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Do I have to send you a shot list? | FAQ Friday

July 28, 2017

 Shot while second shooting for Savannah Smith Photography . Shot while second shooting for Savannah Smith Photography .

Happy Friday, Friends! The weekend is just around the corner, and I am so excited for one final weekend to breathe before my crazy season of travel and weddings kicks off! I looked at my calendar yesterday, and after this weekend, my next free weekend is October 21st…what?! That’s craziness!

Today’s FAQ is actually, a question I get A LOT: Do I require a shot list for each of my weddings?

The simple answer is yes and no…stay with me here for a second, friends! I only require a shot list for ONE part of your day, and that is family formals! While I won’t have you draft a detailed shot list from start to finish on your day {don’t worry…I’ve got that taken care of!}, I WILL have you send me a detailed list of your family members that you would like included in family formals!

Let’s break it down! In the months leading up to your wedding day, we’ll review or draft your timeline, and in essence, this document will become my shot list. As you know very well, throughout your day, there will be many, many huge {and super exciting!} moments, and I’ll be there documenting them all. I have personal shot lists that I have drafted for each part of your day, and I will work through those in conjunction with your timeline. With that being said, I do always ask that you loop me in on any special details to me ahead of time. Maybe you’re incorporating a special family heirloom or you have a super tight relationship with your dad…maybe you are super excited about a detail in your reception space, or you want a photo of you partying it up on the dance floor with all of your guests. Maybe you have a portrait pose that you love or a fun idea that makes your heart sing…whatever it may be, please let me know ahead of time so I can plan and will be sure to add it to my mental shot list!

Now…let’s chat about that family formal list that I require! If your family is anything like mine, it’s big, it’s loud, and there is always a bit of chaos! The only way to get through your family formal time of the day while maintaining your sanity, and without missing a photo, is with a shot list. A few weeks before your wedding, I’ll send you a final survey where I ask for the names of the individuals and the combinations of family members that you would like included during your family formal time. Take some time to think about this list! For time’s sake, I typically recommend that you keep your list limited to immediate family and grandparents only. Keep in mind that you can always grab me for extended family photos during your reception when things aren’t as stressful and we have a bit more time. Not only does this keep the crowd down during family formals, but it ensures that your family members don’t have to linger around for too long while we work our way through combinations. They can head right on over to eat, drink, and be merry during cocktail hour.

On the list we’ll work together to create, I like to include, not only your relationship with each of your family members, but also their names. {Trust me when I say that it is SO much easier to call for Jane, than it is to ask over and over again where the sister of the bride is. Plus, it makes me feel so much better to call your family by their names, rather than by their dress color or relationship title!} I’ll structure things in a special way, ensuring that once someone is done with their designated photos, they can head on over to cocktail hour. We’ll eventually file everyone out, until I’m just left with the bride and groom.

Before your wedding day, we’ll designate a family member or close family friend to help track down your family members using your pre-made list! This person is SO unbelievably helpful in easing stress and for keeping us on schedule during a time of the day that tends to get a bit hectic.

On the note of family formals, please let me know ahead of time if there are any sensitive or uncomfortable family relationships that I may want to know about before your wedding day. My communication with you is a completely judgement free zone. I would much rather understand your family’s unique dynamics before putting anyone in an uncomfortable situation on your wedding day.

Now…you’ve got the skinny on shot lists! There are SO many more details that I would love to dive into {I will one of these days!}, but we’ll keep it short and simple today! While I can’t guarantee that I am perfect and won’t ever miss a shot, I can promise you that I will work my hardest to ensure that every moment is fully captured.

Happy Friday, friends! I hope your weekend brings you plenty of smiles! 

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