If you are planning a relaxed day, you may be looking for some advice on how you can include some wedding group shots without having it take up lots of time. When talking to my couples about their wedding photography, I often hear comments like ‘the photographer made us wait outside in the cold for hours’. I think it’s safe to say that the group shots part of the wedding day is often the part that couples wish to move through as quickly as possible.
If you would prefer an informal day, then you will perhaps want to keep the more traditional aspects out of the festivities and will want to keep the formal shots to a minimum. There are a few things that you can do to achieve stress free wedding group shots….
Think about your list – I always recommend that my couples provide me with a list of 10 wedding group shots or less before the wedding. Each shot takes a couple of minutes each and after half an hour of group shots, you will probably want to return to eating and drinking with your guests. Think about the groups of people that you have written down and whether any of them can be combined to shorten the list. The list will be requested before the wedding so that we can talk through any questions that you may have. I always stick to the list that is provided so that you can get back to your guests as soon as possible and so have a good think about what exactly it is that you want. If there are any difficult relationships within the family that may cause an issue on the day, it’s good to know that too.
Get help – Nominate someone in the wedding party who has a good idea of who people are, or perhaps one person from each side of the family, who can find those on the list before they are due in front of the camera. This will give me extra time to focus on the shot and means that the next group of people will be waiting by the time I am ready for them. It allows things to move quickly and means that you can get back to your guests sooner.
Location location location – Are there any spots at your venue where you would like to have your wedding group shots taken? Let your photographer know! It would also be helpful to consider a location if the weather means that the shots need to be taken indoors. If this is the case, consider the space and light that will be needed. Talk to your photographer about your ideas.
Prepare your guests – Guests often like to have a little explore of the venue, or get a drink after the ceremony. Ask the ushers to let your guests know that the wedding group shots will be happening shortly and to stay close by. This again will help to save time because you won’t have to search for Aunty Vera who has just popped to the car. You could even consider popping it into the invite information!
Family expectations – Sometimes relatives come with their own expectations of what photographs should be taken, especially those of an older generation who aren’t familiar with the more natural approach to wedding photography. It’s really important to chat to them about it before the wedding to explain that this may not be the sort of photography that you want but that there was be lots of lovely natural shots taken throughout the day.
Make them fun – I love to have fun with my couples and their bridal party. I will do a couple of formal smiley ones and then we will relax for a few more. I love to photograph friendships and so will use a variety of interaction techniques to get them giggling.
If you are looking for a wedding photographer who loves shooting for relaxed couples and who might make you laugh so hard that you snort, then I would love to hear from you.
You can also check out more of my work here: Portfolio
I also have some helpful wedding planning blog posts for you to have a look through here.