People have a bit of a love/hate relationship with group portraits; on the one hand you want to make sure you get those all important photos of you and your family but equally you don’t want to spend ages standing in a line plastering a smile on your face. They also take time, time that you could be spending with your loved ones having fun. But for most people it’s important to get photos of you on your big day with the people that are important to you. That said, if you’re choosing photos to go on your wall or flicking through your wedding album in years to come do you want to look at endless photos of family members standing in a line with a fake grin slapped on their faces? Probably not.
So what to do?
First off think about the group photos you really really want. For me a whole group shot is a must because it covers everyone. (Well hopefully everyone but there’s bound to be someone who’s gone for a quick wee or having to deal with a tantruming child who doesn’t make it). Other ‘standards’ are with parents, siblings, your children, grandparents, bridal party.
Once you’ve got your list then think about wether any of them might be covered throughout other parts of the day? If you are having bridal prep photographed then you will probably get the bride and bridesmaids, bride and Mum, then bride and Dad (arriving for the ceremony). The groom and groomsmen pretty much always get photographed before the ceremony waiting for the bride. That’s not to say you take these requests off your list, just let your photographer (hopefully me) know that you want them but you are happy if they are checked off at other times.
Hopefully that’s narrowed the list down a bit.
My next tip is to get the photos you do want done as quickly as possible. This is where it’s a good idea to enlist a family member and/or a friend who can help round people up - someone with a loud voice who has maybe a bit of a bossy nature is ideal. It’s also a good idea to do it sooner rather than later ie before too many drinks have been sunk. Although that may help with the next suggestion….
Make it fun! The photos don’t have to be of everyone standing stiffly, baring their teeth in a resemblance of a smile do they? Have a bit of fun, pull silly faces (just don’t flash your knickers).
So hopefully that’s a few tips to make the groups portraits go smoothly and quickly. That said, if you’re still not convinced then don’t do it, it is your day!