Does your wedding photographer need a shot list?

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February 20, 2017

Duluth MN wedding photographer

There’s a curious myth floating around (perpetuated by wedding magazines everywhere) stating that your photographer needs a shot list. I always wince a little when I read these well-intended articles. Real talk? Nothing shuts our brains down faster than a comprehensive list of every moment you want captured.

Remember, a wedding day is a living, breathing life force. Not every moment will unfold as you expect it to, so don’t force it! Plan an intentional day, but be fully present. If you’re so wrapped up in your photographer capturing prescribed moments, they could miss the real, unscripted moments unfolding before them. Here’s the secret: Your photographer has a mental “shot list” built into the very fiber of their being, better than any published magazine list. Our secret ninja skill is anticipating moments before they happen. Although our families may poke fun at our hyper-observant nature, this means we’ll capture everything from the big moments to the in-between ones you didn’t realize were happening.

With my wedding clients, open communication & logistics are the bomb. When I first meet with couples before booking, we craft a timeline for their day. Then, closer to the date, I ask for any unique details or special events you want to ensure I don’t miss. For example: “Are there any special heirlooms included with your getting ready details?” or “Will there be any special dances or announcements made at the reception?”  If your flower girl’s birthday is on the big day and you’re giving her a special cupcake with a lit sparkler on top, of course we’d love to know about this!  Just remember: This doesn’t mean we need a laundry list of shots, or a play-by-play of requested angles or poses. That’s where our skills & vision come into play. We thrive when our clients fully entrust us with their memories.

So please, dear couples: Don’t worry about us! Choose a photographer whose work & personality you adore, then trust them to make magic happen. Give us the freedom to capture your day authentically, and the resulting images will surpass even your wildest glossy magazine expectations.