Taking family wedding photos on your bride and groom’s wedding day is a tradition as old as…well, wedding photography! Family is one of the biggest, most important parts of ANY wedding day, so it totally makes sense. However, for a lot of photographers, the time allotted for family photos can be one of their LEAST favorite chunks of the wedding day. Why? Well, because it can get hectic and disorganized VERY fast when you have to manage so many people in order to take beautiful photos in such a short period of time.
However, after ten plus years of photographing weddings, I’ve gotten family photos on the wedding day down to a science. Here are a few tips on how to make family photos smooth, fast and enjoyable for everyone!
Get a List From the Couple for Perfect Family Wedding Photos
Before the wedding, make sure you get a list of family photos needed, family members that will be included, and combinations (mother and father of the bride, mother and sister of the bride, etc) that they would like to see included. That way, you’ll have a mental or physical checklist of everything that you need to shoot within your family photo time slot without having to worry about forgetting anything.
Have a Guest Assist With Family Wedding Photos
Having someone that’s attending the wedding and knows all of the family, but won’t be in the photos–or may be in just a few–can be super helpful. That way, you won’t have to rack your brain to try to remember people’s names and will have help finding everyone that you need for your upcoming shots!
Get Your Bigger Family Wedding Photo Combos Out of The Way First
If you have to get a photo of both sides of the family together or a group of 8 plus, I would highly suggest getting these larger group shots out of the way on the front end. It’s much quicker to do smaller group photos, so it will take you less time to wrap up with those smaller groups than it will be to keep everyone waiting.
Prioritize the Grandparents in Family Wedding Photos
Another great rule of thumb is to try to get all of the photos with grandparents wrapped up quickly as well! So, I would recommend doing all large group shots grandparents are included in, then all small group shots grandparents are in, then all large group shots or small group shots that grandparents will not be included in. The reason I suggest doing it this way is out of respect for the elderly–we don’t want to wear them out by asking them to stand for an hour before the reception. They’ll need some extra time to rest between photos and breaking it down on the dancefloor all night!
I was once a bride and understand how important these photos are to the couple and their family members. We actually have our family wedding day photos printed in our home and are treasured even more now that we have lost a few close family members since. Putting yourself in your couples shoes for these photos, having a system, and keeping a great attitude throughout will help you learn to love this portion.
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