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Wedding Day Photography Checklist | A Reference Guide

Do you have a wedding day checklist? How about two? Make that four or five depending on what types of checklists you’re gathering. You’re prepping for your wedding day and what’s more organized than having checklists of every single detail regarding your wedding planning. Out of a 5 mile long list, I think I’ve managed to get my own down to 3 miles. And mine isn’t even for wedding planning.

So among the five other lists you have going, you’ve now found a sixth list. One that every wedding website out there seems to suggest that you need to have. The one you probably didn’t think about. What could it be, you ask? It’s the wedding day photography checklist. “Another list?!” you say? “You’re out of your mind!” I know. Sounds daunting, right?

Between the most common wedding websites, maybe you’ve printed out about five (In case you missed that, I like the number 5.)different versions of wedding shot lists for comparison. Who’s got the most complete list?! Bah!!

There’s so much hype behind the photo list that at this point it has become impossible to ignore. And it shouldn’t be ignored but rather acknowledged and let go of. Seriously. Release it from your grip! Please!? It has no correlation in regards to YOUR wedding.

wedding at the rose garden in Cennecticut

Wedding Photography Checklist - The Scoop:

It’s simply meant as a reference guide to help you consider what is important to you on your wedding day. Nothing more. Nothing less. Obviously, as a professional wedding photographer, and I think I can speak for my peers in the wedding photography industry, we realize everything that goes into a wedding is important. But there are even more important things that top out the rest. Allow me to clarify what I’m referring to with a few prime examples:

  • Personalized touches. i.e. Something blue from Grandma.
  • Distant relatives flying in for your wedding.
  • DIY details that add a personal touch to your wedding day.
  • Guests that might be wheelchair bound, in which case, improvised portrait locations need to be scouted.
  • Family traditions of pranking the bride that the best man lost the ring during the ceremony.

Other things to consider telling your wedding photographer:

  • Your sister is your Maid Of Honor.
  • Aunt and Uncle despise one other.
  • Parents need supervision in case they try to reach for a machete should either of them get the chance.
  • Names of immediate family members, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and out-of-towners you want included in the portraits.

I hope I’ve been able to shed some clarity on this photo checklist thing. Specifying the personal touches that make your wedding unique will make your list so much more reasonable.

Handing a long, detailed list of those standard photos that a professional Arizona wedding photographer is already aware of will not only hinder their flow and creativity, but you’ll lose out on memories already in the making because they’ll be so concerned about overlooking any detailed shot in that long list.

So, remember, as you are about to hire your wedding photographer, please keep in mind why you’re hiring them. You are hiring them because you’ve made a connection with them and like their photography. You have seen their work and trust in their ability to capture the details as well as the important moments that make your wedding day unique. Informing them of those extra special, key moments on your wedding day will make your wedding photos that much more meaningful.


Was this post helpful? Please let us know by commenting below if there’s anything else you would like to have included in this wedding photography checklist that other brides should consider as extra special moments. What special things are you including in your wedding that you would want your photographer to pay extra attention to?



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Strawberry Arizona Bridal Session | Arizona Wedding Photography

When I had first met with this particular couple, Sharlot + William, they had opted for an Arizonabridal session with their wedding photography package. I, of course, happily obliged. And I say of course because I find that more often than not, my bride + groom lead me on new adventures and undiscovered treasures and go along with my silly, curious nature.

Six months ago I had photographed their Phoenix backyard wedding. Their love for one another as well as their passion for the great outdoors brought us up to Strawberry Arizona for abeautiful day among the golden flowers that created a blanket of bliss around these two.

bride and groom session

With my strange ability to show up early regardless of how hard I try not to, I walked into the Strawberry Lodge, had a seat, and bought myself a blackberry bran muffin. Things were fairly quiet at the lodge, assuming 8:30 am on a Saturday was too early for the locals. As soon as Sharlot and William showed, we took off in one car to cruise the surrounding landscape toward Fossil Creek. An 8 mile roundtrip trail I had hiked only once before. Our intentions were to hike to this gorgeous spot I had discovered well over a year ago but had no clue whether or not it would still be there when we arrived. Sometimes I tend to get these crazy ideas and sometimes my couples come along for the ride. With Sharlot being a park ranger, she was more than up for it.

Before you get too excited, Sharlot wasn’t about to hike in her dress for 8 miles. In fact, she’s the second bride I’ve had who suggested rolling up her dress and smooshing it into a camping bag for a trek through the woods. I do love an adventurous and spirited bride and groom!

Making a long story short, we forewent the strenuous hike that day shortly after discovering this huge patch of yellow flowers to either side of the dirt road we were traveling and decided it was the perfect spot to get out and shoot.


strawberry arizona bridal session with phoenix wedding photographer

bridal session with bride and groom

bridal session with bride and groom

bridal session with bride and groom




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Wedding Makeup | 6 Tips That Impact Your Wedding Photos

There’s nothing like feeling beautiful in your own skin. And on your wedding day, you want your skin looking it’s best and you feeling your best.

wedding makeup

Makeup and personal style are so important when it comes to your wedding day. I’m certainly not one to give advice on how to apply makeup, however, I do have several friends in the makeup industry so I can at least grasp an understanding of how a bride should prepare for her wedding day appearance. When you meet with me, I would imagine the first thing you might notice is that I don’t wear makeup. Or very, very little. No foundation, no mascara, no lipstick. I’m a lip balm, nude eye shadow kind of gal.

You know if you walk into Nordstroms or Macy’s and sit down to have one of the cosmeticians give you a “make over”, and you’re not use to wearing makeup, the feeling of foundation being smeared onto your skin, mascara’s wet stickiness sweeping your eyelashes, and someone drawing on your face just doesn’t quite feel right. By the time your done, you’re so afraid to satisfy that itch that’s been bugging you for the past half hour because you know something’s going to rub off on your finger.To top it off, you now feel like you’re about to attend a mascarade party. Well. That wasmyexperience. I’ll tell yah, no one is touching my face with that stuff again. And the look I received from my friend who stood by and waited? I not only scared them, I scared myself looking in the mirror.

Over the years, there’s been a handful of brides I’ve met with who share a similar style of makeup habits, or lack there of. We meet once. We meet twice. We meet three times before the wedding day. Each time I can say I never saw more than a touch of blush and eye liner grace their face.

The day of the wedding, I walk in to take photographs of my bride getting ready and I hardly recognize the girl I hung out with a few times who’s about to step into her wedding gown! And, don’t get me wrong, she looked beautiful and the makeup artist did a great job. I just wasn’t expecting to see that much makeup on her.

So, to my brides out there, here’s a few wedding makeuptips from a photographer‘s perspective when it comes to your wedding day photos:

  • If makeup isn’t part of your normal everyday use, don’t wear it. For the love of . . . just don’t do it! And I’m talking about the dramatic eye shadow, blush, lush lashes mascara, and bold lipstick. Go with what makes you feel you.If a natural look with minimal makeup is what your norm is, then that’s what’s going to make you feel good.
  • When using foundation, use a soft matte. You won’t get the shine on your forehead, cheeks, and chin if it’s super bright out and your photographer needs to use their flash. And avoid using shimmery eye shadow as this can also be reflected by the flash and make your skin look oily.
  • Sparkles in your hair. All glittery and shiny in the sun. As much as glittery sparkles are cool, those flecks that don’t quite catch the lights reflection end up looking like dandruff in the photos.
  • Using a mineral bronzer offers your skin a really sweet, sun-kissed look. It adds additional warmth to your bust and shoulders for those going strapless. However, make sure there’s no titanium dioxide in it as it can reflect the flash and give you a ghostly hue.
  • There is a way to be subtle yet dramatic with your wedding day makeup. Show your stylist images of what you like and be sure to do a mock up session to get exactly what you want and make sure you still feel like you. Secondly, ask them which products they would suggest for a photo shoot. (It’s your wedding day and you’re going to be in front of the camera.) That’s a good indication whether or not the stylist knows their makeup.
  • Red lipstick can make or break the look you’re going for. The shade of red is extremely important as it either sticks out like a sore thumb, making your other features recede, or if used just right can be the perfect touch. Tread carefully though and make sure you keep the lipstick with you during the day as you’ll often need to reapply it and in turn try to keep it off your teeth.

There you have it! The few most important tips that The Knot may not have mentioned when it comes to your wedding makeup.

Do you have any handy tips to add to this list for wedding makeup? Please let us know by commenting below!


Ruth - May 2, 2012 - 12:58 am

Good job

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