How do you photograph the Group Portraits?
When photographing the group photographs, I capture two varieties. The first group shot if the traditional formal which is directly following by my personal favourite, the informal. There's no rule on when the group photographs start; sometimes they occur directly after the wedding ceremony, sometimes it's after cocktail hour, and there have also been times they've happened before the wedding ceremony because of lighting.
The formal photographs are what parents and grandparents of the bride and groom often expect. It involves finding an un-busy backdrop, getting members to stand close together in a straight line while getting everyone smiling or laughing. I will ask the bride and groom to provide me with ideas which they would like for their group photograph backdrop this way I can attempt something similar at their wedding venue.
Immediately after photographing the formals I jump to non-traditional informal group portraits. These portraits capture people in a relaxed state by asking them to perform specific actions; these could be things such as throwing jackets over the shoulder, complimenting certain people in the group, passing the flowers to the men, walking towards the camera or even spinning on the spot making the experience fun for everyone.
I often ask clients to provide me with a group shot list of around ten groups combinations before the wedding making the group shots last about 30 minutes.
If you're having difficulty creating a group shot list, use this standard list as a starting point. Once the list has been completed, please print out and hand this to at least two wedding guests who know most of each family so they can help assist in gathering people ready for the group photographs.
Bride and groom
Bride and groom with both sets of parents
Bride and groom with brides immediate family (Mother, father, siblings and grandparents)
Bride and groom with brides whole family (Immediate and extended family)
Bride and groom with grooms immediate family (Mother, father, siblings and grandparents)
Bride and groom with grooms whole family (Immediate and extended family)
Bride and groom with bridal party (Bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers and flower-girl)
Bride with bridesmaids
Groom with groomsmen
Bride and groom with everyone