March 2, 2020
Family is so important – and they deserve to be recognized on your wedding day. Today, we are sharing some tips on how to get the best family photos on your wedding day.
Seven Tips on How to Get the Best Family Photos on Your Wedding Day
- Communicate with your photographer. I’m a believer that there is no such thing as too much information ahead of time. Are there family dynamics we need to be aware of? Priorities? Please let us know!
- Include your family in meaningful parts of the day so you naturally have more photos with them. Have your grandma help put on your veil. Have your mom help pin on the boutonniere.
- Where would you like your photos taken? At the ceremony location? Elsewhere? Communicate this to your photographer ahead of time and work together to ensure the day flows smoothly.
- Thoughtfully make a family formal shot list. We typically take family photos after the ceremony (but occasionally do it before hand if the couple requests it). I have a template I’ll send you – but it is just a starting point. Please add or remove combinations as you see fit. Something to keep in mind is that family photos can take more time than you would think. Family members get antsy or disappear to grab a drink at the bar. Estimate 2 minutes per family photo and 3 minutes per extended family photo.
- Family photos can be a little exhausting. I truly believe that you should have as many combinations of photos as you want to have – but I’ve also experienced couples that “burn out” as we make our way through the list and start asking how many more photos they need to take – but they were the ones that added combinations to the list. Be mindful as you make your list and truly think about which photos you’re going to cherish. ie: do you need every family photo combination with and without your new spouse? Or can we include you both in most of them?
- Share your family formal shot list with your family. Make sure everyone knows where they should be at what time. Ask your parents if they have any additional requests. If we know ahead of time how many photos we are expected to take, it is easier for us to plan. However, when 15 photos get added by request on the day, it can unexpectedly cut into travel time or sunset portraits, etc. We want to come up with the best plan ahead of time.
- Save larger group photos for the reception. With the help of the DJ (and their microphone), we can pull together larger groups more quickly at the reception.
See more from this “get the best photos” series here:
- Wedding Detail Photos
- Getting Ready Photos
- Ceremony Photos
- First Look Photos
- Couple Portraits
- Wedding Party Photos
We are a husband and wife Bay area wedding photography team. We strive to capture joyful moments. We use film and digital cameras to capture your wedding with a timeless, fine art approach.