If you’re a regular wedding blog reader you might think group shots are a thing of the past… but they’re as important today as they ever were. Your wedding day will be the one day of your lives when all of your friends and family are together – just for the two of you – and that’s such a special thing for every bride and groom.
I asked my lovely blog friend (and super fabulous Kent wedding photographer) Benjamin Toms if he had any advice or tips about group shots, and he had some really useful ideas to share.
By Benjamin Toms
Traditional group shots can almost be thought of as being for our parents’ generation. When up to 80% of parents still pay a generous chunk of the wedding budget, this makes group shots even more important. It’s a rare occasion when all the family comes together, and so we want to preserve and treasure those memories.
When you’re choosing your wedding photographer it’s really important you look at their work on their own website, and meet them in person too. You might find a photographer whose style you love on a wedding blog, but you’re unlikely to see any group shots there because blogs simply don’t feature them. On the photographer’s own website and blog you’ll be able to see group shots alongside all the more emotional images a detail-oriented wedding blog might miss.
Getting group shots right isn’t easy. Done well though, they will become some of the most important memories of your wedding day. This means nailing the perfect exposure, which takes skill. It means focusing on the entire group – not as easy as a novice might expect!
How many group shots?
An experienced photographer will advise no more than 10 or so group shots. The big one of course, and then shots with your parents, siblings, close family and the bridal party. They’ll still take time, so you should allow half an hour. Any more than 10 group photos and you’ll be desperate to escape to the bar, the loo and the rest of the party!
A great tip for group shots is to have them done straight after your ceremony. If you’re marrying in a pretty church, there’s likely to be a lovely archway for group shots right there. The beauty of doing it this way is no one will have a chance to wander off to their rooms, for a quick smoke, or to the bar!
Planning extra special groups
You might want some extra group shots, and your photographer will be happy to get these for you – this is where it’s really useful to agree a list before your wedding. Auntie Mildred from Sydney has to be included of course… so make sure your photographer knows!
A more creative approach to groups of friends
Any smaller friend groups can be taken later in the day as a more relaxed photo: on the dancefloor, for example. Remember last month’s article about the two most important moments on your wedding day through a photographer’s eyes? Picture the two of you and your Uni mates on the dancefloor in your wedding gear and you’ll totally get it. Magic!
Benjamin Toms Photography – more information and pictures!
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