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Should you have a Requested Shots List?

Sep 23, 2015

Good afternoon, friends! Happy Wedding Wednesday!

One of the most common complaints that we hear at weddings from guests (and especially moms and dads), is that at a previous wedding - the photographer forgot to get a specific shot. We hear it at nearly every wedding we shoot. We hear about it at wedding consults. We hear about it on social media. We hear it ALL THE TIME.

There’s a really simple way to avoid this … and that’s with a … Requested Shots List.

wedding wednesday advice,  should we send a requested shots list to our photographer

Every photographer worth their salt knows that family photos - while sometimes tedious - are a very important part of the wedding day process. No one loves doing it at the time, but everyone loves having those photos for years to come.

Advice for Brides + Grooms

Sit down together with your fiancé, and create a simple list of requested shots that you don’t want your photographer to forget. Be realistic about it - we don’t need to know that you want your first kiss captured or that you want to take pictures with your soon-to-be spouse, because if we’re not capturing those standard moments - well, that’s a whole other issue for another day (haha!).

But we really do want to know that you want a picture with your Great Aunt Jane. We want to know that you want a generation picture with your mom, sister and grandmother. We want to know at your reception that you’ve got a choreographed number with a lift, so we can be sure to position ourselves to best capture it.

Even better? We want to know everyone’s names. If we can call out names (“Okay guys, I need Bob, Judy, Anthony and Christina with our bride and groom!”), it makes the whole process personal and much more efficient.

Not sure if you should have a family group shot with your sister’s boyfriend? Ask your photographer to take one with, and one without. Easier to do that than come back in 6 months and ask us to photoshop him out (and yes, we’ve gotten that request before!).

Keep your requested shots list short and simple. Each grouping takes 2-3 minutes to set up and shoot - so try to keep it under 10 groupings.

If you can, have the wait staff from cocktail hour bring over trays of food and drinks for everyone to snack on while they’re waiting for groupings to be assembled - especially the wedding couple!

Advice for Photographers

Be in constant communication with your wedding clients about the shots that are really most important to them. Find out if Grandma or Grandpa is coming, find out who is traveling from a distance. Follow them around at a respectable distance during the reception, to capture them candidly with their friends and family. Not every wedding photo needs to be staged or posed - and often times, those candid photos are the best ones!

Check their list before the wedding - and try to see if they’ve missed anything.

Always start with babies and the elderly first. We find that this is just the most efficient way to do family photos, because they’re the ones who want to go sit down the most.

Keep it light, keep it fun, keep people laughing.

Until next week! xoxo

Have a question for us? Email us at ashleydurhamstudios@gmail.com and you might see it featured here!



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  1. Shauna

    September 23rd, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Great advice! 😀

  2. Misty Adams Christensen

    September 23rd, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Uh, yes!! So many great tips!

  3. Candi Leonard

    September 23rd, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    great tips!! I always request family formal shot list with every wedding! IT helps so much!

  4. Jill Marie

    September 24th, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Great tips, and yes that list is SO helpful!!

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