Wedding group photos the almost completely overlooked aspect of wedding photography is still incredibly important, maybe not to the contemporary couple, but certainly to the parents and the extended family. Families get together so rarely that a record from the wedding is needed. Its can also be a bit of a political headache for the couple to think about and form their group shot list for the photographer. Who in the family has to be included, who can’t stand the sight of each other and certainly shouldn’t be placed together and don’t ignore the step-parents and grand-parents.
If a group shot list isn’t given to the photographer they will just do the standard set of bridal party, parents, siblings, both sides, friends, entire group etc.
So if anything is missed by the wedding photographer and a shot list wasn’t provided then the couple will have to take the flack if Aunt Mabel isn’t in any shots.
Group shots may look boring and certainly will never be shown or featured on blogs, in magazines or in a photographer’s portfolio but that’s not to say they don’t need a huge amount of skill and professionalism to create. The photographer has to be forthright enough to get groups organised “herding cats” is the phrase most often used. Quick enough not to bore the wedding party and considerate of the wedding party with regards to the weather. People don’t want to stand around in the cold or indeed the heat. Nor in puddles, rain or sodden ground, especially with expensive shoes and a wedding dress.
Then there’s the actual positioning of the people within the group. The end results may look like this is easy but there’s actually a lot to think about.
The group should be made to be as close as possible, psychologically looks like a closer family. Everybody should be touching if possible with the bride and groom holding hands or arms around each other and turned slightly into each other. If they’re turned slightly away or paying more attention to a bridesmaid or a best-man then it just looks like the couple aren’t that close. Mums should link their arms in and nobody should put their arms up around another’s shoulders, nice and cuddly enough but it ruins the line of an expensive suit. Then there’s all the stuff people bring with them into these shots; bags, glasses, invites, spectacles (especially those that go dark in sunlight) phones in bulging pockets, all these distractions need to be addressed.
So spare a little love for the humble group shot. Not the most glamorous or memorable wedding photos but boy will you be in trouble if they’re missed or ignored.