Making the formal group photos as fast, fun and as easy as possible
With nearly every wedding booking that we take we get two main questions; What do we do if it rains?’ (which we’ll be tackling in another blog later this year). And how do you handle the group photos?
To be honest, waaaayyyyy back when we first started photographing weddings, long before Fox & Bear was even a thing, Dewi was asked to photograph a wedding of some friends of ours. When it came to photographing the group photos, we just didn’t get it. Both of us had been to a handful of weddings. We watched as the photographer and newly married couple scrambled to get their guests organised for their photos. We stood awkwardly as we were asked to smile for the camera & say cheese, the sun making our eyes water, or blinking just at the wrong moment. They seemed to go on forever and we just didn’t get it. Who wants these photos!?
Like a lot of things wedding related, it’s tradition. It’s deep rooted. Everyone wants their chance to have a photo with the bride and groom. People may have travelled far and wide to attend, people have invested in their outfits to look at their best, and for some, this is the photo that will adorn their mantelpiece for years to come.
Fast forward 10 years, we got married ourselves and now have our own little family. A lightbulb turned on and we came to understand how significant these photos are, and how they are treasured for years to come. We have a massive wall of photographs in our living room with around 50% of them from our wedding. Past couples have contacted us to tell us how they have experienced loss, and how grateful they are to have these photos with their family and friends.
Group photographs are important. We don’t often show them on our blogs or social media but we do them and encourage taking them at every wedding. This isn’t mean they have to be a chore. Making this a fun, easy and enjoyable part of the day for you is what we’re all about.
So, how do do we do it?
Prioritise the photos you want
Ok, fastest way to make the group photos one of the easiest parts of the day is to plan them in advance. For all our our couples, we send out a questionnaire a few months before their wedding. In there we ask for the list of group photographs that they want. Our recommendation is anywhere between 6-10 different photos. Couple and immediate family, couple and friends, couple and grandparents, whole wedding party etc. This isn’t a definitive list, but after years of weddings we’ve found that this is just the right amount to capture those important shots, while avoiding it taking most of the day. It is surprisingly easy to get the photos you want when planning in advance.
Plan your day
Quite simply, when working out timings for your day, include group photos. Each wedding is slightly different, but generally the flow of the day will be that our couples get married, have a drink, chill and chat with friends and family. Dewi tends to back off for a little at this point. Allow folk to chat and for congratulations. Then after everyone has had a drink or two, this is usually time for some group photos. Dewi would have the list of photos from your questionnaire, and ideally so would someone in your wedding party. That way it’s easy to get everyone rounded up for their photos. Dewi’s current record for having group photos done is 15 minutes but 30 minutes is usually about right for most weddings. If you have this time set aside it’ll fly by and you can get straight back to your guests and the celebrations.
Don’t forget, group photos happen naturally throughout the day
It’s easy to think that because there is a dedicated time for group photos, that this is the only time group photos will be taken. You want more photos? We can take more. You want less? No problem it’s your wedding day! And ANYTIME during the day you want a photo with a friend, group, family member, doggo, just grab Dewi. It’s why he’s there. To photograph your day, however you want to celebrate it and whoever you want to celebrate it with. Just don’t stress!
As we’ve said previously, the occasional group shot may feature on our instagram, but if you want to see more of them, the type of group shots we take, just ask and we will send you a full gallery or two!
After everything that’s happened in the last year, these moments, those people who matter the most to you, they’re important. We cannot wait to get back to capturing these moments for all of our couples.