For a wedding photographer, preparing for each wedding photography session can be fulfilling and at the same time stressful. Regardless of your experience and skills, the pressure on you as a wedding photographer to capture every big and little detail of a wedding day as it unfolds can be enormously pressurizing. So it will always pay to be organized and prepared as a wedding photographer to go into a big day and own it. From not missing a moment to creating memorable wedding moments deliberately, the journey of a wedding photographer starts and ends with delivering all the must-have wedding photos along with a few extras!
Wedding photography is the equivalent of a marathon in the world of photography. This can often translate to a 12-hour day jam-packed with must-have wedding shots and split-second memories. As a result, it’s easy to lose track and overlook a few crucial wedding photos. This is why wedding photographers have checklists. Whether you are starting off as a budding wedding photographer or you have years of skills and expertise under your sleeves, coming up with a wedding photography pose checklist can always pay off handsomely. This wedding photo checklist will provide a thorough overview of all the major tasks you need to complete leading up to a wedding shoot, as well as prepare you for what to expect on the big day. Not only this but it’s also important to consult with the to-be-married couple beforehand and accommodate their wishlist in your wedding photography plans.
It’s important to consult with the couple about their schedule and adjust your plans accordingly, but this wedding photo checklist will provide a thorough overview of all the major tasks you need to complete leading up to a wedding shoot, as well as prepare you for what to expect on the big day. For instance, the couple might want to incorporate their religious traditions or not include certain parts of their wedding- it is always important to understand the must-have wedding photography checklist that they have created for themselves and surprise them with your photography skills and keen attention to detail. A wedding photography checklist can help you avoid missing important moments. This wedding photography checklist can help you get started. Photographers who are just starting out should not feel limited to the wedding photos on the list. Here’s what new wedding photographers should do before and during the wedding once they have mastered their camera and gear.
Importance of wedding photography poses
Running out of good and photogenic poses in the middle of a photography session is something every wedding photographer worries about. Whether you are shooting an engagement photography session or a bridal portrait session, it is always important to keep the poses fresh and fun, along with doing something different from run-of-the-mill shots. The comprehensive and detailed wedding photographer poses checklist is the art and science of creating memorable wedding photos and it comes with various interpretations.
From wedding photography lighting playing a key part to dealing with camera-shy couples to skillful post-production, a lot of judgment and renditions go behind each wedding photography session. For instance, a couple can suddenly look awkward and unflattering with the wrong couple poses, and on the other hand with the right camera techniques and angles, concealing blemishes can make a couple look flawless irrespective of how they look in real life. Moreover, odd posing can make a naturally affectionate couple appear awkward and distant. Even the stiffest and stoic couples can appear undeniably fun and in love with the right pose.
Poses checklist for wedding photographers:
Pre-wedding shot list
Between the ceremony and the reception, there is usually a rush. Before the wedding, take as many pictures as you can. The order in which these shots are taken will vary. This is due to the day’s schedule and how it unfolds.
- The bridal outfit– Photograph the wedding dress by itself before the bride gets dressed. Make sure to ask for permission before carefully moving the dress for photography as wedding dresses tend to have very delicate details that need mindful handling. Choose a beautiful location within the venue, and as a general rule, keep in mind that the groom should not see the dress.
- The bride and her bridesmaids getting ready for the big day– The finishing touches on hair and makeup are included in some traditional shots. Alternatively, the bride zips up her gown, putting on her shoes, and putting on her garter.
- Putting the veil or the jewelry on– Request that someone close to the bride, such as her mother, place the veil or assist with the jewelry.
- Any bridal first impressions– Photograph the bride being dressed for the first time in front of her parents, or when her bridesmaids see her for the first time.
- The groom and his groomsmen getting ready for the big day– Putting on a tie, adjusting cufflinks, and putting on shoes are all classic shots. You can also shoot the groom’s boutonniere getting pinned on.
- Portraits of the bride and groom– The bride and the groom should be photographed individually. Remember to use a variety of poses, including full-length, close-up, and poses with and without the bouquet. Include at least one shot of the wedding outfit from the back.
- Bridesmaids with the bride– Photograph the bride’s side of the family in a variety of poses. Include variation in both full length and closer crops once more. Include the flower girl and/or junior bridesmaids in some of the group shots if there are any. Take a photo of all of the girls together.
- The groom and his groomsmen– Take a photo of all of the guys together. Create a variety of poses and compositions. Also, take pictures of the groom with each of his groomsmen.
- The bride and groom are accompanied by their parents– Photograph the bride and her parents, as well as the groom and his parents. If you don’t have enough time before the ceremony, do these after the family shots.
- First look– You will also be photographing couples’ portraits before the ceremony if the couple has chosen to do the first look. Photograph the groom’s first sight of his beloved. Then take photos of the two of them in a variety of formal poses.
Wedding details shot list:
Months of planning went into the couple’s wedding day. Make a point of capturing the smaller details of the day. These shots can be worn by the parties or as stand-alone items. These are some of them:
- The wedding bands
- The bride’s shoes
- The bridal veil
- Bridal jewelry and accessories
- Something old, new, borrowed, and blue
- The wedding bouquets
- The groom and groomsmen boutonnieres
- Invitations or programs for weddings
- The wedding getaway car
- Any other minor details on which the bride and groom collaborated.
Wedding ceremony shot list:
Understand the schedule to understand your vantage points to get the best clicks. Get as many angles and compositions to your advantage and focus on the candid moments that will unfold during the ceremony. Here is a wedding ceremony shot checklists apart from the candids.
- When parents and grandparents enter– If the ceremony includes the lighting of unity candles, don’t forget to photograph the mothers doing so.
- The entrance of the groom and groomsmen.
- The bride and the bridal party entry– Each member of the bridal party taking part in the wedding party processional.
- The ring bearer in close-up.
- The entrance of the bride– The bride making her way down the aisle.
- The reaction of the groom on seeing his bride- Quick reflexes are required! Each item is on the schedule for the ceremony. Each couple is different, so make sure you have a schedule so you know what’s going on when.
- Any performers or speakers.
- A wide-angle view of the entire ceremony venue, including the audience.
- Reaction shots– Keep an eye on the audience for potential reaction shots, particularly the laughing or crying family in the front row.
- The exchange of rings– Try to capture multiple perspectives while the bride and groom recite “I give you this ring.” Include a close-up of the bride and groom’s hands, as well as one that includes both of them.
- The kiss– Plan ahead to determine your position for this crucial shot. And don’t forget to take that picture first. Then, if it’s a long kiss, use the zoom to change up the angles.
- The receiving line– The recessional as the bridal party leaves is crucial. At the start of the receiving line, grab a few hugs from family members.
- The dramatic exit– This can be anything from bubbles and bird seeds to confetti and sparklers.
Post ceremony shot list:
If the wedding reception venue is different from the ceremony location, then discuss it with the couple beforehand to capture the couple and the guests traveling and arriving in style for the reception. These transport shots can be some of the most artistic and stunning shots of a wedding.
- Family poses– On each side, there are family poses. Obtain a list of family members from the couple. This is due to the fact that every family is unique, and there may be step-relatives. Request that the couple designates a family member to assist you in locating each group ahead of time. Because you don’t know the family, they will make sure no one is left out. Begin with the entire family. Grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins are all members of the family. Then take people out of the pose to focus on just the parents and siblings, and then just the parents.
- The officiant and the bride and groom.
- The bride and groom, together in the ceremony location.
- The bride and groom with their bridal party.
- The arrival of the wedding party at the ceremony location.
- The flower girl and ring bearer with the bride and groom.
- The married couple can be photographed outside or in a secondary location. These are the photographs that are most likely to be orchestrated and hung on the bride and groom’s walls. As a result, gather a variety of poses and devote the most time to them. For variety, get full-length and close-up shots of each pose. Include both still and action shots of the couple, such as them walking together or kissing.
Catch the wedding party outdoors in the second location.
- Work on setting up the formal poses, such as walking to the next location, looking for candid moments of the couple, bridal party, and wedding guests interacting.
- A close-up of the rings on the hands of the bride and groom.
- The signing of a marriage license.
Wedding reception shot list:
At the reception, introduce yourself to the DJ or wedding band beforehand and alert everyone to inform you about the transition from dinner and major events. You do not want to miss out on important events like the first dance or something related to wedding traditions.
- The wedding cake– Full shots and up-close details of the cake before it is cut
- The reception table centerpieces
- The arrival of the wedding party
- Wedding toasts
- Cutting of the wedding cake
- The couple’s first dance as newlyweds
- The bridesmaids and groomsmen dancing
- The father-daughter dance
- The mother-son dance
- The garter toss– Getting the garter back and tossing it, as well as a shot of the groom with the guest who caught the garter.
- The bridal bouquet toss– as well as a shot of the bride with the bouquet-catcher.
- Wedding games– Any other activities or games that the couple had planned.
- The dance floor– is where it all happens.
- Candid moments– Throughout the night, keep an eye out for candid moments from both guests and the wedding party.
- Dramatic wedding exit– If anything special, such as bubbles or confetti, is planned for the exit.
It can be nerve-wracking to photograph your first or 100th wedding! Preparation can help you relax while also ensuring that you get enough photos to fill an entire wedding album. And if you are a skilled wedding photographer with years of experience, the journey is bound to get more exciting with a wedding photography checklist!