The Shot List: Who's Who


The shot list is the list of all the photos you will be expected to produce on your clients’ wedding day, including portraits of individuals and groups. It will determine the equipment you need, the number of assistants—in short, everything required to carry out your assignment, and allow you to keep track of your progress. You should consult with the bride and groom to produce this list. They may well want your opinion on which photos are necessary and which are extraneous. They should also designate an official spotter—someone who not only knows everyone on the list, but can pick them out in a crowd and help corral them for the photos.

Before, during, and after the wedding ceremony, it will be your job to photograph the bride and groom, along with their respective parents, grandparents, best man, groomsmen and bridesmaids, in any number of combinations. There will also probably be a short (or long) list of other people the newlyweds will want to have photographed during the course of the day. You’ll need to be familiar with this list before the day arrives.

You should also make a point of capturing spontaneous moments that occur between guests, which will serve to balance out the formality of the traditional portraits, and more often than not, sometimes these turn out to be the best pictures of the day. Consider bringing an assistant—or more than one, contingent on the size of the guest roster. A sample shot list can be found here.


A wedding list completely kills any spontaneity and creative flow in a wedding photography day. I always suggest the bride/groom build a list with their parents, to help them keep organized in preplanning. I continue that if they want to bring the list to the wedding, give it to someone who knows the individuals on the list. They will be responsible for gathering the participants. I always say I will most likely not shoot in the order of their list. I used to subcontract for a studio that had the list imprinted on the back of the contract; a kiss of death scenario!!! The list being on the contract, made it part of the contract. You'd stand there with camera in one hand, list in the other, and a pen in your mouth to check off shots when completed, for fear of screwing with the contract. NEVER again.

If you need a shot list then your not much of a wedding photo person.  List take you away from being creative, and spontanoius. Avoid them at all cost...

300 weddings shot