What about Family wedding photos?

Let’s start by saying “I love family wedding photos“.  They’re the photos that are going to definitely make the album, parent’s love them and so do the rest of the family. Why? Because people have posed, they’re in the right position, in the right light and as long as you’re not a toddler, chances are you’re giving me your best smile. It’s the first thing that greets me when I call around to the bride or groom’s house in the morning. Family wedding photos adorn the walls and stand on the desk hall thingymajiggy. There’s nothing more homely than seeing family photos from the bygone era. If there are shoulder pads and perms then even better!

So, why do family wedding photos get such a bad rep? It’s like they’re the bad boys when it comes to wedding photography. Annoying and frustrating people to no end. Honestly, when it comes to all aspects of wedding photography, the one thing couples always say is “I don’t want to spend ages taking the family photos”. So how do we get around that? How do we turn those anxious thoughts of hours spent in front of the camera with your family to something a lot more fun?

Well, it’s easy. Here are some tips:

  1. Plan out the Family wedding photos.
    I have a simple checklist that will let you tick the boxes. Then you’ll get a good idea of the time required. The more family combos the more time is needed. Here are the photos that make the walls and albums.Couple + one side of the family
    Couple + parents
    Couple + siblings
    Couple + family + partners + kids
    Couple + grandparents I can already hear you say “My ma would like all her brothers and sisters and their family. She’s one of twelve and they’re very close.” That’s not a problem. We can do it. It just needs to be organised.
  2.  Organise and Delegate
    Here’s why we have bridesmaids/groomsmen. They’re your best mates and most of the time they’re family too so get them to round everyone up and keep them in check. If Uncle Johnny has a tendency to nip away to watch the game then make sure you keep tabs on him.
    We’ll set a time for the photos well before the wedding day itself so that everyone is on the same page. Speaking of pages, I’ll be bringing a copy of the family photo list and you’ll get a copy too. Let’s try to keep to the list first. We can go crazy once the main photos are done. Even get venue’s dog in for a photo if you like.
  3. How long do the family photos take?
    I’ll be chatting to you on the lead up to the big day on a number of occasions. This gives us the opportunity to plan out the day when it comes to the photos. With my prerogative being to spend an efficient amount of time on the family photos so as to allow you to enjoy the rest of the day. I’m also presuming you’re booking me for my documentary style and a few epic shots in between.
  4. Where to take the Family wedding photos?
    Here’s where it can get tricky. I would always recommend getting them right after the ceremony before people move onto the venue and start checking into their rooms. Especially if it’s winter. Light disappears fast. However, this doesn’t always work. For example, the church may not be the most scenic spot outside or perhaps the light shines directly on the door causing you to squint a lot. Sometimes, the church is perfect but it’s pouring rain or there’s a galeforce wind. Then we’ve no choice but to head to the venue or take them indoors to the altar. Which again might not be the best spot due to Class 6b decorating it with hand drawn pictures of themselves holding the world for their Confirmation. Or perhaps Jesus is looking particularly forlorn on the cross that day. So, we photograph at the venue. Our Plan B and again everyone involved knows the drill because you’ve got the best bridesmaids and groomsmen at your side.
  5. What about photos with friends?
    Yeap, we can do that too but I’d recommend towards the end when all the essential photos have taken place. If you book me for the Full Day then I’d recommend after the dinner when the craic is almighty and you’re gearing up for the first dance. Sure the band takes about an hour to set up…sometimes more…sometimes a lot more (that’s another post)

Saying all the above, there is one very important thing to remember. It’s your day, I can only guide you and I’m fine if things don’t go according to a plan. Some of the best weddings I’ve attended have been 100% chaos and it’s been a great laugh with great stories. As long as you’re enjoying the family wedding photos then that’s all that matters.