Shooting the Family – Pain Free Group Photographs!

So, the dreaded group photographs! Firstly I would like to say that I actually quite enjoy doing group photos…….in honesty they aren’t particularly technically or artistically taxing but it’s a chance for me to have a bit of a chat with people on the day and they really can be fun and enjoyable!

However, I do a number of weddings where the couple don’t want any group pictures at all. They love my documentary style and that’s what I do all day but, in a majority of cases most people want a handful of them. I do actually think they are really important……sometimes they are the first or last time that groups of people will be recorded gathered together and often there value can only be appreciated as they are looked back on in the future!

Planning is one of the key elements to ensure that this part of the day goes smoothly. I always make sure that I have a list of the family group shots that have been discussed and agreed beforehand and also make a plan with the bride and groom about where and when they will be taken. It can also be really helpful if you have a best man, bridesmaid or usher or two who can help gather people on the day as this can save a great deal of time.

As a guide there is a list below of a “standard” set of group shots to help you get your ideas going…….

Bride and bridesmaids

Groom and best man and ushers

Bride, groom and all attendants

Bride, groom and parents

Bride, groom and wider family

Bride and friends (hens)

Groom and friends (stags)

Whole group shot

The above can generally be achieved in about 20 minutes and some couples will add grandparents shots, photographs with other significant people or sometimes split the family/parents photographs into groom’s side and bride’s side.

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