5 Must Have Shots Your Wedding Photographer Should Capture.

The Top Five,
Must Have, Extra Special
Wedding Photos You Need

The Must Have Images Your
Wedding Photographer Should be Capturing.

When you book your wedding photographer, you are selecting the person (or people!) who is solely in charge of professionally documenting some of the biggest moments in your entire life. Whew… what a responsibility, right?! (You can read more about why we believe wedding photography is so important right here!)

From the moments after you and your almost-husband see each other during your teary First Look, to the way your mom and dad look at each other during the emotional toasts at your reception, to how your brand new husband watches you when you aren’t even noticing, any bride would be lying if she said she didn’t want to be able to relive those moments for years and years to come. And it is your photographer’s job to capture those sweet, fleeting moments!

There are a few specific photos we believe EVERY photographer should be making it a point to capture. Of course, these five shots go beyond the obvious events throughout a wedding day, such as your first dance or your professional! Images of wedding day events are the ones which should be captured, no question, by your photographer. These photos, on the other hand, are of extra special moments that are just bonuses to RECEIVE as a bride and to DELIVER as a photographer!

So! These are the extra special images we believe wedding photographers should make it a priority to capture! Are you ready?


It’s definitely typical to photograph the bride or groom opening the card from their almost-spouse, but we love to take this a step further and grab a quick shot for our couple of what the card said. These photos are precious to have, and they also allow our couples to include these notes or letters inside their wedding album while preserving the original! There’s just something about a black and white photo of a handwritten letter from a groom to his bride on their wedding morning… ahh, it just gives me chills thinking about it!


Often, there is SO much going on during the getting ready portion of the wedding day, especially in the bridal suite! (It’s SO much fun!) And, let’s be real… putting that dress on takes some work, right ladies? #allthebuttons

BUT… when the dress is finally on, finally zipped up, and we’ve made sure that perfect updo didn’t get too smushed, after I capture the bride’s reaction to being in her wedding gown on her wedding day, I quickly turn to the mama who just helped her little girl in her dress. The expression on her face never fails to bring me to tears, and it’s one worth documenting!


Alright, I broke my own rule and this is really two shots… ha! However, I think you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget to take what many photographers call the “iconic bridal portrait.” It takes two seconds, and it is such a classic photo to have. Typically, we take five minutes immediately after the bride has gotten fully ready and have her sit or stand near a window. It gives her a moment to breathe and sink into the reality that she is a BRIDE and her big day is here! For a classic groom portrait, Luke will typically coach our guys to sit near a window and lean forward on their knees, and he’ll take 3-5 minutes to capture a few portraits before the day begins.

We love an iconic bridal portrait because it reminds us of the wedding photos we’ve seen from our grandparents’ weddings. You can relate, right? Our grandmas all have a classic black and white bridal shot framed in their home somewhere. We love providing our brides with a bridal portrait they can pass down for generations to their children and grandchildren.


Yes, yes, yes to this one! Some of the most precious moments from an entire day capture what’s going on when no one is watching. During the ceremony, we are always watching our couples’ family and bridal party so that we can capture their expressions and emotion. We love the expression of a mom watching her husband walk their girl down the aisle, a dad right after he gives his daughter away, the bridesmaids watching their best friend marry her new best friend, and grandparents’ reactions during the first dances later on in the evening. The perspective of a guest can often help you photograph a day more fully and notice these small moments more readily.

Brides… this point is one of the main reasons we believe you need a second photographer on your wedding day! During the ceremony, the lead photographer will be focused on you and your husband, while their second shooter or partner is free to focus on these extra photos of your family and your bridal party.


Okay, this is one of my absolute favorites… just ask Tom! As soon as I’m finished shooting the recessional and the brand new Mr. and Mrs. have walked by me, this girl high-tails it to capture (1) the first married moments they have together and (2) the first time they see their parents and best friends as a married couple. Y’all… it’s the absolute cutest!  I especially love the ones of me hugging my new in-laws and new sisters and brothers in law and the ones of Tom hugging my family! After realizing how important these images were to us, we made it a priority to ensure they are captured for our couples. We typically focus on the bride and groom for a few moments after the recessional to catch all these sweet moments before extended family portraits or a receiving line begins.

We also want to give a little disclaimer here… we are NOT proponents of sending your wedding photographer a massive list with 241 “must have” wedding photos! 😉 Whenever a bride has sent us a list requesting specific images like this, I can honestly tell you that not ONE of those photos is one we wouldn’t already have planned to capture! So… brides, trust your photographers to know what basic images to they should be capturing, and save your special requests for the small details your photographers definitely do not know about related to your wedding day.

For example, when our brides fill out their pre-wedding questionnaire, our brides fill us in about any meaningful details or surprises happening throughout their wedding day so that we can tell the full story of their day! In the past, our brides have told us about special dances during the reception that were being kept secret from their guests, pre-planned gifts being delivered to the bridal suite at a certain time, or even a dog tag being incorporated into a bouquet.

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