Our Full-Day Australian Wedding Photography Shot List Guide

Jul 28, 2022

Wedding

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Your big, beautiful wedding day is approaching soon, and we just know you’re bubbling over with anticipation and excitement! After months of planning, it’s almost here – but have you thought about your wedding photography checklist?

Because your wedding is so unique and beautiful, we really want to make sure you get all the photos that matter the most – the ones you’ll cherish looking back on 20 years from now. To do this, we recommend making a shot list. 

What is a shot list for a wedding, and why should you give your photographer a shot list? It’s basically a list of all the events, moments and people you want to have documented at your wedding by your photography team. It’s really important, as it will ensure you get all those magical photos you’re dreaming of – and it will make life much easier for your photographers! 

While every wedding is different, we’ve put together an Australian wedding photography shot list guide to help you plan – we don’t want you to miss out on any of those beautiful memories. 

What is important in wedding photography?

OK, so how do I make a wedding photography shot list, and what’s most important to include? With so many elements to your wedding day, it’s not easy to narrow down your top shots. It’s best to sit down and think about all of the moments that will matter the most to you. 

Which photos would you want to share with your children, hang in your home or include in your wedding album? Start by writing down certain things that will be the most meaningful to your day. These may include:

  • Sentimental jewellery, like rings or heirloom items
  • Important guests
  • Other sentimental family belongings
  • Personal family traditions
  • Your favourite foods or drinks being served 
  • Some couples also love introducing a new fragrance or smell on their wedding day, as it helps stimulate memories in the future – this is one of the items you’ll absolutely want to keep after the wedding day! 

These are all little items and details you’ll want to have photographed.

Your shot list: What do wedding photographers take pictures of?

While your wedding photo checklist is completely tailored to your traditions, your loved ones and the style of your wedding, we find that many couples ask for similar shots – the wedding VIP photos, if you will! 

Here are a few big (and tiny) moments to include in your wedding shot list.

The morning’s getting-ready moments

Generally, couples spend the night away from home the night before the wedding, near the venue, then get ready the next morning with their bridal party. 

It’s a comfortable, relaxing and an enjoyable start to your wedding day as you enjoy a coffee (or cheeky bubbles/beer!), chat while the hair and makeup artists work their magic, then slip into your incredible wedding gown or suit.

These images are bright, cheery and beautiful, and the golden morning light is also one of the best times to photograph sentimental pieces of jewellery or family heirloom items. 

If you and your partner are getting ready in separate locations, booking a second photographer can be really helpful for photographing both bridal parties, as otherwise, there may not be enough time to take photos in both locations. 

Your gorgeous wedding ceremony 

Your wedding ceremony can be whatever you want it to be. Other than the short formalities with the celebrant, the rest is up to you, so why not get creative? We’ll be there to capture it all, from the walk down the aisle to the electricity and passion of that long-awaited first kiss! 

So how many photos should a wedding photographer take at a ceremony? We’ll take hundreds, snapping away to ensure you get the best possible images in the final wedding album. 

Family and friends group photos

After the ceremony, we love to take group photos of your family and friends. These don’t need to be stoic and boring, though – we can style them however you like! 

Often, we have couples share precious photos of themselves with their grandparents who have passed away years after their wedding. Although family photos aren’t always super exciting to take, these images have purpose and meaning that you’ll treasure forever. 

Love of family is actually where our passion for wedding photography ultimately comes from! We’re so passionate about capturing memories that will remind you of the smile of a loved one or hug from your grandparent as they congratulate you on one of the best days of your life.

Who do you include in wedding photos? There’s no right or wrong answer, but think about the humans you love and value most in life (whether they’re family or not), as these are the people you’ll want to include. 

That precious free time between your wedding and reception

After the group photos are done, you’re left with a bit of a wildcard! You can schedule the afternoon however you like.

Want to sit down, have a drink and catch up with your guests? Or maybe head to a beautiful nearby photo location with your bridal party, pop a bottle of champagne and get some photos of everyone having fun? 

We’re happy to give you some suggestions of how to use this time, but whatever you decide, we’ll be there, camera in hand! 

Couples portraits 

Your shot list will, of course, include couples portraits. Your wedding is a celebration of your love, and at the end of the day, it’s all about the two of you.

We suggest scheduling at least an hour dedicated to your couple portraits, ideally at sunset. These images are so powerful, capturing your love, commitment, and the start of a new future, so you really want to treasure the private moments of your couples portrait time. 

Reception formalities 

Your reception will be an epic party, no matter how you organise it. Whether you’re having a formal dinner or cocktails and canapes, we’ll take plenty of fun photos of all the action!

A few reception formalities to include in your shot list are:

  • Speeches
  • The father–daughter dance
  • Your first dance together
  • Cake cutting
  • The bouquet toss and garter toss (if you’re doing it)
  • Any fun games or family traditions 
  • All the chaos and energy of the dance floor! 
  • Your reception exit – many couples love exiting through an archway or with sparklers

We know that’s a lot to think about! It’s worth the time and effort, though, as you want to be sure you get every wedding photo that represents your love, family, friends and values.

We’re always happy to help with the shot list for all our couples. As specialists in full-day Australian wedding photography, we can’t wait to help you plan your perfect day! 

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