Preparing for your Family Formals

Although our style is very much natural, relaxed and all about capturing the day as it happens, we understand that most couples like to include a traditional element to their photography with a few family formal portraits.  We are happy to capture these for you, and include on your Wedding Timing Questionnaire, a list of suggested group shots together with a space for you to request your own. We always recommend that you keep this list to a maximum of 8 photos if possible.  We do include in our list an "everybody" shot of all your guests which may be possible, depending on the location, weather, time, and availability of all your guests.  

Group photos can take up a lot of time, especially if guests go wandering off and we cannot locate them.  Remember that you will be in all these photos and could be standing in one spot posing for the camera for a length of time. By keeping the formals to a minimum you can spend more time relaxing and enjoying your day chatting with your family and friends. During this time we can still capture less formal group photos and candid shots of you and your guests, creating true memories of your day. 

 If you have chosen full day photography and your timings allow, we can take other group photos in the evening, after your wedding breakfast and before first dance. These group photos are usually more relaxed and fun, which works well especially for bridal party photos. 

So to prepare for your formal photos have a think about which family shots are important to you. Make sure you tell us on your Wedding Timing Questionnaire about these shots.  Ask a couple of your groomsmen/bridesmaids to help out with gathering guests for the group shots and prepare them on their role before the wedding day.  This helps us to gather guests more quickly for the photos, as they will know who is who more than we will. 

Be sure to tell us on your Wedding Timing Questionnaire of any family situations such as divorce, step parents etc to ensure that we do not make anyone feel uncomfortable during the formal photos. For example, if you tick the bride with parents option, but the brides parents are divorced and with new partners, it is helpful if you can give us more detail. Do you want just a photo with the bride's mum and dad? Do you want a separate photo with the bride's dad and partner, and then the bride's mum and partner? Do both parents get along? The more information we have, the more smoothly we can run through the group photos, and without upsetting or offending anyone in the process. 

One final tip.   We always want all the guests in the group to be looking at our camera for the photo.  We will direct them to do so, but often other guests step in to take photos at the same time, getting the guests to look at them. Let your guests know to either stand behind me so all those in the group photo are looking in the same direction, or encourage them to take their own group photos separately - something unique and different that they can share with you after your wedding.