Taking family photos is an essential part of your special day, but it doesn’t have to take up too much of your time. As a Seattle-based wedding photographer, I believe that you should spend no more than 20-30 minutes on family photos. In this post, I’ll share some tips on how to make the most of your family photo session and make it as efficient as possible.
First and foremost, communication is key. Six to eight weeks before your wedding, I will send you a detailed questionnaire that covers everything I need to know about your wedding, including your timeline, wedding colors, and hashtag. But, most importantly, I will ask for a list of your family photo combinations. This is a name-by-name list of all the different family photos that you want at your wedding. Having this list in advance allows me to call your family members up one by one by name, making the process efficient and quick.
Another important aspect is to make sure that your family members know they will be in photos and where to meet. A week or so before the wedding, send an email to everyone on the family photo list and let them know that they should meet you under the arch right after the ceremony. This way, everyone knows where to go, and we can start taking photos right away.
Plan groupings in advance
Another tip to speed up family photos is to plan for the photos in advance and have a clear schedule. Prioritize the most important family photos and make sure that the groupings are ready and organized before the photo session. This will save time and minimize confusion on the day of the wedding. Additionally, it’s helpful to have a designated family photo coordinator who can gather and direct family members to the designated photo location. This person can also assist in organizing and arranging the groups for the photos.
Another way to speed up the process is to have a list of names and contact information of family members who will be in the photos. This way, if any family members are running late or can’t be found, they can be contacted easily. Lastly, if you have a large family or a lot of different photo combinations, consider doing a “first look” session before the ceremony. This will allow us to take a majority of the family photos before the ceremony and will free up more time for you to enjoy your reception.
Start with the largest groupings first
I always start with the largest groupings first, and slowly subtract people as we go. For example, I’ll take your entire mom’s side of the family, and slowly widdle it down until it’s just the couple and parents.
Family photos don’t have to take up too much of your time on your special day. By being organized and communicating with your family members, we can make the process as efficient as possible. So, you can spend more time enjoying your wedding day with your loved ones.