Should I do the formal wedding photographs?
Should I do the formal wedding photographs? Frankly this is a question I have batted backwards and forwards throughout my wedding career… Frankly, shooting the formal shots is hard work, nobody enjoys them and they slow everything down to a crawl.
I have tried EVERYTHING I can think of to speed up the process. I tell the Bride and Groom to tell the people that we’ll be photographing that we will need them and when.
I’ve tried doing a BIG group shot of everyone and then told the close families to go and stand to one side… Only to find that by the time I’ve got downstairs that everybody has run off to the bar.
On one rather bad occasion, I had to go and fish Dad out of the bar on three occasions, even though I asked him “Please don’t go anywhere until we’re done”.
I expect if you’ve shot a few weddings you’ll have had the mums / dads / aunties all of sudden saying to the Bride “You need this shot of these people and that shot of those people”
All of a sudden you’re photographing an additional 20 group shots and people are coming and going backwards and forwards.
I think for me personally the worst part of this is that the guests will ultimately end up giving you funny looks and making comments as the “Photographs seem to take a long time” As I say to brides “It takes me 125th of a second to take a picture, but five minutes to get everyone in a line!”
What’s my solution?
So… Should I do the formal wedding photographs? Well, the problem is while nobody wants the hassle of organising, arranging or getting the people on the wedding day, they are still really, really important.
When you get married you generally think more of your friends, they’re everything to you… As time goes on you realise that friends come and go, but family truly are everything. I’ve lost both of my parents and the best pictures we have of them are taken at weddings.
However, I do really hate the whole process of doing formal wedding pics, which is why I have reduced my formal photos the following.
- Bride and Groom together
- Bride and Groom and Wedding Party
- Bride and Groom and Brides immediate family
- Bride and Groom and Grooms immediate family
A group shot of everyone, IF there is a place we can shoot everybody from above
If I had my way, I really would LOVE however, to do a two day shoot… Photograph the Bride and Groom on their own on the wedding day and then getting everybody together the next day. The reality though? Everyone will be looking at their worst after a hard nights drinking!
Honestly, my advice is to pare down the formal shots as much as humanly possible. Explain your reasons to the B&G and get them on-board. There’s every possibility that they don’t want to be doing loads of group shots either.