Being in the wedding photography industry as long as we have, we know that family photos are important and you can’t walk away from a wedding without them.
We show all the time that we can create images of art from your wedding day but it’s time we show the traditional too!
How your family portraits turn out is dependent upon a variety of factors – your style, the size of your family, the structure of your day, how much time you want to dedicate to family shots, whether we’re indoor or outdoors, the time of day, the environment and lighting, etc – but we’ve encountered and conquered all of the possible situations in real life and are proving it below!
Here are family photos from many, many different weddings over the years (dating all the way back from 2009 to 2020!) – each different times of day, different lighting situations, some more casual and creative, a few vogue styled, and the majority classic and traditional.
BONUS: Scroll all the way through to the bottom of this post for some TIPS on how to ensure you get the family photos of your dreams!
Here are a few tips from us to make sure you get the family photos of your dreams:
- A traditional wedding timeline will have your family photos happening immediately after your ceremony. We suggest making a list of family groupings and telling everyone on that list (individually) to stick around your ceremony site while everyone else heads to your cocktail hour. We also suggest having your officiant remind everyone with a quick announcement before they leave your ceremony site. Don’t worry, we know all of the standard family groupings and can totes help! (See our standard groupings a couple of bullet points down!) We’ll ask for this list from you the week of your wedding. You can often times get away without making a list for us, but if you decide to go sans list, make sure to let us know any family dynamics that we wouldn’t otherwise know.
- Assign a friend who isn’t in your family portraits but knows your family to wrangle anyone on your list who may have left. We don’t want your sister running and finding others because then we don’t have your sister on top of not having your grandpa.
- Worry about immediate family (grandparents, parents, siblings) and those you’re closest to. We can totally do aunts and uncles and third cousins, but know that cuts into your daylight time for other photos or joining your cocktail hour.
Here’s a list of standard family groupings. Yours may end up exactly like this or they may vary depending on your family dynamics and preferences. Be sure to put elderly individuals, people with disabilities, and children at the top of your list. Include their titles and their names – ex: spouse 1, grandparent 1: sarah and franklin.
- spouse 1, grandparent 1
- spouse 1, grandparent 2
- spouse 1, grandparent 1, grandparent 2
- spouse 1, grandparent 1, grandparent 2, spouse 2
- spouse 1, grandparent 1, grandparent 2, parent 1, parent 2, spouse 2
- spouse 1, grandparent 1, grandparent 2, parent 1, parent 2, spouse 2, siblings
- spouse 1, parent 1, parent 2, spouse 2, siblings
- spouse 1, parent 1, parent 2, spouse 2
- spouse 1, parent 1, parent 2, siblings
- spouse 1, parent 1, parent 2
- spouse 1, parent 1
- spouse 1, parent 2
- spouse 1, siblings
- reverse and repeat for spouse 2’s family
- Let us choose the location. We know, we know, you paid for a floral arch at your ceremony site – but, if your ceremony site doesn’t have ideal lighting or enough space for your groupings, we’ll suggest moving your photos somewhere else. While the choice is ultimately yours and we can make anything work, you won’t regret taking our advice. 😉
- If your ceremony is later in the afternoon or in the evening during winter time, remember that it gets dark earlier during the cold seasons and factor that into your timeline. We can check our sunset calculator for your exact date and guide you. If you’re into the style of night time images, you have nothing to worry about – we can pull our flashes out and go to town, but if you’re hoping for ethereal sunlight, you might consider having plenty of time before your ceremony for family portraits. You can see some night time family photos in this blog post and click here to view more night time images by us!
- Schedule time. Family portraits, depending on your groupings and how everyone behaves, can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes.
- Traditional is our default style for family portraits since it’s typically what most people want. If you want something more modern and unique, tell us and we can make that happen! (see examples in images above)
- Remember that we’re here to help, guide you and your groupings, and make sure you walk away happy!
We are so excited to photograph you and your families!!
Six Hearts Photography
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