Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Do Not Send a List of Required Shots to Your Photog

UNLESS your photographer asked you (I repeat ASKED YOU). Then it is more than ok to send a required shot list to him/her. Whatevs.  Otherwise, sending your photog an unsolicited list of shots, is pretty damn gauche if you ask me. It would be the same as your photographer sending you an email on how to do your job. And last time I checked, I didn't ask our photog for notes on my screenplay--and she certainly didn't ask me for pointers on how to photograph a wedding. No. She is the professional in this situation.  She's the one who photographs weddings for a living. And above all, don't forget that your photographer is an artist. An artist who has probably dedicated most of their life to perfecting their craft. Yes, you are paying for their services, BUT take a look at their portfolio... if they don't have 80 billion fish-eye lens portraits of bridesmaids pointing their bouquets to the camera, chances are, they don't like doing those shots. And if you ask them to take said shots, don't be surprised by their apathy. BUT, if those indeed are the kind of shots you want, then hire a photog whose aesthetic matches yours. As an artist, I personally would NOT feel comfortable putting my name on something I felt didn't go along with my aesthetic.  And I make no apologies about that.  So instead of hiring a random photog and sending them a list of required shots, take your time, do some research. Know what kind of photographer you are booking, and as a result, you won't have to worry about compiling a shot list. Simple as that.

Here is the *only* acceptable unsolicited list of shots you can send to your photog.  Which is also the list I will jokingly send to our fab photog, Nicole Polk:
  1. A shot of my boobs wearing Sequin Blue Nippies
  2. A close-up of me grabbing my crotch on the dance floor. 
  3. A close-up of me grabbing Mike's crotch on the dance floor. 
  4. An extreme close-up of the first tear that rolls down Mike's cheek during the ceremony. Not the *second* tear. The first. 
  5. An areal shot of my parents making out in a dark corner. 
  6. A shot of Mike taking his morning shit. 
  7. A distorted close-up image of me humping the taco truck.
  8. A fish-eye lens close-up of my hands gripping Mike's ass.
  9. Shots of guests passed out drunk.
  10. A collage of "Nip Slips."
As for us... we knew that Nicole's photography style matched our tastes when we saw this picture:
Nicole Polk Photography
Yup. This image basically took my breath away.  So yeah. Not sending her a required shot list.


    1. To be utterly truthful, an overhead shot of your parents making out in a dark corner would be kinda funny, and adorable.

    2. I'm going to half-disagree with you here. I would never tell a photog the exact shots or styles of shots for the ceremony or reception because I'll choose someone who's style, eye, experience, and vision I trust. I can't imagine how offensive it is to hire a photog and then hand her a list of images you want to replicate from someone else's portfolio. Make the right style choice the first time.

      I will, however, make a list of WHO needs to be in portraits, if just for herding and efficiency (all the portrait folks are getting a list of when/where to meet.) I want this DONE in 30 minutes, but I also really want those family and friend photos. And yeah, I know my soul won't sing because of the portraits, but if we don't have everyone in the family lined up in a single shot, they'll be sad and I'll miss having that single encapsulated memory of everyoneinthefamilywhowasthere. And I might never get a shot of my cousins all together (or candids might miss one of them altogether) if I don't demand a portrait. Family portraits don't need to be formal, they just need to be taken. I'm not going to direct the photos on anything other than WHO (and that I say NO to jumping. Just not me.)

      Yes, my heart will sing because of the candids and those are my priority. And I will choose a photographer who understands my aesthetic and emotional priorities. But for family portraits, I'm making a list (so we can get back to partying and taking candids).

    3. @Becca Totally agree with you on the list of people. Makes sense. But in terms of *how* the picture will look, or be situated, I want to leave it up to the photographer. As long as she gets those people in the actual pic, it's all good.

    4. I think I love you.

      I wish all my clients had a shot list like yours...

    5. I have to say, I TOTALLY agree. At our photog's request, like A Los Angeles Love, we sent a list of who needed to be in what portraits. This was important because, while she's an artist, she doesn't know the politics of our particular blended family, and so we kept everyone happy.

      Otherwise, I picked my photog because I loved her style. It took stress off of me (and probably off of her) to just let her do what she does a lot better than I could. ;)

    6. Single-handedly love number one for all obvious (and well, not so obvious) reasons.

    7. Yes yes yes! Photography is the only vendor object (besides potted plants if you go that route) that you can take with you for years and years to come, so do your research!

      That photo is beautiful by the way.

    8. Can you feel how much I love you right now...

      I think WHO is important...
      Hopefully your photographer will know WHAT to capture.

    9. I sort of love your list and hope people we can capture such moments!

      Yet, I do just want to get pictures of the "family" just done and dusted so we can get to the drinking!

    10. I gotta say, sweet thing. I have to disagree. :( I felt exactly as you did. But I did share several shots from wedding blogs (specifically from our venue) with my photog a couple weeks before the wedding telling him that I would love a lot of 'these type of shots' so that we had a clear understanding of the style I was looking for.

      I did not want to give him a specific list as I assumed that he would know for the most part what shots I wanted and what locations at our venue I wanted. It is a HUGE place with tons of photo ops.

      I didn't want to restrict him or keep him looking down. But after the day of, I am kicking myself in the ass for not giving him a list! I have a post coming on this in a recap. But I have to say, he asked me on the day of if I was sure that he got all the family shots and such that I wanted. I was too damn caught up in everything else going on to think straight so I said yes. Only later I realized, I don't have a shot with me and my groom and my sister and her family. And I don't even have a shot of me and my dad alone or of me and my hubby with just us and my daughter!

      We were pretty pissed after the fact that he did not get any shots on any of the several beautiful and cool looking bridges on the premises either.

      I don't care how much you think you will be offending your photog or how much you think they know what type of shots they should be getting. If there are any shots that you will regret not having after the wedding day, right them down and give them the list. And if they miss any shots on the list, take it out of their tip!