Q. Do you work from shot lists? Should we create a list of must have shots and/or poses for you?
A. This is a great question! Shot lists are one of those things I think people believe are important because they read about them in a wedding magazine or website. I’ve seen them myself…they recommend giving your photographer a list of of “must have” shots to ensure nothing gets missed. The thing about these kinds of lists though, is that they are more than likely NOT written by professional photographers, so they really have no idea how photographers work. Most professional photographers don’t work from shot lists throughout the day. Really the only time a list is necessary is during family formals, when we need a list of who you’d like in each shot. If you ask your photographer to work from a list during the rest of the day (with things like “first kiss”, “bride walking down aisle”, “centerpieces”, etc), it means they are going to have to spend their time paying attention to the list to make sure they’re checking everything off. Which in turns guarantees that they are less able to be creative and capture the candid moments that happen because they’re focused on checking things off of the list. This is why it’s SO important to make sure you hire a photographer you trust and who has a consistent style you really love.
So, while we don’t work from shot lists, we do ask on our pre-wedding questionnaire if there’s anything out of the ordinary we should know about at your wedding (special surprises, unique traditions, heirlooms, etc) so that we can make capturing those a priority. John and I consider ourselves storytellers. This means that our approach to shooting weddings isn’t a one size fits all thing where we decide to shoot only certain pieces. This means we are looking to capture all kinds of things in a way that is cohesive, beautiful, and preserves the story of your wedding day for generations to come:)
To summarize…shot lists inhibit the way your photographer is able to capture your wedding and can actually harm your coverage more than help!