photo by Victoria Carlson Photography
Working with some of the most incredible photographers in the world, we’ve heard a thing or two about how the professionals feel when given a wedding shot list. In case this is your first time hearing of it, a wedding shot list is like an instruction manual for your photographer with each and every image you want them to capture on your big day. While couples being excited about their wedding photography is obviously awesome, shot lists can actually keep you from getting the photos you really want. If you’ve been wondering if a wedding shot list is something you need, here are a few reasons why you don’t.
photo by Stephanie Rogers Photography
Leave It To The Professional
If you were hiring a mechanic to fix your car or a handyman to repair your dryer, you probably wouldn’t tell them how to do their job. You hired them because they’re the expert! Your photographer is a professional too, which is why you’ve hired them to capture your big day instead of leaving those moments to be documented by a friend with a camera. Experienced photographers know the photos they need to take on a wedding day. When you sign a contract with your photographer, you should feel confident that they will document your wedding to its fullest, including your first look, your well-planned details, and a special portrait with Grandma.
If your worry is that you won’t get a photo with your favorite cousin, wait until you’re hugging her at your reception instead of posing for a formal portrait in the lawn. Most photographers’ least favorite part of the day is arranging family members for formal portraits. While it’s true that these photos don’t allow them to stretch their creative wings, they also know that you and new brother-in-law crying together during his toast makes a more cherished photo than standing smiling in front of the church. Instead of filling your wedding timeline with posing for pictures with your loved ones, wouldn’t you rather make more time for actually experiencing your wedding with them?
photo by The Image Is Found
photo by Danielle Real Photography
Let the Magic Happen
While you my want every moment of your wedding to be perfect, those “perfect” moments you’ve seen in photos happened organically. If you hand your photographer a shot list with photos you found on Pinterest of newlyweds in cute poses, you hinder their ability to capture you genuinely basking in the glow of your day, in your own cute poses. What makes those photos you love so special are the authentic moments occurring without regard for the camera. When you and your photographer try to recreate something, you lose the natural element that made the image so striking in the first place.
More important than providing your photographer with a folder of your favorite Pinterest portraits is having excellent chemistry with them before the wedding day. If you truly love their photography style, feel inspired by their work, and click with them personally, we guarantee your photos are the ones that will inspire future brides and grooms.
photo by Glasser Images
Remember, This Is Your Wedding
Probably the most disappointing factor in a shot list is that a couple would want to replicate someone else’s wedding photos instead of having images that are uniquely their own. Your love, personalities, and style are what make your wedding day special. Forcing a photo you saw on a blog keeps you from living the candid moment in your day. You’ve spent all of this time building an extraordinary love, not to mention planning the celebration of your dreams, so live in the present — we hear it goes by pretty fast — and let your photographer capture what makes you shine.
After your wedding is over, the photos are what you keep to remember it by. The images you’ll cherish the most are the ones that remind you of the butterflies you had before your first look, the tears you shed walking down the aisle, and the excitement you shared after saying “I do.” It’s the feeling behind a photo that makes it so wonderful to look at, so give yourself the space on your wedding day to feel fully without faking it for the camera.
Are you feeling inspired to forego your wedding shot list? Now let’s see if we can convince you to have an unplugged ceremony!