You’ve sent out save the dates to loved ones, you’ve pictured celebrating all night with them, and you’ve sat up in bed in a cold sweat trying to imagine getting all those photos with them done in time! Who’s going to wheel over to the photo spot? Who’s going to fight Uncle Bill on taking off the sunglasses for once? How will we get everyone to take off their coats for the photo?
Have no fear, your photographer is here! I have had to master the nice but firm way to get family photos done well and in time. However, there are ways you can make it all run even smoother!
Tip #1 Discuss family photos with your fiancé
You may think you’re both on the same page, but this discussion can prove otherwise! While you’re expecting immediate and extended family, your fiancé is assuming it’s only immediate (or vice versa). This leads me to…
Tip #2 Make a family shot list
After discussing, make a list of all the combinations you have to get, and a list of those you’d like if your timeline allows. I also suggest adding a little note next to any combinations with complications. For example, if anyone is not on good terms I won’t know not to stand them next to each other unless you tell me! I want to be as accommodating as possible.
Tip #3 Set up your timeline for success
After making your list figuring out the number of people needing photos, make sure to allow enough time on your timeline to avoid stress! I would always recommend having 30 minutes at the very least for family photos. If you do a first look that allows family photos to happen before the ceremony, make sure to be very clear about the arrival time for family! We don’t want setbacks.
Tip #4 Leave the big shaded area clear for photos
Though lighting isn’t always taken into consideration when planning the wedding layout, it can make or break your photos! Especially for formal photos, shade is a must. It keeps all skin tones even, the light isn’t too harsh, and you won’t have odd shadows and lines all over the place. So if there is a nice shaded area big enough for the group photos, don’t put the dessert table there!
Tip #5 Assign a group-maker
Before the wedding, ask a guest that is familiar with everyone on the shot list to be in charge of gathering them all. Give them a copy of the list and timeline, so everyone is ready for their turn when it comes! Precious time and light is wasted when your cousin or sibling is nowhere to be found.