To Use or Not To Use a Shot List on your Wedding Day?
Here at Mak Rabbitt Photography, we are often asked if we have a standard shot list we use for our weddings. The correct answer to that question is YES, and NO. I have been photographing weddings for over 20 years and and I know the shots we NEED to get off the top of my head, so do I really need a Shot List? YES and let me explain why.
While I know we need to get a photo of the First, Kiss, Look, Dance, etc....everyone puts different stock in the what they value from their wedding day and the photos they would like to have captured on their special day. Many of our couples put personal touches into their day that if we were not informed about could go undocumented. Take for example this photo:
Our bride decided to surprise her groom with custom photo cuff-links of his late grandparents. Had she not let us know of this special moment to add to our "Shot List" this may have been missed.
It's On "The List"
Making sure we are informed and have a "List" of what to capture helps us to better document your day. Now some of my peers may disagree with me here stating this impedes on their creative ability and they are the artist and capture the emotion of the day, but I will call B.S. You hired us to document your day, we will do that from our perspective as well as your perspective to ensure you get what you want.....WITHIN REASON. No photographer wants 100 Pintrest shots to replicate on your wedding day. Here is where you separate the great from the so-so photographers. Lighting and posing are what make the difference in a great image from an average image. Hiring a true professional photographer will get you killer images and much more on your wedding day.
So we are not by any means against Pintrest and we encourage our clients to send us some of their ideas with a caveat. Send us photos you like, looks you like etc from Pintrest. This helps to drive our creative juices to personalize that look for YOUR wedding. We have heard horror stories where clients sent photographers Pintrest photos and either the photographer fails epicly at re-creating the photo or they were simply not possible, i.e. beach photos in the middle of Kansas! Use your Pintrest page to showcase what you like, what you find interesting and let your Professional Photographer make it happen for you using their creative interpretation of your wedding day. This is what make AWESOME photos!
You can have it Right or you can have it Right Now......but you can't have Both!
So you have a bridal party of 24 people, and your are both from large families and expect all your photos to be done in 20 minutes so you can get to the cocktail hour at the reception venue 30 minutes away. Make sure you have REASONABLE expectations with your photos on your wedding day. one of the things I LOVE about weddings is the challenge of getting the shot, the pressure, the adrenaline rush I get, however there are limits. When you are creating your wedding timeline, make sure you put in things like travel time, venue restrictions, how well coordinated your attendants and family will be on the wedding day, etc. While we can get photos done relatively quickly we can't account for things like traffic, weather delays, natural disasters and alien invasions. Clients that add "Creative Time" to their day often end up more relaxed and enjoy their day more than those that do not add this time.
How to add "Creative Time" to your Wedding Day
There are several ways to include the right amount of time to not only relax and enjoy the day together but to give everyone an opportunity to deliver their best for you on your wedding day. Here are some suggestions, albeit it not all inclusive of how to spread out your day and enjoy this special time together:
- Have a First Look - This takes a great deal of the pressure of the couple, allows you to get all your "Formal Photos" done and then you get to enjoy your day together.
- Add a Gap - Space the time out between your ceremony and reception, allow guests to change into casual attire or out of town guests to check out the town. This allows you to go to a few locations for photos, relax and enjoy your time together.
- All in one place - Select ONE location that means the most to you and have all photos done there. Selecting multiple location is awesome when time permits, however traffic and those damn aliens can put a damper on these plans.
- Bridal Portrait- You may be asking....what the Hell is a bridal portrait, especially if you are from the midwest, or northeast. Well these are very popular in the south and this is where the Bride schedules a session with their photographer to have photos taken BEFORE the wedding day in her gown either in a studio or on location. This also gives the bride an opportunity to get a test run on makeup and hair for the wedding day.
What we have here is a failure to COMMUNICATE!
So how do you ensure that you get the shots you want? Well we all know honesty is best policy right....so have the provocative conversation with your photographer and discuss your desires. Sara and I send out a few questionnaires to our clients that ask questions about their details and the personal touches they added to their wedding day. We also encourage them to share their Pintrest pages with us so we can get and idea for their likes. We ask about what shots, they DON'T want if any which is critical when dealing with displaced family members, divorce, etc. We take this with us since the chances are your photographer does not know the names of everyone in your family to help herd the crowds for photo time. This also gives the the opportunity to learn more about your family and who the KEY people are.
Columbus Wedding Photographers Mak Rabbitt Photography are a husband and wife team dedicated to creating lasting memories for their clients while providing them with outstanding customer service. With over 20 years professional photography experience dedicated to weddings, the Moment Artists at Mak Rabbitt Photography consistently deliver amazing images to their clients. For more information about reserving the Mak Rabbitt duo for your wedding or event, click HERE.