What Groups Do I Need?
Before digital cameras, film photographers worked from a list of required shots at a wedding. Film was expensive and two to three rolls of medium format film was the norm. There wouldn’t be unlimited photography coverage throughout the day. Just a long selection of posed shots after the wedding ceremony. If you were lucky, you might get a portrait of the bride and groom on a wine glass!
The dullest part of your wedding photography will be standing waiting for the formal wedding photographs. Lets be honest, they’re tedious, really, really tedious! How much fun can there be had stood in a succession of photographs smiling on a very hot bright sunny day?
Let me get things straight before I continue. I think formal wedding photographs are very important.
One bride once handed me a list of forty-two different formal wedding groups that she’d meticulously written down on four sheets of A4. If you consider a group shot might take up to five minutes (or more) to set up (once you’ve found those who’ve gone to the bar or gone to the toilet or gone back to their room to get something or to change a babies nappy etc). That’s at least an hour and forty-five minutes of taking formal wedding photographs.
Is that what you want to be doing on your wedding day?
I explained and I implored but the bride would not be guided on this matter. As far as she was concerned, it was her wedding day (true) and this was what she wanted. So I said OK.
The day of the wedding at The Holiday Inn was the hottest day of the year. All the men were in morning suites and we started the formal wedding photographs. On the third group with another thirty-nine still to be taken the bride decided she had had enough and the rest were abandoned.
Since that day, I ensure the number of formal group photographs are kept down to the minimum required and are completed as fast as possible!
I suggest the following group photographs and for them to be taken in this order to minimise guests hanging around waiting.
Very soon after the wedding ceremony:
A large group photograph of everyone in attendance at the wedding.
A wedding confetti photograph straight after the large group shot.
At this point I suggest the bride and groom relax with their wedding guests for a while and have a drink.
At a suitable time, I then suggest the following photographs:
The bride and groom with the best man and bridesmaids.
The bride and groom with the brides parents.
The bride and groom with both sets of parents.
The bride and groom with the grooms parents.
That is the fastest and most efficient way of taking these photographs.
I can then photograph the bride and groom alone together.
I work with the biggest group first and then get smaller. Most weddings you’ll find the photographer does the opposite. My way, I think is far better and stops a lot of people having to hang around waiting.
Other key photographs like the groom with the best man would’ve already been captured by me before the wedding ceremony.
If there are other photographs you’d like with grandparents or friends I can capture these throughout the day. We’ll discuss these things at the pre-wedding consultation before your wedding day.
If you really feel you need more, then I’ll do as you ask. But be warned, it takes a great deal of effort from you as you’re in them all.
If you have any question please feel free to drop me an email or give me a call.