Create An Event Photography Shot List For Your Next Event (Examples Included)

So, who needs a shot list? Anyone who has a creative vision and needs to offer creative direction to hired photographers and videographers who will be on-site at your event. This post will focus on how to build your photography shot list. You can do it, it’s easy, Mmmkay!

The shot list serves as a checklist for your event photographer. It’s a list of all the essential imagery that you and/or your client needs that you would like the photographer to capture. It’s a method to avoid miscommunications by clearly setting your expectations for the final images you want to receive. 

A Simple Shot List Includes:

1.  Date +Time Of Event

2.  Location + Address

3.  Special Instructions  

4.  On-Site Contact Information

5.  List Of Required Shots W/ Or Without Examples

You Can Choose To Add Even More Information Like:

6.  List Of Shots To Avoid 

7.  How Photos Will Be Used

8.  How Many Final Photos Of Each Scenario You Are Expecting (x3, x5, x10, Etc.)

9.  Special Attendees Names  W/or Without  Headshots        

10.  Run Of Show

A Professional Event Photographer Will Intuitively Know To Photograph Close-Up, Medium + Wide Shots At Multiple Angles Of All Aspects Of Your Event, Including:

* Before/ After Interior + Exterior Atmosphere + Venue Shots

* All Branding Including Any Sponsors + Vendors

* Small + large Details Of The Footprint Or Event Space

* Candids + Posed Shots Of Happy Attendees Interacting With Each Other Or Any Displays

* Anyone W/ A Microphone Or On A Platform Such As Emcees, Dj’s, Speakers, Award + Raffle Winners, Etc. 

*Celebrities, VIP’s, Special Guest, Influencers, etc. 

However, There Is A Plethora Of Information Your Event Photographer Will Still Need To  Know, Like:

* How To Identify Your Special Guest

* Which Scenarios You Will Need The Most Images Of + For What Usage 

*Timeline Of Events Set To Take Place 

*Where Attendees Will Be Entering/ Exiting The Event

*If Any Areas Of The Space Are Off-Limits

*Whether Or Not Using Flash Photography Is Allowed …

Your shot list allows the photographer to be informed and have a quick sheet to glace at throughout the event to stay on track with grabbing all of your requested shots. Once the photographer captures all the essential desired shots, it allows them more time to get extra creative in getting unique shots that will further tell the story of your event. 

It’s ideal to deliver your shot list to your event photographer as soon as possible, especially if you have not had the chance to verbally communicate the final image objectives or layout of the event space due to the information not being finalized. While every professional photographer has an arsenal of equipment, quickly receiving the shot list allows them to plan for having the appropriate gear such as lenses and lighting to appropriately shoot the unique details of your event. You will want to give the photographer enough time to rent any necessary additional equipment if needed. 

Your shot list should be visually appealing and easy to read, so it can quickly be glanced at by the photographer on a smartphone. Keep in mind, along with providing the shot list, it’s ideal to have a quick verbal conversation beforehand with the photographer to review the list. If your event is larger scale and action-packed with extensive timelines, multiple access points, security checks, etc. You will definitely want to have a full event deck sent to the photographer will all the details that they can review in-depth. The event photography shot list is meant to a quick view document.  

Photographers are visual beings, so creating a visual document is the best idea to convey your message. You can use your favorite software to construct your shot list, such as Word, Pages, etc. Canva was used to create the sample documents featured in this post. Include sample photos that you love from your past events or events from competitors. You can find inspiration from pictures you see on VendryEvent Marketer, Ad Week, Pinterest, or even Instagram post. 

If your event has a timeline of scheduled activities or presentations, it’s beneficial to add the run of the show to the shot list document for quick and easy viewing. The run of the show will generally include times, locations, and a brief description of the event. Providing these extra details to the photographer helps them know when and where to be, so they are prepared to capture all the event highlights.

If you find yourself in a crunch for time or just desire to send a more simplistic document, a text version like the one shown below is a great option as long as it contains all the pertinent information.

Receiving input from your social media, marketing, or PR teams on what images they can best utilize will be helpful to you in deciding what shots to list on your shot shist.  If needed, a professional event photographer will be able to provide you with valuable information to help you with your shot list.


Photos By Chernise is a Chicago-based event photography service that photographs brand experiences. Showcase your events with outstanding images of brand ambassadors, staff in action, consumer interactions, performances, speakers, presentations, decor, locations, vendors, and any of the other pieces of the puzzle that make your event unique! 

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