Monday, October 4, 2010

Groupthink: The Shot List

Okay, on The Knot's pesky to-do list is "give your photographer a shot list".  I've already made a list of our family that we must get posed portraits of, and I trust our awesome photographer to get pictures of us cutting the cake and of the toasts, so what else should go on the shot list?  We need a massive mural picture of all of us jumping for the south wall of our apartment, right?  Something that can be blown up to 16 feet wide???

Another question: I have 116 acres at my disposal.  It would be a shame not to ask our photographer to go use the nearby tree stump for details shots, rather than just having them sit in their boring little boxes (I lie. I don't have boxes.), right?

So let me have your ideas! What shots do you love when you see them? Marrieds - what were you sad or really happy that the photographer hadn't/had caught?  What's on your shot list?


  1. The number one thing I'm disappointed in my photographer for not getting were the reactions ... mine, the boy's, and most importantly EVERYONE ELSE'S.

    Looking through my shots, I'm in almost every single one of them. Which is fine and dandy and yay for pretty pictures of me, but it's like she (the photog) took what she was "told" to, and checked out on everything else. I would have loved to have photos of my family watching us get married. Or the crowd laughing at my MOH's toast. Or, you know, having the good time that I know they had.

    It's a hard one to request, but maybe just mention it. It breaks my heart a little bit that I don't have pictures of the love we felt from everyone.

  2. I was so effing lazy, I just told her to get some detail shots and try to get as many "action" shots of the guests as she could. Which -- I mean, it was stupid, because that's her job, but I just didn't know what to tell her. I've been really pleased so far (even though I haven't finished looking through them all yet), and I have to say that the ones I like best are the ones where people are laughing as if they're about to pee their pants. I'm not sure how to ask a photographer to get those, though . . .

  3. A good photographer needs little direction. Based on the photos I've seen of Ellie's engagement, she has a good one.

    In general, I think a long list of specific photos is excessive (like the kind the Knot endorses). Guidelines, like please take photos of guests, some shots of the details we made, rings on the stump, and then the posed photos lineups should be about right. Anymore, and you're micromanaging your photographer. The photog knows to take pics of the cake cutting and first dance type events.

    You've got to trust your photographer based on their past work. If you don't, you didn't choose the right one.

  4. Oh, and to add, it is really helpful to give the photographer a schedule of events (including the wedding program). Like if you are being introduced and then going straight into the first dance, the photographer needs to be prepared for that kind of transition.

    So I'd say less emphasis on list of "required" photos, and more on a detailed plan for the day so they can be prepared with the right types of lenses and lights at the ready and be in the right location.

  5. Skip the list shot, if you've got a sweet photographer (and I'm pretty sure you do), they won't need it unless there's something painfully specific that you want to capture and know now that you would be disappointed if that weren't included. For me, it was a picture with the dog I've had since I was 12.
    Moreover, I was really against formal shots of family groups, but between my mother and our photographer, we were talked into it. Thank goodness for that. Those photos are some of my favorites. As are the ones of just he and I away from all of the craziness that was the venue. My suggestion is that you find somewhere private to do couples shots. For the first few of ours, a couple of our family members were trying to sneak a peak of the photographer in action and it made me feel particularly awkward. If you're uncomfortable, it will likely show in the photos, so just make sure that whatever you're doing, you are both cool with it.
    Finally, nope, it's definitely not a shame to ask the photographer to branch out a little (get it... branch? 'cause you said tree stump; I'm hilarious, to myself). Detail shots can be boring if it's always the same ol' same ol', and ring shots look particularly nifty on tree stumps.

  6. Our photographer gave us a list of the common shots. We scratched off the ones we did not want, added a few must haves, and used that as a starting point. We also provided her with a schedule, which she used to place herself and her assistant during the dayto get the best photos. We really wanted a photo of everyone at the wedding so she got that organized and it is one of my favorite shots of the wedding. She was awesome to work with and she kept coming up with new ideas as we did our pictures before the wedding.

  7. If there are any particular poses/groupings that are really important to you, make sure to get those in a couple of different spots.
    My only real regret is that I don't have a really good shot of my parents and I - I have a few decent ones, but not super ones. My hubbies parents kept inserting themselves in photos (he's an only child), while mine kind of stayed in the background, away from the action. I wish I would have insisted on more with my parents! (But I was also dealing with my 2nd round of shingles and slightly off my game!)

  8. Are you doing a first look? Those have been some of my favorite photos, and also one of my absolute favorite parts of the wedding day.

    Not sure if you're having a reader, soloist, etc. for your wedding, but I didn't get a picture with my reader and keep regretting it. Make sure you grab that person.

    And I really liked the pictures Nick and I have of each holding the other one's wedding band. There are great plans to eventually hang the two in a little trio along with the picture of our rings on top of the wedding program.

  9. If you have anything that is borrowed or passed down and used for family weddings, I would get a photo of that. For us, we asked that the knife (that was used in my husband's grandfather's catering business and subsequently at all the grand children's weddings) be be caught in a shot or two.

    Other than that, she just did her thing and got great shots of everyone. Some that I liked that I didn't ask for were pictures of other married couples dancing (close ups of just them).