View Full Version : Help! First time shooting a wedding.

07-19-2006, 07:29 PM
So I agreed to shoot a friend's wedding in a few months. Apparently they liked the price of "free" that I am charging them :) I'm looking at this as a learning experience. Just sounds like fun to me. Anyways, I was hoping someone had a link to some soft of "Wedding Photography Checklist" so I can be sure I have most bases covered. They realize that I'm a new photographer, so they aren't expecting flawless professional results. But how great would it be to blow them out of the water on my first try?! The list of equipment I currently own is listed in my signature. To complicate things even more the wedding is going to be on a beach. Looking for tips not only on equipment, but also on coordinating with the wedding party on shooting locations / times / poses / etc. How close is "too close" when I'm walking around during the wedding? I want to keep things fun and not take up too much time with them on their big day. I'm planing on improvising most everything, but it would sure be nice to have a few "sure thing" techniques to fail back on. Sorry this is a pretty broad question, but I figure someone out there has documented the entire process before from prep work to post work. Any help is appreciated.

PS. Already read the article on this site here (http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4929). Just wondering if anyone had any other tips. Thanks,


07-20-2006, 04:33 AM
Other than the group shots I would suggest taking lots of candids of the happy couple.

07-20-2006, 01:59 PM
heres some examples with Exifs

07-20-2006, 02:12 PM
I'm planing on improvising most everything, but it would sure be nice to have a few "sure thing" techniques to fail back on.
Well, you could get a 2nd shooter, make a game plan together, get some bored and willing friends, and do a practice run.

07-20-2006, 02:39 PM
I'm doing a wedding too - next May. Gives me plenty time to practice. It'll be interesting as it'll be candle-lit.

Anyhow, here are some photo ideas:
Wedding Photography Shots Before the Ceremony
___ Wedding dress lying over a chair
___ Zipping up or buttoning the wedding dress
___ Mother of the bride fastening the bride's necklace
___ The bride's garter
___ The bride's veil
___ A close up of the bride's shoes peeking out from under the dress
___ Bride looking into a mirror
___ Bride looking out window
___ Bride and bridesmaids putting on makeup
___ Bride pinning corsage/boutonniere on mother/father
___ Bride hugging parents
___ Bride touching up
___ Bride and parents leaving for ceremony
___ Groom tying tie
___ Groom looking into mirror
___ Bride looking out window
___ Groom pinning corsage/boutonniere on mother/father
___ Groom hugging parents
___ Bride and parents leaving for ceremony

Wedding Photography Shots At the Ceremony
___ Outside of ceremony site
___ Guests walking into ceremony site
___ Bride and father entering ceremony site
___ Parents being seated
___ Grandparents being seated
___ Maid of honor walking down the aisle
___ Bridesmaids walking down the aisle
___ Flower girl and ring bearer walking down aisle
___ Groom waiting for bride
___ Ceremony musicians
___ Officiant
___ Altar or canopy during ceremony
___ Close up of bride, just before she makes her entrance
___ Bride and father walking down aisle
___ Groom seeing bride for first time
___ The back of bride and father walking down the aisle with the groom waiting in the distance
___ Bride's father and Bride hugging at end of aisle
___ Shot of the audience from the bride and groom's point of view
___ The unity ceremony
___ Close up of bride and groom saying the vows
___ Wide shot of bride and groom saying the vows
___ Exchanging the rings
___ Close up of hands
___ The kiss
___ Bride & Groom walking up the aisle
___ Receiving line
___ Bride & Groom outside on steps
___ Guests throwing confetti/rose petals/birdseed
___ Bride & Groom hugging guests, laughing, getting congratulations
___ Bride & Groom getting in car
___ Bride & Groom in back seat

Posed Wedding Photography Before the Reception (These can also be taken before the ceremony)
___ Bride alone (full length)
___ Bride with Maid of Honor
___ Bride with bridesmaids
___ Groom with bridesmaids
___ Bride with parents
___ Bride & Groom together
___ Bride & Groom with parents
___ Bride & Groom with families
___ Bride & Groom with entire wedding party
___ Bride & Groom with flower girl and ringbearer
___ Groom with parents
___ Groom with best man
___ Groom with groomsmen
___ Bride with groomsmen

During the Reception (to help your photographer, you may wish to list these shots in the order they will happen at your reception)
___ Outside of reception site
___ Bride & Groom arriving
___ Bride & Groom greeting guests
___ Table centerpieces
___ Table setting
___ Bride & Groom's table (head table)
___ Musicians or DJ
___ Guest book
___ Place card table
___ Closeup of bride and groom's place card
___ Wedding cake
___ Groom's cake
___ Gift table
___ Decorations (specify which _________________________)
___ A shot of bride & groom with guests at each table
___ Bride with college alums
___ Groom with college alums
___ The buffet or, if having table service, a dinner serving
___ Bride & Groom's first dance
___ Bride & Father dancing
___ Groom & Mother dancing
___ Guests dancing
___ Bride & Groom cutting the cake
___ Bride & Groom feeding each other cake
___ Toasts (specify who is giving them: ____________________)
___ Bride & Groom drinking champagne
___ Signing the marriage license
___ Bride throwing bouquet
___ Groom retrieving garter
___ Groom tossing garter
___ Garter/Bouquet dance
___ The getaway car
___ Bride & Groom leaving party
___ Bride & Groom driving away

Guests the photographer shouldn't miss: (provide your photographer with a seating chart so that he can easily identify them)

07-21-2006, 07:14 AM
Rhys, you wedding pictures genius, you think I can 'steal' this list and keep it in file till I get to shoot a wedding?

07-21-2006, 07:47 AM
ryhs, that list is great. For more ideas....


Google is such an amazing thing!

07-21-2006, 09:27 AM
Here is a link (http://www.aljacobs.com/NEW%20WEDDING.pdf) that's a 79 page Wedding Photographer's advice writeup. At least half of it is WP business advice (including a contract), but there's a lot of general organizational advice too.

CDI: you might find it interesting too.

It's pretty humorous, but still a serious piece (just not dry).

07-21-2006, 11:45 AM
Rhys, you've been on "The Knot" you little bugger! Spying on all those innocent brides...

(I hate that list - you spend the day trying to tick off all the items, and you miss what's really going on in front of you!))