(Closed) Do you have a list of “must take” photos that you can share?

posted 10 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
2111 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Getting Ready/Ceremony

  • Getting ready pictures (Dress hung up on door or window, getting dressed, shoes, garter, etc…)
  • Brides hair
  • Walking down the aisle
  • Ring exchange
  • Hand Fastening ceremony
  • Major details of the ceremony (we trust you!)
  • Receiving line
  • Ceremony room (before ceremony starts and guests arrive & once guests are seated)
  • Hotel signs – Ie:  “Best Western Port O’Call Inn”, banquet room name, etc…

Right After Ceremony (at hotel)

  • Bride, parents and brother
  • Bride and parents
  • Bride and brother
  • Bride and grandparents (both sets)
  • Groom, parents, sister & her family
  • Groom and parents
  • Groom with sister, brother in law, and 2 nephews
  • Groom and grandparents
  • Bride & Groom with Brides family
  • Bride & Groom with Grooms family
  • Bride & Groom with both families together (we’ve all known each other for 17 years)

    • Bride, groom, both sets of parents
    • Bride, groom, both sets of parents, brides brother, grooms sister, brother in law, and nephews
    • Bride, groom, brides brother, grooms sister

  • Any others I may have missed or pictures with extended family if some are standing around? (If there is time).

Group pictures after leaving hotel (taking off with the wedding party to a park)

  • Bride alone
  • Bride and each bridesmaid
  • Bride and both bridesmaids
  • Bride and both bridesmaids with sunglasses (fun)
  • Bride and groomsmen
  • Groom alone
  • Groom and each groomsman
  • Groom and both groomsmen
  • Groomsmen holding bouquets in front of their faces (fun)
  • Groom and Groomsmen holding bouquets in front of their faces (fun)
  • Groom and all groomsmen with sunglasses (fun)
  • Groom and bridesmaids
  • Each bridesmaid alone
  • Each groomsmen alone
  • Entire wedding party together
  • Wedding party with sunglasses on (fun)
  • Bride and Groom
  • Bride and Groom with sunglasses (fun)
  • Bride and Groom with Thank You sign (fun)
  • Rings
  • Bouquets (including corsages and boutonnieres)


  • Random shots of guests (sitting, talking, dancing, etc…)
  • Programs
  • Toasts
  •  Meal (plated and served)
  • Cake
  • Cake cutting
  • Guest Book/ Guest book table
  • Favours
  • Basket of favours
  • Speeches
  • First Dance
  • Father/Daughter dance
  • Bouquet toss
  • Garter toss
  • Centerpieces
  • Gift Table/ card box
  • Reception room (full room, head table, bar, etc…)

Post # 5
49 posts
  • Wedding: August 2010

Amazing list…I think I may need to print this off myself! (:

Post # 6
2111 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Glad I could help! I’ve been working on the list for quite a few months. Adding to it as I think of shots to be taken 🙂

Post # 7
1254 posts
Bumble bee

Great list! I just copied and pasted it to my wedding file. THANKS! 🙂

Post # 8
1568 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1996

Another good one to ask the photographer to get is the bride’s mother zipping up her dress during the “getting ready” photos.

Post # 9
2111 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

View original reply
@IvyClimb: Good one!

Post # 10
61 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

This list is great! One note: I asked our photographer during our interview for her frequent “must takes,” which was great because it helped me narrow down the ones I wanted. She basically told me that the more “must takes” I asked for, the less time they’d have to get candid shots and catch moments as they happen. As someone who looks pretty awful when I’m “cheesing,” I really appreciate that advice.

Post # 11
1000 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Just wanted to point out that those are all things we as photographers know to try our best to capture anyway. Putting them on a list is more likely to just stress your photographer out than to gurantee any particular shots. Weddings are difficult, as you are not only trying to capture each moment, but also do it an a creative and memorable way. It’s enough to focus on just those two things that when you throw a checklist that size into the mix, the work may suffer. I personally don’t want to be off searching for a distant cousin or the garter or some other odd-or-end when some important moment happens and risk missing it.

Post # 12
1675 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

The only list that we’re giving our photographer is a short list of family formals that we want taken, plus two other shots that we absolutely want — a photo of all of the guests as they follow Fiance and me down the hill from our cocktail hour location to our reception tent, and a photo of all of my college friends with our college banner (for the alumni magazine).  Other than that, I trust her to get the obvious photos of me getting ready, the ceremony, the wedding party, and everyone dancing after dinner.  I don’t want to stifle her creativity too much with a long list of “must-have” photos…

Post # 13
130 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Just want to say that from a photographer’s point of view, the biggest thing you can do to sabotage your wedding photos is to give the photographer a list like the one posted above.  Instead of using their talent and vision to express your day the way it happens, they’re going to be scrambling to go down your list and set up fake, forced shots.  If you hired a professional, and you did your research (looking at full proof sets from several weddings to see what kind of images they take on a wedding day), then you should have faith that they will do the job you hired them to do.  Think about it this way – would you rather have a shot of the dress hanging on the door, or a shot of your maid of honor tearing up as she gives you an emotional hug?  A shot of your 90-year-old grandma cutting a rug on the dance floor, or a photo of the food tables?  The photographer may have to choose between something on your list and a real, amazing, genuine moment, and if you’ve given them a list, they’re obligated to get the shot on the list. If there’s something really unique or special about your wedding that’s super important to you, then definitely mention that – such as the heirloom ring tied to your bouquet, the special apple pie you’re serving from the recipe that’s been in your family for generations, or the Louboutins that you saved for a month to buy.  However, if you’re just including something on a list because you’ve seen other people get that photo or someone on a message board or magazine told you to, DON’T – your wedding is unique, and your photos should be, too!

Your shot list should include three things (and the shorter the better!):

1.  Anything unique or unusual about your wedding that you want photos of (like the examples mentioned above) that the photographer might not expect or know about.

2.  Formal, posed family group shots, usually taken after the ceremony. 

3.  Any shot that you would be absolutely heartbroken and depressed if you didn’t get.


I know that every wedding advice outlet ever tells brides to give their photographers a list, but I just wanted to provide an alternate viewpoint.  I feel like I do my worst work when I’m given a long, detailed shot list, and I know most other photogs feel the same way!

Post # 14
1752 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I believe that recently on the knot they had a “50 must take photos” list in the photography section of wedding planning.  I’d check it out, it was a pretty comprehensive list.

Post # 15
3525 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010


I checked with her that she pretty much takes most of those must takes. Beyond that I’m trusting her 210%!!!

I’m just going to tell her I want to definitely have TONS of shots with our immediate family (parents, siblings and wedding party) and our fgs/rbs aka nieces & nephews.

I’m bringing our DIY invites so they can get a glamour shot. But beyond that no list.

I love our photographer and have no doubt she’ll completely WOW us!


Post # 16
1000 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

View original reply
@stacyreeves: I COULD NOT HAVE PUT IT BETTER. I’m going to save parts of this in a word document to give to the next bride who sends me a super-long list. Thank you.

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