Formal family photos. 

The bane of many wedding photographers existence! They are probably the bane of a lot of brides existence too. Trying to corral everyone into the right spots, is not much fun. These quick tips will make it go a whole lot smoother.


A little planning goes a long way. This doesn't have to be a rough time.

1. List it out. You've gotta make a list at some point. Whether you come up with that list, in your head, on the big day, or with a glass of wine in your hand 3 months before the wedding, that list is going to come to life.

2. A shot of everyone? If you want a shot of everyone, right after the ceremony is the time! Not too far away. You won't have much success moving the whole gang too far. Don't try it. Its also doesn't seem to work well to try and do it all later. There are always stragglers, and you will never seem to get them all back in one spot. Somewhere that the photographer can get an elevated position is ideal. A hill, balcony or overhang will all work. Everyone will fit into a better rectangle, and fill the photo instead of a huge line.

3. Start big, work down to small. Just like the big group photo, you want to get all the bigger groups out of the way, and work small. Extended family that is only going to be in one or two shots, get 'em done quick, and they can get to the cocktails.

4. Kids go haywire. Quickly. Be thoughtful of who is going to need to get finished first. Weddings take place at nap time. The kids are gonna go haywire if you leave them 'til last. Try and get them outta the way quick.


5. Granny wants the air conditioning. Keep in mind that some members of the family are going to be more sensitive to the heat, and the elements. If you're getting married mid summer, and it's the hottest day of the year. Move quick to get these valued members of the fam finished first, and back to the A/C.

6. Think of others. As much as this day revolves around you, it's nice to include others. Maybe your sister just had a baby, and she's love a quick shot of her family. She doesn't want to ask, but if you suggest it and bring it up, a month or two in advance the big day, and have it on the list - it's no big deal. 30 seconds, job done. Everyone is happy.


7. Save some for later. If time is tight, or you want to move quickly to get to see your very pretty reception before it's filled with guests, you can do some family photos later. There is usually some time at the reception that we can rattle off a few family photos. Just don't leave it too late, or people might look a little run down. Also, older folks might leave earlier, so that needs to be factored in.

8. Oh, just one more ;) Don't make this list in a vacuum. Ahead of time, is the best time to check in with mom, and make sure all the photos that were on the list. I've seen lots of people get frustrated, when they are finished family photos, and they want to move one, but wait! Just one more, mom has an idea. It would be no big deal, if it was planned for, but now, we gotta wrangle a bunch of family members up, uncle Louis is MIA and the magic light that we want for your couples photos is fading fast behind the trees. This is not what you want! Just check in first, with your fam, and ask if there are any shots just just have to have. No last minute surprises, get em out well in advance, and planned for.

9. Extra credit. If you have a huge, or extra crazy family, try giving them a heads up with a quick email ahead of time. Maybe a week of. Let them know they are going to be in a few photos, and that they shouldn't take off right after the ceremony. Or let them know that you're doing them later. So no hurt feelings when they aren't included in the photos right after the wedding.

Follow these quick tips and that photo time is going to sail by without a hiccup!