wedding photographer checklist

Wedding Photographer Checklist

A wedding photographer checklist is a lifesaver. With all the endless shooting and guests in a wedding, it is easy to forget an important shot. Preparing adequately for this special day will make sure you achieve professional and polished photographs.

Good wedding photographers have their own checklist with all the list of things needed to have and do. In this article, I will discuss some of the important wedding photographer checklist items in order to have a successful day and achieve the dream photos that your clients want.

Meet with the Bride and Groom

Shooting a wedding always come with some pressure especially if you don’t know your clients photography needs. Meeting with the bride and groom should be the first item in your check list.

Arrange a meeting with the couple to discuss the plans for their big day and the photography wedding style they want. It will help if your clients give the location of their wedding, important people that will be at the wedding and all the important shots that will be taken.

After agreeing on price, get a contract and include everything like location of the ceremony and an estimate of the shots to be taken.


Budget is one of the vital items that should be in your checklist as a photographer. Don’t forget to discuss price with your client as this will determine if you will take the project or not. Pricing may vary from $1000 to $5000 depending on various factors like;

  • How long you will be hired as a wedding photographer
  • The number of photos
  • Hidden costs such as editing
  • Your location
  • The size of the wedding. A large wedding will require a photographer with his or her assistant.

A budget will help a wedding photographer plan adequately by purchasing the required equipment and accessories.

Smart wedding photographers should have different pricing packages so they fit all kinds of customers. Do not hesitate to ask for a deposit and the rest of the money should be paid after the wedding.

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The Photography Style

Each wedding photographer has his or her style which can be seen in their work. The wedding photography style that your client requested should be in your checklist. The wedding photography styles include the following:

  • Photojournalistic wedding photography
  • Fine art wedding photography
  • Fashion wedding photography
  • Traditional wedding photography

If your client wants photojournalistic wedding photography, a lot of creativity will be required. The style resembles reportage in which the photographer will capture important moments to tell the story of the day.

What is so special about fashion wedding photography? First, the style focuses on showing off bridal fashion either for personal or commercial reasons. As a wedding photographer, make sure the bride and the groom have stylish outfits, there is a beautiful background and you know tons of fashionable poses.

A traditional wedding photography style requires the photographer to take traditional shots. As a wedding photographer, you must be in charge to take photos on special moments of the occasion such as a couple with their family, signing of the marriage certificate, to name a few. To learn more about all of the general styles, read this post.

Plan Early for the Wedding

This should be item number four in your wedding photographer checklist. By failing to prepare for your photography work, you are preparing to fail.

Visit the Venue before the Wedding

Visit the location in order to familiarize with it. You will learn of light conditions that will be there on the wedding day and you can decide to improve it or no. Visit the location to know the best positions to take the required shots.

The location décor and color will determine if you will achieve the wedding photography style requested by your client. Do not forget to visit the church where the wedding ceremony will take place.

Visit the bride and groom’s home where they will be preparing for the wedding plus the venue for the reception. If you will be confronted with small rooms, you will know what to do on the wedding day.

Get a Timeline

A wedding timeline has information from when the wedding party arrives, when the wedding will end and if there is enough time for photos. Make sure you have a detailed wedding timeline to work from.


Plan to arrive early in order to take shots at the required time. Make sure your vehicles are reliable and you know how to get there. Arrange to have parking space near the location of the wedding as close as possible.

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Photography Equipment

A professional photographer makes sure he has all the required equipment prior to a shoot. This includes high quality cameras, lenses, tripods, spare batteries and flash units. All batteries should be fully charged.

Check your tripods are working correctly and their legs are not slipping to avoid real annoyance in the wedding day. If it is possible, carry extra tripods. You can mix small travel tripods with medium sized tripods.

I hope these suggestions will help you become an organized wedding photographer. Shooting will be easier when you know what to expect in your client wedding.

Wedding Photography Shot List

A wedding photography shot list contains a must have photos. The photo shot list should be one of the important items in your checklist. Include notes to show the location for each shooting. This is what a wedding photography shot list looks like:

  • The bride and bridesmaid getting ready
  • The groom and groomsmen getting ready
  • Close up of the bridal bouquet
  • The exterior of the ceremony location
  • Interior of the ceremony location
  • Guests entering
  • Grooms and groomsmen arriving in the wedding car

That is, of course, a very truncated list. You can learn more about the shot list here.

Hopefully this wedding photography checklist was helpful for you. Let me know if you need more details!