From the traditional family-finally-all-in-one-place snaps, to the badass wedding gang poses… Group photos can be some of the best shots of the day. But with that many emotional, excited, prosecco-fuelled people buzzing around, the logistics of group photos can be tricky.
Having a think about what you want from your group photos ahead of time can make a huge difference in how they pan out. So to help you avoid some “oh, shit” moments, here are my top 5 tips for bossing your group photos.
DON’T OVERDO IT
This might surprise you, but five different group shots is enough. Think about it this way: the more group shots you get, the less candid shots you’ll have and potential moments missed. The favourite photos from weddings are always the unexpected candid moments that really pick up the vibe of the day.
Each group shot can take up to about 15 minutes! Herding and organising everyone, making sure everyone’s eyes are open, getting the poses and stances right… Then doing that all over again several times. If you have a massive list of group shots planned, it can end up taking a few hours.
Ask yourself questions like:
- Are you really going to use/print all of these photos?
- Do you want to spend half of your reception lining up for photos?
- Do you need all of the groups you initially thought?
THE WHO, WHAT & WHERE
Figure out what group shots you really want, and write it down. Give a copy to your photographer, and a copy to someone who knows the people on the list (a sober groomsman will do). This will help massively with time, organisation and efficiency. As much as your photographer can generally guess who the best man is, and who the bride’s mother is, we don’t know who your aunt May or grandma Sophie are for the family shot.
Consider who you want for your ‘family’ shot. Does that include aunts, cousins, and uncle Terry’s girlfriend? Or does it just include your immediate family? Either way, noting who you want and their relation to you on your list is doing us photographers a massive favour.
Another pointer for your list is to mention any guests or family members with poor mobility so a little more time can be allowed to accommodate them. And don’t forget to do a quick skim of the list shortly before the wedding, so you can update it for any divorces or deaths!
WHAT I RECOMMEND
- The couple’s immediate family
- The couple’s parents
- The couple’s friends/bridal party
- The couple + the wedding party
Some couples will want way more group shots (which is totally fine), but these recommendations are the groups that cover the key bases.
TRADITION ISN’T ALWAYS BEST
Something I like to remind my couples is that just because it’s ‘tradition’, doesn’t mean you have to do it! Don’t want a giant cake? Get donuts. Don’t want a white dress? Rock that red number. Don’t want tonnes of stiff group shots? Don’t do it!
For example, the big group shot. It can take ages to gather all of your guests & family, position everyone, and get to a point where everyone can be captured. All of that time is used on a shot where you can barely see anyone’s faces or outfits! Relaxed, natural shots that capture genuine emotion, fun or badassery are far more likely to be your favs.
When it comes to weddings, a lot of couples can get caught up in what they feel like they ‘should’ do. Just remember that this is a day for you, not a day to please old traditions.
BOSS YOUR POSES
Although it’s amazing to have a family photo where everyone’s dressed their best & all smiling toward the camera, they don’t have to all look the same. Consider less static poses, like walking, holding your bouquets up mid-dance move, laughing together, or bossing a funny pose.
Letting your wedding party’s personalities shine through in the group photos is something you’ll look back on and absolutely love. These are your favourite people, after all. Use their personalities in your shots!
Hopefully these tips help you absolutely smash your group shots, and become photos that you love revisiting. You can find more tips on my blog, like How to Nail Your Confetti Photos, or What to Wear for Your Engagement Shoot. Find more of my shots, tips & life bits over on my Instagram. Come and say hey!