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Wedding Photography Secrets – The Formal Shots

Even if you prefer artistic, candid or photojournalistic wedding pictures, it is likely you will have a more traditional feeling toward the formal family images from your wedding day. These images are the ones that sit on mom’s mantle and add to the history of your families. Here are some tips on making your photography plan that includes the family formals.

Prioritize the List. Make a written list of all the group combinations you might want. Consider your timeline, knowing that each combination will take a minimum of two minutes to change the people in the photo, pose everyone and take the shot. So, prioritize your family formal shot list. Which images must be taken at the church and which can be taken throughout the day? Are you taking an image because you “have” to or because you want to save the memory?

Identify the Subjects. There are some people whose presence in family formals is expected – you, your groom, parents and siblings. From that base, you will begin adding people that will form your blended families; both you with each set of parents, combined parents, grandparents, etc. Once you have completed your “must have” family formal combinations, it’s time to add into the photos more extended family; a group shot of all the cousins, a photo with your aunt and uncle that traveled from the other side of the country, etc. If your timeline doesn’t allow for these photos to be taken at the ceremony location, consider capturing these pictures at your reception.

If your wedding photography package includes two photographers, you can ask that the second photographer capture the wedding day photos that wouldn’t necessary include you … such as the attendants with their spouses, your mom and sorority sisters, or other images.

Organize Your Shot List. Work closely with your photography to create an organized plan that will make the most of every minute on your wedding day. When you have an organized shot list, you will be able to find the most realistic window of opportunity to get the shots most important to you, without eating into all your precious time. This includes getting ready shots

Ask For Help. One of the best things you can do to help your wedding photographer capture the images you want is to clearly communicate your expectations with your loved ones and get their commitment to cooperate. Tell your family members & bridal party in advance (the rehearsal dinner is a great time) that their presence is requested for family images and strongly request that they cooperate.

Asking a close friend who will know many of your family members to help the photographer during the family formals will help to make sure everyone is where they need to be as the pictures are taken.

Family Formals Photo List

Your wedding day photography list will be unique to you and your family. Here is a list of potential shots to help you begin thinking of possible photo combinations.

  1. Bride alone
  2. Groom alone
  3. Bride and groom
  4. Bride, groom and officiant
  5. Bride with maid of honor
  6. Bride with bridesmaids
  7. Bride with flower girl
  8. Groom with best man
  9. Groom with groomsmen
  10. Groom with ring bearer
  11. Bride and groom with bridesmaidsBride and groom with groomsmen
  12. Bride and groom with maid of honor and best man
  13. Bride and groom with flower girl/ring bearer
  14. Bride and groom with entire wedding party
  15. Bride and groom with bride’s parents
  16. Bride and groom with groom’s parents
  17. Bride and groom with both sets of parents
  18. Bride and groom with bride’s extended family (grandparents, siblings)
  19. Bride and groom with groom’s extended family (grandparents, siblings)
  20. Bride and groom with extended family (cousins, aunts, uncles)
  21. Bride and groom with any special friends/guests in attendance
  22. Bride and groom with pets, if part of wedding

Do you want an experienced photographer that is organized, creative and get’s fun images? Contact Mike Staff Productions today.

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