ADVICE: Yes, you need a group portrait list. (But you don’t have to make it yourself!)

The best way (really, the only way) to make sure we get all the group (immediate family + wedding party) portraits you want on your wedding day is to make a list. Depending on your particular families, making this list can be a little stressful! That. Is. Normal. About 3-4 months prior to your date, I will send you a questionnaire that asks for the “who’s who” of your wedding day. Then, you have two options: make your own list or let me draft one for you so that you can review it.

WHEN SHOULD WE DO OUR GROUP PORTRAITS?

Right before the ceremony. Get all your group portraits out of the way before the ceremony, if you are seeing each other prior, and most of your family will be there by then.

Right after the ceremony. Get them done immediately after the ceremony, if you prefer not to see each other before, or if family won’t be there and assembled til this time.

For more info on wedding day scheduling, click here.

GROUP PORTRAITS AT OR AFTER SUNSET - SOME TECHNICAL THINGS:

Done well, group photos require more light that most people realize. If it is daytime, there will be plenty of light for great group photos - the sun is a true force of nature. And even if there is bad weather, if it’s daytime during group shots, I will choose a space inside that has a good source of natural light.

But if the sun has set (or is setting) prior to group photos, here are some important things to know:

  1. They will be done with artificial light (flash, etc) - ideally inside.
  2. They will take longer than usual due to us having to set up lighting, test it, and then shoot enough photos to ensure we get at least a few shots without blinks.
  3. You will have a smaller selection of each grouping due to us not wanting everyone to stand longer than necessary for each photo.

Group photos can absolutely be done inside and after dark, but since people generally hire me for my natural light photography, I like to make sure my couples are informed about the technical reality before they solidify their schedule for the day.  Click here to find the sunset time on your wedding day.

HOW LONG WILL THEY TAKE?

Usually about 60-80 minutes for the standard wedding party and family photos - as long as these are all done in one fell swoop. If you have a large group list and/or a big wedding party, plan for longer. As soon as we’re done, your families and wedding party can enjoy the rest of the day without interruption, which they will appreciate – trust me!

CAN WE DO EXTENDED FAMILY PHOTOS?

It is definitely possible to get portraits with extended families - but know that this can take a substantial chunk of time. So, here’s what I suggest:

  • Only put “must have” shots on your list.
  • Note any must have extended family shots when sending me your questionnaire, so we can ensure we schedule the necessary time for this.
  • Eliminate any shots that do not include you and or your partner – you both should be the focus of the day and your group portraits.
  • Also know that I will be shooting the whole time, so feel free to grab me during the reception for a quick shot with friends or family.

GROUP PORTRAIT LIST TEMPLATE

Both Families

  • A + B, All Parents, All Siblings (+ All Significant Others & Kids), All Grandparents
  • A + B, All Parents, All Siblings, All Grandparents
  • A + B, All Parents

Partner A’s Family

  • Partner A + Partner B, A’s Parents, A’s Siblings (and Spouses, Kids), A’s Grandparents
  • Partner A + Partner B, A’s Parents, A’s Siblings, A’s Grandparents
  • Partner A + Partner B, A’s Parents

Partner B’s Family

  • Partner A + Partner B, B’s Parents, B’s Siblings (+ All Significant Others & Kids), B’s Grandparents
  • Partner A + Partner B, B’s Parents, B’s Siblings, B’s Grandparents
  • Partner A + Partner B, B’s Parents

Wedding Party

  • Partner A + Partner B, All Attendants
  • Partner A + Partner B’s + All MAIN Attendants
  • Partner A + A’s Attendants
  • Partner A + A’s Main Attendant
  • Partner B + B’s Attendants
  • Parner B + B’s Main Attendant

NOTE: Your actual list should include first names + relationship to you of everyone in the photo.