8 Must-Have Wedding Photos

Hi y’all! Since you’re already on my site, you must know that I’m Jodee Debes, a wedding, travel + lifestyle photographer!

Just a bit about me if we haven’t met yet, I take on a photojournalistic approach with my photography hoping to capture those real moments of tears, awe and wacky dance moves. I love making real connections with my couples and bringing out their personalities in my portraits. My goal is always to create unique images that tell the story of their wedding day in the best way possible and deliver images that have a feeling of genuine emotion and movement.

So, I wanted to take a moment and share with y’all my “8 Must-Have Wedding Photos”. I’ve seen many a Pinterest board and checklist in my day, but here’s the thing, you can never predict what will make your wedding day unique. So rather than contriving a shot list to deliver to your photographer, let’s talk about wedding day priorities and dream up what will make your day special.

Don’t you think it’ll be so much more fun to live in the moment and enjoy your day as the memories unfold rather than fret over whether you re-enacted someone else’s wedding photo perfectly? Trust in your photographer. If you picked wisely me, we’ll have you covered. After all, you’re not getting married for the photo shoot, or at least I hope not!

With that in mind, I’ll keep this list more ambiguous, so it leaves wiggle room for you to fill in the blanks for your own day. Some you can plan for; and some, the reality will exceed even your wildest hopes and expectations.

 

THE “8 MUST-HAVE WEDDING PHOTOS”

 

  1. UNIQUE TRADITIONS

 

One of my favorite things about weddings is that all faiths, ethnicities, countries and people celebrate marriage with their own sacraments and traditions. It’s always so fun to learn about these customs and shoot different types of people. So, make sure to inform your photographer of any unique symbolism you’re bringing into your wedding day whether it be the bouquet toss, hora, breaking bread, La Hora Loca, tea ceremonies, Chinese hazing games, a camel dance, symbolic flowers, henna tattoos, and the list goes on and on…

 

 

2. DETAILS

Most couples don’t prioritize this, and most photographers do! But here’s why it should be important to you as well. You spend so much time {and money} finalizing the distinctive items that make up your décor; and yet, you don’t normally get to see the finished product or enjoy the event spaces without people in them already. All those centerpiece decisions you’ve worried about for the last few months are easily ignored when you have all your guests to say hi to as you walk into the room. And that’s where photos come in. You get to see all the beautiful pieces forever and ever. Make sure to inform your photographer of any super important items like your grandmother’s necklace that she wore on her wedding day that will be tied around your bouquet or the bar sign that is a homage to your pups at home.

 

 

3. PORTRAIT OF YOU, AND ONLY YOU

Often times in the hustle and bustle of a wedding day this solo portrait gets over looked. I have a friend who walked away from her wedding day without one single portrait of herself, which still astonishes me, so I’m including it in the list. Of course, your partner is the reason you’re both there, but you’ll want to remember how you looked on your wedding day from various angles and without anyone else in the shot.

 

 

4. A QUIET MOMENT OF YOU AND YOUR PARTNER!

I LOVE the portrait session portion of a wedding where I get to steal my couple away from the chaos and capture shots of them together. Relationships are so dynamic, so it’s fun to capture all the variety from playful laughter to tender admiration. But one photo I never forget to make time for is the sweet quiet moment between the two of you. Often times, this photo time is the only time you really get to be alone during your wedding day {with me stalking from afar}, so I always put on a longer lens, take a step back and let my couples freak out about being married and have that moment with each other.

 

 

5. YOUR FAVORITE PEOPLE

Most will tell you that family photos are the most stressful part of the wedding day because everyone wants it to be over as quickly as possible, and if you belong to a big wild family like most do, it takes some effort to herd the cats. That being said, it’s soooo important. And not just the smiling at the camera images but the moments of your sister chasing down the flower girl or your grandma sharing advice and shedding a tear. It’s the people that make up a wedding, so plan to make time for these images because you’ll want them later!

 

 

6. THE GLORY MOMENT!

No matter how you choose to celebrate your wedding, there is always that moment right after the kiss, the breaking of the glass, the “I Do” where everyone cheers, and you are officially married. The photographers will obviously be capturing the image, and this is what I like to call the “glory moment” when you turn to face your favorite people and rejoice your union. Have a plan for how you and your partner want to celebrate. Is it a fun dance move? Raising your hands in the air? Another kiss? Pointing at your favorites in the crowd? Walking through flowers that the crowd throws? It’s always nice to have an idea because this will be your first photo as a married couple.

 

 

7. ENVIRONMENTAL PORTRAITS

Most people have a reason behind choosing their venue or wedding location, it’s important to y’all. Maybe it’s a private beach that your family has been visiting for decades or your favorite view of your favorite city. Or you just liked it when you were searching for venues but now it has become a special place to y’all during the wedding planning process. Either way, it’s fun to document the location and have portraits that couldn’t have been taken just anywhere but were taken at your location. These are things that you can plan for with your photographer. I always love doing venue walk-throughs with my clients to understand the nooks and crannies of a particular place and how the lighting changes throughout the day making certain areas desirable for portraits or group photos. Documenting the nuances of your chosen location is super important in telling the story of your day.

 

8. UNPREDICTABLE MOMENTS

Like I mentioned when I started sharing this list with y’all, there are certain events and classic wedding moments that are obvious to capture and/or that you can plan for like seeing your father for the first time, walking down the aisle, photos with your wedding party, etc. But it’s the unintentional and fleeting moments that I love catching. You can’t predict them and they’re generally better than you could have planned for. How do you make sure these moments are documented? Well, you make it a priority to hire an experienced photographer that is always on the hunt for those moments, takes on a photojournalistic approach to weddings, is game for anything and most importantly vibes well with you. Chemistry is so important with your photographer, so make sure you trust her/him and that y’all are on the same page when it comes to your wedding. Below are some fun ones that neither I or my couple could have added to the pre-wedding checklist. And yours will be just as epic!

 

 

Thanks y’all!! So wonderful sharing all my thoughts with you. I would love to hear your opinions, your favorite images from your wedding or what you’re most excited for if you’re not married yet!

 

I know that I love what I do because I get to witness and document little miracles: Two people finding each other and committing to each other for the rest of their lives. I’ve been shooting weddings for almost 5 years and have honestly loved every minute of it. I’ve been so lucky to work with and capture such incredible couples, families and individuals who invite me in to document their intimate and remarkable moments. Can’t wait to see where the next years of this wild journey with my camera in my hand will take me!

 

xo

Jodee

share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NAH, NEVERMIND

* indicates required
Who are you? Check all that apply.

LET'S STAY IN TOUCH!