Wedding photographers face challenges when taking family wedding photography often. Challenges that wedding photographers can face are that group wedding photos, especially for larger groups, can be difficult to manage. However, there are ways to make the wedding photography experience smoother for your clients and your photo team.
Preparing For Group Wedding Photos Ahead Of Time
Photographers recommended their clients create a family wedding picture list before the wedding day. Couples should have their guest list already arranged. If they are unsure where to start with their wedding picture list, it can be good to provide a wedding photography family checklist template as a starting point. Of course, not every family is the same, so as a result, adjusting the list accordingly is necessary.
It’s recommended to print out the wedding picture list ahead of time or put the list on your phone. Having a copy of the family wedding picture list on hand can help you, and the couple remembers who needs their photos taken.
Sample Family Wedding Photos List
Here are examples of photos list that wedding photographers often provide to their clients.
- Bride, mom, dad
- Bride, siblings
- Bride, mom
- Bride, dad
- Groom, mom
- Groom, dad
- Groom, mom, dad
- Bride, mom, dad, siblings
- Bride, individual siblings
- Bride, mom, grandmother
- Groom, father, grandfather
- Groom, siblings
- Groom, mom, dad, siblings
- Groom, individual siblings
- Bride, Groom, bride’s grandparents
- Bride, Groom, groom’s grandparents
- Bride, Groom, moms, dads
- Bride, Groom, groom’s mom, groom’s dad
- Bride, Groom, bride’s mom, bride’s dad
- Bride, Groom, bride’s aunts and uncles
- Bride, Groom, groom’s aunts and uncles
- Bride, Groom, ring bearer, flower girl
Check on Sensitive Relationships In The Families with the Marrying Couple
While not always necessary, it can be wise to ask the groom and bridge during the planning stage for any discreet relationships in the family. For example, families can be going through divorces or strained relationships that change your family photography list. Approach the topic with understanding and care and inform them that you must know any circumstances ahead of time.
Add Family Photographs into the Wedding Day Schedule
Ensure that enough time for family wedding photos is prepared in the wedding day schedule prior to the big day. The photographer can take family wedding photos before the ceremony if a first look (The couple sees each other the day before their wedding ceremony) is arranged. Doing a first look lets the couple focus on getting married and enjoying the day with everyone attending and the photographer can blend in and take wedding photographs.
If the couple is not doing a first look or prefer family wedding photos after the ceremony, ensure that enough time is given based on the family size. A larger family’s photoshoot will take longer to complete than a small family’s photoshoot. Go over the schedule and the family wedding photos shot list ahead of time with the couple and their wedding planner if they have hired one.
Find a Large Space to Take Group Family Photos
If you haven’t worked at the chosen venue before, it would be recommended to look around the venue before the wedding day to find a large area to take your group photos. When family wedding photos are taken indoors, make sure that you or an assistant sets up lighting ahead of time to capture high-quality family wedding photography. If the photographs are taken outdoors, consider setting up an off-camera flash setup in case of natural lighting changes. Family photos can accomplish with natural light, but photographers may set up a lighting kit for consistency.
Photographing Wedding Photos of The Couple’s Family
There are multiple considerations when photographing the family on a wedding day. When taking family photographs on a wedding day, the goal is to create consistent family documentation on their wedding day for the couple to reflect upon in the future happily.
Consider Bringing a Tripod or Monopod
Consider using a tripod or monopod if you take all group shots in the same place on the wedding day. A tripod or monopod will help provide consistent family wedding photos and ensure the camera will be stable.
Keep Your Settings Consistent
Keep to those settings once you have finalised your camera’s settings for the group photos. Don’t adjust your settings unless necessary while taking family photos on a wedding day. Keeping the same settings will help create consistent shots in your family wedding photography. For example, if you shoot with natural light, a cloud passes overhead on the wedding day. Natural light changing is why many photographers choose to bring an off-camera flash lighting setup with them when taking family photos. The off-camera flash lighting setup helps to maintain the same aesthetic across every photograph.
Shoot Lots of Frames
Having lots of guests in the same photo leaves room for errors. Shooting with many frames allows you to edit any blinking or other unwanted issues later. It is recommended to leave your camera on a higher drive mode during family photos on the wedding day. Make sure that you switch out to a separate memory card just for family photos during this time. Bringing more than one memory card for your camera will give you extra insurance if unexpected issues happen.
Make The Couple & Guests Laugh
A natural smile is difficult to fake. See how your clients and their family respond to certain jokes. You do this because some families tend to be more formal, while others prefer a relaxing wedding and react to jokes differently. Laughter and natural reactions make for the most memorable family wedding photos. Sometimes, that even means making fun of yourself a little bit for photographers.
Other Family Photos to Consider on a Wedding Day
Formal family wedding portraits are among many types of family photos to consider on a wedding day. Think about other opportunities to catch those special moments. These other family photos usually occur more in an informal family photo setting. The groom and bride may have planned several special moments throughout the day. These moments can involve their family members and parents in particular.
Informal Wedding Photos with Family
- First dances with parents
- Mother getting ready with the bride
- Father getting ready with groom
- First look between bride and father
- Bride and father walking down the aisle
- Parents reaction photos during the wedding ceremony, especially the vows
Editing Group Wedding Day Photos
One of the most critical aspects of family photography at weddings is the post-editing process. When going through every family wedding photo taken on the day, you must choose only to deliver the best family wedding photography to the couple.
When editing your taken photos, ensure that all colour corrections and global edits are consistent for wedding family photography. Using Adobe Lightroom, you can create a preset for your corrections for processing your family photos. However, if you prefer to edit with Adobe Photoshop, you can use batch editing with actions to keep consistent wedding family photo edits.
Make Sure to Check for Blinking, Movement and Odd Faces In Group Photos
When taking photographs, check for issues when going through the family photos during a wedding day. Issues can include unnecessary blinks, movement, adjusting hair, odd faces and more. It is important to take multiple family picture frames when shooting the wedding family photos. Make sure not to give clients these family photos that look like mistakes. After taking it, look at the photograph and ask to retake the shot if necessary.
Take all points mentioned in this blog into consideration when taking photographs for a wedding. Making sure you are prepared for wedding photography ahead of time will present you as a professional wedding photographer. As a result, the couple and their families will be happier with your work. If you have any other helpful advice for family wedding photos on the big day, please leave them in the comments section below.
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