6 Ways to Plan Your Formal Family Wedding Shots

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Minneapolis Wedding Photographers Share their Tips on Family Photos

Family photos are not exactly a wedding shooter’s cup of tea. Dealing with so many people at once (all complete strangers to the photographer) can get confusing and crazy at times plus, if there is no one to help gather everyone and give precise directions, chaos strikes. However, formal shots are all about tradition. They will be framed and kept over the fireplace becoming some of the most cherished heirlooms. Awww!

Family photos are usually taken after the ceremony. The combinations of family members are multiple, and that is why the process requires patience. Since these photos should reflect the true relationship between family members, you need to know in advance who you must photograph and what the right combinations to be made are.

According to Minneapolis wedding photographers, there are a few strict rules when it comes to family formals. You are welcome.

Sort Out the Young and Old First
While kids have very little patience, the elderly can’t stand for too long. It is always a good idea to start photographing them first.

Minneapolis Wedding Photographers Share their Tips on Family Photos

Budget Your Time Wisely
The family photo session may take up to one hour depending on how many guests are attending and the number of group combinations you have in mind. However, the main focus should be on parents, closest family members and best friends.

This is When an Assistant is Needed
Minneapolis wedding photographers agree: since the shooter cannot know who’s who, he or she desperately needs the help of someone who knows both sides of the family and who, if necessary, is ready to yell at the people who are wondering off. Tip: this task can be successfully performed by a bridesmaid or groomsman.

Guests First
Once the ceremony is over and you have everyone in one place (and still sober!) it is time for a photo of the entire wedding party. When this first big group is gone, you can finally start with the family photos. At this point, friends and more distant relatives will be free to move on to cocktail hour while the closest family members can have their portrait session in a more intimate atmosphere.

Larger Groups Have Priority
Start with the family that has more members. Keeping many people in one place is not comfortable for anyone, so the sooner you are done with a big group, the sooner they are on their way. There is no need to have people hang around. It will just slow down the process and make things more difficult for you.

Be Aware of Any Family “Stuff”
Talking to the couple ahead of time about tense relationships in their family is a sensible thing to do. Think of divorced parents who cannot stand each other, aunts who don’t get along, etc. You want to capture happy, smiling people in your formal shots, so think of the right family groupings beforehand.

Discipline is key when it comes to formal family photographs. Follow the above steps to avoid unnecessary headaches. Good luck!

Ready to discover more photography tips? Pick up a copy of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Perfect Wedding Guide at over 200 Twin Cities locations.

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