Photographers can often face a bit of a mixed reaction at a wedding, especially when it comes to the group photos. Pretty much everyone has a story of a wedding where they’ve been forced to wait around for ‘their turn’ for ages and then bossed into line by a photographer.
So here’s a few tips when it comes to organising your wedding group picture to get everything you want with the minimum amount of pain for you and your guests.
Do the Biggest Group First
If you want to get a shot of every guest at your wedding, then do this first. That way, everyone is still gathered together after the ceremony and hasn’t gone off to explore the grounds, check into hotel rooms and generally just wandered off. Once people have dispersed, there will always be a delay in getting people back together again meaning that some folk will end up waiting around longer than you’d like.
Keep it Simple
Group photography isn’t everyone’s thing and you might well prefer to reserve time for creating more images of the two of you as a couple. Once you have everyone together, I recommend the following larger groups.
- Bride’s Family
- Groom’s Family
That way, you have everyone included and those people outside of your immediate bridal party can drift off and relax. Then you can hang onto your mums / dads / bridesmaids / ushers for the rest of the photos – they’re likely to be up for more photography as they’re already so involved in the wedding.
The danger, if you don’t want to spend a lot of time on your group photography, is that if you spread out into one part of the family, you’ll be dogged by family politics and then have to cover every other grouping. For example, if you take a picture with one aunt and uncle, then you’ll kind of feel obliged to do it with all of them so no one feels left out. This system avoids all of that but still makes everyone feel included.
I’m Not Going to Force You
On the odd occasion, there is someone who really doesn’t want to be in the photos. Sometimes these are close family members and I’ll always do my best to invite them and then encourage them. After that, I’m not going to force them to be in the pictures. If you know someone is likely to have an issue being in the pictures and it’s important to you that they take part, it’s probably worth having a word ahead of time so they know what you’d like and when they’ll be called upon.
Families are Complicated
Where parents are divorced and may even have new partners with them, there might well be issues with having them in the same photo. I’m always sensitive to these situations so that everyone gets the images that they want from your wedding day – just let me know in advance and I’ll take care of things on your behalf.
The main thing is that wedding guests will always take their cue from the bride and groom – if you’re relaxed about the photography and know that we’re going to get through it in the most painless way possible, then they will be too!