While we don’t work from a formal wedding photo list, we often ask our couples what photos from their wedding day are they really excited about. Whether it’s a group photo of childhood friends, candid’s or little moments of joy and happiness, a wedding photo list will be different for each couple. Since weddings are one of the happiest and often quickest days in your life (they say it goes by like a flash!) our job is to make sure we capture every important detail and take flawless photos on the go. That’s why we have our own mental checklist of the wedding photos that you don’t want to miss!
Here are our top 11 essential wedding photos that should be in every wedding album:
1. The classic bridal portrait
Each bride is beautiful and radiant in her own way. You look so special on your wedding day and we’d like to make sure that we have a quintessential photo of just you. It can happen anytime, but the best moment to take your solo portraits would be during the getting ready portion in the morning. Wedding day mornings have beautiful glowing light while the air is filled with excited anticipation. Your getting ready portion will also be one of the slowest parts of the day when everything is quiet. That’s why it’s the perfect time to take some dreamy bridal portraits without being rushed. I like taking my time during these photos as it helps me find the most flattering angles and for you to get comfortable being in front of the camera. Therefore, it’s very important that you allocate sufficient time for your getting ready photos. From my experience, anywhere from one hour to an hour and a half would be ideal.
2. The groom’s reaction
The moment you see each other for the first time on your wedding day is so special. It gives me goosebumps every time! Whether you’re doing a First Look before the ceremony or meeting each other in the aisle, capturing the first reactions of your groom is very important. The changing expressions of joy, tears, and laughter on his happy face needs to be well documented, so you could revisit this magical moment after all is said and done.
3. Ceremony photos
The moments you spend at the ceremony altar are one of the most important memories of the day. My couples often tell me that their wedding ceremony goes by so fast as if everything is happening in a dream. And for a good reason! There are so much emotion and excitement in the air that the time seemingly flies by. That’s why it’s important to have those grand ceremony photos that capture the essence of the moment in your candid loving gazes and happy faces as you exit the ceremony location.
4. An epic landscape photo
Having a sweeping landscape photo of the two of you in an epic location is a definite must-have. Whether you’re getting married in a Californian desert or lush forest, this photo tells a story in one frame to show off your stunning wedding location. I like making sure that I capture an epic landscape photo of the bride and groom. It makes for the perfect blown-up art print and looks amazing in your wedding album to set the scene. Just imagine flipping through a beautiful wedding album and turning a page to open an epic widespread from your wedding creative. It’s a true jewel to cherish for generations to come.
5. A timeless full-body portrait
Both you and your partner are dressed to the nines on your Big Day and capturing how good you both look is a wedding photo list must have. In the future, you’ll be able to look at these portraits and remember how amazing you both looked in your wedding attire. A photo like this will take you back to the day to relive the emotions you were feeling at that moment. I especially love taking portraits that are dynamic and full of movement. Just because it’s a portrait, it doesn’t have to be still!
6. An elegant bridesmaids portrait
Your BFFs helped you pick your wedding dress and sent millions of text messages in your bridesmaids’ group chat to make sure you have everything you need for your special day. A bridesmaids photo will commemorate the special bond you share with your girls and will serve as a beautiful token of your friendship.
7. A stylish groomsmen photo
It’s their time to play models! Make sure to tell your groom how dapper he looks before sending him away to take some photos. Guys might say they don’t like taking pictures, but trust me, somewhere deep down they want to be captured as stylishly as their better half.
8. Guests’ reactions
The reactions of your loved ones are the sweetest. As wedding photographers, we value the emotions that arise naturally when people come together to celebrate. It’s nice to have your guests’ reaction photos to look back on. It’s easy to miss them as you will be focused on your vows and rings exchange. From my experience, these candid moments of spontaneous laughter, tears of joy and content smiles are amongst my couple’s favorite photos from their big day.
9. In-between moments of joy and emotions
It’s very important for me and my team to stay alert for the little in-between moments. The moments when everyone forgets there’s a photographer in the room and lets their personality shine through. For me, these photos are the real magic. They capture the fleeting moments that otherwise go unnoticed and helps to tell a better story of your day. I truly think that without these photos your wedding coverage would be incomplete. After all, it’s the moments like these that make your wedding unique and captures the true essence of your day.
10. Your wedding venue and wedding decor
After all that time spent picking out linens and flowers for your Big Day, make sure your photographer captures your wedding venue and decor from different angles. I especially love the birds-eye photos that show the grandness of your event. Your wedding details are a representation of your personal style and vision, I suggest allocating at least 45 minutes to 1 hour to capture all of them.
11. Fun-filled party photos
What did you feel at your wedding party? Maybe you were high on love and felt like the whole world is your dance floor? If you said yes, you wanted it to be captured! Party photos are always fun, dynamic and hilarious at times. Your guests are letting it loose and enjoying the music. Everybody’s excited to celebrate your night as newlyweds. It’s the best time for us to take photojournalistic images that show how your night unfolded. My advice? Don’t worry about perfecting your dance moves while you’re at it and snag one more final smooch at the end. It’s the perfect ending to the perfect day.
I hope this wedding photo list helps you understand the process behind your photographer’s work. Before you dive into shopping and pinning for your Big Day, I encourage you to think about your personal list of must-have photos and make sure you communicate the moments you’re most excited about to your photographer. Once you do that, leave it to your wedding photographer. After all, you hired a professional whose work you love and trust. When your big day comes, my team and I will do our best to make sure to capture every magical moment in a flawless and effortless way. All you have to do is to have fun and be present in the moment!