Richard Grenfell Photography


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Family Formals Photographs Guide for the Wedding Day


The following are some suggestions to make the formal photographs section of the day go smoothly. This is the one part of the day that can bottleneck and really throw the timing of the day out if it is not planned prior to the wedding day. If you have allocated time to the creative photos after the ceremony this can eat into that time and we could lose daylight which is critical for photos. The goal here is to make this as smooth and easy as possible for everyone concerned.

As you would be aware I generally do not do overly posed photographs on your wedding day. My aim is to make the formal photography time as quick, painless and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Even for that grumpy relative who hates their photo taken. In order to make this process less time-consuming and confusing for everyone involved it would be great if you could help in the selection of your formal groupings.

As a guide the standard formal photographs taken are as follows.

  • Bride alone
  • Groom alone
  • Bride and Groom together
  • Bride and groom with bride's parents and siblings
  • Groom and bride with groom's parents and siblings
  • Bride with bridal party
  • Groom with bridal party
  • Bride and groom with bridal party

If there are other photographs that you wish taken at this time please also list the names of the individuals involved in the "wedding day questionnaire" that was emailed to you.

As a general guide I think it is a good idea to photograph the biggest groupings first and then work our way back from there. The main reason is that it helps ensure that no one wanders off in search of the bar. The other consideration is the elderly or disabled. It may be required that we get these people photographed and on their way as soon as possible.

PLEASE: It would be of massive help to me if you could nominate someone who knows who everyone is who can help me identify these people for the photographs. Basically be my assistant for that period of time. A good choice is a loud assertive person. A member of the bridal party or family for example might be a good choice as you know they will definitely be attending.

NOTE: It is very important that you consider time restraints when making your list of formal photographs. Please factor an average four minutes per image. It is absolutely vital that everyone who needs to be present for these photographs be there when we are ready to begin the session. In order to not waste time looking for missing individuals please make sure to communicate this schedule to those you wish to participate in this session. Again, you can assign this task to someone as I mentioned in the paragraph above.

Please DO NOT give us a list of images or groupings to capture during the reception as this will restrict our ability to document naturally occurring moments and will tie us to a checklist during that time. If there are any additional groups that you would like (school friends, cousins, etc.) please designate a member of your bridal party, family or friend to get those groupings together. (Thank you!)

It may sound like I am not keen on this part of the day. The opposite is true. I really think that good formal photos are super important. In many cases it might be the last time all the people are in the one place together for various reasons

Some people just can not take it seriously