The 3 part process to Group Shots
1 - Compose your Photography List Carefully
Make sure that you have thought about your photography list carefully a few weeks in advance of your wedding (this gives you time to change anything with your photographer).
I send couples a Photography Plan to fill out before their wedding, and one of the sections is about who you would like photos with for your “formals”. I ask for this list so that I can make sure that you have all the photographs you want for your gallery, but also so you aren’t stood taking photo after photo when you should be enjoying your day.
To make sure that you are only having the photos that will mean something after the wedding you need to be really strict with yourself and say ‘will that photo make it into an album or be printed?’ - if the answer is ‘no’, I’d say leave the photo.
Every photo takes around 5 minutes for me to capture- that’s time to wrangle everyone together and also give you different compositions, so if you had a list of twenty different images you wanted (which there is absolutely nothing wrong with if this is what you are wanting), just know that it can be a long process.
2 - Be Prepared for Bad Weather
Living in the UK we can be caught out with our glorious weather even in the peak of Summer. What I advise all couples to do (just in case) is have a back up plan for group shots.
Some couples love the idea of going out in the rain and just embracing everything about their day, but just in case some people can’t be out in the rain because of health etc, make sure you’ve discussed with your venue a great backdrop for your photographs indoors.
This year, in North Yorkshire, Katie and Andy had the most beautifully elegant wedding with drizzle for most of the day. We took the photos inside and because their venue supplied a room which had lots of charm and character, their group shots still felt like they fitted into their gallery.
3- Adding in Variety
I love LOVE L-O-V-E adding in a few chairs into group shots. You get such great variation in your images with the different heights. This tends to be best used for the bridal party shots, however you can use these for all your formals if you love the look of them.
The idea is that you give yourselves around 10/15 minutes (because organising a bridal party can take a little while for any photographer), and within that time you can have photos taken with chairs and without them, giving you once again lots of variety for your gallery.