Indianapolis Wedding Photographer | My Take on Shot Lists

Indianapolis Wedding Photographer | casey and her camera

Be still, my heart.

When I took this photo I knew she was looking in my direction and I quickly moved out of this spot so that I wouldn’t be a distraction, but upon editing this image (and I almost passed it right by) I realized I had been wrong. She’s not looking at me, at all.

She’s looking at her husband.

Indianapolis Wedding Photographer | casey and her camera

You see, she and her husband were both in the wedding party. That’s him in the foreground to the left (of the one who is sitting). This is at the start of the ceremony – the part when the couple and everyone else at the wedding realize they’re about to get MARRIED… the start of your lives together, a celebration of your undying love… and everyone’s hearts are just bursting with emotion.

That’s when she looked at her husband in the most adoring way I think I’ve ever caught on camera.

It’s common for couples to ask photographers if they work from a shot list. I’ve gotten the question myself several times in the last few months. As a once-upon-a-time bride myself, I can understand why the question is so common in this industry. You only get one shot to do this (pun intended) and it’s the photographer’s job to get it all. There is an immense amount of pressure on wedding photographers – be kind to them folks. They are telling your story… they are worth every penny they are asking for.

And this is exactly why I do NOT work from a shot list. My couples trust that I know what they are looking for – that they have communicated to me what is important to them on their wedding day. I then take it from there and I look for the details.

When I was a kid, and even as a teenager, I LOVED to write. I have hand written stories starting from my kindergarten years, up through the floppy-disk-teenage years (aging myself a bit there), and on into adult hood. There’s one saved to my desktop right now. Last year I had a conversation with my Dad about where I wanted my business to go and what makes my business/style/product unique. At the time he brought up my story-telling component… and the fact that I like to write. We had a conversation about the idea and what sort of new product I could offer to emphasize this. And while I haven’t quite figured that out yet, I do know this – I am already telling the stories… just without words.

It’s what I used to teach my students when I taught high school art (where Jordan attended high school). I always told them that art is just a non-verbal form of communication. What do you want your art to SAY to the viewer? It’s only clicking with me right now that this is exactly what I’m doing – I’m using my images to SPEAK to the viewer… and hopefully to the people in the photo.

So, no. I don’t work from a shot list. I understand what to be looking for and spend the little moments in between looking for fleeting glances like this one, that I would miss if I was focused on a shot list, or even checking it to line up for the next shot. It is my job to tell your story through my images, and that, my friends, pushes me to be in the moment… the moment that you won’t have on your shot list because you couldn’t ever even anticipate it from happening.

Gosh, I love this job. <3

casey and her camera is an Indianapolis Wedding Photographer specializing in family, couple, lifestyle, senior, and wedding photography for Indianapolis and the surrounding areas.

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