Wedding Photography

Must Have Wedding Photo Shots

A list of essential shots you ‘must have’ on your wedding day

Everyone wants a collection of perfect wedding photographs to record their big day and it’s often a good idea to prepare a shot-list beforehand.

Wedding PhotographyYour photographer will probably have a set list to work from but will welcome your input – perhaps you’ve seen a great wedding photo somewhere and want to use the idea yourself; if it’s not a standard shot then put it in your list.

Here’s a list of ‘must-have’ wedding shots for you to consider. Use this guide to create your own personalised shot list.

Don’t print it off ‘as-is’ and hand it to your wedding photographer – he will have seen it many times and will not be impressed! It’s a good idea to use your own shot list as a guide and leave some room for your photographer to use his/her artistic creativity.

Before the Ceremony

  • Bride Putting On Garter With Bridesmaids Looking On
  • Bride In Dressing Room With Mirror
  • Bride Pinning Corsage On Mother
  • Bride Pinning Flower On Father
  • Flower Girl Handing Bouquet To Bride
  • Mother Adjusting Veil
  • Portrait Of Mother and Bride …. Father and Bride
  • Brothers and Sisters and Bride
  • Bride Leaving House
  • Father Helping Bride Into Car
  • Groom tying tie
  • Groom looking into mirror

At The Church

  • Guests Arriving
  • Groom And Groomsmen
  • Groom With Best Man
  • Best Man Adjusting Groom’s Tie
  • Groom And Best Man Checking Their Watches
  • Groom With Best Man And Minister
  • Groom And Best Man Looking At Wedding Rings
  • Signing Marriage Certificate
  • Bride And Bridesmaids In Vestibule
  • Bride’s Mother On Usher’s Arm
  • Other People Being Accompanied Down Aisle

During The Ceremony

  • Bride Being Taken Down Aisle By Father
  • Father Giving Away Bride

After The Ceremony At Church

  • Bride And Groom Coming Down The Aisle
  • Groom Kissing Bride At The Altar (Set Up)
  • Groom Putting Ring On Bride’s Finger (Set Up)
  • Receiving The Ring After Ceremony
  • Bride And Groom On The Steps Of Church
  • Getting Into Car
  • Shot while seated in the car

Mood Shots In And Around The Church Or Wedding Area Grounds

  • Bridal Party
  • Bridal Party With Brides Parents
  • Bridal Party With Grooms Parents
  • Bridal Party Grandparents
  • Bridal Party Brothers And Sisters
  • Bridal Party Uncles And Aunties
  • Bridal Party With Friends
  • Bridal Party With All Brides Family
  • Bridal Party With All Of Grooms Family

Between The Ceremony And The Reception

  • Outdoor Shots Of Bride And Groom
  • Outdoor Shots Of Wedding Party
  • Shots Of Groom And Best Man
  • Shots Of Bride And Maid Of Honour

At The Reception

  • Receiving Line
  • Wedding Cake (Prior To Being Cut)
  • Guests Signing Book
  • Introduction Of The Wedding Party
  • Wedding Party Toasting Bride And Groom
  • Bride and Groom Toasting Each Other


  • Bride And Father
  • Groom And Mother
  • Bride And Groom First Dance
  • Bride Showing Rings To Bridesmaids
  • General Dancing Shots

Candid’s Of Wedding Party

  • Flower Girl And Ring Bearer Together
  • Group Family Portraits
  • Bride Throwing Bouquet
  • Groom And Garter
  • Cutting The Cake
  • Bride And Groom Feeding Cake To Each Other
  • Bride And Groom’s Hands With Rings On

Special Requests and list of people the photographer shouldn’t miss!

Make some notes also, for any special requests and a list of people you definitely want your photographer to capture shots of.

List © SWPP

Wedding Photography

Choosing a Wedding Photographer

Some handy tips and advice to bear in mind when looking for a wedding photographer

Wedding PhotographerThe photographs of your wedding are a permanent record of your most special day and you should take your time when choosing the wedding photographer.

There are many things to consider when choosing your wedding photographer, here are a few tips:

Often couples judge by price alone or book photographers on recommendation from someone on a wedding forum (if you do this make sure that you get opinions from more than one or two members – they are not always genuine!).

Ideally, you should make up your own mind, although a personal commendation from a close friend or family member is most valuable.

Always try to meet the photographer

  • Do you feel comfortable with him or her – they will be sharing your special day with you so it’s important that you get on with each other?
  • Is the photographer professionally qualified?
  • Check out the individual’s membership of a professional organisation, qualifications and perhaps competition success. The two main associations are The British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) and The Master Photographers Association (MPA)
  • Does the photographer have Professional Indemnity insurance?
  • Check the photographer has taken out insurance to protect against problems. don’t rely upon your own wedding insurance for this.

What style of photographs are you looking for?

There are many different styles of photograph so it is important to work out what type of photographs you would like. For example, would you prefer a more relaxed reportage style or a more formal? Colour or black and white? Modern or Classic? Take along some examples of photograph styles you like.

Have a look at a selection of the photographer’s work. Look for life in the images, a sense of occasion and the emotions of the day being conveyed. Any poses should look natural and not overly formal. Take time to discuss your requirements in detail so that you both know exactly what you want.

Ensure you receive written terms and conditions of business before parting with any money as a booking fee. Ask the photographer if any cancellation charges apply and when the balance is to be paid.

With larger companies, make sure that the photos you see were actually taken by the person who will attend your wedding. And check that the photographer you meet will be the same one who does the work on the day!

Some Questions to ask your Wedding Photographer

  • How long do you stay at the wedding for?
  • How many pictures do you take?
  • How quickly will the pictures be ready?
  • Do we get all the pictures. Can we buy the negatives from you or do we get a DVD of all the pictures?
  • Will you photograph everyone and what kind of input can we have on the direction of the shots?
  • Do we have to have group pictures and can we give you a shot list to work from?
  • Will we know that you are there? * What kind of equipment will you bring with you?
  • How intrusive will lighting, tripods, other equipment or assistants be?
  • Do you shoot with film or digital
  • Do you shoot in colour or black and white, or a digital format that can create both colour and b/w versions of the same picture?

Useful Links

See Also

Wedding Photography

How to Choose a Boudoir Photographer

Some years ago when I went through the process of opening Studio Boudoir for business I explored the boudoir photography market and this seemed like an excellent opportunity to come up with some hints and tips for those looking to hire a boudoir photographer.
Looking at what the various existing photographers were offering and how they were selling their services made me think about what I would be looking for if I were in this position. I have therefore come up with a list of things I think you should consider when looking for someone to create some boudoir imagery as a surprise gift for your husband to be or just as a keepsake for your own eyes only! Please keep in mind that as with any photographer writing such an article there are bound to be issues of self-interest and I am bound to be biased towards the way I do things – however despite this I have tried to make these tips as impartial as I can.
An example of Henry's work
Starting Points

When choosing a photographer start by considering what you want at the end of the day from the experience. This may sound unnecessary – but it does become quite crucial later when you start comparing packages. In my experience from listening to clients most have some or all of the following ideas when considering boudoir:
Self-Empowering experience giving a confidence boost to a woman about her body and her sexuality.
A way of having a great time playing dress up with sexy outfits and lingerie and keeping a record of the results.
A gift for a husband to be. Many women feel that by presenting themselves in a way perhaps not seen before by their lover they are giving him a unique and very personal gift that will surprise and delight.
Getting some images to compliment the more usual wedding photographs and aid in creating a timeline around recording a wedding. Boudoir shots come right at the beginning of the wedding process and could be seen as part of a complete record showing before, during and after a wedding. While the boudoir pictures may not come out for parents and relations they are a great very personal reminder of the time before a wedding especially for the bride but also for the groom. Something that both can enjoy nostalgically for many years to come.
There are no doubt many other reasons I haven’t covered here. But by considering why you want to have boudoir photographs taken of yourself you can come to a decision as to what you are looking for in your ideal boudoir photographer. For example if it is to be mainly about the self-empowerment and playing with costumes are you really that bothered about how the photographs will turn out? If that’s your motivation then you can concentrate on photographers who highlight the pampering and luxury customer side of the experience. On the other hand if you don’t care about the pampering and want great images at any cost then you need to concentrate on those photographers who specialise on those things and perhaps offer less pampering. Or if they are all important then you need to look for someone who offers a complete package of all those things.
Once you are clear on what you need from your boudoir experience you are ready to start looking at what photographers are actually offering.
The Gender Issue

All female studios are a fantastic option for those women who are uncomfortable working on boudoir imagery with a man behind the camera or in the studio.
For many women this is essential. However, if you are open minded on the issue there are pros and cons to be considered and it’s not quite such a simple decision as it might seem at first glance. Look at your list of objectives and consider how strongly the experience itself is of importance to you versus the end result.
It can be all too easy to forget that if the pictures are intended for your husband to be – it may actually be an advantage to have a man involved somewhere in the creation of those images. All female studios sell themselves on the advantage of “no men around” – can’t argue with that – it’s a fact. But some also sell themselves on the feminine eye approach to beauty and boudoir. There’s something to be said for that too – but it’s not something that is exclusive to female studios. In my case many of the biggest fans of my photographs are women – which I take to mean that my work has an appealing feminine touch to it. But at the same time I feel aware of what men would like to see in sexy photographs too and can’t help feeling that if the target of your fantastic photos is to be a man that must be an advantage of sorts too.
There are many women working in photography who produce great images intended for men – be it Page 3 or Playboy or any other traditionally male oriented publications. If it’s true that women can produce those male oriented images just as well if not better than male photographers it should logically also be true that male boudoir photographers can also produce feminine friendly, artistic images too. It just takes a man with the eye and ability to do it.
So taking this into account my personal view is that it all boils down to comfort zones. If you are not bothered by a man taking the pictures then do not limit yourself by thinking boudoir imagery is something only women can do and therefore start excluding male photographers. It could be a male eye is just what your images need to add the extra spice your husband to be may be looking for! However if you are uncomfortable with a man being involved in the creation of your images and think you would be much more comfortable among women then you should certainly look for all female studios.
Overall, on this issue, comfort trumps all else. Any photographer will agree if you cannot be comfortable when you are being photographed your images will suffer. I pay great attention to making sure my clients are as comfortable as they possibly can be when I am photographing them. Any other good photographer will have the same priority.
Qualifications and Reputation

Reputation of a boudoir photographer is an important factor when making a selection. Once you have a short list see what you can find out about them. Use wedding chat forums, websites and so on to see if you can find anyone that has shot with them and what they thought of the experience. Keep in mind if they are new photographers there may not be much information. Mostly what you are looking for when doing this are negative comments. If you see them then read them carefully and use your own judgement. If you see no comments however that is not necessarily a negative thing. Their business may be new. Good comments of course speak for themselves. Try to make sure you are reading genuine comments from real people (although it’s impossible online to ever be 100% certain).
Qualifications are less straight forward. Typically you may see a list of letters after a photographers name showing accreditation of one sort or another. As in any other walk of life some people take these more seriously then others. If qualifications are not important to you then you can ignore this part of the process. Personally my view would be that I would just want to see good pictures and I am less bothered by letters/qualifications. However, if you are not like me than continue reading carefully.
If you are going to take the letters a boudoir photographer puts after there name seriously you must check what the letters actually mean and what the photographer had to do in order to be allowed to use those letters. The reason I emphasize this is many photographers ‘qualifications’ are simply subscriptions to various organizations or societies. Often the requirements to qualify to use the letters are trivial – for example send in 10 photographs (to prove you can actually photograph something) and pay the yearly subscription.
As a result if you are going to weigh qualifications seriously in your selection process you need to be sure that they actually mean something genuine. There are many organisations offering accreditation. But taking The Royal Society of Photographers as an example – it is clear on their website what is involved in gaining their qualification and what the qualifications mean. You can see this written out here:
If you should find a photographer you are interested in is using a qualification that is less then you would hope, that is not necessarily a reason to dismiss them unless qualifications are of key importance to you. Keep in mind that even if their qualification does turn out to be of a subscription type organisation the fact that the photographer is paying for it is an indication that they are serious about what they are doing. It may not guarantee quality or competence – but it does to a certain degree guarantee that they are genuine. It also gives you someone to complain to should you have a bad experience!
I should say – I use no letters after my name. I feel my ‘qualification’ is my work – and that’s why I am sitting on the fence here a bit. But I realize that for some qualification is all. In my career I have worked with people who are both obsessed with qualifications and those who feel a qualification means you are almost certainly inept! I suspect the truth is somewhere in between these two extremes!
Picture Issues

Hopefully having taken the above into consideration you now have a short list of photographers you are interested in. Next, consider how important the pictures are to your boudoir experience. If you are focusing more on the feel-good aspects of doing a boudoir shoot you may not actually be that concerned about works of art being created and as long as the result is passable you may be happy. But on the other hand if quality is of key importance to you then you may want to spend longer looking at previous work the photographer has done and imagining yourself in those pictures.
Clearly if you actually hate the pictures you see then there is no point in considering that photographer further regardless of any other issues. If you love their pictures however do not be immediately seduced by the imagery (unless you have an unlimited budget). Carefully review the photographers packages to see what they offer in terms of finished retouched pictures and how much it costs.
To explain, for photographers selling shoots it is about balancing the cost of prints against the cost of the photoshoot. It is common (and makes a lot of sense for both photographers and clients) to charge little for the shoot itself compared to the photos.
A good photographic artist will take a long time retouching your photographs to make them look absolutely perfect.
Clients of the photographers will find it less risky to buy packages where they are not committed beyond the photoshoot. This way if they go on a shoot and they do not like the work produced they can walk away having lost much less then if they were paying for everything up front.
Consider again your objectives in terms of quantity and types of pictures you want out of the shoot. Make sure you are clear about the pricing – how much is being charged for the shoot – whether any prints are thrown in and how much additional prints will cost you later.
Presentation Options

Every photographer will offer you glossy prints as an option but you need to consider what you want to do with those prints. Of course one could put them in a brown manila envelope and give them to your husband that way but unless one has a sense of humour most would prefer something a bit more luxurious.
The first decision to make is whether you want to handle presentation yourself – in which case you can just opt for glossy prints and source an album yourself to save money. Or you could purchase digital copies of the images from the photographer and publish them yourself in a self-published book – or print them on special materials using your local photo lab.
Generally though, I would not recommend the DIY approach unless you are on a strict budget. Most photographers have spent a lot of time developing their presentation options and are better placed to get you a quality result even if it does cost a bit more.
Perhaps, also rather importantly, do you really need the headache of DIY when you are likely busy with a hundred and one other things for your upcoming wedding?
With presentation options, the most obvious and basic option you should consider would be the traditional photo album – everybody is familiar with these but you should think about how you want the album to look and how much you want to spend on it. The photo album market is vast going from standard high street stick in albums which are not really very inspiring, all the way to hand made luxury Italian leather albums. Your photographer will most likely have several options to show you.
An increasingly popular option (and one I really like) is to have your photos published as a coffee table art book. The quality of high end printing of this sort is astonishingly good and the prices for this while not exactly cheap are falling all the time. Most boudoir photographers have a book option of some sort – if this idea appeals to you then check your chosen list of photographers for what they offer.
Another choice is to have your favourite photograph printed and framed. While this option tends to be used for the more formal portrait style boudoir there is no reason you can’t have a huge sexy picture of yourself made to keep your husband company while you are not at home!
So considering all these options see what your photographer will be able to do for you and whether you want to take on doing this yourself or whether you want to buy it as part of your boudoir package.
If you do want it included check carefully that your chosen photographer will do the presentation work you need.
Price and Location

Your short list should be a lot shorter by the time you come to consider price and location.
Both things are fairly straight forward… however once again go back to your original objectives. If the quality of the end result is most important to you you may need to pay a premium and/or travel to get the results you want. Overall if this is your point of view I would say it is worth making the journey. Your boudoir photos will be with you for years and it’s better to have exactly what you want than to look at them later and think “if only I’d been willing to travel 50 miles further” or “if only I’d paid a few pounds extra”. For most women these are one off occasions. While there is no reason you shouldn’t do a further shoot at a later date if you get an appetite for it – it is more usual for the experience not to be repeated and become part of the brides wedding record. As it is a special event there are plenty of reasons not to be too conservative considering price/location.
On the other hand, if your main reasons for doing a boudoir photoshoot are more to do with pampering yourself and having pure fun and the end results isn’t everything to you – then you might consider photographers who are cheaper and more convenient to your location. This will enable you to save some money and achieve what you wish to do without needless inconvenience/cost.

There are many things to be considered when selecting a boudoir photographer and I’ve covered quite a few of them in this article. But coming to a conclusion I would summarise that the best way to go about this is as follows (and in this order):
Decide what is important to you first. Once done it will guide you in the selection process.
Start to look at boudoir photographer websites – you can use the excellent directory on this site or use Google to search for them.
First look at the quality of the images displayed in the photographers galleries. Depending on how important the image is to you as the end result add/remove photographers from your list.
Next look at pricing. Decide on your budget and further edit your list removing those who are not in your price range. Consider this carefully so that you do not have future regrets for the sake of small savings.
Then try and find out all you can about the photographers reputation. Search the web, chat boards and any other resources you can find. See if anyone has had a shoot with them and how they found it.
At all stages of the process try and avoid being misled by marketing and small print. Check what any qualifications actually mean. Read the details carefully of exactly what each photographer is offering you. How many photos, when and what is included in the price as well as what is not.
Good luck in the hunt for your perfect boudoir experience and photographs. Oh and do stop by my website and see what I offer (see bottom of page)!
Some Photographers You Should Look At

Nothing is guaranteed – being a photographer I have of course not hired and don’t actually know any of these people. They are just a few of the many great photographers working in boudoir whose offerings stood out to me when I was looking around the web.