Darian Reilly

*Actually* get the wedding photos you want

October 2, 2023


Ah, social media. We can all agree that it has its advantages. I mean where else can I keep up on the trends for wedding photos, like on TikTok or Instagram? But it will always have its downfalls. And one of its greatest downfalls in my opinion, is showing such a curated “vibe” that often, it leaves no room for reality. So what does this have to do with your wedding photos? A lot actually. 

As with anything, weddings tend to fall into trend cycles. Mason jars were all the rage at one point, perfectly curated “Pinterest images” were on trend not too long ago, and I’ve been seeing a new trend across TikTok focusing on “candid moments”. You’ve seen the ones I’m talking about, blurry images as you laugh with your spouse, etc. Here’s the deal. Wedding trends will come and go. But your wedding will happen once and you will have your wedding photos for generations to come. So where does that leave you and I when it comes to getting the photos you *actually* will want for years to come? 

First, let’s break down a few things.

My style of photography focuses on capturing your day as it truly plays out. All photographers have a type of checklist that they are mentally checking off in their mind on your wedding day. Did we get detail shots of your rings? Did we capture a smiling photo with grandma? However, in recent years Pinterest has led to creating long and, honestly, overwhelming checklists often referred to as “shot lists”. I’ll take off my photographer hat for a moment, and I can see how a shot list may look enticing to the masses. You want to make sure that your entire day is captured, so it might seem logical to give your photographer a checklist of images you want. 

However, I completely disagree with this thought process. As a wedding photographer, it is my job to capture your wedding day! I don’t need a shot list to let me know that I absolutely need to get certain images for you, like images with your mom, bridesmaids, etc. The reason I am not a big fan of shot lists, is because right along with Pinterest telling all brides to be super specific, Pinterest/Instagram/TikTok is also telling you to be candid and fun on your wedding day so that you can get these super unique-to-you images that you won’t find on a shot list. That’s a lot for a person to juggle. It’s not fair to you (or your photographer) to be trying to attain unattainable social media perfection, while also keeping it cool and casual to get candids. You get what I’m saying? 

So what advice would I give to anyone getting married?

How can you get the photographs that you *actually* want? Throw all the stress of what images to get out the window, and hire a photographer that you trust. Seriously. Of course there will probably be a few specific photos that you’d like your photographer to get, but hiring someone you like and trust is the #1 piece of advice I can give you. Because here’s the thing. I DO love the candid photos that are taking over TikTok! But trying to FORCE the candidness by filling your day with shot lists and fake scenes, just won’t get you the true emotion that you are actually wanting to see out of those true candid photos. 

When I show up on a wedding day, I am there as a hired professional. It’s my job to capture your day as it naturally flows, show you the beauty of your day through my eyes, so that you can relive it for years to come and remember how the day actually felt! Getting beautiful candid shots is always my objective, and that can happen with trust and for you to soak in your day and live in the moment. It’s really that easy! 

Take the stress and perfection out of your day with shot lists and worrying if your photographer captured a specific photo. As long as you hire a professional photographer with experience then it’s okay to trust in them that they will do the absolute best job on your day. Because I know that I will! THAT is how you are going to end up with natural wedding photos that feel like you. 


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Images by Darian Reilly Photography captured at Meadowlark 1939.

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ABOUT Darian

A fine art wedding photographer serving those who live for the moment just as she does, Darian is a hopeless romantic, lover of light, travel, and the genuine colors brought to life on film.

Wife to an incredible husband and continuously inspired by her own love story, Darian seeks to live with intentionality, truly enjoying every moment, and with a touch of southern charm. Darian is a warm-hearted photographer who sees you for who you truly are.








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