Shots Shots Shots Shots Shots Shots Everybody!

The second I tried to change the draft title from “Shot List” to a witty title, this song popped in my head (although I think calling it a song is giving it too much credit?) and wouldn’t leave.  I had no choice but to use it for the title.  My apologies.

As you approach your wedding day, your photographer will probably ask you for a shot list.  They are not asking which alcohol shots you want to do during the day (although if that is what they mean you either have a really awesome or a really awful photographer), but want to know who you would like to make sure you have pictures with, particularly for any portrait pictures you do before/after the ceremony.  This is very important, not just for figuring out what the timeline for the day should look like, but it helps make sure you don’t accidentally skip something you really want.

There is no right or wrong set of pictures, and there’s no right or wrong way to do them.  You can do silly, you can do serious, you can do absolutely everyone, or you can just take pictures with your parents.  It really is up to you.  A typical list looks like this:

  • Couple
  • Couple with the bridal party
  • Bride with the bridesmaids
  • Groom with the groomsmen
  • Couple with all parents
  • Couple with bride’s parents
  • Couple with groom’s parents
  • Couple with bride’s immediate family (parents + siblings)
  • Couple with bride’s extended family (parents + siblings + grandparents, some people will also do aunts and uncles but that’s up to you)
  • Couple with bride’s grandparents (all)
  • Couple with bride’s separate grandparent sets
  • Couple with groom’s immediate family
  • Couple with groom’s extended family
  • Couple with the groom’s grandparents
  • Couple with the groom’s separate grandparent sets

Yeah, that’s a lot, but it still might not be everything you want (or could be more than you want).  You might want to consider taking some of the pictures before the ceremony.  Not only does this save on time later, but if you think you’re inclined to cry you can take your pictures before you make your eyes all red!

Beyond who you want to take pictures with is the question of what kind of pictures do you want.  You can take classic posed photos, or you can do something a little more off the wall.  You can take pictures at the ceremony location, the reception location, or somewhere else altogether.  I recommend you figure out what kind of pictures you want first, and pick the right location based on that.

Aside from traditional portrait shots, there are a couple of “trendy” shots that seem to be making the rounds.  They may be your cup of tea, or they may not be, that is up to you to decide.  If you know you want a particular shot way back when you’re choosing your photographer, look to see if they have any examples of similar shots.  Some of the trendy shots you can see nowadays, with some links to examples, are:

  • The “lift your dress/pants and show off your shoes” shot.  I’ve seen this as just a bride and groom thing, a bridesmaids only, a groomsmen only thing, (since their shoes are usually the same, this is to show off some awesome socks they’ve been hiding), or a whole bridal party thing.  Smaller numbers of people work better.
  • The “jumping” shot.  Usually of the whole bridal party, this is a midair everyone-jump-at-the-same-time picture.  Logistically it can be difficult, and PLEASE have the girls remove their heels before doing this to avoid someone landing wrong and breaking their ankle (which can happen anyways, but landing a jump with 4 inch heels never ends well outside of a movie).  Also, please don’t do this in flowy dresses, especially if they are knee length.  The picture you will end up with will be an underwear ad, sort of like this one.
  • The “everyone do something funny” shot.  I don’t like this one because I’ve only ever seen it where the photographer goes “okay, the couple should kiss, and everyone else do something funny!”  That just puts everyone on the spot.  If you want a chaotic picture like this, warn everyone ahead of time so they can plan their humorous pose.  “Deer in headlights” is not usually considered a winning picture.
  • The “look they’re kissing but they don’t know we can see them!” picture.  This one hides the bridal party in the background with them peaking around a tree or over a wall (or anything else of that nature), usually making some sort of giggly/shocked/disgusted face at the couple who is in the foreground kissing.
  • The “perspective is everything” shot.  This one requires some planning and some careful staging by the photographer.  The idea is that the subjects of the shot are positioned in such a way that they are not actually near each other, but because of the angle the photographer takes it looks like there’s some sort of interaction going on; someone’s size is greatly exaggerated (a pretty common one is making it look like the groom is standing in the palm of the bride’s hand).  It takes a lot of work to do it well, and if you do it badly you just look silly.

There are some others of course, but these are the big ones I could think of.  Have you seen any others making the rounds?

This is also obviously just a list of the people shots.  There may be other pictures you want to make sure you have of some of some of the wedding details, so I’ll talk about those in another post.

Are there any particular photos you’re looking forward to doing?

Also, I’m thinking about moving to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday update schedule for a while since I have catching up to do on wedding stuff as well as new life things to post about…any thoughts?  Would you get tired of reading if I updated that much?  Be honest!


Posted on June 25, 2012, in Ceremony, Photography, Reception, Wedding Planning Isn't For Sissies and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I would NOT get tired if you updated that much. It’s your blog anyway. You should update whenever you want. 🙂
    Thanks for the list of most used shots. Our photographer lives about 8 hours away from us and we won’t be seeing her until the day before the wedding (yeesh!). So I am planning on having everything as ready as possible for when we do the walk through together… Kind of nervous about it actually… Still trying to decide what pictures we can do before (since our reception and our ceremony are in the same place) because Cobalt doesn’t want to see me in my dress until I am walking down the aisle… :-/

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