Photo Checklist

Work with your photographer to plan the shots you want taken and then be sure to let members of your family know in advance whether they are to be included in any pictures.
Let them know when and where they are to be taken.

At ceremony

Mother adjusting grooms tie (closeup)
Mother adjusting Bride's veil (closeup)
Best man pointing to his watch with groom
Bride pinning corsage on Mother (closeup)
Bride pinning corsage on Father (closeup)
Bride in dressing room with mirror
Bride's portrait with train used as backdrop
Flower girl handing bouquet to Bride
Bride's final dressing

After the ceremony

Bride and Groom coming out of the Temple
Bride and Groom on the steps outside  
Bride (full length)
Groom (closeup face)
Bride (shoulder to camera, closeup face & flowers)
Groom (shoulder to camera, closeup right profile)
Bride (back to camera, closeup left profile)
Bride and Groom (full length)
Groom (behind)
Bride back against Groom (heads together)
Groom(front seated) Brides hand on Groom
Groom and Bride kissing (closeup)
Groom kissing Bride
Bride kissing Groom
Bride hands on Groom's face
Groom hands on Bride's face
Closeup of hands, rings & flowers

At the reception

Receiving line
Wedding cake before being cut
Introduction of wedding party
Bride and Groom cutting cake
Bride and Groom eating cake together
Bride and Groom first dance
Groom and Mother dance
Bride and Father dance
Bride showing rings to bridesmaids
Hands with wedding rings & flowers
Bride throwing bouquet
Groom removing garter
Groom throwing garter
Bride and Groom waiving good-bye
Outdoor photo at sunset
Groom carrying Bride

Overall reception area shots
General dancing shots Attendants dance
Invitation and flowers
Candids of Wedding party



Group Shots

Groom with

Bride with

Bride, Groom with

  • Mother & Father (closeup)
    his Mother (closeup)
    his Father (closeup)
    his family
    Groom's Siblings
    Best man (closeup)
  • Mother & Father (closeup)
    Mother (closeup)
    Father (closeup)
    Bride's family
    Bride's Siblings
    Maid of Honor (closeup)
    Flower Girl
  • Bride's Parents
    Groom's Parents
    Both sets of Parents
    Bride's family
    Groom's family
    both families
    Maid of Honor, Best man
    Flower girl and ringbearer

Some Advice

Some brides make the mistake of selecting their wedding photographer without researching what they're really getting for their money. I'm quite sure you realize that the best studios or photographers will be booked up well in advance of your wedding date. The only way to guarantee your date will be available is for you to act quickly- but not too quickly- you've got to be sure that this photographer is THE ONE for you! To be sure, you must research before you decide.
So, DO YOUR RESEARCH! Visit as many studios as you can. As a courtesy, please call them first and set up an appointment. If they're friendly on the phone, they will most likely have better standards of service. Ask if they have any information that they can mail you. Meet the photographer. Pick up any information they have to offer- and study it! The biggest reason people make mistakes in hiring photographers is because they do not get married on a daily basis. They've never had to hire photographers, and most likely their last experience with a professional photographer was in high school, and it probably wasn't a very good experience. Don't make a mistake- with a wedding you only have one shot at getting it right.

Advice for hiring your Wedding Photographer

Hire the Photographer, NOT the Studio

Are you talking to the photographer that will actually photograph the wedding?

Do not talk to a salesperson or assistant. They will have nothing to do with your wedding day. Speak only to the photographer doing your wedding. You may be talking to "a" photographer but not THE photographer for your special day. Even the samples of work you are looking at, may not be the photographer's work that will be doing your wedding. Be careful. Talking to anyone who will not be your photographer at your wedding is a waste of your valuable time.
For Example:
If you hire a studio called "Wonderful Wedding Photography by Joe Smith", and you absolutely loved Joe Smith's photos when you went in to see his work, then you must make darn sure that Joe Smith is showing up to cover your wedding! A large number of studios have an army of 5-10 photographers who they sub-contract the wedding out to. Which one will cover your event? You may not know until they show up on the wedding day. You must be certain, in advance, that you know who will do the actual work, and that you like THEIR work!

Does the photographer work with an assistant? Who actually takes the photographs?

Very often, a studio will send assistants to cover a wedding. Unfortunately at the sales meeting, you are led to believe you are hiring a qualified photographer. I have seen many Brides get upset on their wedding day on this issue alone. It is very dishonest.

After the wedding, will we be dealing with a salesperson or do I continue to work with the photographer until our work is completed?

If a photographer does not continue the whole process with you from start to finish, you are in trouble before you begin. Remember that the job of a salesperson is to sell. A salesperson has no direct interest in your wedding.

The Gurantee

Wedding photography is a very high-risk business. You have only one chance to get it right.

Are the photographs guaranteed?

A photographer (or anyone for that matter) that stands behind their product can be respected. They believe so much in their product, it's guarenteed. We have a "Better-Than-Money-Back" Guarantee… If, for any reason you are unhappy with your photographs, we will refund all fees paid plus $100. No questions asked and no hard feelings either.

What does the studio use for backup equipment in case of failure?

Qualified wedding photographers have at least one other duplicate set of the same high quality equipment.

Is the photographer insured?

They should be insured for at least one million dollars of liability on the job. This is required in most catering establishments that I have worked in and should be a very important part of the total package when deciding on your photographer.

Important Qualities To Look For:

When you first call a photographer, do they return your call promptly or do you have to wait?

This is a good first indicator of how important you are to them. If they do not return your call promptly, keep searching because they are too busy for you. Find someone who cares more about YOUR needs and desires than they do about their own packages and policies. Someone who will help you plan everything, so your event will run smoothly and efficiently, so you will get all the photographs you were hoping for.

Is the studio neat or cluttered? Is the photographer dressed nicely?

Also a clear indication of whether the photographer is organized or not and wants to make a good impression or not. Look carefully at the person and decide…Is this someone you want at your wedding? Are they wearing today's lunch on their clothes? At the consultation, speak directly to the photographer- not the studio manager or sales rep. The photographer's personality and demeanor could make or break your decision.

Do the wedding samples, especially albums, look the same as every other studio or are they unique in style and content?

An album should be unique to the Bride and Grooms personality. Creative use of different sizes of photographs and matting makes an album more distinctive and a classic heirloom. Our albums our "one of a kind" heirlooms.

Is the presentation by the photographer easy to understand and caring or do they have the attitude of, "take it or leave it?"

Your heart will tell you on this one. If you feel confused or unsure now…you will be more confused later.

No Limit On Time - No Limit On Film

How many photographs does the photographer take and how long are they with you for the day?

No limit on time and no limit on film is the only way to go unless you choose to have a photographer there for only a limited period. How would you like to be looking at your watch worrying about the time if things did not start on time for your wedding? The same holds true for photographs taken. If you hear a photographer say "about 150 pictures" or anything similar to that, then you are going to be short changed on the creativity part of this very special day. Remember the less photographs taken, the more profit for the studio. You need whatever it takes to cover your wedding, all parts of your wedding. If a photographer is not willing to do their job- then do not hire them!

Does the photographer charge extra for different locations?

A photographer who charges more to go to the brides house for instance in addition to the ceremony and reception locations is trying to get more money out of you. Unlimited time and unlimited film are the only way to go.

Does the studio make it easy to afford what you truly want?

Studios should offer many ways to invest in your priceless wedding photographs. We offer great alternative such as our exclusive "Bridal Registry", no interest payment plans, layaways or credit card monthly payments without interest. Our clients truly appreciate this.

Should you get a "photography package" or not?

A photographer should be flexible in what the client wants. They can offer both a flat fee to photograph your wedding or packages if you want. In either case, there should be no limit on time and no limit on film.


How much experience should a photographer have?
A minimum of 15 years full time experience. If it is less than 15 years look at the work very carefully. Blurry photographs might be evident in the samples. The best way to tell is if you can see the detail and color of the "eyes" in the photographs, which means quality. Remember it happens only once. Do not take chances on this one. The more experience the better. Do not be afraid to ask! 15 years or more is a seasoned professional.

Does the photographer work at their craft as a full time or part time job?
A person who does weddings as a part time job to make extra money is not in your best interest. Steer clear please! Photographers must be dedicated to one job…not two.

Is the photographer licensed?

Anybody can say they are a photographer. However, they must have a license to do business in the county they are registered in.

With what professional affiliations does the studio belong?

The two major national guilds are the PPofA (Professional Photographers of America) or W.W.P.I (Wedding Portrait Photographers International)

When was the last educational seminar the photographer attended, pertaining to photography?
Photographers who do not continually educate themselves run the risk of "knowing it all" and that is a tragedy. Photographers should have a minimum of one major seminar a year under a top leader in the industry.

What type of camera does the photographer use for the entire wedding?

Some photographers use what is known as "Medium Format"cameras and others use 35-mm cameras or both. All the samples in our studio are exclusively "Medium Format" which is a negative size 3 1Ú2 times larger than 35-mm cameras. Medium format will always give you the finest quality…period! If a photographer says otherwise, you are taking a certain risk in the final quality of your photographs. In my opinion, 35 mm is not the ideal camera for any part of the wedding.

Does the photographer use multiple lighting?

Multiple or Creative lighting is just as important as film in the camera. One flash on the camera just will not do it. Do not underestimate this one. It is too important. While looking at samples of work…if a photograph does not look right for example, shadows in the wrong places on faces, do not walk, run out of the studio. If they are showing their best work, you are in trouble.

How many weddings does the studio photograph per year?

This question will reveal the workload of a certain studio. There are two types of studios. Low volume and High volume. Expect much better service from a low volume studio. If a studio boosts about doing over 50 weddings per year it is not necessarily a good thing. The more a studio does, as far as volume, the quality will certainly suffer. They cannot be all things to all people and will not have the time or the workforce to deal with all issues. It is simply the law of averages. I know this may not be the best example but the next time you wait on a long line for something, like McDonald's, you are dealing with people whose bottom line is volume. They need to get to the next customer, or should I say consumer, as quickly as possible. When you get your hamburger the wrapping, may look ok, but how does the inside look? Personal service is the only way to do business.

Ah, the Details

Who controls the flow of the wedding day?

A good photographer will assist, not control, in the planning of the day so that everyone enjoys themselves "stress free." Please give them a list of photographs you would like taken. This makes the 'smile' time go quicker and easier. Also, have the photographer take photos all night.

How does the photographer dress for the Wedding?
Tuxedos are necessary unless otherwise directed by the Bride. I have seen photographers in bluejeans at a formal wedding. I wish I were kidding- but I'm dead serious.

How long do you have to wait for the completion of the Wedding album?
On this one, I can only speak for myself because I believe the Wedding album should be delivered while the party atmosphere is still on everyone's minds. I deliver in 6-8 weeks once the final order is chosen. Nothing over this period is acceptable to me.