Jan 22, 2020
Would you like to spend 10-15 minutes or 30-40 minutes doing family pictures? I've learned how to do family shots in around 10 minutes without compromising on quality. Especially crucial if you're getting married in the winter.
I speak with so many brides and groom's pre-wedding, and what I hear is this: "I don't want to miss all of my reception, to go and get photos. I want time with my guests..." Understood, here's how.
One week before every wedding I shoot - I arrange a phone call with my couples to go over all the details of the day - making sure we are 100% aligned. When we get around to discussing wedding family pictures, here's what I say.
Firstly, we discuss the optimal time for taking family pictures. Based on the season, type of wedding, it differs. Let's say it's a winter wedding, with a 3 pm ceremony start, and the couple won't arrive at the reception till 4 pm. Light is fading fast - not much time - so its a bit more pressure. Here's what to do.
Delegate two people to round up the members of the family for the photographs. Someone assertive enough to get people moving! Keep in mind; a photographer won't know who all your family is - so it makes sense to get someone who does. After the ceremony, I touch base with these two delegates and let them know where I'll be shooting the pictures. If it is a late winter wedding, church ceremony, and the venue is far away, sometimes it's best to do the family shots in the Church, as you may not have enough light by the time you arrive at the venue.
Whether it's in the Church or at the venue, starting with the groom's side, I tell the delegate to gather up all the family members so I can photograph the largest extended shot first. I quickly put them in a nice line - make sure everyone looks great - snap few frames - and I'm done! Meaning the guests are needed only for a few minutes. When it's cold, they'll appreciate this. You don't want older adults having to hang around outside, not pleasant!
Once that's done, I tell the delegate from the bride's side to start gathering the extended family on her side. While that's happening, I'm photographing the immediate family members of the groom's side. Two things are happening at once - so maximum time efficiency!
As soon as all the family shots are done on the groom's side, I tell the immediate family to stay around, as I'll still need them. Then I photograph the extended family of the bride's side. Like before, once done, they are free to clear off and enjoy the reception. They're happy, I'm happy, the bride and groom are happy, everyone happy! :)
At this point I commence immediate family shots of bride's side, then both immediate family members joined together. After all the family photos are done, I then start photographing the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
I use this method at every wedding I shoot, and it's the most efficient and hassle-free. Family members only needed for the shortest time possible. And you don't have to stress - standing in a line for over 10 minutes! So even if it's a Summer wedding - with a lot more time to spare - it's still far better for everyone. You have more options. You can spend more time getting portraits, more time with your guests at the reception, etc.
If this is how you'd like things done at your wedding - get in touch with me! By the way, it's way easier for me to talk about this in person or by phone, rather than writing it! So if you found it hard to understand, just trust me, I know what I'm talking about!