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A Photography Shot List for Your Wedding Day

The best practice when it comes to a wedding photography list is to have some inspiration shots in mind. The more clarity you bring to your wedding photographer, the more satisfaction you can bring to the wedding. While I love the artistic freedom of being inspired as the day unfolds, I also make sure there is a structure of photography shots nevertheless. To build your own list, use this detailed checklist as a starting point and have fun with it!

Wedding Details

Perhaps the first thing that guests actually notice about the wedding besides the bride and groom are the details! They say the devil's in the details, and they are right. Getting it right gives a subtle hint about the theme of the wedding and hooks any onlookers' interests. Here are the specific details that can capture the beauty of a wedding:

The invitation suite

The wedding gown and suit

The trinkets and wedding rings

The shoes

The jewelry and hair accessories

The corsages, bouquets, etc

Jimmy Choo shoes for bridal details on wedding day

Getting Ready

Photographers actually prefer mock getting ready shots; i.e., they're taken once the bride and groom are complete ready with attire and accessories on. That way the photographer can go through all of the following shots quickly:

Bride getting hair and makeup done

Bride and bridesmaids in robes toasting with champagne

Mom helping button the back of dress

Bridesmaids fluffing the bride's dress

Best man helping groom into suit jacket/putting on tie

Mom putting groom's boutonniere on

Groom and groomsmen candids (playing pool, taking a shot)

Bride and bridesmaids in blue robes toasting with champagne


A prelude to the entire event, pre-ceremony is all about capturing the bride and groom and having intimate photos with some of the other important people in their lives.

First look and a quick couple's session afterwards

Wedding party photos

Family photos

Bride and groom walking on the grounds of Mission San Juan Capistrano


Now coming to the most important part of the day - the actual ceremony itself. It's about tying the beauty of the details with the solemn vows witnessed by family and friends.

Venue shots including ceremony site, flowers, welcome table, etc.

The groom in anticipation


The stunning entry of the bridal party

Father/mother giving the bride away

Groom's reaction - tears or smiles

Exchanging soulful vows and rings

The magical moment of the first kiss as a couple

The classic petal toss or trendy blowing of bubbles

Wedding ceremony first kiss under blush pink floral arch


This is where a photographer's talent and shooting style really shine. The bride and groom should trust that the photographer has the best poses, backgrounds, and lighting in mind to best highlight the couple.

Happy wedding couple holding hands and laughing at

Group Photos:

Having group pictures is a must-have for any event, especially for weddings. Besides the important family photos, couples also have the option of doing table visits or having guests visit them at the sweetheart table. This ensures every guest is included in the wedding day photos. Another fun one is a big group photo on the dance floor during the reception.

Bride and groom doing table visits during reception at Falkner Winery in Temecula

Want to capture some of the magic for your special day?

Contact me to see how we can work together.

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