Wedding Photo Checklist – “Must Take” Wedding Photography Shots

I’m shooting my first wedding (for a friend) next weekend. I’m excited and nervous. It’s her big day and I want to make sure that I capture it well. I find most wedding photography cheesy and soulless. I definately couldn’t do it for a job. I’m hoping the photos have journalistic/artistic style to them and I think that is why Chris and Hans asked me to shoot them instead of the millions of other people they could have asked.

Anyway, I’m less worried about the actual photography than I am about some of the coordination and logistics. I don’t know what ‘posed shots’ to take. I’ve sat down with both of them briefly and talked a bit about their vision for things and what ‘must have’ photos they’ll want me to shoot. I’ve been doing a lil research online today of wedding photo checklists and wedding photography checklists on Google. I’ve compiled a hybrid one of my own based on the what I found others doing plus what I think would be intersting and unqiue and reflect Chris and Hans’ personality. I’m very open to suggestions and ideas and have just quickly hacked my own list together here based on parts found other places so if you have any tips please leave me a comment.

Wedding Photography Shots Before the Ceremony
Zipping up or buttoning the wedding dress
A close up of the bride’s shoes peeking out from under the dress
Bride looking into a mirror
Bride and bridesmaids putting on makeup
Groom tying tie
Groom looking into mirror
Portrait of father and bride
Portrait of mother and bride

Wedding Photography Shots At the Ceremony
Outside of ceremony site
Maid of honor walking down the aisle
Bridesmaids walking down the aisle
Flower girl and ring bearer walking down aisle
Groom waiting for bride
Close up of bride, just before she makes her entrance
Bride and father walking down aisle
The back of bride and father walking down the aisle – with the groom waiting in the distance
Shot of the audience from the bride and groom’s point of view
Close up of bride and groom saying the vows
Wide shot of bride and groom saying the vows
Close up of hands
The kiss
Bride & Groom walking up the aisle
Guests throwing confetti/rose petals/birdseed
Bride & Groom in back seat

Posed Wedding Photography Before the Reception
Bride alone (full length)
Groom alone (full length)
Bride with Maid of Honor
Bride with bridesmaids
Bride with parents
Bride & Groom together
Bride & Groom with parents
Bride & Groom with families
Bride & Groom with entire wedding party
Bride & Groom with flower girl and ringbearer
Groom with parents
Groom with best man
Groom with groomsmen

During the Reception
Bride & Groom arriving
Table setting
Bride & Groom’s table (head table)
Closeup of bride and groom’s place card
Wedding cake
Groom’s cake
The food
Bride & Groom’s first dance
Bride & Father dancing
Groom & Mother dancing
Dancefloor w/ guests
Bride & Groom cutting the cake
Bride throwing bouquet
Groom retrieving garter
Groom tossing garter
The getaway car

UPDATED: Ok, I got a couple wedding under my belt now and am feeling ok about it. I don’t think I’ll take on just any wedding gig in the future as they are a unique challenge, but I have set up a side business with a friend shooting events and portraits including weddings.

UPDATED: Here are a couple more great links on the topic of “Must Take” Wedding photos. Tips for Taking Great Wedding Pictures Like a Pro! Which Photos To Take At Your Wedding? 88 Must-Take Wedding Photos