While the prep photos of you and your partner all by your lonesome as well as the shots of the two of you together will absolutely tell a huge part of the story of your wedding day in your album, they won’t tell the whole story. No, pictures of your guests and group photos will also tell much of the story.
The thing is that group pictures are a lot more challenging than those that only involve you and/or your partner. Luckily, our NY & NJ wedding photographers have been doing their thing for long enough to have picked up more than a few tricks of the trade. So, read on to learn about a few that should be a big help on your big day.
Make sure everyone knows the plan.
The first step toward speeding up the group picture-taking process is making sure that everyone involved is on the same page beforehand, and the good news is that there are more tools and technologies with which to do that than ever before. In the end, it really depends on your and your partner’s personalities and styles.
For example, you could have special invitations made for your group shot guests that let them know the where and when of everything beforehand, or you could add something about it to your wedding website, if you have one. You could also simply reach out to the guests directly before your big day, whether via phone, text, etc.
No matter what you do, you may also want to have a helper when it comes to actually gathering the guests for their group photos at the right time, because make no mistake, no matter how great of a job you do of informing your guests about the group photo session, there’s still a chance that they’ll need a reminder and some assistance.
Try to take direction.
While no one can really stop guests from taking their own pictures these days—unless you go with an unplugged wedding of course—you did hire the pros for a reason. Actually, you probably hired them for a variety of reasons, but the biggest one was undoubtedly their experience. They’ve done this before, which is why it’s so important to listen to what they have to say.
That, however, can be easier said than done when it comes to group photos. After all, whether it’s your wedding party, solely you and the bridesmaids or groomsmen, or just a group shot with some family members or friends, once they all gather together it can be tempting for everyone to start chatting and socializing.
No one’s saying that you can’t do that, just not so much that everyone stops paying attention to the photographer(s) altogether. Trust us, things will move a lot faster and smoother if everyone settles enough to hear what he/she has to say. So, whether you have to do it or you want to designate someone else, try your best to keep distractions from the photographers’ directions to a minimum, especially during group shots.
Watch out for over-doers.
We’ve been to a lot of weddings in our time as NY & NJ photographers and videographers and we can tell you that it’s not exactly odd to see a guest having a little too much fun. This is a wedding, after all, and there are almost always a few guests who just jump at the opportunity to take a break from their everyday lives and let loose.
The problem is that if people let too loose too early, then things can become difficult to control. That includes taking group pictures. Like mentioned above, getting people to settle down, cease their chatter and listen to the photographer’s directions can be challenging enough, and that’s without adding too much alcohol to the equation!
So, again, while no one’s saying that you should instruct all the guests taking part in your group photos not to have fun at your wedding, you may want to take some measures to ensure that everyone’s still looking and feeling their best once group photo time arrives. That may mean scheduling the group shots early, making a ritual out of the one drink you all have before the picture, etc. Just try to keep the fun to a reasonable level before the pictures.
Plan & prepare as best you can.
The bottom line is that group wedding photos should not be taken lightly. Even if your groups aren’t going to be that big, it’s still a good idea to plan and prepare as best you can. That way, any extra time you have can be spent trying to get more uniquely unforgettable shots rather than the basics. We hope this post helps. 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.