Group photos at a wedding are something I personally feel can be the most taxing part of a wedding day. Not only for the photographer but everyone there. However they really don’t need to be and I now can confidently say I have a system that I feel works superbly.
I’m not going to sit here and say since my first wedding I’ve known how to handle 150 guests and that I’ve always known how to smoothly do all the group photos but once you’ve photographed over a 100 weddings you start to get an idea of what works suitably. I have been to weddings where I am not the photographer and for some reason a lot of other photographers seem to think doing the group photo of everyone last is the best idea, this seems to be something thats become a custom and just because that’s what always happens everyone does it. Yes in some situations doing it last does fit better and I will occasionally do this but break the rules a bit and find what you feel works best.
Below is an example of what I find works easiest..
Group photo of everyone
Doing this first gets everyones attention and its before Uncle Bob has wondered off and Aunt Mildred has gone to feed the baby. It also means you’ve got control of everyone and you can let them all know to stay there for the next photos.
There going to be the first ones that need to sit down and rest so do them first
Tell all the Brides side to stay there and the Grooms side to just wait to one side.
Keep The immediate family to stay and let the others go and start enjoying the drink.
Let anyone who isn’t in the bridal party go and enjoy themselves
Get this whilst you change between the two sides
Start small groups and get bigger seen as they are there
Ask the immediate members to join so then for the bigger photo the main people are in the middle
Tell everyone else to stay in the photo and ask the rest to join
Gets all the grooms friends for one big photo, doing this before the girls is usually best as they’ll complain about the photos before the girls
Get all the girls together – if you don’t know what to shout out usually ‘Hen Party’ works well because then you know you’re getting the brides main friends.
A photo of everyone and then whittle it down to just one side and the other.
The same as the ‘Boys’ photo, doing this before the girls is usually best as they’ll complain about the photos before the girls
All the bridesmaids doing something a bit more relaxed and fun.
All the group photos are over now, everyone can relax whilst we get beautiful photos of just the happy couple.
I understand not all weddings will follow this exactly as the bride and grooms might only want one big group photo or there might no longer be grandparents, this is just a standard list of what works best in the majority of situations.
Emily and Amy