Having formal group photos is probably one of the most traditional parts of any wedding and from my experience as a Kent wedding photographer, it can be hard for couples to decide on how many to have.
I tell every couple that I meet that I am there to take as many group photos as you’d like, however, think of it from the guests’ point of view. We have all been to weddings when the group photo part of the day has taken far too long and it has been one of the overriding thoughts of the day! You don’t want that at your wedding but at the end of the day, it is your day so you can have as many as you would like.
I like to think of wedding photography as a reminder of the memories you have rather than your memories of the day are having photos taken.
The list below is the list I give to every couple before they decide on what group photos to have. The list covers “a normal” wedding and should be used as a guide as every family is different but it does cover most bases.
1. All guests
2. Bride’s immediate family – siblings and parents
3. Groom’s immediate family
4. Both immediate families
5. Both extended families – cousins, uncles, aunties, etc…
8. Bridesmaids and Groomsmen
As I mentioned before, you can have as many as you like but I do say that having a list less than 10 works well with timings. I know that the list above usually takes around 15-20 minutes, a good length of time before guests start wondering off. I am a very nice person to be around but you don’t want to spend your day with me, your guests will want to see you and I’m assuming you’ll want to see them!
I will always go for the traditional look on group photos with people standing in lines or small groups. Before each photo, I will get your guests into an order that works well which sometimes can mean a bit of shuffling around. I am more than happy if you want to do something a little different and if you have something in mind, send me an image that you have seen and we can try and recreate it if possible.
As far as a location goes, I will always get you standing with your backs to the sun, as if you face it, you get that horrible squinty eye look. However, if you wanted to have a certain background but it was meaning you were facing the sun of course I am going to take the photo but there will always be an increased risk of them not coming out as expected. I will always make recommendations on where we should take the photos but it really is your day!
If there was one thing to take from this blog post it’s that it’s your big day and you can literally call the shots. You can have 100 group photos but you won’t have any day left for anything else! I am here to make recommendations and give advice so that your wedding photos come out as good as possible.
Christopher Bell Photography is a wedding photographer based in Kent - serving Kent and surrounding Canterbury and Ashford. Find out more about his wedding photography packages and pricing. Kent Wedding Photography Awards Finalist 2019.