The Formal Bit - Group Shots
Your ceremony is over and you have a brief pause before your wedding breakfast. Its time for the group shots, a chance for you to involve and capture everyone in your day. Venue's often give you about an hour and a half, so this time is generally dedicated to your Romantic couples shots and your more formal group shots.
Top 10 Hints & Tips
1 - You have an hour and a half so time is pretty tight, try and limit your formal shots to about 45 minutes. Your face will be hurting at this point and you will be most likely gagging to sit down and have a drink, or at least some alone time with your new Husband or Wife.
2 - Each set up will take at least 5 minutes, by the time you have found Aunt Jane outside having a cigarette and Uncle Jim at the bar, set every one up and got at least a few shots with someone looking the wrong way and someone with their eyes shut 5 minutes has whizzed by.
3 - Having aforementioned the previous two points, limit your group shots list to at most 9 set ups.
4 - I always ask my couples to organise their list in order of importance, because if you at least get half way through and you have totally had enough then you know you have the most important shots in the bag.
5 - Prepare your list at least a week before the wedding and give it to your photographer in advance. Making sure you mention any mobility or impairment issues so they can be sensitive to these and plan the set up accordingly.
6 - Don't always expect it to be outside, whilst there are some lovely shots to be had outside, if mother nature decides to rain the group shots are the best way to flex the time and sacrifice location. So if we had planned to do couple shots first and it starts to rain we will quickly switch into the group shots and then dart outside when the rain breaks.
7 - Use your Bridesmaids, Best Men and Ushers. They will know the majority of guests and can help round people up for the next shot so things go as smoothly as possible.
8 - Be prepared to squeeze in tight, whilst normally we have a personal zone, this often looks much larger on camera. So to get an aesthetically pleasing image get in as snuggly as you can.
9 - If you don't want to do something typical you don't have to! Look into other cultures, look into history, there are plenty other ways to photograph a group of people than standing in a line.
10 - Relax, its your day and you call the shots. If you don't want to do anymore you can call time!
I hope this helps you navigate the formal photograph section of your day and gives you some ideas as to how to make it as smooth as possible!
All the best,