Timeline Pro

The Ultimate Wedding Photography Shot List

Whether you are preparing for your first wedding shoot or have shot so many that you could plan an entire wedding without even breaking a sweat, a wedding photography shot list is a crucial tool. We have already seen how they can streamline your photography business, but now it is time to look at our ultimate wedding photography shot list and see how to make it your own.

The goal, of course, is for everyone to win. A photography shot list can help you, the photographer, have a better and more efficient shoot yielding more satisfied clients. The client receives the shots they want to capture their day, including some pictures they would never have thought of, but your experience tells you that they will want them someday–maybe even as soon as they see them. Vendors and event planners can be planned with and around, so the entire event is smoother. 

Creating a wedding day photo “shot list” is crucial

For the experienced wedding photographer, there is a temptation to think: “I know what I am doing. I’ve done so many. I can wing it.” And maybe you are just that good. The problem is that every event has hiccups, times when things get rushed or something gets delayed. Tempers flare or equipment fails. In these moments, even the most seasoned photographer is helped by having a thorough and thoughtful shot list. Now you don’t have to think about what shot is next. You can focus on overcoming whatever obstacle has arisen.

For the beginning photographer, a shot list relieves much stress as you can work out the details and plan the shoot without the rush of the moment. You appear more professional, and it is easier to hide your nerves because you are prepared. Work out the details of the shoot over coffee at your desk with plenty of time to think. Then, do what you do best at the event–capture the magic of the special day.

In either case, Timeline Pro is the app to streamline the process. Between having the event timeline at your fingertips and an easy way to give and get feedback from clients and vendors, you are in the perfect position to plan a great shot list.

wedding photography timeline

Our ultimate wedding day photography shot list

Here is our list. You may have other shots that you love, so add them! But we think this is an excellent place for any photographer to start. It covers all the basics and several other shots you may not have thought of. We have divided the list into a few different phases of the wedding event. This helps you and your clients think of shots within each part of the event, that they want.

wedding photography shot list

Getting Ready

Capture the excitement and anticipation that comes with every wedding.

  1. The couple (both individuals)
  2. Wedding party
  3. Mother of the bride
  4. Father of the bride
  5. Final bits of advice or conversation between parents and their soon-to-be-wed children
  6. Interactions between the bride and groom and their wedding parties

First Look 

Few things compare to the sweetness of the first look. These shots can immortalize moments that will be remembered fondly for the rest of their lives.

  1. Invite them to meet before the wedding (no peeking!)
  2. Bride approaching the groom
  3. Groom’s reaction
  4. Shared first reaction


Weddings are built upon a relationship and a thousand small details, many of which are very photogenic. This is just a tiny smattering to get your mind started planning.

  1. The rings
  2. The flowers
  3. Décor
  4. Empty ceremony location (before guests arrive)


  1. Aisle before guests arrive
  2. Aisle with guests, before couple arrive
  3. Bride/groom at the altar before the other one arrives
  4. Walking down the aisle
  5. During vows
  6. The kiss
  7. Walking down the aisle together
  8. Leaving the ceremony


Each of these really is a category in and of itself. The poses and groupings will be at least partially unique to each event, but this is a starting place.

  1. Couple’s portraits
  2. Wedding party
  3. Family formals
  4. Animal and children


  1. Reception hall
  2. Toasts
  3. First dance
  4. Father of the bride dance
  5. Mother of the groom dance
  6. Garter
  7. Throwing the bouquet
  8. The couple at the reception
  9. Reception of guests
  10. Leaving reception

Include unique shots for every couple

So, there you have the ultimate photography shot list, which serves as a great base list. The thing to remember though is that each couple is unique. Every couple is going to want the shots on this list, but every couple is also going to want some other photos.

Remember that most brides and even some grooms have dreamt about their wedding for years, and likely there will be a shot that they want, that you and I would never have thought of–that’s why we have a list. They can see what we plan on shooting, and days before rather than days after a wedding, they can mention that shot that they thought was standard or obvious but wasn’t on the list. 

A wedding is a notable turning point in a relationship; you get to capture that. There may be inside jokes or shared interests that the couple would like expressed in their photos. By planning ahead, you can ensure that these unique ideas are incorporated into their wedding shoot. It’s difficult to overestimate how much delight you can create with simple additions unique to each couple. You help them to feel special by acknowledging with your work that they are special!

wedding photography shot list

Keeping track of your wedding photography shot list

Gone are the days of having to depend on a post-it note or a crinkled-up piece of notebook paper that could easily be lost or drenched by a summer afternoon thundershower. Using Timeline Pro, you can always have your shot list in your pocket or bag. And the great thing is that you also have the entire event timeline, a record of client and vendor communication, and a sunset tracker all in one place. This makes it a one-stop place for your needs during the event. 

The great thing about having all these critical tools in one place is that it makes each of them more valuable. If there is a delay or a change in the timeline, your shot list is right there ready for you to adjust according to the situation. If the bride at the last moment thinks of a shot she would like, you can see your shot list, consider where it would fit best, and add it to your list.

Ultimately a great photography shot list will help you deliver a final product to your client that will excite them and bring back so many magical memories for years to come. That return on just a bit of preparation and planning is worth it!

Download yours now! HERE

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