February 6, 2024

Have you ever gotten a group of friends together for a group photo and realized that someone has been left out? In a group setting, there is often a crazy amount of distraction going on that makes it easy to lost in the noise and celebration. The bad part about getting distracted when your trying to take a large group photo is that you may just leave out someone important. This is something that can happen all too easily during a wedding day if the photographer isn’t prepped with a solid list of people, groups, and combinations of photos to take at different times during the day. These types of photos can range from particular moments while everyone is getting ready or the most important combinations of family photos after the ceremony. Needless to say, if your wedding is coming up, save yourself the grief of leaving someone important out or missing a moment that you want by giving your photographer a well laid out group and a family shot list.

A wedding day shot list will only take about twenty to thirty minutes to nail down. It can be broken down into smaller bite-size portions. Once you have the moments, times of day, and types of photos put together you will be able to dive into who is needed for the photos. Have the wedding day timeline on hand to think through moments and different types of photos from start to finish. Not only will this help the future Mr. and Mrs. plan accordingly with things like toasting glasses for a pre-wedding toast but also help the photographer know how and when to be prepared for. As a photographer we want to keep an eye on the flow of the day and part of that is being in the right place at the right time or creating the moment when the time arises. For making a quick list start with three easy times; getting ready, pre-ceremony, and post-ceremony.

While talking trough this with Kayleigh and Kenneth leading up to their ‘BIG DAY’ at The Milestone in New Braunfels, TX we started working on our group shot list first. Diving into what moments would be fun to photograph when Kayleigh and ladies finished up hair and makeup with blush bridal lounge while they still had to matching PJ’s on. Keep in mind, these moments are way fun for the bride and her ladies! Getting cute pre-ceremony photos of the girls in a group is a great way to show off how much fun they are having in the hours leading up the ‘I do’s.’ The reason why it is important to have a list of these moments is due to the fact that hair and makeup are bound to run a little behind. If we know what you want we can start making preparations for these photos so when the moment presents itself it can be taken advantage of. For Kayleigh and her bridesmaids, we had all the glasses ready to go with champagne in them and a spot in the bridal suite ready for them together for the shot. There are many different group and family photos to get during this time of day, spend a little time thinking about what vibe you want in the hours before the ceremony and tailor your shot list to it.

The pre-ceremony photos are the next thing to think about and can be very important to the flow of the rest of the wedding day. This is where the shot list can start to get a little more tricky and time gets a little tighter. We like to think about these photos from two different perspectives. One being the ‘first look’ and the other being the ‘no-look’. The ‘first look’ is a way of saying that the bride and groom will see one another before the ceremony starts. The ‘no-look’ refers to brides and grooms who will wait until the bride walks down the aisle to see one another for the first time. If our couple is going to do the ‘first look’ we have the option to get a much larger chunk of shots knocked off the group shot list and may even have some time for the family shot list. Here is the kicker for these photos, they will need to be taken no matter if it is before or after the ceremony. The shot list for some of these groups will start to get specific as to who will be in them. Some of the typical groupings are the bride with her bridesmaids and the grooms, the groom with his groomsmen and bridesmaids. If we go the ‘no-look’ path the group shot list can stop there in most timelines. These group photos may not be able to happen at the same time and will involve a little bit of hiding and seek as the photographers take the bride and groom out separately. If there is a ‘first look’ you can take most of the photos one after another and even add in the group photos of the entire wedding party. Once the bride and groom have seen each other it also makes family photos go much quicker.

It’s easy to understand the classic horror story about wedding photographers taking an unrealistic amount of time taking the post-ceremony photos. We can determine if its a lack of confidence or a lack of a good family shot list. In our experience, a well laid out list of group combinations with the respective name of each person in the photos can do great things for photographers’ confidence. Not only will the family photos need to be taken during this time but any remaining photos that couldn’t be taken during the pre-ceremony time will need to be. This could range from the wedding party to bridal and couples portraits. Kayleigh and Kenneth used our own family shot list form for their combination list. We found over the years of doing family photos, if we have an efficient list we can photograph not only the family photos but all post-ceremony photos in about forty-five minutes. If there is a traditional cocktail hour in the timeline the couple may even get a few minutes to just sit and take a deep breath before going into the party of a lifetime.

There are of course many more photos of all different types to be captured on a wedding day and needless to say, being able to work with your photographer to come up with great ideas that turn into organized group and family shot list will take the stress off the bride and groom and control to the creatives capturing the photos. It’s never to early to chat through these photos with both sides of the wedding party and both sets of parents to make sure nothing and no one is missed. In the chaos of wedding planning, it’s easy to forget about aunt Debbie.

No items found.
Article Tags
St. Louis
Kansas City

Reach out by getting a quote and we’ll start planning out your day together.

Get a Quote