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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wedding Photography: 85 Great Photo Suggestions

I have found many sites with many variations on photo suggestions. I think the following information found on is about as solid of a list as you can find.

Now from experience I would like to add a few things. My contract asks for 60 minutes before and 60 minutes after the ceremony to get the shots that most brides are looking for. No two weddings are exactly alike, so make sure your photographer really understands your wishes and desires. Based on what you as the bride is looking for, you may find that you need much more or much less time. I have a wedding coming up soon where we will do photos at the church after the wedding, we will then travel 45 minutes south to the Atalaya Castle for photos, then off to the reception about 20 minutes north.

In this instance, the standard shot list and standard time needed is really tossed out the window.

If you don't mind a few more than my 2 cents... ;)

Time needed for photos calculations and a really helpful piece of advice...

If you can offer your photographer a friend or family member that knows who is going to be in your photos, this can be oh so helpful to have this "helper". I actually make a specific request in my contract for this, for I feel its that important. This allows me to have 2 shot lists. One for me to check off and the second for this "helper". As I am setting up the shot, the next group can be gathered by the "helper". This will help move your time line along much faster. I use 1 - 1.5 minutes per group photo wanted. So, if you have 30 group photos, with mom's and dad's, aunt's and uncle's, etc. you will likely need 30-45 minutes.

Now, as the bride to be, I think you will be much happier with me if it only takes me 20-25 minutes vs 60-70-80 minutes. Therefor, I think its always better to err on the side of planning more time, than less.


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Wedding Photography: 85 Great Photo Suggestions
Your wedding day will be packed with precious moments. Take stock of them here and you won't miss a shot.

No doubt there are many wedding moments you won't want to miss. The best way to ensure your photographer captures the right moments for all posterity is to provide a suggested shot list. Of course, the style and number of these images will all depend on the photographer you've chosen and how long you've hired that pro for, but a shot list of photos you'd love to have is a great way to cover your bases. Since you should count on at least five minutes per shot, it's unrealistic to expect all the photos below, but pick and choose those shots that mean most to you.
Getting Ready

• Bride's clothes hanging on the wardrobe, on the bedpost, or over a chair
• Bridesmaids doing bride's hair and makeup
• Bride and bridesmaids getting dressed, applying makeup
• Mom helping bride with one last detail, such as veil
• Full-length shot of bride in gown checking herself out in mirror
• Detail of clothing, shoes, garter, something borrowed, something blue
• Touching shot of bride with parent/s and/or stepparent/s
• Touching shot of bride with sibling/s
• Bride hugging honor attendant
• Bride with bridesmaids
• Bride with all the women
• Groom getting ready with Dad and pals (tying the tie is a classic)
• Touching shot of groom with parent/s and/or stepparent/s
• Touching shot of groom with sibling/s
• Groom with his arm affectionately around best man
• Groom with all the groomsmen
• Groomsmen putting on boutonnieres or bowties
• Intimate shots of bride and groom chatting with/crying with/hugging parents and siblings preceremony
• Dad whispering last-minute advice to groom
• Groom ready to go
• Bride ready to go
• Bride and groom separately making their way to the ceremony (in a limo backseat, hailing a cab, walking down the street/hall/stairs)
The Ceremony

• Guests streaming into the site
• Ushers escorting guests to their seats
• Ushers escorting moms to their seats (Christian wedding)
• Close-up of groom's adorably nervous mug waiting for his other half
• Bridesmaids and groomsmen walking down the aisle
• Flower girl and/or ring bearer entering
• Honor attendant walking down the aisle
• Grandparents walking down the aisle (Jewish wedding)
• Wedding party waiting at the altar
• Groom walking down the aisle
• Bride and Dad/escort/parents (Jewish wedding) walking down the aisle
• Close-up of bride just before she makes her entrance
• Bride and groom at the altar
• Altar or canopy from the back during ceremony
• Wide shot of audience during ceremony, from bride and groom's point of view
• Faces of bride and groom as they exchange vows
• Close-up of bride's and groom's hands as they exchange rings
• The kiss
• Bride and groom proceeding up the aisle, guests' smiling faces at their sides
• Bride and groom outside ceremony site
• Congrats shots: bride and groom hugging, laughing, and crying with good friends and family
• Bride and groom leaving ceremony site
• Bride and groom in limo backseat
Before the Reception (During the Cocktail Hour)

Note: You can also take these before the ceremony.
• Bride and groom together
• Bride with her happy, proud parents and/or stepparents
• Bride with her entire immediate family
• Groom with his happy, proud parents and/or stepparents
• Groom with his entire immediate family
• Bride and groom with all parents
• Bride and groom with immediate family members from both sides
• Bride and groom with groomsmen
• Bride and groom with bridesmaids
• Bride and groom with whole wedding party
The Reception

• Shot from outside reception site (to set the tone)
• Reception details such as place cards, guest book, centerpieces, decorations, table settings, favors table, and champagne glasses
• Bride and groom arriving (make it dramatic -- their faces through the dark limo windows, the two lovebirds atop a staircase or pushing through a curtain)
• Receiving line moments
• Bride and groom at head table
• Parents' table
• Guests' tables
• Close-up of friends and family making toasts
• Bride and groom sipping champagne
• Bride's and groom's parents whispering to each other during dinner
• Bride and groom chatting up the guests
• Bride and groom's first dance (maybe with a slow shutter speed so the movement blurs the image a little)
• Parents dancing
• Bride and Dad dancing
• Groom and Mom dancing
• Wedding party dancing
• Grandparents dancing
• Kids playing or dancing
• Musicians or DJ doing their thing
• Guests going nuts on the dance floor (again, slow shutter speed could be effective)
• Bride laughing with bridesmaids
• Cake table
• Bride and groom cutting the cake
• Bride and groom feeding each other cake
• Dessert table
• Bouquet toss (perhaps a vertical shot from in front of the bride)
• Tossing and catching of the garter
• Bride and groom leaving, waving from getaway car's backseat
• Rear of car departing

Thanks to for this information

Is Wedding Photojournalism a Fad??

As a photographer I have always thought and naturally leaned toward a photo journalistic approach. Every wedding I have ever shot, has also had a clear line of photojournalism with some of the more traditional twists. Below is an article that I really loved reading and I hope you do as well. I take great photos, but my grammatical skills are somewhat lacking. ;)


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Is Wedding Photojournalism a Fad??
by Meghan McEwen for The Wedding Photojournalist Association

We've all flipped through well-worn wedding albums of parents, aunts and uncles, and even grandparents, chuckling at dated hairstyles, handlebar mustaches, peach taffeta bridesmaids dresses, and powder blue tuxes. Wedding photojournalists might contend that these photos wouldn't seem so out of style (hideous wedding gowns and bad male perms aside) if more emphasis had been placed on the un-styled, un-planned moments of the wedding day, rather than the prescribed agenda of highly organized groups of people staring at the camera.

On the contrary, naysayers insist wedding photojournalism is merely a trendy, passing fad that disrespects the venerable traditions of the classic posed shot. They point out that tradition, and true photographic quality, is often sacrificed for grainy, natural-light candids that claim to be "art."

Others scoff at the idea that tears and laughter recorded forever will soon be going out of style. "When real life goes out of style, we're all in trouble," says WPJA award winner Peggy Bair. "When is that ever going to go out of style? Real moments - you can't fake them."

Bair argues that when people look back at their wedding photographs, they'd like to remember what they felt at the time, not just what they looked like, which is surely to be out of date 20 years later. What really matters, she says, is the actual experience the photographer is documenting.

"I think people want to experience real life as it happens. They want to remember their wedding day, without someone asking them constantly to move or stand a certain way," she says. "They don't want to remember the photographer making him dip her back like that. They want to remember the spontaneous moment - the real moment.

"Then they can say, 'That's what I look like when I'm really living my life. That's who I really am," she says.


Bair adds that there are trendy photos out there posing as wedding photojournalism.

Today's "trendy" wedding photojournalism happens when a photographer takes photos that have become expected in the genre. "Someone decided that it was photojournalistic to take a photo of the dress hanging on a hanger. Now every photographer takes a photo of the dress, and it's not [wedding] photojournalism anymore," muses Bair.


Other, au currant photo poses to be wary of: dipping the bride; the jumping bridal party; tilted horizons ("tilting photos does not make you a photojournalist," she says); and close-up detail shots. "Don't just take a picture of the shoes, and then say, 'OK, I got that.'"

"We can look back at the 70s and 80s and say, 'Oh that's so passé,' but we're doing it again, just with a different set of pictures," Bair notes.


Brides and grooms need to understand the difference between real wedding photojournalism and the trends some photographers are buying into, according to our experts. If you are adamant about documenting your wedding in a photojournalistic style, make sure you communicate your wishes to your photographer, so he or she doesn't feel pressured to get those canned shots, and can instead focus on the real moments, happening organically, without direction or interruption.

WPJA award winner Joe Milton says since none of the popular styles - traditional, portrait photography or wedding photojournalism - is going anywhere; that it's more about understanding the differences so you don't get caught up in the fads.

"Usually my clients have looked at several photographers, and they've looked at websites - and they've picked me, specifically saying they don't want those posed shots that they've seen in everyone else's album," he says. "They don't want those cliché photos - the groom dipping the bride in front of a mountain, the brides veil thrown over the groom's head. They already know that they don't want the experience of the photographer being in charge and directing the whole day; they want someone to record it."

Advice to brides and grooms: do your research, and then ask yourself some questions - and be honest. Do you want your wedding photographer to have control of how you look? Do you want him or her to be directing you during the day? Or are you the type of people who would rather not worry about the photographer, but instead have someone who is there to document the day as it happens, free from interference? Are you confident enough to let the moments speak for themselves, or do you already know how you want the photographs to look, and you simply need a photographer to help you set them up and capture them?

Another WPJA award-winner, Marc Climie, maintains that there's more to picking a photographer than simply picking a style; that each photographer brings characteristics to the job that will influence the photos. "The traditional photographer is more apt to mingle with the crowd, talk to people, and interact. It's his or her personality," he charges. "The documentary photographer is more of an observer, watching people react and interact."

It's that observing eye that captures the reality of a wedding - the real moments that you'll remember years later when flipping through your photos. Does he think that's a trend? "I believe there is beauty and art in reality," he says simply.

"It is a fad no more than a mother standing back in awe of her daughter's beauty is a fad, no more than a tearful father walking his daughter down the aisle is a fad, no more than life is a fad."