Wedding photo group shots: why it’s important to get the gang together on your big day.
There are few occasions in life when every person you hold dear is gathered together in the same place, at the same time. But that’s exactly what you get at a wedding. Every person you’ve ever loved in life standing shoulder to shoulder for one day only. All in the name of celebrating the wonderful being that is you (it gives us goose bumps just thinking about it).
So why wouldn’t you want to capture that on camera given the chance?
We know that’s the last thing you expected us to say right? I mean, we’re Tash & Will! We’re all about natural photos that tell the story of your wedding day candidly and authentically.
But, while that’s 100% true, we still believe in traditional group shots. Because – and here’s the thing – there are no do-overs when it comes to your wedding. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. And as a couple who failed to see the importance of group shots at the time we tied the knot, we’d hate for you to look back in years to come (like we have) and regret the missed opportunity to capture at least one image of you with a loved one who’s sadly no longer around.
Of course, the decision is completely down to you, but if you are planning on including a few group shots on your wedding day (and it needn’t take long) here are our top 5 tips for maximising these images:
1.Keep combinations simple
Group photos are exactly what they say on the tin; they’re images that capture groups of people, not individuals or couples. So think about what those common threads are among your guests and go for classic combos that make sense (bride’s family, groom’s family, university friends, bridal party). This will help you get through the group photos a lot faster than if you take shots with just one or two people at a time.
2. Stick to classic poses
Just like fashion, there are trends in photography that quickly come and go, but there’s a reason the little black dress never dates: it’s timeless, and that’s exactly what you should be going for with your wedding photos. So resist the lure of trying to emulate a picture you see doing the rounds on Pinterest and Instagram, and just keep the group shots classic (and classy). Gimmicky photos don’t have a place on your wedding day. Once the fad has passed you’ll look back on your wedding photos and cringe, wondering what you were thinking.
3. Let your photographer take charge
We can totally identify with kind-hearted folk who just want to help (we have that in our DNA too) but when it comes to wedding day group shots it’s best to leave the guest wrangling to other people. It’s your wedding day and we want you to enjoy the euphoria of it all (not stress yourself silly looking for AWOL relatives). So do yourself a favour and appoint a representative from each side of the family who can be on hand to get everyone organised and help us hunt down any strays.
4. Interact with your guests between shots
We try and get through the group shots in a jiffy so you have plenty of time to unwind and get in post-ceremony face time with your guests, so the last thing we want is for you to feel like you can’t act natural while your group shots are being snapped. Even with military-like organisation each group always takes a minute or so to set-up, so don’t feel like you have to be tight-lipped in those downtimes. Make the most of the moments between camera clicks to chat with your guests.
5. Relax and enjoy the process
Remember that lovely engagement session we did to get you all relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera? Well, your group shots are the time to put all of that prep to good use. So think back to how amazing those images looked when you got them back, and how well you both come across. Your wedding photos are what everything has been leading up to, so now you’re here in the moment relax and enjoy it. It’ll be over in a flash (excuse the photography pun) so don’t forget to smile and make the most of it.
Bonus tip 6 – the big group shot
Of course there’s one group shot we haven’t touched on in our tips section – The Biggie – aka an image of the entire wedding party all together. We’re talking newlyweds plus friends, family and even those awkward plus ones you’re just meeting for the first time (every wedding has one).
Not everyone opts for this shot and in all honestly our professional advice would be to leave it out.
We know, controversial right?
Getting this shot is super time-intensive and eats into the precious minutes we have to capture images of the two of you alone together. So you have to weigh up carefully which matters more – one image showing a sea of teeny tiny indecipherable faces, or lots of lovely, intimate and meaningful photos that really capture the essence of your day.
We’ve pulled together this handy downloadable guide to wedding day group shots, with rough timing estimates to help you get through 10 unique groups in just over 30 minutes! Tash and Will Photography Wedding Group Shot list. If you’re planning your photography briefing, or just want a checklist on the day, this guide covers off a range of classic and popular group shot combinations to inspire you.
One last piece of advice when it comes to group shots…
Of course, in the grand scheme of things it’s important to remember that you have your wedding photographer on hand for the entire day – so if you do experience a sudden urge for an on-the-spot group shot of you and your workmates, just ask!
Not every group image we snap on the day has to be pre-planned (we really aren’t that prescriptive we assure you). In fact, at Tash & Will, we take hundreds of spontaneous images to truly capture every detail that makes your wedding day unique – including any last minute image requests you didn’t think to brief to us about in advance.
So don’t panic if that shot of you, your boss and Sarah from accounts was left off the photo briefing list, just grab us on the day and we’ll happily see to it that it gets taken.