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Tips to Make Your Wedding Group Photos Easy – Hertfordshire Wedding Photography

wedding group photo taken at gosfield hall

Wedding Group Photos Don’t Have to be Dreaded.

To be honest, my knee jerk reaction to wedding group photos is one of distaste! So often they’re a bit dull, take forever to do and are just not that interesting. However, having photographed numerous weddings over the years, I’ve come to learn that they are in fact, pretty important. How often is it that you have all your favourite people in one place? Your wedding day might be the only time that different groups of friends and family come together. Similarly, the only time that you’ll get all the generations gathered. |Therefore the key to wedding group photos that you don’t dread is outlined in the tips below.

wedding group photo of groomsmen at essendon country club wedding

1. Wedding Group Photos That are Relaxed

As a reportage style wedding photographer, I spend most of the wedding day documenting natural moments and connections. This is a stark contrast to posing guests for a group shot. In order for your wedding group shot photos to blend in with the rest of your wedding photography they need to be relaxed. I’m looking to gather your key people together, yet still capture their personality and group dynamic. As a consequence, my wedding group photos won’t be too formal. Nonetheless, you’ll still have a lovely group portrait for the record that doesn’t look too posed.

family group photo at coltsfoot country hotel wedding

2. Keep the Group Photo List to a Minimum

Most photographers will ask you for a list of wedding group photos that you’d like before the big day. Getting these sorted beforehand relieves the pressure on the day. Also, giving you the chance to really think about who you’d like included. It’s important to know that wedding group photos take time, eating into your drinks reception. With this in mind I’d suggest that around 6/8 group photos was a good number. That way you and your guests can enjoy drinks and canapés and whatever else you might have organised. It’s a wedding day after all, not a photoshoot!

Whilst there is a recommended list of essential group photos, I’m aware that every couple and their families are different. I’m happy to chat over yours, to create a list that covers your individual needs. However, as a guide here’s a few suggestions to start with…

A photo with each set of parents

Similarly add in both sets of family.

Include a photo of yourselves and all the bridesmaids.

In addition, you’ll want to include a photo with all the groomsmen.

If you have grandparents it’s lovely to have a shot with them.

groom and his parents have a group photo at houchins wedding

3.Communicate Your Wishes to Your Key Guests

It’s always a good idea to pre warn your key guests that you will want some group photos of them. Also, let them know when you plan to do this. That way you can avoid having to hunt for a guest who has decided to check into their room or similar. No one needs to be waiting around for that! It sounds like a simple thing, you’ll be surprised though how often guests go A.W.O.L.

bride and groomsmen joke during their wedding group photos

4. Allocate Some Help

Personally, I find the best wedding group photo sessions are the ones with an awesome best man or bridesmaid helper who is on the ball. That is, one who hasn’t had a drink yet! Allocating someone to help group everyone together is priceless, and will help to keep the session fast paced and efficient. Find someone in your wedding party with good organisation skills and a loud voice and ask them before the wedding if they’ll do the job. I’ll always provide this personal with an ordered list of who we need, to help them on their way!

5. Allow Your Wedding Photographer to Guide You

Through experience I’ve learnt that keeping your group shots located near to where the other guests are is simpler. This way everyone is easily accessible. Although, it is worth noting that certain circumstances can change this. Your wedding photographer will be looking for an area with good even light as a priority. Sunny shadows on faces aren’t pretty! On this note though, if your heart is set on a particular location changing the time of your group photos can be a compromise. Interestingly, often bridesmaid group photos and groomsmen photos can be done before the ceremony. That is if you’re all ready in time!

a shady location is good for wedding group photos

6. That Whole Wedding Party Photo

Whilst I’m happy to accommodate every couples wishes, I’d really question this one! Thankfully, I rarely get asked to do one of these. Both time consuming and never that creative, whole group shots aren’t any wedding photographers favourite. I’d always encourage you to think twice about this. Firstly, a whole group shot will take so much time to do. Wouldn’t you rather have natural photos of your guests enjoying the day? Secondly, given the nature of the shot, all their faces are going to be tiny within the frame. Thirdly, there’s always someone hiding, pulling a face, or missing altogether. An exception though would be if your wedding has fewer than 30 or so guests. Then it will work ok!

a whole wedding party photo is good with a small wedding only

7. Make a Back Up List

Keeping your wedding group shot list to a minimum allows you and your guests to get on with the day. Also allowing your wedding reportage photographer to do what he/she is does best. That is, documenting your day candidly and unobtrusively. Nevertheless if you book me as your wedding photographer we will talk at length about your guest list. You might mention to me that you’d like shot with your best friend. Alternatively, being photographed with your group of school friends might be important to you. These are what I call back up wedding group photos. Photos that aren’t included in the “formal wedding group photo” list, but photos that can be looked out for on the day.

wedding photography that includes friends at houchins wedding

8. Wedding Group Photos Summary

To conclude, I’m going to add that you don’t need ANY wedding group photos if you don’t want them. Interestingly numerous couples have opted out of this. Siting that they’re just not the images that they want from their day. I mean, this is music to my ears! As a mainly reportage wedding photographer my favourite wedding photography is of real and authentic moments. However, I believe in the need to document your nearest and dearest together. You can entrust me to do this creatively and quickly, ensuring you’ve plenty of time to party.

bridesmaid stand behind a wall for a wedding group photo

A Footnote About Me!

Based in Hertfordshire I’m a reportage style wedding photographer. Happy to travel wherever your wedding day might take me. I’m going to artistically document all your moments to create a beautiful story of your day.

To start your journey of Angels With Dirty Faces Photography discovery, start here. Alternatively, to head straight to wedding photography this page is good. Finally keep up to date by following along on social media. Facebook is here and Instagram is here. I’d be delighted to hear from you too. It’s easy to get in touch using the contact form here.

bridesmaids hold all the children during a wedding group photo at milling barn hertfordshire