While prep pictures taken of you and your partner as well as the shots captured of the two of you together will obviously tell a huge part of the story of your wedding day, they’re not the only ones. There are all the group photos to consider as well and take it from us as longtime NJ wedding photographers, they’ll tell just as much of your story.
The thing is that actually getting gorgeous group pictures isn’t always as easy as it sounds. First off, you have to gather everyone together, then you’ve got to keep them all in line for the various different groupings. Doesn’t sound so easy now, right? Well, luckily we’ve picked up plenty of tricks to the trade in our time in the business. So, read on to learn a few.
Aim to knock out your group photos early.
While the timing of wedding day photo sessions shouldn’t just be about convenience as other elements like sunlight should factor into the decision, when it comes to group photos, specifically, the earlier the better. If possible, it’s best to get them out of the way as close to the beginning of the festivities as possible. Why?
Well, while you, your partner and your wedding party as well as all your closest friends and family members probably aren’t planning on having too good a time during the party—hopefully at least—there are always a few guests who will be trying to have the time of their lives. And if any of those particular guests will be involved in your group photos, then that could pose an issue.
That’s why it’s such a good idea to do your group photos earlier. Those will be the ones involving the most people and you never know who may be having too good a time when photo session time rolls around. On top of that, people also tend to take off their jackets, loosen their ties, let their hair down, etc., as the party goes on. Try to get your photos before all that.
Work your way down to the core.
As far as the actual order of your group photos, you should always consider any elderly guests or anyone else who may be uncomfortable standing around too long. That could mean making sure there’s somewhere that your guests who will be included in your group photos can sit while waiting for their turn, or it could mean simply getting their shots done quickly.
The same goes for anyone with whom you’re not too close, as some couples prefer to get group photos with seemingly every guest in the house. So, if that sounds like you and/or your partner, then try to organize the group portion of your photo session so that you get the pictures involving the most guests and those most distant to you out of the way first.
That way, you can get what you need from the bigger groups while they’re still energized and excited and before they wander off. Then, you can work your way down to your closest friends and relatives. After all, they’ll be the people who will be the most into being a part of your group photos, no matter what.
Make everything as convenient & comfortable as possible.
It’s imperative that you choose not just the most beautiful backdrops for your group photos, but locations that your guests can get to quickly. The last thing you want is to have someone running back and forth over long distances trying to find and gather people for your group shots. It has to be relatively close by.
Also, like mentioned above, you need to consider comfort. Yes, that means taking measures to ensure that guests are comfortable while waiting for their turn in the group shots, but it could also mean ensuring that guests are hydrated and happy too. That’s why making your group shots a part of your reception period is always a good bet.
That way, they can grab some refreshments while they wait, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get some group shots at your ceremony location or another site as well. Just try to get what you need from those other spots, then possibly complete your group photos at your reception so you don’t have everyone standing around with no food or drink for too long.
Don’t underestimate the potential power, nor difficulty, in getting great group shots.
The bottom line is that group photos can be a bit of a hassle on a wedding day, to say the least, but make no mistake, they are absolutely worth it. That is, if you do them right. We hope these tips help. Good luck!
About Us: Live Picture Studios is composed of a team of highly-skilled NY & NJ wedding photographers, videographers, and editors who’ve been telling cinematic love stories for years. At LPS, we always create to inspire. Check out our photo gallery and video gallery to see some examples.