Family group photos on wedding days. They're probably the most formal photos on a wedding day; everyone stand in a line and smile at the camera! Let’s be honest, no one particularly likes getting these group photos taken at weddings. Everyone just wants to celebrate & hang out with loved ones, not be hustled in and out of photos by a bossy photographer 😜.
BUT these do become some of the most precious photos in years to come. While they're more formal, diverting from my fun, geniune imagery, they are still so very important because often weddings are one of the only occasions all the family are in one place together for these legacy photos.
Have you ever been to a wedding where the group photos were a bit of a hot mess? You weren't sure who was in charge, the photos took forever and you just wanted to get the party started. This is something we try our absolute hardest to avoid as photographers. Family photos should be easy, efficient and done with care & grace. Every wedding is different & family dynamics are unique but over the years we've developed a few tips & tricks to keeping family photos easy & stressless.
Our first trick is to have a written group shot list. This way it's all prepared before the big day, we can just work straight from the list and no shots are missed. Group photos can take approximately 15-30 minutes depending on the size of your group shot list. I generally suggest keeping it to about 12 different groupings and I provide a template list for my couples as a starting point.
A great way to help ensure you and your groom aren't standing there for group photos too long is to have your MC or a family member help us with the group shots - having someone who knows all the people in the photos can help immensely in organising each photo group.
We even sometimes do a few family photos in the morning, after everyone is ready, if there's time. This can be one way of getting a few combinations done & shortening the length of time required after the ceremony for group photos.
At most weddings the group photos are done after the wedding ceremony. Once guests have congratulated you we generally start with a full group photo, then while we have everyone's attention I announce family photos are next and this helps keep things flowing.
There's so many different elements involved in wedding planning. I remember what it was like when I was a bride. So I make it a priority to help our couples out as much as I can with the planning process to take the work out of things like the group photos, because I don't want our couples to be worrying about things like the timeline or organising family photos on the day. I want our couples to have the BEST day ever and just enjoy every precious moment!