Tips for making the formal family photos at weddings fast and easy for everyone

Wedding photographs, when captured by a professional and experienced photographer, are mesmerising. They make you recall the wonderful time spent with your friends and family on the day you said your vows with your soul mate.

When considering your wedding photography timeline, family portraits on your wedding day are generally the most challenging part of the day to organise. These photographs need to be formal, yet at the same time, you want everyone to be their natural self. How do you do that?

There are certainly a few tricks and tips that help make the entire formal family photography session easy! Check out these suggestions on making formal family photos at weddings fast and easy for everyone.

Tip 1:  Ask yourself, “Why do I want formal family portraits taken?”

There are two reasons why formal family photos are usually a fundamental part of any photo album, especially on your wedding day:

  1. Traditional photographs are a fail-safe way to ensure everyone is included in your photographs. You may have asked your photographer to capture candid shots of your guests on your wedding day, so, unfortunately, there is a fair chance that some guests may slip through the net. Candid photos are natural, but there are times when someone important to you might not get captured. No one wants this to happen!
  2. Capturing your loved ones in one single frame. Being able to sit down with your family in the future, maybe even your children, and to be able to point out your whole family together on your wedding day is a unique, memorable and meaningful moment.

Tip 2: Plan your photographs and then stick to the plan.

By making a thorough list of all your family members and ensuring your photographer has a copy, you will ensure your photography schedule goes to plan. Some crucial categories for family (and sometimes friends) pictures include, but are not limited to:

  1. Your close family. Your photographer can photograph your immediate family at this point, people such as your parents, siblings and your grandparents.
  2. Your wedding party. Wedding parties can include groomsmen, bridesmaids and their children.
  3. Everyone else! Your work colleagues, your cousins who you grew up with, and other distant relatives can be included in your large group family and friends photograph. This isn’t an essential photograph, so don’t worry if you don’t have time in your photography timeline for this one.

Tip 3: Appoint a person in charge of the list.

As your wedding photographer will be meeting your family and friends for the first time, they won’t know who is who. To make the process fast and straightforward, it helps to put two people from your wedding party to be in-charge of the list. These people will be responsible for introducing your family members to the photographer, help the family members to get all ready for the photograph and ensure everyone is present and accounted for.

Tip 4: Pay attention to your family and not the background.

Let your wedding photographer worry about the background and environment of your images. You can easily miss essential moments from your wedding day when you are searching for a spectacular backdrop for your photographs. No matter what the environment is behind you, photographers are always looking at the background, every time. Rest assured, when you hire one of the best wedding photographers; they are quick enough to inspect a wedding venue and find suitable spots to take your formal photographs.

Wedding couple portraits at Mirador del Faro de Santa Pola, Alicante
Wedding couple photographs at Mirador del Faro de Santa Pola, Alicante

Tip 5: Embrace simplicity and natural vibes!

Not everyone feels comfortable in front of the camera, and hence you may have disappointing photographs if you try to impose posing on your loved ones. Instead, why not let everyone be natural, allow them to show their raw and honest emotions when the lens finds their face in the crowd. Just let your guests be themselves, and in the photographs, you will easily remember them in their most natural form. 

A final note from me…

Organising your formal family photographs can undoubtedly be a challenge. However, with the right strategy and an excellent wedding photographer by your side, you will guarantee that you will be the proud owner of the best family photographs after your wedding day. 

However you decide your unique way is to document your day, I can assure you that you will never regret asking your wedding photographer to take those family photographs. Whether you choose intentionally posed family portraits or candid group photographs whilst drinking cocktails and nibbling canapes – you will be gushing over the photographs in your wedding album for years to come, I promise you.

Aug 13, 2021

Hannah Hutchins

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