Take the Best Wedding Family Photos
Wedding photography is not as cut-and-dry as people think. Besides being excellent at using lighting and thinking about composition, wedding photographers must also deal with your family dynamics & politics, understanding your wedding day timeline, and scouting the locations of your programme. Here are five tips to ensure that things run smoothly during your big day.
How to Take the Best Wedding Family Photos
Clarify the Schedule of the Family Photos
Traditionally, photographers shoot wedding family photos directly after the ceremony. Sometimes, brides would like family portraits before the reception starts. If you want to organise this activity at other times, you have to tell your photographer and your guests. In some cultures, the couples invite their extended family to the preparations on the day of the ceremony – well before the ceremony. This provides your wedding photographer with more material and allows them to take candid shots of your family.
Inform Your Family of the Photoshoot Venue
Bringing your guests and family outdoors will help utilise the natural light, which can create better images depending on the day. Before the ceremony day, you should agree with your photographer on the venue of the family photos. If you would like the ceremony hall, the temple, or the church as the backdrop, your suppliers may have to bring in special lighting to make the photos brighter for the best wedding family photos.
Also, don’t stray too far from the ceremony venue for the photos. If there is a gorgeous lagoon or a garden on the grounds, but it’s a bit of a walk away, you could probably arrange for a photoshoot with you and your spouse only. Your wedding party might have seniors; even a short trek to a different spot might tire them out quickly.
I usually opt to have a photo done of your entire congregation done first – usually using a drone from the air before breaking up nearby for family photos.
Do Not Keep the Photoshoot Going Forever
Typically, family photoshoots last anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes . An extravagant wedding with many guests from other regions or countries might take longer; family photos for parties with upwards of 500 guests might take an hour! Whether you have an intimate or a grand celebration, though, it is best to keep the photoshoot as short as possible.
It’s a good idea to figure out what groups need to be done in a formal manner, while selecting certain groups which may be better done informally at the reception.
Know What to Expect During the Photo Sessions
Unless you specify something with your wedding photographer, I always try to run family photo sessions in a predictable way. First, the wedding photographer will adjust to the light and take test shots of you mingling with relatives and friends. Then, they will ask people to approach you and your spouse in batches. Typically elderly and kids go first followed by siblings and extended family – try to have your parents go last as they are helpful in rounding up family members.
It’s really important to make a list of family photos you want taken on the day. This does not mean a list of individuals – but a list of groups. For example ‘I want a photo with Bob, Jane and Trent’ is not a list. This is a list –
- Bride, Groom, Bob, Trent
- Bride, Jane
- Bride, Groom, Jane
Notice that Bob, Trent and Jane did not have a photo together? This is because Bob and Trent are estranged from Jane for some reason due to family politics that I simply don’t know as a photographer, so I have to rely on the list you’ve given me. I don’t know what combination of family members you need from your family photos – so to have the best family wedding photos possible, a list is essential.
There is no set combination for wedding photos. Since each event is different, the bride and groom will have various configurations of close friends and family on their special day. What’s important is coordinating with your supplier and telling them who you expect to see in each picture. When you coordinate with your photographer beforehand, you’ll have an easier time on the day and receive the best wedding family photos possible.
Most people would love to reminisce about their wedding through photos and videos of the day. It is nice to see candid, natural shots of preparations and everyone having a great time, but formal shots are still expected at weddings as they are perfect as souvenirs in photo albums. Whether your style is classic and traditional or offbeat and quirky, you’d want a record of one of your happiest days as a couple with the best wedding family photos as possible.
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