Group pictures…the dreaded part of the day for pretty much everyone. Of course the family wants the pictures and the memories, but when it comes time to gathering everyone, suddenly everyone remembers how much they hate being in front of the camera. So here’s my tips on
HOW TO SURVIVE GROUP PICTURES
1. Create a System
It’s YOUR responsibility to make a plan for group pictures. Not the brides. Take the basic family arrangements and create a system that you’ll use EVERY single wedding. From there you can add or subtract to fit the needs of your bride and their family. I have the exact same mental list EVERY single time I go to a wedding. Sometimes things go in different orders to accommodate kids or grandparents, but I always have a checklist in my head.
I’ve created a downloadable checklist for LDS weddings. You can find it in the Our Photog Blog membership in the Left Brain Photographer class. It was designed for LDS weddings, but with a few tweaks its the perfect list for ALL types of weddings.
2. Take Charge
I’m totally an introvert so bossing around 100 wedding guests – some grumpy, some hot, some cold, some hungry, some overly involved – is very uncomfortable for me. I get it, its not always fun or easy. BUT no one will take you seriously until you take charge. I shot my first wedding at 18. Everyone looked down on me UNTIL group pictures came. With a lot of organization and a bit of authority, you’ll have all 100 wedding guests telling you “how great of a photographer you are” even before they see the photos. They are looking for someone to tell them what to do. Let that someone be YOU not Uncle Bob…or even worse, the poor bride that has enough things to worry about.
3. Find a slope, stairs, or levels
The easiest way to make sure everyone in the wedding party is seen in the photos is with levels! Its not always possible, but if you see stairs or a curb or steps or a ledge or ANYTHING, use it!!
4. Smile and Keep it Light
There are enough people stressed and uptight during group pictures..You don’t need to share in that. Smile…even at the complainers. Tease them, validate them. I always tell the wedding guests “I will make this as easy, painless and quick as possible. The first photo takes the longest to arrange, then we’ll breeze through it. I know everyone just wants lunch, so listen up!” I keep it light, let Uncle Bob step in for his shot and smile, smile, SMILE!
How to Take Group Pictures
photographer | educator + speaker | community builder
Kylee started Kylee Ann Photography 8 years ago, and has since grown from a one woman amateur show to a full associate team. We shoot 50-75 weddings a year, and thrive on kindness and service. After a year of teaching Intro to Photography at the local technical college, she discovered that helping other entrepreneurs create thriving businesses is what fires her up! She hosts semi-annual Kylee Ann Sleepovers all over the US, speak at conferences and teach online courses about running a small business and marketing.