’re wearing, , your bouquet contains a family heirloom, your fiancé’s parents are divorced, you’d like numerous large group photos, etc.


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