No Stress and All Efficiency
Our goal for family portraits is to capture some of the most important photos of the day. They are going to be in the most efficient manner. This just requires some pre-planning.
Pre-ceremony timing is best. You think that it will be really convenient for your family in between ceremony and reception but they want a cocktail during that time! They want to be able to play host, greet guests, and spend the time relaxing. Plus, gathering people after the ceremony is always hard and time consuming. So instead, we always try to do our family portraits pre-ceremony.
Prepping your Shot List
In your questionnaire six weeks before the wedding day, there will be a family shot list. Note that this is the only portion of the day where we will work off of a shot list. During this time, we will use it as the holy grail. You are able to check boxes of shots that you want off of the sample shot list in the questionnaire. Then there is a box to add any additional shots that you would like. As we will explain to your family the day-of, we will work directly off of this list and its exact order. We will perfect the order beforehand for maximum efficiency.
If at the end of that there are more requests, time-permitting, we would be happy to get those shots. Rather than stressing about shots you’re “supposed” to get, think about the photos that you might actually want in an album or framed on your walls. What are the photos you want in an album in 30 years? Most couples have 15 – 20 groups (including very small pairings such as bride and mom). You can absolutely plan for more or less, that’s just typically where our couples land when evaluating importance.
Please think about everything that you want carefully. Remember to consider in-laws, siblings’ kids, boyfriends, etc. When typing your own shots into the add-in box, please tell us everyone that you want in that shot. Write it in the same format (ie: shots are written as “Bride with siblings, Uncle Bob, and Uncle’s girlfriend (Cherie)”, NOT “Bride with siblings, Bob, Cherie” because if it’s not explained prior – which we likely won’t know who Cherie is – we’ll just be yelling her name into the void, but if it’s explained, we’ll be able to find the woman with her arm around Uncle Bob).
Include everyone in the shot list, so for example, if you want a shot of the bride and groom with the bride’s parents, bride’s only sister, her husband, and their kids, please do not check the box that is only Bride and Groom with Bride’s Parents and Siblings. Instead, write out the combination in its entirety in the fill-in box.
We want you to literally do no work during this portion of the day. You don’t need to family wrangle, no decisions, and instead, just enjoy it. With some advance planning, this can be accomplished!
Set a Meeting Location
Lastly, let your family know when and where they should be – seems obvious, right? But, for most family members, it’s helpful to have them arrive ten minutes before we are scheduled to shoot family portraits. Since we will be picking out an exact spot for family portraits day-of, have your entire family involved in family portraits meet at a central location at your venue that you know of, for example, the back patio or the head of the path behind the shed. If you are upfront in communicating their meeting location and time – they’ll be there! We send a couple of reminders about this as we get closer to the day!
With these tips, you are prepped and ready for flawlessly efficient family photos!