March 28, 2019
I’m not going to beat around the bush, but group photos is hands down my least favourite and most stressful part of a wedding day. There is limited creativity, my couples get bored from standing around so long and arranging the groups can sometimes be like herding cats blindfolded. But on the flipside how often do you have all your favourite people all in one place? I have hardly any pictures of me and my family that aren’t selfies, wonky or full of drunken embarrassing faces.
Group photos are never going to be anybody’s favourite part of the day BUT they are the pictures that will go on your parents mantle piece and the photos you will treasure and laugh at for years to come. Particularly (sorry to get morbid here) is somebody unfortunately passes. Group photos are a chance for you to document your nearest and dearest.
Here are my top tips to keep them as stress free and painless as possible.
Nearly all of my couples tell me they want fun natural photos, which is amazing and candid shots are by far my favourite to capture but these types of shots don’t just happen. Enough time has to be allocated for both candid photography and group photos. Each group generally takes around 3-5 minutes to orchestrate, so 6 group photos could take up to 30 minutes.
KEEP IT INFORMAL & ALLOCATE ENOUGH SPACE
Slightly self explanatory and simple but I’ve been at a wedding trying to cram 30 people into a tiny space or had to dodge graves at a church. Think about the space available and don’t worry if your guests have a drink or a coat in their hand, these guests are your nearest and dearest, the most important thing is that they are in the photo. I also suggest making sure somebody hands you a drink so you can relax and have fun while keeping it informal.
GET THEM OVER AND DONE WITH ASAP
I always recommend doing the group shots at either the ceremony venue or as early into the drinks reception as possible. Mainly so they are done and out of the way for you to enjoy mingling. The more couples relax and drink, the more time passes and group photos seem less of a priority and I’d hate for couples to regret not getting photos at a later date.
An Ushers job shouldn’t end at the ceremony, nominate a bridesmaid or an usher to help gather group photos. As a photographer we don’t know who your aunt or second cousin is, but your friends will. Prepping them to help makes the photos run much more smoothly and efficiently.
MAKE A LIST
It’s worth making a list beforehand so nobody gets missed and that the time is spent as efficiently as possible. Also a list is handy if theres any obvious photos a photographer might miss, such as if you’re really close to a nan or if your parents are separated. For family I suggest something on the lines of this…
SPLIT THEM UP
Group photos don’t have to all be done during the group reception, free up some time and split them. I would always suggest doing the bulk of the family group photos during the drinks reception but we can do friends a little less formally between speeches and the first dance. I also try where possible get some extra shots with the parents before the ceremony such as the bride and her father.
Hopefully that helps! Any questions drop me a message.