Your wedding day is one of the most memorable and special days of your life, and having beautiful photographs to look back on is essential. To ensure that you capture all the important moments, it’s important to have a photo plan for the day. This guide, written for The Planning Issue by Fran Jorgensen Photography, will provide you with tips and tricks to create the perfect photography plan for your wedding day.

Are you ready to tie the knot and capture all the heartfelt moments of your special day? Well, look no further because we’re here to guide you through the process of creating a picture-perfect wedding photo plan! Believe it or not, being a successful wedding photographer is more than just knowing how to snap a great shot. It’s about having great communication skills and understanding your couple’s needs and wants. Of course, taking stunning photos is important, but what really matters is your couple’s experience. That’s why it’s crucial to set expectations and plan ahead to make sure their big day runs smoothly.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the importance of having a wedding photo plan, we will explore what shots you need to consider, who should be included in the photos, and the things you need to keep in mind when choosing the locations for your photoshoot.

I bet everyone has told you this before but your wedding day will go in the blink of an eye and there are many moving parts and things that need to happen to make it successful, planning ahead and communicating your priorities with your vendors will allow you to relax and have an enjoyable experience. Start by brainstorming your style and gather inspo through blogs like Polka Dot Wedding, magazines, Pinterest, and social media and make sure that you keep everything in one folder. Gathering this information in a mood board and communicating your vision with your vendors will save you a ton of time and will allow everyone to be on the same page.

What wedding photos should I consider for my wedding day?

Most photographers will know how to provide the right coverage on your wedding day and will look for variety, including details as well as a mix of candid and formal images. This list is for you to consider and communicate with your photographer where you want them to pay attention. Are there going to be particular details that you want to make sure to include? Are you considering having a special moment like a first look that needs a bit of planning ahead? All of these things are important to be discussed ahead of time with your photographer as well as your vendors to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

We have included at the end of this article a thorough short list of a traditional wedding day. It’s important for you to take this list and change it as much as you would like to make sure that it fits with your family dynamics and the particularities of your wedding day.

Make sure that you mention to your photographer if you are planning on including less traditional moments like pets, first looks, or family formals before your ceremony as it will change the timeline of your day.

Who should you include in your wedding photos?

Just like we mentioned previously, not all family dynamics are the same, and not all weddings look the same. Do you have an extensive family? Then consider having family formals both before or after the ceremony and candid images during the reception. Remember to communicate with your photographer about any sticky situation like parents recently divorced to make sure that we don’t include them in the same groups of family members. It would be wise to also request or remind your photographer of your grandparents if they are present, sometimes they will leave early on the day or only attend the ceremony so it’s important for them to get as many images as possible before they leave.

What should you take into consideration when choosing the location for your ceremony from a photographer’s point of view?

Try to visit the location during the same season and around the same time as your wedding ceremony. Some things to keep in mind would be:

How strong could the sun be?

From a photography point of view, harsh light can be very unflattering. Harsh midday light especially over summer is very strong, this will make people squint and will also create harsh shadows highlighting skin texture and hardening expressions. Always look for the shady spots

How hot will it be?

If you have some flexibility then try to schedule your ceremony at a time when the temperature is closer to start dropping. There is nothing worse than a hot summer day and everyone being sweaty.

Is the ground uneven?

Keep in mind if there are any slopes that will affect the look of your wedding party, especially if they have different heights.

How far is the ceremony location from the reception?

If you have to travel then there will be an extra layer of logistics (cars and time) added to your day. Keep in mind that the closer the ceremony location is to the reception the more relaxed and flexibility in your time you will have.

How can you prepare for the photos on your wedding day?

One of the most important documents for your photographer is a wedding timeline. This timeline will help your photographer and other vendors to understand where they should be and at what time during the day and will also allow you to consider the logistics of the day (like cars and transport time) ahead of your wedding day.

A good way to start building your timeline is starting with your ceremony time and then work your way back including the time it will take you to get to the different locations. In most cases reception venues will give you the timeline that involves their catering. When planning make a list of the important parts of your day and make sure that you communicate this with your photographer, do you have something special that will happen during the day that you would like recorded? Just make sure that you communicate so they can understand the parts of your wedding day that are important to you.

The Ultimate Photographer Shot List On Your Wedding Day 

Suggestions! These will be different for each wedding based on what the couple is wearing, how they’re getting ready, who is in their wedding party & families.

Shot List: Partner #1 Getting Ready

  • Wide shot of the location and details of the house (if family home)
  • Partner #1 with hair done and applying makeup (if either applicable)
  • Detail of getting ready (if having makeup then makeup details, hair done then hair details)
  • Wedding party having a drink
  • Partner #1 with the wedding party having a drink in getting ready robes
  • Partner #1 stepping into the dress/wedding attire
  • Wedding party or parent buttoning the dress
  • Partner #1 and parents

Shot List: Partner #2 Getting Ready

  • The same as above but sub in their attire, wedding party and family.

Shot List: Getting Ready – Family Formals

  • Partner #1 with their parents
  • Partner #1 with their siblings
  • Partner #1 with parents and siblings
  • Partner #1 with their side of the wedding party
  • Partner #2 and their parents
  • Partner #2 and their siblings
  • Partner #2 with parents and siblings
  • Partner #2 with their side of the wedding party

Shot List: Detail shots while getting ready

  • Rings
  • Dress & suit hanging
  • Detail of dress
  • Detail of dress and shoes
  • Invitations
  • Flowers
  • Jewellery
  • Details of hairpiece

Shot List: Wedding Ceremony

  • Wide shot of the ceremony location
  • Detail and decoration of the ceremony location before guests arrive
  • Guests saying hello
  • Details of any stationery created for the ceremony
  • Parents and grandparents being seated
  • Partner #1 stepping out of the car
  • Wedding party coming down the aisle
  • Reaction of each partner seeing the other at the end of the aisle
  • Officiant
  • Detail of hands
  • Exchanging vows wide shot
  • Exchanging vows close-up reaction
  • Exchanging ring wide shot
  • Exchanging rings details shot
  • Wide shot of the first kiss
  • Formal photo of the signing the documents
  • Wide shot of the exit down aisle
  • Optional: Group photo of everyone attending your ceremony

Shot List: After the ceremony family formal shoot

(if some of these images were done earlier in the day then they can be deleted from this section)

  • Couple with both sets of parents
  • Couple with set of parents A
  • Couple with set of parents B
  • Couple with set of parents A
  • Partner #1 with siblings
  • Partner #2 with siblings
  • Partner #1 with grandparents
  • Partner #2 with grandparents
  • Couple with both sets of grandparents
  • Couple with extended family A
  • Couple with extended family B

Shot List: Couple Photo Shoot

This will be different for every couple depending on how long they want to be away from their guests, where their venue is, and how comfortable they are in front of the camera!

Shot List: The Wedding Venue

  • Wide shot of the outside of the venue
  • Wide shot of the inside of the venue
  • Detail of the flowers and centerpieces
  • Detail of the names and other decor
  • Detail of the wedding cake

Shot List: Wedding Reception

  • Entrance of wedding party
  • Wide shot of the wedding table
  • Cutting of the cake
  • Speeches
  • Musicians
  • Couple mingling
  • First dance
  • Party & dancing!
  • Exit

Planning ahead and communicating with your photographer is the key to having a memorable and stress-free wedding day. As a couple, it’s important to create a wedding photo plan that fits your style, family dynamics, and specific needs. Make sure to communicate with your photographer and other vendors to ensure everyone is on the same page and understands your priorities. When choosing a location for your ceremony, consider factors like lighting, temperature, and terrain to ensure the best possible photos. And don’t forget to create a wedding timeline to help keep everything organised and running smoothly on the big day. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to capturing all the heartfelt moments of your special day and creating picture-perfect wedding photos that you’ll treasure for years to come.

About Fran Jorgensen Photography: If you are after images that are relaxed, real, and rad then I’m your girl! I am constantly thinking outside the box to bring you a variety of images that will transport you back to what your day felt like. I have a documentary and lifestyle approach to my work – I am constantly chasing emotions and un-staged moments. I can’t wait to meet you and tell your story.