Wedding days can bring a lot of stress onto a couple, but one of the hardest parts can be the family photo time. This is the time, typically immediately following the ceremony, when the couple’s immediate family members gather for posed family portraits. Dozens of them. Every iteration and combination of your family members that you can imagine. And it can be exhausting.
Family portraits at weddings are important; it’s a special occasion and we want to memorialize it for the future. But let’s face it: families can be tough. They can be big, loud, conglomerations of different personalities and on a wedding day, they have LOTS of energy and LOTS of opinions. I find that it’s hard for most couples to manage the family portrait part of the day with minimal stress. (I know it was hard for me when I got married to take family portraits with my 7 siblings, divorced parents, and 4 small nieces and nephews running around.)
That is where I come in. It is part of my job, as the documentarian of the day, to manage your families and ensure that we get the portraits everyone wants without taking too much time away from the party. When possible, I advise clients to do their family portraits before the ceremony, giving them the time to enjoy their cocktail hour with their friends! But no matter when you choose to do your family portraits on your wedding day, you’re going to want a solid plan.
My clients make a list of every family combination they would like photographed. The week before the wedding, and we talk through it in depth. Who these people are, how are they related to you, who has a significant other or spouse in the photos, are there children involved? And from the moment that conversation ends, managing the family becomes my job, my responsibility. I don’t want the couple to worry about sibling conflicts or divorced parents or frail grandparents. I want the couple to stand there looking beautiful and let me do all the hard work.
Believe it or not, I also make family photo time fun! Because I don’t want you all just standing there like the Addams Family, I want to see laughter, emotion, joking, hugging. I want to document you all being you – the big, loud complicated group that you are. Even when families are tough, I know you still love each other. And the wonderful family photos from your wedding will get passed on from one generation to the next.
Managing the family portraits is one of my specialties. Let me know if you’d like to talk further about your wedding day and how I can get you the photos you want without any added stress!