Wedding Photography Checklist

Wedding Photography Checklist

wedding photography checklist

Wedding photography checklist is a list that includes all wedding pictures ideas and poses that photographers should realize during a wedding photoshoot. Before making a photography checklist for wedding, you need to discuss which images they wish to receive, what backgrounds, poses, props, angles should you use. To set mutual understanding and convenient work with your clients, I share 5 printable wedding photography checklists free.

Why Do You Need a Wedding Photography Checklist?

Reasons to Make a Photography Wedding Checklist:

  • The checklist helps control the photography workflow during a ceremony.
  • It is an excellent way for beginners to track the number of shots they take.
  • It ensures the understanding between the client and the photographer.
wedding photography checklist

1. The Checklist Helps Control the Workflow
It's challenging to remember everything, even if you are best wedding photographers. Very often the customer wants to get a large number of different types of shots, including photos of accessories and shots with unusual wedding photo ideas and poses. The photo session may last more than it was agreed. At some point, you may get tired and confused, and thus may forget to take some pictures. As a result, the client will not be satisfied, and there may some conflicts arise. If you're going to control the whole process of photographing, you should have a wedding photography checklist PDF.

wedding photography checklist

2. It is an Excellent Way for Beginners to Track the Number of Shots They Take
If this is your first photo shoot, such a wedding photography shot list will be your starting point. Any wedding photography is about mistakes and experience. If you do this for the first time, you’ll surely be nervous and spoffish. The list will help you to concentrate on the customer's desires and use the time effectively to take the necessary pictures. It does not mean that photographers with experience should neglect this list, as it’s the additional reassurance that everything will go as it has been planned.

wedding photography checklist

3. It Ensures the Understanding between the Client and the Photographer
The best way to avoid conflicts with the customers is to prepare the photography wedding checklist in advance. Your task is to do your job according to the list. Customers can have a large number of wedding photography ideas, and if all their requirements are written in the checklist, there won’t be any problems that may result in your profit loss. If everything is done correctly, customers do not have the opportunity to make any claims.

wedding photography checklist

FREE Wedding Photography Checklist Templates

There are many different wedding photography poses and ideas that you can use during a photo shoot. It is complicated to choose immediately what suits the clients. Let's find out how to create a wedding photography checklist with standard and more creative wedding shooting ideas.

Basic Wedding Photography Checklist

Wedding photography picture checklist should contain the most popular wedding pictures ideas and poses that top photographers use and most customers like. Of course, every client wants to get unique pictures. You can quickly implement ideas that do not take a lot of time. It is the best small list of images that are easy to take.

Extended Wedding Photography Checklist

Extended photography wedding checklist is one of the best options that contain not only well-known but also unique wedding photos poses. It will suit you if you want to interest the client when he/she still doubts. The newlyweds will be pleased that you take care to capture all the essential moments of this day. This list is perfect if you are at an early stage of the business development. Wedding poses checklist will make you feel confident, become more experienced and skillful.

Сreative Wedding Photography Checklist

This wedding day photography checklist can surprise and impress any customer. It contains the unique ideas that most customers have not seen before. This list proves your high professional qualities and makes customers believe that have chosen a real crackack. Use this wedding photography checklist for photographers when you want to take your business to the next level. A satisfied customer is a new customer, so make sure your checklist is elaborately designed.

Simple Wedding Photography Checklist

Simple wedding photography checklist is the best option if the couple knows what the 4 most important parts of their wedding are. Actually, this checklist has a great design and contains the most important shots.

Special Requests Wedding Photography Checklist

Special request is a list that you need to make up if your clients have his/her own creative wedding pictures ideas or engagement photo ideas, connected with personal preference. It can be a general picture with a grandmother, parents or a family photo near a family estate. Even the newlyweds can forget about it because of the festive bustle. Therefore, you, as a professional, should remember this, and make up the wedding photography checklist for clients.

Basic Points of the Wedding Photography Checklist

Basic Points of a Checklist:

  • The bride and the groom preparing
  • The outfit of the bride
  • The couple with their best friends
  • The bride going to the altar
  • The couple kissing
  • Exchanging the rings and vows
  • Portraits of the newlyweds
  • Family portraits
  • The accessories
  • The first dance of the newlyweds

1. The Bride and the Groom Preparing

wedding pictures ideas

Shooting this part of the wedding will take place in the parent's house or the hotel room, depending on the preferences of the bride. You will need to photograph the whole process of the couple getting ready. Use unique and unusual wedding pictures ideas and mind all wedding photography tips to take only amazing shots. Do not forget about accessories: garter, ornaments, crown, and flowers. Try to capture all the emotional moments, for example, when the bride first sees herself in the mirror or hugs her parents.

At this point, you may need an assistant photographer who will work with the groom. It is essential to capture the emotions of the groom, and also take a few pictures of his preparation and general wedding portraits with friends. These pictures are precious for the couple because they “save” very touching moments of the beginning of their celebration. Printable wedding photo checklist with the detailed description of this item should be with you.

2. The Outfit of the Bride

wedding pictures ideas Photographed in Santorini, Greece by Roberto Panciat

The most important element is, of course, a wedding dress. You can take a lot of pictures from different angles, while the bride has the hairstyle or make-up done. Taking a few pictures of dresses outside in the sunlight is an excellent wedding photography idea. The pictures on which the bride looks at the dress will look very emotional. You can take a few photos, with the bridesmaids holding the dress.

3. The Couple with Their Best Friends

wedding pictures ideas

Now you should take many funny pictures of the bridesmaids and the best men. Use different wedding photography ideas for posing. It's a great time to have fun and make interesting shots. Use props, namely multi-colored balloons, smoke bombs, photo frames, wreaths, bouquets, maracas and anything you can find. Let everyone have fun, while you perpetuating it in the picture.

Fun Bridesmaid Poses:

4. The Bride Going to the Altar

wedding pictures ideas Photographed in Sinaran Surga Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia by Mang Khris of MAJAartisan

How to take wedding photos correctly? You may need an assistant to do this. You will shoot the bride when the father walks her down the aisle, while another photographer is focused on the groom. It is one of the most touching moments of the wedding. Therefore, prepare everything in advance, adjust the lighting, and choose the best camera angle, so not to miss anything.

5. The Couple Kissing

wedding photography checklist Photographed in Rijeka, Croatia by Tomica Rasetina

Undoubtedly the most touching moment for shooting is a kiss. Therefore, it is not surprising that it must be in a wedding photography checklist. Stand at the end of the aisle and photograph the couple with a buttery 50 mm lens. Pictures from a distance should be made using a zoom lens. Collect your wedding photography gear, take spare batteries, and adjust correct lighting settings. All these steps should be in your wedding photography equipment checklist. Prepare carefully and you will get wonderful photos of these sweet seconds. If you take drone wedding photography, add some poses to this list too.

6. Exchanging the Rings and Vows

wedding pictures ideas

Saying vows and exchanging rings is the central part of the wedding ceremony which should be in the wedding photography package. Stay calm and quit not to interfere the couple.

7. Portraits of the Newlyweds

wedding pictures ideas Photographed in Lago di Braies, Italy by Magdalena Glowacka of Fotomagoria

Do not forget to include in the wedding photography poses checklist PDF the picture of the newlyweds walking down the aisle or standing near the church after the wedding ceremony. Use the confetti to add extra colors. After the ceremony, take away the couple emitting genuine emotions and make some amazing photos. Think of the wedding photography ideas for posing in advance. You should start with a simple one and gradually guide the newlyweds in the direction you need. The photos taken during the sunset will be particularly romantic: the warm rays will create the magic and charming atmosphere.

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8. Family Portraits

wedding pictures ideas

To get an excellent family picture, you need to demonstrate the maximum attention, concentration, and patience. Gather all the close relatives after the ceremony. Think of the group combinations beforehand: the newlyweds with their parents, cousins, grandparents, etc. Make up a printable wedding photography checklist and include this clause in it.

Family Photos:

9. The Accessories

Naturally, photos of the couple will occupy a central place in your wedding photography packages but you should not forget about the details. Take pictures of the bouquet, rings, glasses, wedding ornaments, jewelry, and wide panoramas of the landscape or the church where the ceremony was held. Pay attention to the original and creative details so you’ll be able to use the photos on your web page to attract more customers.

10. The First Dance of the Newlyweds

wedding pictures ideas Photographed in Punta Mita, Mexico by Ana Hinojosa of AH Ana Hinojosa

And finally, one more shot should be added to your wedding photography poses checklist. This is the first dance of the newlyweds. Capture all the touching feelings and emotions of these minutes and you will get magnificent pictures.

Tips for Photographing the First Dance at Weddings:

Wedding Day Photography Checklist Tips

Perhaps at first glance, the compilation of a checklist doesn’t seem to be a difficult task. However, this is a very important point for every photographer, so we advise you to familiarize yourself with the tips for making your own photography checklist for wedding:

Wedding Day Photography Checklist Tips

  • Meet the couple
  • Talk about all non-standard and unusual photos they want to have
  • Guide your clients in the right direction
  • Decide on the wedding photography timeline checklist
  • Discuss the traditions of the wedding and its theme
  • Learn about the subjects of the wedding pictures
  • View the photography wedding checklist as a base
  • Stay concentrated during the wedding

1. Meet the Couple

wedding photography checklist

In addition to the standard traditional wedding pictures, each couple, as a rule, has their own dreams and desires that the photographer must realize. That's why a personal meeting with the customers is very important. If such a meeting cannot be arranged, discuss all the main points on the phone. Find out what moments they want to get photographed the most, decide on the style of the photo session, and specify their vision of some standard pictures: a kiss, the first dance etc. Then make a wedding photography checklist for clients.

2. Talk about All Non-Standard and Unusual Photos They Want to Have

Discuss all the ideas and poses that are not included in the traditional wedding photography shot checklist. Also, there is a need to discuss standard and familiar to each photographer shots as the first dance or the first kiss of the newlyweds. Ask your customers to make a list of ideas and poses that impress and fascinate them most of all. It can be both concrete examples of poses and some general stylistic or thematic solutions. In turn, the photographer may also provide some original modern wedding photo ideas and poses.

3. Guide Your Clients in the Right Direction

wedding photography checklist

It happens quite often that couples have so many ideas and dreams about their wedding photography that it is simply not realistic to fulfill all of them. Explain to the customers the necessity to cut their wedding photography picture checklist to 10-20 items. Due to your experience and knowledge, you should become a kind of a guide for your clients. Stop them if the flight of their fantasies goes beyond the possibilities of the photography. You may also guide them in the right direction so that their dreams and expectations coincide with the result. Make the clients understand that the more positions will be in the wedding photography checklist for photographers the more likely that the quality of the work will noticeably decrease. Relying on my ten-year experience, I can admit that huge lists consisting of about 300 items that must be photographed on the wedding day are simply not realistic for quality performance.

4. Decide on the Wedding Photography Timeline Checklist

In your wedding photography preparation checklist, scheduling the work that you will perform should take one of the first places. Begin to mark all terms about a week before the wedding. You should include all the stages from the preparation for the wedding evening to the latest photo of the event. Tell the customers about the timelines of the main organizational moments: when you start shooting and how many hours or minutes you will need to prepare, how long it will take to process photos, etc.

Remember, you will need at least an hour between the ceremony and the reception to perform everything scheduled in your standard wedding photo poses checklist. Also, you will need to have a few hours before the ceremony to implement a number of the planned wedding photography ideas. Mind the time you need to get to the venue.

Work out whether you have enough time for the whole set of formal photographs. You will take about 4-5 seconds for one shot so you may miss some moments of the wedding. Discuss with the customers what stages of the ceremony and wedding celebration they want to capture the most or what to focus on. Indicate everything in your wedding photography checklist printable.

5. Discuss the Traditions of the Wedding and its Theme

wedding photography checklist

Wedding photo ideas and poses directly depend on the theme of the whole celebration. Will the wedding be in a classical style, or will the couple choose the traditional national theme? All this will undoubtedly affect the type of the pictures and the time when they should be taken. Learn about all the traditions that your clients follow because they differ depending on religion, culture, and location. It is possible that you need to choose the certain time for some pictures, for example, the sunset or on the contrary the midday when the rays are especially bright. Include this point in your wedding photography consultation checklist. You may also write the same checklist for a pre wedding photoshoot.

6. Learn about the Subjects of Wedding Pictures

Naturally, the photos of the newlyweds occupy a central place in any wedding photography checklist template. However, you need to pay some attention to the other equally important subjects. Such touching and sensual moments as grandparents’ smiles, tears of the parents', happiness or sincere fun of the youngest members of the family must necessarily get into the frame. During the meeting with a bride and a groom find out whose photos they would like to receive. Perhaps it will be someone besides their relatives. Take the opportunity to meet with close relatives before the wedding or get their photos to know exactly who to direct your lens to, while shooting. Don’t forget to fill in the information in your wedding photography checklist Excel.

7. View Photography Wedding Checklist as a Base

If you have a ready-made wedding photography checklist, use it as a basis but do not think that you cannot go beyond it. Items marked in your list are only those indicative signs that guide your movement, help not to forget something important. Even if you are new in the field of the wedding photography, do not be afraid to take risks and make some spectacular shots that were not planned in advance: real emotions and feelings cannot be depicted on the plan.

8. Stay Concentrated During the Wedding

wedding photography checklist

Having your wedding photography checklist PDF does not mean that you have to look into it after every shot. Thus, you may miss some interesting or cute picture. Having worked on several celebrations, you can keep in memory your wedding photography checklist real simple. After a while, you will be able to take pictures of the basic things without peeping in the checklist. You will only take a quick look to make sure that you have not forgotten anything.

All top wedding photographers prefer an open-minded approach to the checklists. Unfortunately, there is a risk of failure if customers start expressing their wishes at the last minute. But in any case, a well-thought-out and personalized wedding photography checklist will help you get high-quality and unique photos which your customers will be grateful for.

Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more