I recently wrote a post about why the bride and groom portraits are the most important photos of the day, which can be found here. Now I want to share a few preparation tips for shooting family portraits on a wedding day.
If you are the type of bride that is very organized and needs to have a list for everything, then this post is for you. I am that person, especially for your wedding day. Checking off a task in my google calendar makes me happy. Typically, a shoot list consists of shots that are ‘must haves’ for the family portait part of the day. This session is normally held just before the ceremony or just after the ceremony. It should take about 30-45 minutes. It’s best to make out a list before your big day and delegate it to a bridesmaid, groomsman or even a sister. The stronger and more authoritative the person, the better. This is how it should work, we start with the entire family or a larger group of people and peel back layers of people. By this I mean we start with the brides entire family, then begin to peel back layers of cousins, aunts, and uncles until we are left with the bride, groom and parents. Then we do this with the grooms family. So what type of shots does this list include?
There are a few shots that I think are the most important photos to get on your wedding day. This list should be limited. It is not necessary to get a formal shot with all of your relatives and friends (unless, we have all the time in the world). Time is normally quite limited. Remember, throughout the evening we can always pull together your aunt and uncle to get a cute close-up shot with them or anybody else for that matter. The shoot list should consist of the people that are closest to you. All of these photos include both bride and groom.
- Mom and Dad. Do you want a shot with just yourself and your parents? Then you need to let me know.
- Mom, Dad, and siblings.
- Siblings. Do you want a shot of just you and your siblings? Then this needs to be on the shot list.
- Extended family that are muy importante.
On to the wedding party photos. This portion of your day normally takes about thirty minuets as well. We do the same concept as above. Start with a bigger group and peel back layers. The more organized you are about this session the faster we can get through it. I really enjoy doing the bridal party photos. So come inspired and we will make some magic happen.
- Bride and bridesmaids.
- Bride and Maid of Honor, siblings in bridal party.
- Groom and groomsman.
- Groom and Best man, siblings in bridal party.
- Bride and Groom :: Flower girl and Ring Bearer.
- Bride and Groom :: Entire Bridal Party
Last but far from least, bride and groom portraits. A bride and groom portrait session is just you and your honey. These normally take place before the wedding. There are two reasons I suggest seeing each other before the wedding. First: fresh makeup, fresh hair, no sweat and bright eyes. You look amazing and you know it. The second reason is because it relives a lot of stress off of you in getting the most important photos out of the way (instead of squeezing them between your ceremony and reception). The time it takes to do a proper bride and groom portrait session is approximately 45 minutes. I tell all my brides to allot at least an hour (15 minutes for travel time) to make sure we have enough time to do the shoot. I always feel like my bride and groom want their photos to be finished by the time everybody else is partying. I want you to get to the party and I hate being the one keeping you back. If we do them before the wedding, or even a day before the wedding, as discussed here, then when these photos are out of the way… you can relax and enjoy the rest of the day.