Dreaded by many – wedding photographers, couples and guests alike, the wedding group photographs are something that I love to do and, I hope, my brides, grooms and guests really enjoy too.
Why are group shots important?
If you really don’t want to have any group shots done, then obviously nobody’s going to make you. If the thought of standing in one spot with a forced smile on your face for half an hour of your wedding day fills you with dread, then perhaps consider having one or two quick ones, if only for the Mums!
I think group shots are quite an important part of the day and that’s because these images are what I describe as a ‘historic record.’ A historic record of many things – the fashions of the times: outfits, hairstyles etc. and family relationships.
My suggestions for your group shots:
You shouldn’t dread your group photos. I LOVE doing them! I would suggest that you try and limit them to around 8 or fewer as each one can take up to 5 minutes each. Often we have to wait for people to turn up – and most wedding day timetables would struggle to fit in more than 40 minutes devoted to these images. Remember, this is the time of day when you’re not chatting to your friends and families with a glass of bubbly in your hand. That said, you hire me and my camera for the day and if you desperately want 25 group shots and your timings allow it, then go for it!
Different types of group shot:
The type of group shot that I’ve been talking about so far is like that in the second image from the top – the bridal party in blue. These are the type of group shot that I photograph first and foremost at every wedding. When you give me your requested list, it is this style of photograph that I will be taking.
There are of course, so other ‘styles’ of group photos, for example: three-quarter length can sometimes be more complimentary and is slightly less formal.
Then, there is the ‘Vanity Fair’ style of group shot. I have had many people book me to photograph their wedding in the past having seen just one of these shots; not many photographers do them. They are not always possible to do. The space in which they are taken has to be absolutely right. They also take time. I generally need at least 15 minutes for just one – with everybody ready to go.
If you love this style of shot and would like me to create one for you, your chosen ‘victims’ will LOVE it! Skeptical models walk slowly towards me as I prepare to line them up but by the end they want me to do more! It’s always the case. Inhibitions soon disappear and I end up posing Brad Pitt and Kate Moss wannabees – lol!
It’s well worth considering a wedding photographer who is happy to put time and effort in to the all-important group photographs and not just quickly line people up like soldiers. If both time and setting allow and it’s something you’d like to try, don’t forget to ask for something a little different.Google+