Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Shot List

Well, it's Tuesday, so it must be time for the topic of the week, which today is The Shot List.

Typically, there are two kinds of shot lists: one is a list of family group photos, which is handy for remembering who you want to have in the formal altar shots (if we're doing those), and the second, which is often found on The Knot and in other wedding resources, is a list of shots to be taken throughout the day, such as "bride looking in mirror" or "mom gazing admiringly at bride", which, frankly, I think is just about the silliest thing ever. If I had never shot a wedding before, or never even attended a wedding, a list like that might be helpful, but obviously neither one of those is the case.

So, family group shot list: great and helpful; list of other shots to take: not so much. And here's why:

Ordinarily, the formal family group shots are taken immediately following the ceremony, which can be a rather hectic time: guests are funneling out, people are here and there chatting and gathering up belongings to take to the reception, and time is short, etc. Having a list of formal family groups for this portion of the day becomes extremely helpful in making sure we photograph who you want photographed. Putting a family member in charge of the list also makes things easier since they will most likely know everyone who's to be photographed and can easily spot if they're missing. Having a "runner" round up missing people is also helpful.

On the other hand, having a list of other shots to be taken during the day is more of a hindrance than anything. First off, my style is strictly based on photographing events as they unfold. If I'm having to keep my nose on a list to make sure I don't miss something, then what I'll be missing is everything that's happening around me. Second, if I don't know by now what I need to photograph at a wedding after doing this for six years, then I need to hang up my camera! I'd say it's a pretty fair bet that I'm chosen by my clients exactly because I not only know to photograph the expected but because I have a great eye for the unexpected as well.

To recap:

Formal family group shot list: good
Everything else shot list: bad.

Happy list-making!

1 comment:

Natural Element Photography said...

I completely concur! If you hired a professional, let them do their art!