30+ Wedding Photography MUST-HAVE Shots

We are thick in the middle of wedding season, aren’t we?

That means we’re thick in the middle of wedding photography season. Now I’m someone who doesn’t shoot weddings as my #1 job, but as you know, I tend to put 100% of myself into every job I do. And of the four or so weddings I’ve photographed, each one has been a huge learning experience/inspiration. I don’t know if I’ll ever do them full-time, but the gift of doing them part of the time, and in a highly perfectionistic way, is that I really do know what I’m doing. It’s a lesson in self-confidence, and weather-confidence, and technology-confidence, but since it’s really mostly about that first part, since you can’t control the rest, that’s where I start. There’s a feeling I get either right away, or hopefully not too far into a gig.

And that’s when raw instinct takes over. It’s almost like I’m floating a little outside of myself. It’s what I’m born to do.

With all of the weddings I’ve photographed, I’ve either been given or have asked the bride and groom for a checklist of important shots. Trust me, I find my own big and small moments. That’s what I’m paid to do. That’s what they’re trusting me to do. I don’t know everyone, though. That’s why I rely on these checklists. I don’t always know about the sick uncle, whose dance with the bride might be his last dance of all. I don’t know individual stories – and what people are battling every day. And I can see so much in my photos, but I need those checklists to know what my client thinks is most important.

I get asked a lot of photography questions, and I always have fun compiling them into photography posts, thanks to a great suggestion by my friend AnnMarie. Some questions require whole posts. This is one of those times. People ask me what my MUST-HAVE shots are for photographing a wedding. Whether you’re reading this as a bride or groom, (or two brides/two grooms), or as a family member, friend, or loved one in a wedding, or as a photographer interested in weddings – I’d love to hear your own thoughts of must-haves! Here are the photos I don’t leave a wedding without having taken, OR ELSE!

I have compiled 30+ must-have #wedding #photography shots - whether you're getting married, or photographing a wedding. You can make your own checklist too!

1 – Dress. I like this one billowing out or sleek/stylish on a plain/natural background.

2 – Shoes. I never knew how important these were until brides started to make sure I noticed them.

3 – Bridal details. I’m talking beyond jewelry with painted nails, barrettes, complicated braids, and other closeups.

4 – Jewelry. Rings, of course, and special earrings, meaningful necklaces, bracelets, etc.

5 – All flowers. Decorations, bridal bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets, groom and groomsmen boutonnières.

6 – Invitations. Generally there’s a framed shot at the wedding, but if not, I take one before or after the wedding too.

7 – Groom accessories. Cufflinks, jewelry, and other special touches. (With Cassidy, it was his Converse shoes!)

8 – Welcome bags. These are usually found in the hotel and also sometimes at weddings.

9 – Notes. These can be cards, letters, vows, that brides and grooms sometimes write the day of their wedding.

10 – Bridal portrait. There will be many of these, of course, but they are timeless and unique.

11 – The bride and groom’s first look at each other! Of course, this includes bride/bride, groom/groom weddings. LOVE!

12 – Emotions. Honestly this is why I became a photographer in general, and why weddings are in my wheelhouse.

13 – Bridal party relaxed. These are FUN!

14 – Solos of all members of bridal party. These includes children and groomsmen, of course.

15 – The bride in action. That’s too much fun to resist!

16 – Decorations and favors. One of my recent brides is an artist so it was important to her that the wedding decorations were super special. And her favors were just as much fun! I must have photographed them for 30 minutes!

17 – Family shots. You may need an assistant to locate/round up/point out relatives.

18 – The bridal party at the ceremony. The groomsmen too, of course!

19 – Wedding party kids. This is a favorite of mine.

20 – The bride and groom in action. Another favorite! They’ll be busy busy all day.

21 – The walk down the aisle. And that includes EVERYONE walking!

22 – The groom’s face while the bride walks down the aisle. And during the ceremony in general.

23 – Furry friends. Sometimes pets make a big appearance at a wedding!

24 – Traditions. In our family, it was breaking the glass and standing under a Chuppah.

25 – Sweeping ceremony shots. Sweeping reception shots too, of course.

26 – Guests. This starts before the ceremony and continues until the after party, if you can. This is the meat of a wedding!

27 – The kiss. But of course!

28 – Stolen moments and candids. Sometimes, they really do forget you’re there. This is the BEST!

29 – The food. Including and starring, of course, the cake!

30 – Aerial shots. This can be done in different ways – drones, ladders, higher elevations. I have found (safe) ways.

31 – Musicians. Enough said there.

32 – All dance. Formal and planned, plus late night and crazy.

Happy Wedding Season!

5 Reasons You Need Picture Keeper Connect

This post has been sponsored by Picture Keeper and Share Your Photos. We all know I’m a photographer so this material is no stretch! I’m proud to write about this exciting Mother’s Day Giveaway! As always, all thoughts & opinions are 100% my own.

Here are five reasons why you ABSOLUTELY need Picture Keeper Connect! The perfect gift for loved ones or yourself! Enter the #giveaway for #MothersDay! #ad

Ok, y’all. You KNOW I’m always here to tell you the most wonderful gifts to give to others, or to yourself. Mother’s Day is coming up SO SOON, and I’m surrounded by mothers. I have myself, of course, my mom, two sisters, a sister-in-law, two mothers-in-law, one grandmother, and a bunch of wonderful friends. I feel completely ready to tell you the perfect gift now.

Picture Keeper Connect.

What items do moms cherish most? Photos of their loved ones! I don’t know about you, but I have hundreds upon thousands of photos that accumulate on my phone, and all other devices. Picture Keeper Connect allows you to store photos safely – to allow more space on all of your devices. If you don’t have storage, WiFi or data, that’s not a problem – because Picture Keeper Connect works anywhere. And because your files aren’t stored online, you maintain control of your photos.

photo storage

So what is it? It’s a memory device that allows users to backup files from their mobile phones, tablets, and computers. When it’s plugged into a phone, the USB drive copies photos, videos, and contacts from your phone to the device. When it’s plugged into a PC/Mac, Picture Keeper Connect will find and save photos and photos from your computer to the device – and it will skip duplicates. Also, Connect For Mobile uses a free app – available on the App Store and Google Play.

photo storage

Here are my top five reasons why you and your loved ones need Picture Keeper Connect for Mother’s Day:

1 – This is No-Fuss Backup! It’s never been simpler to backup your photos and videos, and I know it’s something I personally have struggled with in the past. Picture Keeper Connect allows you to simply download their free app, plug the drive into your device of choice, and launch the app. Then you can click “Start Backup” and let the drive do all the work for you!

picture keeper

2 – You Can Get Creative! Now you can craft custom gifts and prints with your photos directly from the drive using the app. This easy gift-giving method adds a personal touch to birthdays, graduations, Mother’s Day celebrations, Christmas, and more.

You probably know by now that I think photos make the perfect gift for any occasion.

cherish memories

3 – Keeping Calm. In an emergency, Picture Keeper Connect can help. Simply plug the drive into your phone or any smart device – and you get instant access to stored contacts and important phone numbers. Fast and easy.

4 – This is Fast & Flexible. You can view files on your mom’s phone, or share your own photos from your computer or phone. There’s no internet connection required. This allows for endless sharing WITH family and friends, and WITHOUT a data plan.

emergency contacts

5 – Enjoying Every Minute. That’s right. With the amazing Picture Keeper Connect, you can view, select, backup, and delete single items or entire albums with just the touch of a button. This is stress-free and gives you extra time with loved ones.

Don’t forget to check out the Picture Keeper blog for information on their amazing Mother’s Day Gift Guide/Giveaway here! I feel so lucky to have found Picture Keeper Connect, because it’s amazing for my family, for my photography business, and for gifts for loved ones. This is the best way to capture memories, and I know not everyone chose photography as a career like I have, but everyone has photos they love. Everyone has occasions to celebrate and remember. What photos will you choose?

What will your story say?

Now read on about Picture Keeper’s Amazing Gift Guide/Giveaway!

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This year for Mother’s Day, Picture Keeper has teamed up with nine talented Etsy Designers to showcase our favorite Mother’s Day gifts! Get Mom something she ACTUALLY wants this year! Check out these adorable Gift Guides that we’ve created!

Our •For Mom Gift Guide• includes unique items that every mom would love!
Our •Mommy-To-Be Gift Guide• is made up of sweet items for any expecting mommies!

Even more exciting news: THIS COULD BE YOURS! That’s right folks, we are giving away every single item in each of these Gift Guides.

TWO lucky winners will receive every single item in our Gift Guides:

One winner for the For Mom Gift Guide
One winner for the Mommy-To-Be Gift Guide


 

No purchase is necessary to enter or to win. This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents 18 years and older. The giveaway will run until 12pm EST on Friday, May 5th. Two winners will be chosen at random. Odds depend on the number of eligible entries received.

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For more info about Picture Keeper and Share Your Photos:

Picture Keeper Website
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