September 3, 2019

Why you should toss your ‘shot list’

Wedding’s are amazing, life-changing events. They’re full of so much love, joy and irreplaceable moments. Your wedding day is a myriad of unique, joy-filled moments which given the chance, your photographer can capture and eternalise for you, forever. If you choose a great photojournalist photographer, these irreplaceable moments will be preserved for you in a unique and authentic way. However, your photographer can only do what they’re best at when they’re free to be in the moment and focus on your wedding.

When your photographer is in the moment, observing and capturing the real story of your day, that’s when you’ll get the most beautiful photographs. Your photojournalist photographer can’t give you this when they’re working from a shot list. They become wrapped up in ticking off everything you wanted and can miss so much. Hopefully, at the end of this article, I will have convinced you of why you should toss your ‘shot list’!

Humour me for a moment and imagine this. It’s your wedding day! You look beautiful and you feel beautiful. You thought this would be the best day of your life and it most certainly is! You’ve planned everything down to the letter and your guests are having a great time! There are so many amazing moments unfolding around you but there’s way too much to take in! You look across the room at the amazing photographer you’ve chosen to document all this and they’re missing it all because they’re looking at something in their hand. It’s your ‘shot list’. That long list of photographs you told your photographer you must have. Sounds terrible, doesn’t it?!

I can almost hear you asking your next question before you’ve even fully formed the thought. “How will I ensure my photographer gets all the photographs I want?” Here are the four things I recommend doing instead of writing a long shot list:

Talk to your photographer

Get to know your photographer! When you get to know your photographer, they also get to know you. When your photographer gains insight into your relationship, your likes and dislikes, and your background; they start to build a picture of you in their mind which helps them create a unique story just for you. For me, engagement sessions are the perfect opportunity to get to know the couple much better by opening up to them and finding out more about them at an early stage. How well I have got to know my couples dawns on me every time I’m curating a love story. By having spent time getting to know them; I can identify all the fleeting moments which I know will mean so much to them.

Walk your photographer through your timeline

I like to work out the photography timeline for the day with the couple in advance at their pre-wedding consultation. I personally try to schedule these in about three months before the wedding. Usually, most couples have a fairly concrete idea by this point. Once your photographer has a rough idea of your timeline, they can focus their time on documenting those irreplaceable moments safely knowing that they’re not needed for the next key event yet.

Tell your photographer about any unique aspects of your wedding

Sometimes it’s a family tradition, sometimes you create your own traditions, but whatever exciting things you’re doing, help your photographer to capture it in the best way by explaining your special moments in detail. Whether you’re releasing lanterns, or riding into your reception on horseback! If you’re doing anything unusual, your photographer should know.

Trust your photographer

I understand how difficult this can be, my wedding photographer probably hated me on the day! I was very angsty and kept asking how things were going and had she captured ‘x’ and had she captured ‘y’. It’s hard. No matter how hard it is, trust your photographer, they’ve done this before and they know how to create the best photographs for you. Trust is of utmost importance in your relationship with your photographer. If we have your trust, we do not take it lightly! When you choose a photographer, your choosing that persons unique vision and interpretation of the world. (Not being big-headed!). If you loved that photographers work when you booked, you’re almost certainly going to fall in love with your wedding photographs.

If you can toss that shot list and trust your wedding photographs to your photographer; not only will you prevent missing photographs while your photographers head is buried in your list but you’ll guarantee that you enjoy your day without worrying how your photographer is getting along. Trust in your photographer to capture and curate your beautiful love story because that’s ultimately why you chose them in the first place. If ever you’re unsure, talk to your photographer because they’ll always be happy to talk through your concerns before, during and after your big day.


Really helpful. Gave me some things to think about actually as was planning on asking my photographer to work from a list. Never thought about it the way you described before now.

I wasnt planning to have a shot list and that seems like it was a good idea. I completely agree with the bit about trusting your photographer. Youve picked them because you thought their amazing. Dont wanna get int the way of that. Great article thank you

When's your big day? I CAN'T WAIT TO CAPTURE IT

Are you engaged and planning your beautiful wedding in Cambridgeshire or anywhere within East Anglia? I'd love to hear from you and discuss your wedding plans! Whether you're having a traditional wedding at your local church or a dreamy, romantic wedding at Minstrel Court; perhaps it's an elegant affair at Barrington Hall or another country home? Whatever your wedding plans, I would love to hear from you and have the opportunity to talk you through how I can tell the most important chapter of your love story in a romantic, authentic and compelling way. You'll find an enquiry form on my Contact page or you can get in touch with me using the details to the right. Not done looking? GREAT! There's so many beautiful wedding stories to look through and you'll find some really insightful and helpful wedding planning and photography advice editorials on my blog.


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