Wedding Photography Timelines- Saving the Day is this Simple

Bratch-White-11Every Bride and Groom have spend many days planning, designing, and bringing together their perfect wedding day. And you definitely want great photos of the day and all the little touches you put together for the celebration. So how do you assure that your get all those photographs made and in a timely manner?

There are many ways you can have your wedding photographed and many photographers who can shoot it in a style that works for you. Some prefer the more formal photography that has been used for years. Others want more candid or “photo-journalistic” style of photos where little formal “group” shots are made. And most want a combination of both for their wedding memories.Like everything else you have planned, your wedding photography should be no different. So what do you mean “plan my wedding photography” and how does all this work? “I thought the photographer did all that?”

Every one of the great and world renown wedding photographers photograph weddings with 2 very important lists- a photography timeline and a shot list. With those 2 lists, he or she can not only get your photos done quickly and efficiently, but also assure you that every photo you want made is taken. Without it, your photographer is “winging it” and seldom does that turn out 100% perfect. It’s easy to miss a photo or several that you wanted made and your photographer didn’t have a clue about it.

So let’s discuss a moment how you do this and this list of ideas can help make capturing your memories a great experience when you see your photographs for the first time, and not get other peoples feeling hurt when you didn’t get that one photo that was missed.

  1. Timelines are important for a couple of reasons. First, it gets most of your group photos and other “getting ready” photos made before your ceremony. The bride getting her finishing touches done, the groom getting his final adjustment of his tie, the groom and his groomsmen together and his family photographed with him. And you want the photos of your final preparations, your Bridesmaids, your family photos too. Second, you probably want your Bridal portrait made too, and there is no better time for that in terms of your hair and makeup being 100% perfect than before your Ceremony.
  2. Most photographers photograph your Ceremony in a candid style. There isn’t much else you can do with it from the Processional, the Vows, and the Recessional. Catching that photo of your Mother or family member crying, the exchange of rings, the vows themselves- all are candid type shots that are caught for your memories. MOST of those events you may not even know happened!
  3. After the Ceremony, you want to blend the families and get the total Wedding party together for photos. You also want to get that Couples portrait done too. BUT, you also want to get to the FUN part of your wedding, your Reception. By doing many of your Group photos ahead of the Ceremony, you utilize a lot of “waiting time” to get 1/2 of your group shots finished and as we say, ‘in the can”. To wait until after the Ceremony to do all those, you easily could take an hour 1/2 to get those done. Add to it, everyone wants to hug the bride and groom after the Ceremony, so much of your preparation of hair and makeup aren’t nearly as fresh and perfect for a Bridal Portrait.
  4. Nearly every Bride and Groom have someone in their family that will feel slighted if you don’t have them in a photo with you. Using a Shot List of ALL the photos you want made assures that a photograph isn’t missed and they can have their copy. Build that total list with your photographer and every photo you could possibly want will be taken. Without it, there are no guarantees.
  5. You prospective photographer doesn’t use these two lists? Ask “why not”! Or consider the real possibility of a lot of things being missed. Even though most weddings have the same flow and general time frame, every great wedding photographer will have these lists in his pocket and refer to them often during your wedding day. This is one of the differences between professional wedding photographers and someone who you hired to “take wedding pictures”.
  6. Your timeline is not just for your photographer either! Every member of your Bridal party and family and those you want photos made with need a copy too. This way they know where to be and when for the photographs to be made. Trust me, the LAST thing you want is for your photographer to play “round up people” for photographs. Simply put, they don’t have time. Also, it is advised to have a designated person to act as “Wedding Day Coordinator” to make sure the flow of the day goes well,  and people are together and where they belong for photography.

Now that you have an idea of the importance of using a Timeline and Shot list, without a doubt, you will want to use one in planning your wedding day. So to make that possible, you can have your FREE COPY of my Wedding Photography Planning Kit that includes samples for your use. Simply complete the form below, and I will email yours right away!


One thought on “Wedding Photography Timelines- Saving the Day is this Simple

  1. Amazing post! I had my shot list and timeline, but as you know, those unexpected variable are in there. Flower girls breaking your equipment, wedding is late, cutting in your photography session. But one thing is, that list saves you. Gives you something close I what you planned.

    Again amazing post.

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