Family photos are the only part of the day where I’ll give more formal directions to ensure I can see everyone’s lovely faces in the photo and the most important part to do is to organize a photo helper. This could be a bridesmaid, groomsmen, a family member or whoever you know who will be able to locate the guests needed for each photo.
The role of the helpers will be to gather the guests required and make sure everyone is ready when called upon. Often your celebrant will announce at the end of the ceremony that family members need to stay for photos because more often than not, there’s always the one person who runs off to the bar and runs back with two beers (in one hand) and the other hand and/or mouth filled with canapés. Meanwhile we’ve sent two people off to find that person but now we need the search party members for their photos. All of that means it will be less time for your portraits with your partner.
Family Photo List
Your photo list is going to make sure we know who is needed and when. You can have as many combinations as your heart desires but keep in mind that the more you have, the longer photos will take. If there’s time at the end, you can grab a few photos with whatever friends are close by but I personally think photos with friends throughout the reception is a bit more fun because your guests are relaxed and enjoying themselves.
There is normally 15-20 minutes allocated for family photos so it’s best to be selective about the photographs that you need. I have a recommended list for family photos that I’ll send you before the wedding and it’s always best to let me know about any family dynamics that I should be aware of. The list is only a guide and can be edited to suit your family situation, adding names is also a big help!
Lighting & Location
Lighting is so important when it comes to large groups in photos. Whilst the view over the vineyards might be beautiful to the human eye but as soon as you turn around to face me, you’ll be squinting straight into the sun and on a super hot Melbourne day… this is not ideal.
It’s easiest to pick a location that is close to the ceremony so that your older, less mobile guests don’t have to go hiking in a wheelchair or your stiletto loving guests don’t roll an ankle walking through a field of soft grass. So what location is best? It depends on the light but on a bright sunny day I will gravitate to a large shady area with a background of lush greenery. Not only will those greens pop with colour and contrast beautifully with your dress but you won’t be squinting at the sun and you’ll get a small break from the sun blasting down on you. On a cloudy day, our options are limitless so as long as it’s close by and looks photogenic then it will be perfect for your photos.