Family Formals


Tips to keep everyone on organized and on time, so this part of the day will run smoothly!

Although the traditional family portrait may feel like the least glamorous part of the day, I believe it is still one of the most important. The first time a family member or loved one is lost, and you realise the last photograph you have together was at your wedding, they will take on a whole new meaning. Just as it is important to photojournalistically tell your story of the day, or photograph the small details of the decor, or get jaw­dropping portraits, it is also important to document the family.

This does not mean, however, that family portraits have to be boring and stiff. My style is a little less formal, with natural lighting outside, with a slightly casual feel. I love arms wrapped around each other, heads together, and genuine expressions that show personalities and connections not just portraits of faces. As meaningful as these photos are, they can throw a wrench in the timeline.

Here are my tricks to keeping this part of the day organized so we do this quickly and efficiently, so guests can be excused to the cocktail hour.

Create a shot list for this part of the day (you will be able to fill in all the names on the final form I request from you), this way we ensure that we don’t forget anyone.

When planning your photos, make sure to let friends and family know exactly when and where they will be photographed. Formal photos take approximately 3­ to 5 minutes for each photograph, so if we are waiting on even one person it can significantly set us back when you consider how many groups we need to do. It is a GREAT idea to have one designated person mediate and gather family members. This person should recognise the family members so they are able to retrieve them if need be.

Lastly, I limit every wedding to 12 groups. This ensures that we don’t spend too much time on this part of the day but also ensures we get enough photos.