During your wedding planning, you may likely wonder how to successfully prepare for family photos. With the right formula, family photos can be a smooth process, no matter how big your family is!
Here are the steps we take on our end to ensure your family portraits are a success:
- Your photographer sets up a call, typically a month before your wedding day to learn more about your family. We understand that every family is different, so your lead photographer will do their best to understand all of the dynamics before the big day.
- On the wedding day itself, there is a systematic and organized process. The process often starts with taking a large group photo of one side of the family (typically the bride’s side first). The photographer will then say something like, “please raise your hand if you are cousins. :)” Once hands are raised the photographer will tell those folks to go enjoy cocktail hour and will ask everyone else to stay. Another picture will be taken. The next announcement may be “Aunts and Uncles, you’re all set and can head to cocktail hour.” What is left at this point is your immediate family, their spouses and any grandparents. As the crowd is narrowed down, we are able to capture more intimate groupings, such as grandparents, parents and siblings. This method ensures that everyone is photographed. This same process will be repeated with the groom’s side of the family.
Here are the steps you can take on your end to ensure success: VERY IMPORTANT!
- Please talk to your parents or your closest family members! They have often waited their entire lives for your big day and may have a very different agenda for which picture combinations they are after. It is important to make sure everyone is on the same page. It ensures happiness for all :)
- Before your wedding day, the key is to make sure the family knows exactly when they are needed, and where they need to be after the ceremony. You can have a perfect list, but if we are trying to find Uncle Joe, this causes a delay. As long as everyone is ready to go, we will be very fast and efficient, and make sure everyone is captured looking great! The smoother the family photos, the more time you have for romantic couples photos, and fun memorable shots with your bridal party.
- To be efficient, we suggest designating one family member on each side of the family that knows everyone in your family that is to be in the portraits. They should be at the end of the aisle after the ceremony to make sure all the family stays. During the portrait shoot, the photographers will be focused on lighting, composition, backgrounds and giving direct for nice clean shots. If you can have one or two family members dedicated to checking off your photo list, that will ensure everything is captured for you.
- Let your photographer know all of the unique combinations you want captured. Make sure to put that on a list for your dedicated family members to check off. Example: “I want a picture of my third cousin and my Aunt together in a picture with me.” These are shots we wouldn’t know to capture unless specified.