Raise your hand if family portraits are your FAVORITE part of the wedding day! ....anyone...??? Let me help you make this as painless as possible! Take a look at these quick tips:
1. Make a List
Who needs to be included in your family photos? Parents, Grandparents, Siblings...Aunts, Uncles, Cousins? It's up to you! Make a list for the Bride's side and the Groom's side.
Your photographer will be directing this photo session, but here's some inside info on how I like to run things in case you want to make your own custom groupings: I start with the largest grouping on the bride's side, and then peel people away to form the smaller groups. Then I repeat this with the groom's side. This helps things to move faster as the same people don't need to pop in and out of as many photos. If you do need someone to pop back in, let it be the younger/faster folks. (No offense, grandma!) For example:
Bride + Groom + Bride's Parents + Bride's Grandparents + Bride's Siblings
Bride + Groom + Bride's Parents + Bride's Grandparents
Bride + Groom + Bride's Parents + Bride's Siblings (& spouses/children if needed)
Bride + Groom + Bride's Parents
Bride + Groom + Bride's Parents + Groom's Parents
One of my favorite things about photographing a wedding is capturing the beauty of the unique details. From the intricate lace and bead work on the bridal gown to the heirloom pearl earrings, it inspires me and brings my clients so much delight when I am able to present them with creative images featuring the items that were carefully chosen, or custom made, or close to their heart.
I recommend having these items available in the room where the bridal party will be getting ready, and letting your photographer know if there are any other key pieces (s)he should be aware of- things you love!
Here are some ideas, and certainly don't feel you need to include them all (this isn't a wedding scavenger hunt!) but only the ones that you have or are meaningful for you:
Some photographers prefer to work solo, and others are a husband & wife team of two. But if your wedding photographer offers a package or add-on that includes a "second shooter" and you aren't sure if it's worth the extra investment, here are some things to consider!
There are so many variables when setting up an outline for a wedding day. But don't let it overwhelm you! Take a deep breath, grab your laptop or the old-school notepad & pencil, and a cup of coffee. Or chocolate. Or chocolate covered coffee beans. Whatever makes the task sound less daunting.
Let's get right to it!
1. Find a ceremony starting point
Have you set a time for your ceremony? What is the earliest you have access to the ceremony site? What is the latest you can stay at the venue? If you don't have a set time yet, start by estimating and adjust it as needed. Do you want your ceremony to be in the afternoon? Evening? Go ahead, give it your best guess! Nothing is set in stone yet! Write this time and label it "Ceremony Time" in the middle of your page. We will work around it.
Nikki Schuler specializes in wedding photography and portraits and is the owner of Awakened Light Photography, LLC. She has traveled to over 40 countries using creative arts as a ministry and resides with her husband & 4 children in a cozy vintage farmhouse in Oxford, Michigan.