Which group photos should I have?
It helps us enormously to know in advance what groups there are to be and how many people in them. If you are having very few (just occasionally, there are even none at all) group photos, it can be possible to ‘wing it on the day’. But especially if there are to be more than three or four group photos, or if there are to be larger groups, knowing what to expect means that we can plan any necessary logistics with location, lighting, working out who’s who etc. to make the groups go smoothly and without taking too much time, and to make sure that you get the groups you want.
Getting the right balance between groups and less formal photography.
We would suggest that, at most weddings, around 6 group photos is a good number to aim for. Some weddings may have less, some more, but it’s a good typical number for a relaxed day.
Bear in mind that gathering people for group photos can take more time than you might think, especially if the groups are large or if the location involves moving people from one room to another, or if the weather means setting up in a confined space inside and/or setting up lighting. Time taken organising groups can not only start to become a distraction for you and your guests, but is also time away from us doing what we do best – capturing all the fun of the day, and taking beautiful portraits, so more group photos inevitably mean less photos of guests enjoying themselves, or a shorter portrait session. Having said that, group photos are usually an important part of nearly every wedding, and you should make sure that you get the group photos that are important for you to have. You need to strike the balance between this and making sure that they don’t take over the day and stop you getting other beautiful photographs.
The list of groups at each wedding will be different, but we’ve prepared three lists as possible starting points – one for the core groups, second of frequent additional ones and the third where there is a more extended list. Don’t feel that you have to follow these lists slavishly, they’re just there to give an idea of different approaches.
List 1 - Typical core groups
• Parents – this can be together in one photo, or with each side separately
• Same but adding in siblings, their partners and children. Again, the bride’s and groom’s siblings etc. may be photographed all together, or bride and groom’s sides separately
• Bridesmaids, Best Man(Men) and ushers (we’ll also often, where times allows, take a separate photo of Bride with bridesmaids, and Groom with Best Man/ushers)
List 2 - Frequent additions
• Everyone at the wedding (if space/logistics/weather/time allow)
List 3 - Extended family photos
• Bride’s wider family photo such as cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. - it’s easiest if this can be described as eg. “all the Mackenzies and Mackays” rather than calling out individuals names
• Groom’s wider family photo – “”ditto“”