Beyond the Wedding Photography Checklist

why i love a good checklist

You might have seen or been told about the importance of a wedding photography checklist. All the shots you must have, or else. Today I want to talk about moving beyond the wedding photography checklist. Don’t get me wrong, the engineer in me loves lists. Marc and I have countless checklists and excel spreadsheets that are vital to our business. For example, our wedding gear checklist. It’s printed and placed in the cover of a binder where we can use a dry erase marker to the check off items as we pack them for each and every wedding. We travel light, we keep things simple, we have back-up gear, but making sure we have everything we need on a wedding day is essential. Are the batteries charged? Are our clothes ironed? Are we prepared if it snows? Another important checklist I use everyday is one for client tracking. I need to know where I am with each of my couples. Did we schedule their engagement shoot? Have I shipped their album yet?

So that’s settled. Checklists are important and vital to a successful business. However, when it comes to what photos we’re going to take, we like to move beyond the checklist. If I ‘m busy looking at a checklist I’m missing moments and I’m certainly not telling a story. In the beginning it helped to think through what moments are important on the wedding day. The bride walking down the aisle, the first kiss, the first dance, these are all important moments but I don’t need a list to tell me that. If I’m present with my couple, if I’m there and ready with my camera telling the story of the day, I’m going to get that shot. But more importantly, I’m going to get all of the shots that aren’t on my checklist.

I do use a checklist during one part of the day, the family pictures. Since I don’t necessarily know all of the family members and their relationships it helps me to have them written down. I want to make sure I get the various combinations of family photos that my couple wants, which can vary from couple to couple. Usually, during this portion of the day, I have this list and Marc has a camera. I’m directing and making sure what we need is in the photo while Marc takes the picture. If we worked from a wedding photography checklist the whole day, would it work the same way? Me reading the list to him telling him which shot to take next?

beyond the wedding photography checklist

I don’t often take a strong stand in my blog posts. I believe each couple and each wedding is unique. I believe there is more that one way to do things and that everyone has to find what works for them. My main goal today is to encourage you to think beyond the wedding photography checklist.Whether you have one, use one, or not. Whether you’re a wedding photographer or a bride. What are the moments happening that aren’t on that list? What is the unique aspect of the story the can’t be on the list? In fact what if there wasn’t a standard wedding photography checklist at all but rather we created a unique one for a specific couple based on what we’re witnessing in that moment? Grandpa loves to dance, let me capture that, put it on the list. That bridesmaid sure is emotional, there’s a story there, put it on the list.

Ready? Go!

Move beyond the wedding photography checklist and let me know your vision for the perfect wedding photos! Still want a checklist, fine, here’s a downloadable checklist from fstoppers to get you started.

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We are Marc and Brenda Bergreen, a husband and wife team of adventurous Colorado mountain wedding photographers reminding you to…

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