YOUR GUIDE TO GROUP PHOTOS
The dreaded group photos! Lining up guests scattered around your venue when all they want to do is enjoy your day. It can be the most stressful part of any wedding day, but it totally doesn’t HAVE to be. There are lots of things you can do to prepare for the day beforehand meaning you have not only super quick, but also gorgeous group photos! An awesome photographer helps too, of course.
When thinking about who you want a group photo with, always remember these are the pre-planned and fully posed group shots. That, plus the fact that the more time we spend doing group photos, the less time you have to ENJOY YOURSELVES (which is truly the most important thing!)
From my experience shooting plenty of weddings, 5 – 10 is a great number to work to. A lot of people panic when they hear this… a maximum of 10?! Please don’t worry! I had the same thought when trying to figure out who I wanted photos with on my own day.
If you want a photo with your work girls or the great uncle from Australia you haven’t seen in 20 years, totally fine. Ask me at any point throughout the day for a group photo, I’ll take it, but the last thing we want is a long list leaving us standing around for an hour or two missing out on the moments that really count.
COOL BACK DROPS AND AWESOME LIGHTING
When I arrive at a venue, I normally scout the area before bridal prep or during your drinks reception to get some ideas. I love finding cool backdrops for your group photos and if there is a unique feature at your venue that you adore, tell me before your day! We can totally see if it’s possible to take your groups there. The goal is always somewhere where your faces will be in nice, natural light, but pretty Manor House walls are super popular or just simple greenery.
When going over where we’ll be taking your group photos, it’s also good to consider where your guests will be hanging. Rounding guests up for wedding photography is like herding sheep without a trusty border collie alongside (trust me to bring a dog into this). Too far and your group photos will take up more time than you would probably like, so trying to aim for a nice spot as close as possible to where everyone is grabbing their reception drinks is ideal. If this means missing the amazing backdrop you had planned, we know where we are heading for your couple session!
Every wedding photographer will have a different format they use for group photos, particularly when it comes to the timings on your day. The worst thing in the world is straight after your ceremony being dragged into posing for half an hour, especially when your family and friends want to give you the biggest hug, say congrats and cheers a drink or two. Becuase of this, I always give you at least 20 minutes, often more, to chat with your guests and say your hellos before I even mention the word groups. Once settled, everyone is a lot more chilled so we can have a little time aside to get them done.
A top tip is to leave a little bit of space between you and your bridal party being fully glammed, in your dresses, bouquets ready and your ceremony. I LOVE doing a short bridal party session like this one below to grab a few extra group shots to save time later on when your celebration has really started.
THE BEST MAN
Knowing that it’s likely your photographer won’t know everyone’s name and face at the start of your wedding day, how do we do it? Through your awesome Best Man, of course! Totally joking, also totally not.
Before your day, it’s a brilliant idea to designate a member of your wedding party who knows your guests pretty well to assist with Group Photos. Although I try my best to know my Grandma Helen from Auntie Janet, It’s ideal to have someone (or a few people) who know your guests well. They can gather your crew while I focus on taking amazing photos!
This also helps us get things done super quick so you can get back to your day. I had a wedding last week where I didn’t have to call a single name, entirely down to the Best Man being simply brilliant! The group photos were over within under 15 minutes and that was with a full list of 10. It was awesome and made everyone enjoy it that little bit more!
Once you have your group photo list in mind, send it across and we can always discuss it if you need some help! If you are yet to book your wedding photographer and think I could be the one for you, I’d love to chat. I cover Northamptonshire and all surrounding areas across The Midlands, sometimes travelling further too!