We all know photographs make the wedding last forever, so make sure you get all the right shots in. While most experienced wedding photographers should have this down, it can’t hurt to be equipped with the knowledge of which shots are standard and which to have fun with. So I made a list of needs and wants to help you ensure all the right shots have been taken:

The Bride
1. With flowers
2. Close-up
3. Full-length shot
4. Back of dress

The Groom
1. Close-up
2. Full-length shot

The Bride and her family
1. Bride & Mom
2. Bride & Dad
3. Bride & siblings
4. Family portrait

The Groom and his family
1. Groom & Mom
2. Groom & Dad
3. Groom & siblings
4. Family portrait

The Wedding Party (Be sure to get some fun shots in)
1. Maid of Honor (by herself & with the bride)
2. Best Man (by himself & with the groom)
3. Bridesmaids (as a group & with the bride)
4. Groomsmen (as a group & with the groom)
5. Flower girl(s) & Ring bearer(s) – themselves and with the couple

The Newlyweds
1. Full-length shot (I prefer outdoor shots, but don’t be afraid to be creative)
2. Waist-up shot (with and without flowers)
3. The couple with the priest or minister
4. The couples’ hands wearing their wedding rings (just hands and/or looking at your hands….give your best soap opera face)



The Church/Ceremony Venue – the exterior and an overall view of the interior when all the guests have arrived. If you can take this from a balcony, those are really nice pictures.

Arrival – if the bride arrives by limo, take a picture of her getting out.Anticipation – if you are able to, go behind the scenes and take pictures of the bride and groom (or anyone) as they are waiting for the ceremony to begin.

Musicians – if someone special is singing or playing an instrument, you will want to document that.

Lectors – if someone special is doing the readings or prayers, you will want to document that, too.

Procession – the bridesmaids & groomsmen walking in, etc.

Bride & Dad – walking in & lifting her veil.

Vows – the couple holding hands looking at each other.

Rings – the exchange of rings.

The First Kiss

Man & Wife – Oh have fun with this one, feel free to run towards the camera, come bursting out of the door of the ceremony venue,

Bubbles – Hey why not?

Limousine – Getting into and out of the getaway car

Reception Hall – Photograph the interior and the exterior, including any signs that indicate the location. If your names are on any signs, it’ll make for a great photo.

Table Settings & Centerpieces

Receiving Line

The Toast – Of course

Gift Table – Ask your reception venue to provide an elegant looking gift table if this is something you’ll want.

The Cake – Make sure this shot is taken before you eat it….tends to make a difference.

Father-Daughter Dance – This is traditionally the first dance. Daddy dances with his daughter and then her groom cuts in at the end of the song which leads to…

First Dance – as husband and wife.

General Dance Floor – Try to get as many embarrassing shots of guests as possible, but also shots of you two having fun with the group.

Garter/Bouquet Toss – From him pulling off the garter with his teeth to the moment the single women start fighting over the bouquet, keep that camera loaded and ready.

Departure – The goodbye and so long shot, or at least that what I like to call it.


wedding photographer, photographyFinding unbiased answers today is not easy to do, especially when someone has a vested interest. However, I can across this site for picking wedding photographers by wedding photographers and I must say it’s good information. There is a fairly complete set of FAQ’s and even sample contracts; information that is great to have when starting out in your search for a photographer.

Here is the link to the site. Check it out and leave comments about what you think back here!

There are several items to consider when choosing a Wedding photographer.

Experience Level – Has this person photographed other weddings? Does he/she do this for a living or for fun?

Photographic Style – Are the images that you are shown, what you would like to see? There are “buzz” words flying about everywhere about photojournalism, formal, classic candid, and so on. Do you want a mixture of black and white or only colour photos?

Truth in Advertising – Is this the photographer that will be photographing your wedding or will they send in whomever is available. Don’t be shocked, this happens more often than you can imagine. Be certain that you know which photographer is going to be there and that you see HIS/HER work and meet with that individually face to face.

Personality – Is the photographer that you meet someone that you can get along with? Is the “chemistry” there?

Appearance – Ask the photographer how he/she intends to dress. Is this person well groomed?

Price Range – Although, the last thing you want to do is shop by price, is this person within your budget? If not, is he or she worth the price difference? Make sure you understand what everything costs, including reprints and albums.

Delivery – How long does it take to get your proofs back, thank you cards, your finished album, your bridal portrait, etc.?

Offering – Whether it’s a la carte or a package, do you understand what you are getting? Is there any room for changes and will it cost to do so? Sometimes the packages are fixed, sometimes they can be customized, in any case, ask. How much time will he/she spend? What if you need more time? Make sure that you know what’s coming.

Contract – Do you understand the contract. Is it fair? Is everything spelled out? When it comes down going to court, only what is WRITTEN really counts, not what was promised. Make sure that you have no doubts before signing. Read it ALL.

What about deposits and payments? What does it say about cancellations and the photographer not being there? If the photographer protests, ask him why? This is one area NOT to take lightly. You could be disappointed for a long time.

References – A personal reference is always the best and people love to talk. Get a list of references from the photographer and check them out personally. A photographer who doesn’t have references or is afraid to give them to you may not be the person that you need to hire.

Other Questions: (some questions may be repeated from the list above)

  • Have you shot a wedding at my location before?
  • Do you have an assistant?
  • Do you have backup equipment and is it the same quality as the primary equipment?
  • What time will you begin and how long will you stay until?
  • When will the proofs be ready?
  • Do we get to keep the proofs?
  • Do you mark your proofs?
  • Where and how are your proofs marked?
  • How much extra for unmarked proofs?
  • Do we get to keep our negatives?
  • How long do you keep the negatives and will you sell them to us?
  • Do you use high speed film to expose natural light?
  • Do you have tele-photo and wide-angle lenses?
  • Do you work well with the other vendors? i.e.: coordinators, caterers, videographers.
  • Can you work from a photo checklist that we create?
  • How will you be dressed?
  • Do you process and develop your own film and prints?

What goes on the all important contract?

  • The name of your photographer
  • The time that he/she arrives and leaves
  • The number of proofs you will view in order to pick your enlargements and/or keep
  • The description of the package you ordered
  • A list of guaranteed prices for enlargements. If they have a brochure with prices then get the photographer to write down that the prices on the brochure they gave you are the prices that you will be charged.
  • The cutoff date for these brochure prices.
  • All additional charges, services, taxes, travel, etc… Get the exact cost on the contract.
  • An explanation of what happens if your photographer doesn’t show up.
  • The date and deposit amount and how much is still owing.
  • Your name, address and phone number. The names and addresses of the ceremony and reception locations.

WVG Thanks:

Frugal Bride