Why You Should Ditch the Shot List

January 16, 2018

Oh, the dreaded shot list… we as photographers tend to have a love/hate relationship with them. If you’ve met me, you know I’m planning-obsessed and love to be organized. But when it comes to photography shot lists for your wedding, I’ve found that more often than not they hurt instead of help.

Weddings are very unpredictable in nature, and every wedding looks different. Although the general structure of weddings often looks the same, after having shot over 100 wedding, I can tell you that no two weddings are ever the same. But for me, that’s what makes my job so special – because I love capturing each couple’s unique story.

So what is my advice? Skip the long shot list and trust me with the rest! When I am busy trying to focus on an itemized list of “must-haves”, I don’t get to focus on the real moments that mean the most.

That being said, I believe it’s my job as a photographer to listen to what matters to you! Who are you closest to? What people do you want a memory with? Which moments do you most want to remember?

Although I’m not a fan of general shot lists, I always require a family shot list. This is a list of any formal family group shots you want to take as well as any family members you want to make sure you get a photo with. And because I won’t know your family before the wedding day (though I’ll party with them like we’ve been friends forever!), I suggest assigning someone who knows your family to help point out these key people. 🙂

Whether I get to photograph your wedding or not, the most important thing is working with a photographer you trust. Because the last thing you want to do on your wedding day is be stressed that they are doing their job! I’m all about giving lots of direction and lending helping hands wherever needed, but also being a ninja so you barely notice me! And my hope is you’ll look back on your wedding photos and say, “Wow, I didn’t know she saw that!” That to me is a mission accomplished.

Are you for or against shot lists? Let me know in the comments below!

If you are looking for a wedding photographer, contact Donna!