Capturing family and friends photos at weddings can be quite challenging, especially when there’s a sizable gathering in your wedding entourage.
However, with some planning, you can guarantee a delightful experience for all attendees while ensuring that you will get the best group photos.
Even if you prefer a more documentary and natural style of wedding photography, we still have to make place in the schedule for a few group photos.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of capturing the day as it unfolds, creating beautiful images that go beyond mere documentation. I thrive on those candid shots, the genuine moments that happen in-between.
You know, like the tear-filled eyes of the groom as he watches his bride walk down the aisle, or the bride tearing up from laughing at some hilarious stories from the good ol’ days, or the beaming smile on your granddad’s face during your first dance.
These are the precious moments I live for, the ones that transform a simple photograph into something truly special.
However, it is one of the few times in life when all your family and all your friends are gather together and that is indeed something special. And that deserves to be captured too!
The key is to carefully plan for those group photos!
Keep in mind that you don’t want to spend your entire reception solely on taking group photos.
I suggest limiting the number of individual combinations. That will ensure that you and your guests won’t get too stressed or tired of standing and changing places.
Prioritize the shots that are most important to you. The most common are immediate family, the bridal party, and parents. Group photos with all your friends and all your guests are also very popular. Remember to make a list to share with your photographer, so that they can have an overview.
It also very important to plan when and how to organize group photos. My personal suggestion is to start with the largest group right after the ceremony, so that the guests are free to mingle and enjoy as soon as possible.
Remember that your photographer is typically present throughout the day, allowing for spontaneous photos of other groups and individuals. Reserve the formal photo time for capturing moments with the closest and most significant groups.
Let the ushers take charge, or something along those lines!
It’s important to choose someone who is not only willing to help but also responsible enough to be truly useful! I speak from experience when I say that having a «helper» who disappears to the bar instead of assisting with tasks can be quite frustrating.
In many cases, it can be beneficial to assign a family member as one of the helpers, as they will be familiar with the guests. Some people seem naturally made for this role, possessing the ability to be both friendly and assertive when rounding up guests. Also, having someone with a slightly louder voice can be helpful for making announcements and ensuring everyone is gathered when needed.
The presence of a trusted «helper» can create a more enjoyable and efficient experience for everyone involved.
When selecting a location for your group wedding photos, my primary concern is finding a place with good lighting. I want to ensure that you are not standing in front of unflattering backgrounds or in harsh sunlight that creates unflattering shadows or makes it hard to keep your eyes open.
If you have a specific spot in mind that you’re particularly fond of, discuss it with your photographer. They can provide valuable insight and suggest alternative options. It might be necessary to schedule the group photos later in the day when the sun is lower, resulting in softer and more flattering lighting conditions.
Remember, capturing beautiful and flattering images is our mutual goal. By considering the lighting conditions and discussing your preferences with your photographer, we can find the perfect location and time for your group wedding photos.
Group wedding photos don’t have to be stiff and posed.
In fact, some of the most memorable and beautiful group shots are the ones that capture genuine emotions and interactions.
Instead of lining everyone up in a traditional pose, consider more dynamic compositions. Encourage your guests to be themselves and enjoy the moment during the group photos. Let them laugh, hug, and share genuine expressions of joy and happiness. These candid moments will add a sense of liveliness and authenticity to your wedding album.
Remember, it’s not just about capturing faces, but also the connections and emotions shared among your loved ones. So, embrace the spontaneity and encourage your photographer to capture the candid and joyful moments that make your group wedding photos come alive.
How to get the best group photos How to get the best group photos How to get the best group photos