Weddings by KARA’s 7 Secrets to Successful (and stress free) group shots.
Every wedding is different and every couple will want different things from their group shots. Whether you want every person who attends your wedding to stand in a group shot or you would rather the bare minimum, Weddings by KARA has come up with 7 ways to ensure your group shots are done efficiently and with as much fun as possible :)
1. MAKE A LIST
Write out a thorough list of exactly what group shots you want to have taken. The more detailed you are here, the better. Number your list and include people’s names. This is the most important thing you can do before your wedding to ensure your group shots take place with ease and speed on the day.
2. ASK FOR A TIME ESTIMATE
Give this list to your photographer and ask for an approximate time estimate for completing it. If you only want to spend 5 minutes getting your group shots done, you are not going to be able to get 50 combinations of every extended family member. Talking to your photographer before the day will give you a good idea of how long your group shots will take, and you can then choose to add or subtract groups from your list.
3. APPOINT two SHEPHERDs
Seek out the two most responsible and authoritative members of both your families and ask them if they would mind being your group shot shepherds on the day. They need to know everyone (or most people) on the list and their role is just to gather everyone at the chosen location as efficiently as possible.
4. POSE TOGETHER PERHAPS?
Decide whether both of you can be included in the family shots together rather than individually and together. For example, a bride with her family and then the bride and partner with her family. You can save a considerable amount of time by both being present together in the main family shots.
5. PLAN THE LARGE GROUP SHOT
Decide whether you want a full group shot of everyone at your wedding. If you do, have a think and a chat with your photographer about the best location for this shot. Generally speaking balconies are great for this either in the church or at your reception venue. Also try and time this shot for when your guests are organically grouped together, rather than having to gather them.
6. PLAN YOUR GROUP SHOT LOCATIONS
Choose your group shot locations wisely. Talk to your photographer about possible locations. Ask your photographer if they have covered weddings at your venue before and if so, where do they suggest for group shots? Sometimes they are best done outside the church if it is particularly picturesque. The quality and quantity of light should be the ultimate deciding factor on the day, however most photographers will have various options given certain lighting/weather conditions.
7. CONSIDER CANDIDS
When you are writing out your group shot list, keep in mind that many photographers will be aiming to get documentary style candids of your guests as well as the more formal group shots. Although it is usually impossible for any photographer to absolutely guarantee capturing every single person, they can usually get a great number of unposed candids. If candids are something you would like of your guests to supplement your groups shots, then make sure you choose a photographer whose style and aim it is to capture documentary images as well as formal ones.