Your shot list and while you'll need it

Your shot list, and while you need it.

Weddings are not all the same, so ‘shot lists’ are generic. They are more than often just a checklist for the bride and groom when checking a photographers portfolio. A good photographer will know the right shots, but having a shot list helps insure you that your priorities are known beforehand.

While discovering what shots are important, you’ll also be reminded to give those moments detail. For the photo’s to come alive they need to contain something interesting. Get prepared in a room with natural lighting, have your dress hung on a proper hanger, not plastic, have the room tidy, and consider wearing a kimono instead of a typical bathrobe or your pj’s. If you want the invitation in the shots with the accessories than you’ll need to bring the wedding stationery. You’ll also need to communicate your wishes with your photographer.

Eat, Drink and be Married, a wedding blog for non native speakers in The Netherlands
Eat, Drink and be Married, a wedding blog for non native speakers in The Netherlands

While looking online to your favorite photographs of dresses and other wedding attire, you’ll discover what ‘still life’ you prefer. If you want a photograph of your dress hanging from a tree or in and around flowers. This too will require preparation. You’ll need a proper clothing hanger and while at your location, scout a place for this. Your photographer will help you.

They can make sure the area is free of any elements that could cause your dress to be damaged. If you are in a building with chandeliers, or beautiful cabinets and or doors, consider these options. They make make for gorgeous photographs!

Your shot list might be influenced by your religion or traditions. Convey these with your photographer. They may be excellent at their jobs, but may not know the ends and outs of your ceremony.

When hiring a photographer it is most important that their work is the style that you want. While creating your mood boards in the first steps of planning your wedding, one of the boards to make in step one is, ‘wedding photography’. This is to pinpoint what sort of photographs you find appealing. As for the shots you want, those will possibly become known when you also start saving wedding ideas. If you have pinned the wedding stationery photograph with ribbons and flowers, you’ll probably want that in your shot list.

I believe that creating this list also helps you orientate yourselves. Using the wedding stationery example above it’s clear you want this shot. You’ll not only have to convey this to your photographer but add it to your shot list.This will serve as a reminder, to bring the stationery with you and any other props you want in the shots.

A good photographer will know which shots to take, still it’s always important to stress which shots you really want. Here are a few examples of shots to consider, and place some thought by (meaning, make sure they come to life).

preparation still life
choose a well lighted area


the ladies


the guys


Keep it unplugged!

As a professional I’m going to say, please don’t allow cell-phones and other devices, like cameras during the ceremony. As a wedding attendee, I’m going to beg you! I’ve come to see you get married, not you through the screen of someones tablet or telephone. I’d like to be able to hear you, see and be 100% focused on you and your bridal party. If you don’t have an unplugged wedding you are taking away precious moments from your guests, not to mention you’ve wasted your money on a professional photographer.

Above is my second guide. It goes beyond your ‘shot list’. It has a page dedicated to unplugged ceremonies.

Here’s what I wrote…

An unplugged ceremony makes for great photographs, from the professional (the one you’re paying big money for!), but it’s more than that. It provides a better experience for everyone. There are guests that may not get a look of the bride and or groom because a guest is standing up taking photo’s, or a device is blocking their view. Also the sound of the clicking means not hearing the ‘I do’, and that isn’t in the photograph anyhow!

Let us be honest, the photo’s they’re taking are terrible! They’re using telephones while your professional is standing behind them with thousands of dollars of equipment in their hands, plus the experience needed for getting the right shots. If not, why bother hiring them at all, am I right?

I recommend offering a photo opportunity after the ceremony for your guests. Make it fun for them too, they really want to take those photographs (trust me, I’ve been there…. guests simply get overwhelmed with excitement and don’t realize they are actually being rude)! There is nothing worse than missing the expression of your soon to be husbands face while seeing you walk down the aisle, because ‘uncle bob’,  is standing in front of you with his iPad.

No unplugged wedding, you could, but that I don’t recommend, I’m talking about the ceremony only. It is impossible these days and with the photo apps for weddings it’s a blast looking back at all of the pictures your guests have taken!

Keep the ceremony intimate, and have your master of ceremonies convey with guests before the wedding ceremony begins to refrain from taking any photographs or videos during the ceremony. Let it be known that they will get a photo moment with the newlyweds after the ceremony.

Tip! Your photographer will more than likely provide a preview within days of the wedding, a ’sneak peek’. Inform guests that those pics will be made available soon. This is especially nice for those who know that there are out of town guests dying to see the pics!


Look at this picture to the right. This groom had to lean out past the aisle just to see his bride approaching. Why? Because guests with their phones were in the aisle and in his way.

Further to the right, you see a guest that simply walked behind the altar to snap a pic with a telephone. In all the excitement people don’t even realize they are ruining the photographs that the professional is taking.


I’ve written a guide for your shot list, and while you’ll need it. It is available here for downloading. You can view it below as well.

The shop will contain a generic shot list with room to add things, plus I’ll add an editable shot list.

If you need assistance with your shot list, I’d be happy to help. Also I can help you find a photographer that is a match. Remember, I offer my resources for free!

I’m curious what your views are in regards to an unplugged wedding? What would you do? Also what are some of the shots you’re looking forward to seeing after your big day? The kiss? The  vows? I always love the photo of the groom when he sees his bride. It’s magical even if they’ve had a fist look. I’m a big fan of first looks too and will blog soon about why. Hint, it’s all about private moments and intimacy.

That’s it for now. I’m working hard for more content!

xoxo Micheile


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