How to have Stress Free Family Portraits at Your Wedding | Maine Photographer & Videographer
One of our top priorities as your wedding photographer & videographer is making sure your day is as stress free as possible so that you can be in the moment and soak up every second with your loved ones.
While we absolutely value the work we do, your day is not about photography. It's about the two of you and celebrating with your family and friends. We want to help you create a timeline for photography that works around your celebration.
With that being said, let's talk about family portraits.
So the ceremony is complete and you're ready to dive into family portraits because let's face it - everyone wants to get to cocktail hour. Here are some simple tips to help you get through family portraits as efficiently as possible while still getting these meaningful portraits.
Tip #1 - Keep it Simple
Whether you have a large family or not, sticking to your immediate family allows you to work through family portraits much quicker. When you start adding in extended family you're going to take time away from not only joining in on cocktail hour but potentially time to do wedding party & couple portraits. Consider getting more casual photos with these family members during cocktail hour or later in the reception and stick to immediate family for the posed formal portraits.
Tip #2 - Provide a Combination List
Family portraits are the only time I ask my clients to provide me with a shot list. Everyone's family dynamics are a little bit different and to avoid sensitive situations or missing someone, the shot list allows me to work efficiently through without creating any awkward moments or regrets.
Tip: 3 - Choose Your Location
Typically family portraits happen immediately following the ceremony so I recommend choosing a location nearby to avoid losing people to cocktail hour.
Consider choosing a location (if lighting is good) that is already decorated like the ceremony arbor or the venue entrance so that you can make double use of your floral pieces.
Tip #4 - Communication With Your Guests
Let your family know ahead of time that you'd like them to stick around after the ceremony for family portraits. This lets them know not to go to cocktail hour and to hang around for portraits.
If you have a MOH or sibling who knows both families well, ask them to help out with working through the portrait lists. While I'm happy to take the reins, having a little help from someone who knows all your people personally makes things run a bit smoother.
Tip #5 - Communication With Us
We send you a questionnaire leading up to your wedding that will walk you through all the details but please make sure to communicate with us. The more details we know, the better we can do our job. Notifying us of sensitive situations like a divorce, recent loss, or handicap allows us to go into the day better prepared to serve you & your family.
Our Pro Tip:
When it came time for our own wedding, we knew that we did not want to spend a lot of time on family portraits. We let our family know ahead of time to stick around after the ceremony - we were pretty clear that if they snuck off to the bathroom or to get a cocktail they would miss out. I know this sounds harsh, but you only have so much time on your wedding day and you don't want to spend it chasing after Uncle Bob.
Be thoughtful with your wedding timeline and creating your family combination list so you can enjoy more of your day celebrating!