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  • Writer's pictureJill Matthews

Must Have Wedding Shots

One thing I have learned through the years of shooting weddings, is if you fail to plan, plan to fail. I STRONGLY encourage couple to review the plan for the day and what shots they would like to have. But with that said, many couples have never ever been married, had a wedding, even attended many weddings. All of this is new to them.

So let's go down this road together. At the barest minimum, you need this 5 posed groupings.

First Must Have Shots

The two of you together, looking at the camera and smiling. My approach is bunches of various shots of the two of you together. I also am a big, huge, gigantic fan of sunsets. There is one most days and love to have the two of you together, snuggled together with the sunset in the back. This also include detail shots, like the rings, the sentimental items, etc.

Second Must Have Shots

Both of your families. A shot of you with your dad, you with your mom, you with your sibling, grandparents, aunt, uncles, cousins, people considered family. This goes for each of you, both sides. And in some cases a giant pictures of all the families together.

Third Must Have Shot

The entire bridal party all together. This may be a series of different poses. I may be at a second location too other than at the wedding site. Also individual shots with each of you with each groomsmen and bridesmaid.

Fourth Must Have Shots

The wedding and all it's details. The procession down the isle. The exchange of rings and other ceremony details. The kiss. The kiss. Do NOT miss the kiss. The recession down the isle as a married couple and the first moments together.

Fifth Must Have Shots

The entrance in to the reception, the first dances and parent dances, the speeches, the cutting of the cake, the bouquet toss and garter, and many other details of the reception. I always try to get shots of each table with the guests sitting together. Sometimes I take 500 or more pictures of just the reception.

Do I use a shot list? Usually not unless there are groupings of family that are a little different than the norm. I have personally shot over 3,000 weddings, so I sort have the traditional shots burned into my memory.

One thing I do insist on is at least a short conversation about the game plan for the wedding day. If everything is well planned, everyone know where and when they need to be for pictures so it reduces confusion and allows more time to enjoy your wedding.

For me, I still love the excitement and love during a wedding. I find it very rewarding to shoot weddings, even still after over 20 years of shooting.

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