Do I need a shot list?

Many of our brides ask me, “Do I really need a shot list?”

For years I have pondered over this question….and it occurred to me, unless I plan on acquiring psychic powers any time soon, a shot list is the only way to provide a complete and accurate portrait of their wedding day. All weddings are as unique as the bride and groom themselves. They have different decor, themes, and personalities. And above all, each bride has a mental image of how she sees her big day!

We provide our brides with a blank shot list and ask them not only to write down shots that they know they want (ie; “a picture with me and my Aunt Martha from Tuscon Arizona” or “the jump shot with my bridesmaids”) but to go through all those wedding magazines that they purchased and cut out pictures that they like. At their final production meeting we will go over each of those pictures and determine what it is about them that they really like. Is it the pose? The treatment of the image (ie; B&W, sepia, vignette)? The location? From there we can get an idea of the mental picture our lovely bride has of how her wedding pictures should look.

Not every picture that you pull from a magazine will be suitable for your wedding…I mean really, you are getting married in the country and you pull a picture from a beach wedding….OK, it’s pretty, but probably not going to be one we can provide on your wedding day!

I had one of our brides Mother tell me that her niece got married a few months back and that their wedding pictures were awful (should’ve called Fotowerks!). I asked her what was so awful about them. Her response was that the photographer didn’t get all the family photos with the Aunts and Uncles and various cousins and that all the pictures looked “faded”. She sent me the link to her nieces gallery in an email and said, “this is what we do not want”. Actually, once I took a look, the pictures were quite nice. The photographer had used a specific filter on the images that gave them a softer look, thus the “faded” comment. But after further investigation, I found out that this photographer would not work from a shoot list. And they only met with the bride once, and that was when they signed em’ up. So, no production meetings, no trying to find out how the bride envisioned her wedding day. Just show up and shoot. Such a shame. Now this bride will look at her wedding pictures with dissatisfaction for the rest of her life.

So lovely bride, do I recommend that you have a shot list? That’s a resounding YES!