The importance of taking group shots on your wedding day
Group photos: Are they really that important and do we need them?
I love capturing your wedding photography. It’s such a pleasure to be able to be a small part of one of your best days and to share in your happiness.
Most of the couples I speak to about their wedding photography are clear about one thing: they don’t want to spend hours being lined up for formal group shots. They’ve all been to those weddings where the couple, along with their close friends and family, disappear for the whole of the drinks reception for photographs.
We’ve all been to weddings where we’ve been shuffled through seemingly endless group combinations. And you always, always see someone wander past with a tray of the best canapés while you’re standing in line with your camera smile on.
A candid, documentary wedding photography approach with a selection of informal groups thrown in for good measure
Most of my couples don’t want the stereotypical, traditional wedding photographer who takes a lot of formal shots. They typically want a mix of candid documentary photography with a few relaxed group shots thrown in for good measure. A group shot is more than a snapshot of your family members standing in a line; it is a visual legacy that will become a part of your family history. That also needs to be balanced with your enjoyment of your drinks reception. You don’t want to miss out on the fun!
Group shots at my parent’s wedding
I find the group shots from my parents’ wedding fascinating. There they are, looking baby-faced. My mum is wearing looks radiant in a floppy bridal hat. Dad looks like a cool dude in his flared suit and platform shoes. Both sets of grandparents are all there looking much, much younger than I ever remember them being; both of my grandmothers even accidentally turned up with matching handbags! Those pictures show me a world that’s familiar but completely alien at the same time. A world where I don’t exist yet.
Don Draper – The Wheel
We’ve all seen that clip from Mad Men. You know the one – where Don Draper talks about nostalgia. No? Google ‘Don Draper The Wheel’ if you’re interested. Don Draper is pitching for a job and he talks about nostalgia:
“Nostalgia – it’s delicate, but potent. In Greek, “nostalgia” literally means “the pain from an old wound.” It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone…”
Even now, when I look at that group shot from my parent’s wedding, I feel nostalgic for a world I was never a part of. Your group shots are a dose of nostalgia, not only for you, but for every other person that comes after you and wonders what you and your family used to be like 10, 20 or even 50 years ago.
You could be drinking Champagne instead, of course
I am romanticising things a bit. I know group shots aren’t the most enjoyable part of your day. Especially not when there’s champagne to drink and your favourite people to chat to. Your group shots are important though. Every moment with loved is precious because they won’t always be around. Because of this, I’ll make sure your group shots are laid back and relaxed but, most importantly, that you can get back to enjoying your party as quickly as possible.
A few tips for nailing stress-free wedding photography group shots
- Keep the photo list short – with no more than 5-7 individual group combinations at the max. This will take 20 – 30 minutes and you can get back to enjoying your party!
- If you’d like more group shots, that’s no problem. We just need to make sure it’s built into the timeline.
- Nominate someone from each of your wedding parties to start gathering the people in your group shots as soon as the I Dos are done. With everyone in one place, I can fire through your groups pretty quickly.
- Scheduling your group shots directly after the ceremony also means people haven’t had a chance to let the fizz go to their heads. Tipsy people and group shots can feel like herding cats!
- Come and check this blog post where I talk about using different kinds of light to your advantage.
If you want creative wedding photography, with planning support at every step I’m here to help!
When planning your wedding, an important part of my service is working with you to make sure your timeline allows enough space for everything that’s happening on the day. With over 300 weddings under my belt, I’ve really honed my approach to making sure working with me is one of the easiest and most stress free parts of your wedding journey! If you’d like to chat about your wedding plans, get in touch here.
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