Does anyone have a sample "must have" shots for the photographer?

posted 3 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
657 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

commenting to follow.

Post # 4
1287 posts
Bumble bee

No.  Just for formals for the church. I hired my photographer knowing the work they do, saw a few “full” wedding samples. I know what she captures and I’m pleased and fully trust her that she will capture the day as it happens. I think I’d insult my photographer by giving her a list of “must have shots” for the wedding, besides church formals.  

I hired her for her artistic talent…not to become her boss and tell her what to do and how to do it.. 

Post # 6
1287 posts
Bumble bee

These are just for the church formals with family members…keeping it simple.

B&G w/ B parents

B&G w/B parents +Siblings

B&G w/G parents

B&G w/G parents +Siblings

B&G w/Grandparents

B&G w/both sets of parents


B&G + Wedding Party



Post # 7
657 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@rickhurst35:  I thought I would interject and just let you know that most photographers ask you for a list of “must have” photos. Yes, they are professionals but even they miss key moments. The wedding I was just in had photos of just the bride with everyone in her family EXCEPT her mother. The photographer just forgot to go and grab her! Had it been on a list she probably would have been able to say “ok someone go find mom.” She took nearly zero photos of the guests and there were no photos of the bride and her grandparents. It’s a hectic day for everyone.


When I showed up to my engagement session the first thing my photographer asked was “are there any specific shots you want?” I drew a blank, I wish we had gotten more poses but I couldn’t think of anything at the moment so we got a lot of the same thing, the photos are amazing I just wish it was a little more diverse. So it’s not about being “their boss” but about ensuring you get what you paid for, after all it is your day to remember how you like. Now if you set up a time-table and have a list 100 images long, then maybe you’re going a little too far.

edit: You clarified while I was typing that out but I still think it’s important to have a list of photos you would like to have aside from the typical formals.

Post # 9
1287 posts
Bumble bee

@chouette:  you aren’t a professional photographer are you? I have been for 10+ years, I’ve never had anyone complain or give me crazy lists. They trust me for my ability and artistic talent to shoot their day…….. You may interject when you do are shooting 15-20 weddings from April to November 🙂 that’s all I have to say.




Post # 10
657 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@rickhurst35:  That’s awesome but that doesn’t mean that EVERYONE’S photographer is as great as you are. Most people I’ve talked to have had at least one or two photos they wished their photographer had thought to take and almost ALL photographers I contacted asked me if I had a list of photos I wanted. It’s not like I told them to do their job, they asked so please calm down and quit being so defensive. 

Post # 11
865 posts
Busy bee

I started a board on pinterest to keep track of photo ideas.  I plan to pass the link along to my photographer when we get closer to the wedding along with a list of the must haves.  Here’s a few pictures –

A good mommy & me:

Bride & MOH (not with these effects, but the idea is there)

A super romantic photo:

Something for the thank you cards:


Post # 12
3199 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@engleman10513:  UM yes. i went crazy on my list, but my photographer told me to. ^.^


Pre-ceremony getting ready & inanimate photos

Bride getting hair and makeup done

Bridal party each getting their hair/makeup done

Photos of whatever bridal party gifts are present

Bridal party traveling from salon to venue

Venue from the outside

Guest book

Unity ceremony stuff


Ceremony space before people arrive

The rings sitting on something

Up-close shots of the dress

Dress hanging

Bridal party dresses and bridal gown hanging together

Up-close of the veil

Bridal jewelry

Bridal shoes

Bridal shoes with bridal party’s shoes

Bridal bouquet sitting alone

1.5 hours from now to ceremony

Bridal party getting ready at venue

MOH putting on her own dress

Bridal party/MOB/MOH/my sister helping the bride get ready

Bride putting on jewelry/shoes

Bride praying

Bride reading morning-of card from groom

Bridal party at the venue in the bridal suite after they’re dressed and ready

Groom getting ready

Groomsmen getting ready

Groom reading morning-of card from bride

Groomsmen’s gifts

Pre-ceremony bride/bridal party/family photos

Bridal portraits

  • Bride from behind

  • Train

  • Bride in front of the mirror

  • Bride under veil

  • Thoughtful/peaceful photos of the bride

  • Bride looking in the mirror/touching up makeup

  • Up-close of bride holding her bouquet

Up-close of MOH  holding her bouquet

Formals of bride with bridesmaids

    – with bouquets

    – without bouquets

Formals of bride with each individual bridesmaid

Bride and bridesmaids from the waist down

Silly/fun of bride and bridesmaids

Bride and bridesmaids’ bouquets up-close

Bride with officiant

Bride with her mother

Bride with her father

Bride with her mother and father

Bride with her mother, father and sister

Bride with sister

Bride with groomsmen

Groom portraits

  • Thoughtful/peaceful of the groom

  • Smiling of the groom

Formal of groom with groomsmen

Formal of groom with each individual groomsman

Silly/fun of groom and groomsmen

Groom with officiant

Groom with his mom

Groom with his dad

Groom with his brothers

Groom with mom and brothers

Groom with his dad and brothers

Groom with mom and dad

Groom with mom, dad and brothers

Groom with his dad and stepmom

Groom with bridesmaids

If possible, any individual portraits of bride & groom separately to save time during cocktail hour for bride & groom shots together


Bridal party and family signing guest book

Family/close friends being seated in the front rows

Family processing

Mothers processing

Groom’s face before he walks in

Guys walking in

Groom’s face once he’s in place

Each bridesmaid as she gets to the beginning of the aisle

Each bridesmaid as she walks down the aisle

Bride as the doors open

Groom’s face ‘first look’ at the bride

Bride walking down the aisle

Behind-the-bride shot of groom’s face

Bride kissing her father

Groom taking bride’s hand

Bride and groom from behind once the ceremony begins

Couple’s hands and faces during ceremony

Bridal party faces up-close

Panoramic of whole ceremony room from back of the room or from further  away

Each of the readers

Unity ceremony

Exchange of rings

The kiss

Bride taking her bouquet from MOH

Bride and groom recessing

Each couple in bridal party recessing

Bridal party celebrating/hugging/smiling/etc. in holding area

Everyone signing the marriage certificate


Family Formals: 15-20 minutes

Bride and groom with groom’s mother

Bride and groom with groom’s father

Bride and groom with groom’s brothers

Bride and groom with groom’s mother and brothers

Bride and groom with groom’s father and brothers

Bride and groom with groom’s mother and father

Bride and groom with groom’s father and stepmom

Bride and groom with groom’s mother, father and brothers
Bride and groom with bride’s mother

Bride and groom with bride’s father

Bride and groom with bride’s sister

Bride and groom with bride’s mother, father and sister

Bride and groom with bride’s mother and father

Bride and groom with both sets of parents

Bride and groom with all 3 siblings

Bride and groom with officiant


Bridal Party: 15-20 minutes

Bride and groom with best man and MOH

Bride and groom with full bridal party – formals

Bride and groom with full bridal party – silly

Montage of bust-portraits of bridal party members


Portraits: 30-35 minutes

Bride and groom portraits


If we didn’t get enough time for individuals before the ceremony:

Pensive/serious/thoughtful of the bride

Smiling/laughing of bride

Full-length of the  bride

Pensive/serious/thoughtful of the groom

Smiling/laughing of groom



Centerpieces up-close

Centerpieces, whole table

Individual table setting

Head table decor

Head table from far away

Place card holders

Cake, up close

Cake, whole table

Cake topper

Panoramic of whole reception room

Card box

Bride & groom’s champagne flutes

Each set of bridal party entrances


People’s faces during the speeches

Cake cutting

Everyone signing marriage license if we didn’t do it earlier

First dance

Father-daughter dance

Mother-son dance

People dancing

Overhead photos of active dance floor

Post # 13
5087 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2014

My must haves for us will be signing the register, with our parents, his brothers, my BM’s and us looking at each other. 

Post # 14
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Oh my. There’s one of these threads at least once a week and it never fails to piss off brides and photogs alike. If you’ve hired a real professional photographer that knows what they are doing, give them only a family formal list. If you’ve had to hire someone less than stellar  also give them a short list of must haves. 

Post # 15
1315 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

@Atlanticbride:  God yes, amen.  I’ve been doing this since 2006 and I have never once came across another professional that wanted any such list accept for family formals.

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