How To Get Great Group Shots At Your Wedding
Ah, group shots. Some photographers love them, some hate them. Some couples want loads, others want none at all. I have to say that I sit somewhere in the middle because I think that group shots can be brilliant if they’re done well. Not only do they provide images of your whole family that you might not otherwise get but there’s something timeless and enduring about quality portraiture. Today’s blog post is packed with all the advice you’ll need to make sure that you LOVE your group shots…
I think that the reason why group shots fell out of favour is that they were taken to extremes. Too many couples had lists of too many poses and family combos so that the very phrase ‘group shots’ became synonymous with hours of photographic boredom. So, my first piece of advice is to limit the number of group shots that you want.
When you’re coming up with your photo list, think really carefully about the group shots and try and limit them to immediate family and the bridal party. Photographers are always happy to capture specific guests if asked so you don’t need to put everyone into group shots to make sure that they’re photographed. We’re always happy to help with plans so don’t feel that you’ve got to make decisions on your own.
Secondly, make sure that you allow enough time for the group shots. As a rough guide, each combination will take five minutes so just six photos will need a dedicated half hour. When you’re working through your timings, be realistic about how much time that you can devote to posed photography because it’s no fun for anyone if this part of your day becomes rushed and stressful.
On the point of time, I totally understand that guests might want to try sneaking up behind me with their phones to bag a shot but I will point out that this makes the process much longer. Also, do you really want your guests hiding behind camera phones when they could be relaxing, chatting and having fun? All of the photographs that we take are put into an online album so you can share them with your guests post-wedding so they won’t miss a thing.
Also, beware of photos that all have the same background and the same rigid posed format. Group shots are way more interesting if you move around to make the most of your beautiful venue and there’s no need to make everyone stand in a line as if they’re facing a firing squad! Get creative with your group shots and shake things up a little to make sure that each image is individual.
If your photographer can enlist a helper for the group shots, everything will run much more smoothly. Ask as usher or someone who knows most of the guests to help gathering everyone who’s needed for the next shot together whilst your photographer is working on the previous line-up. On this point, when you write your your list of who’s required for each photo, use their names rather than titles – people are much more likely to hear ‘Charlie’ or ‘Chloe’ instead of ‘Groom’s Uncle’ or ‘Bride’s Cousin’!
We always make sure that our couples are well supplied with drinks and nibbles while we’re taking group shots. It’s such a shame for you to miss out on delicious canapés and cocktails so ask your catering staff to make sure they don’t miss you out when they’re on their rounds!
Lastly, enjoy your group shots. Include them in your album, frame prints as gifts for family members and love that so many people were there with you on your wedding day. Group shots are an integral part of the celebration!
If you’d like to see some more examples of great group shots that we’ve taken at weddings or if you’d like any advice about your wedding photography, do get in touch because we’d love to help.
Until next time,