Are you a wedding photographer or shooting pictures for a wedding? Family Formals at Weddings can be a bit tricky. but with these tips you can create a wedding family photo list or gather family wedding photo ideas.
I want to give a huge shout out to Erin for asking me back to Sixth Bloom for another helpful hints blog post! When Erin and I chatted about writing a blog post I mentioned family formals….She loved the idea because there’s not much out there about them. Kind of unspoken in the world of wedding photographers. Because lets face it, many of us are not over excited for family formals. They are the most cyanotic part of the day.
As the photographer you often have dozens of people asking questions, wandering, and looking at you with a puzzled look on their face. Ive learned that if you have a firm ( but friendly) demeanor with a playful edge it helps a lot! Being a quiet somewhat shy person by nature this was hard for me at first. Over the past couple of years I have focused on implementing some little tricks that help me with family formals. I’m so happy to share with you what has worked and helped me along the way in my photography journey. From shooting wedding details to family formals!
Family Formals at Weddings
- Communicate to your bride– Im honest with my brides . I tell them that family formals are one of the most hectic times of the day. I let them know that I have a plan and will execute that plan with my assistant. I also tell them that its best to have one person calling for family members ( I usually have my assistant do it..that goes into tip #2 ). Too many cooks in the kitchen… you get what Im trying to say! It never hurts to ask the bride if there is someone that can help during the day of to gather family members, since you as a photographer will not know “who everyone is”.
- Family on deck– I ask my assistant to get the next group of family members on “deck” while I shoot the family that is currently being photographed.
- Those long family lists– For long family formal lists I print out 3 lists. One for my assistant, and one each for the brides side and grooms side of the family. I then ask my assistant to give one copy to one member of the bride’s side and one to the groom’s side and ask that they get their family members on “deck”. This actually saves time . This way they know who is on the list and who needs to be gathered.
- Don’t have grandparents wait too long– I shoot grandparents or older family members at the beginning. I try to do this at every wedding. I hate having grandparents wait and stand for a long time.
- Peel back the layers– I start with larger grouping and “peel” off as needed. This makes everything move along more quickly.
- Staying close– Stay somewhat close to the ceremony site…always though looking for the best light! Herding people can be more difficult that herding cattle. People always wander off. For me its easiest and quickest to take family formals by the ceremony location. This way its less people moving from one place to another. The grandparents can also stay seated until its their time to be photographed!
These tips may not work for everyone. It works for me and if it may help you that makes me so happy!! Happy shooting!!
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