Whether you hear it from your photographer, wedding planner or bridal magazine, the word shot list will probably come up in conversation sometime during your planning. What is a shot list? A checklist of images for your photographer. Some photographers love them, some hate them…here are a few plusses and minusses to think about…
Plus – A shotlist can let a photographer breeze through formal portraits, all the names are listed and you just check them off as you go. The list can even be handed off to an assistant or personal attendant to call names of the next group to be photographed.
Minus – Shotlists tend to include a lot of repetitive pictures (do you really need an individual picture with every cousin, aunt and uncle? or just a nice group shot of everyone?)
Plus – for some photographers, it takes the stress off of organizing and arranging formals
Minus – more experienced photographers can view this as you trying to tell them how to do their job
Plus – you can communicate with your photographer exactly what shots you really want
Minus – clients sometimes see shot lists as a guarantee that the photographer will get every shot on the list, which doesn’t always happen due to the nature of weddings
Plus – it can help plan a timeline for the day and keep things organized
Minus – if something unexpected happens (it always does) then the photographer will need to improvise and it is tough to do that when someone is pointing at a shot list and saying “but what about the cousin picture in front of the fountain? we didn’t do that yet!”
Basically, I’m in the “not a fan of shotlists” camp. But I do work with them. I’m very type A so I understand when people prefer lists. It is very important, though, to communicate with your photographer to make sure you’re on the same page. Is the list given to help the photographer with specific formals you want? A guaranteed list of images the photographer will take? Suggestions of images and not must haves? Always make sure you and your photographer have discussed the shots you want BEFORE the wedding day so everything can go smoothly the day of.