Brides, can I be honest with you for a second? Family photos are the most stressful part of a wedding day!
I mean, your photographer knows there’s a time crunch; your parents are likely trying to entertain guests; your nieces and nephews may have missed naps; and you and your new husband (Yay! So exciting to finally be able to call him that!) are ready to hit your reception.
For a lot of reasons, emotions tend to run high during this part of the day. But, by creating a family photo shot list for your wedding day, you can ease tensions and have photos that you and your family will treasure.
A family photo shot list is a list of all of the family photo groupings you would like your photographer to shoot on your wedding day.
While your wedding photographer won’t need a list of groupings for your bridal party or bride and groom photos, your photographer likely doesn’t know your family or 100% understand your family dynamic.
As a result, it’s important to give your wedding photographer a family photo shot list to ensure that:
Making your family portrait list may seem like a daunting task. But, as you’re thinking about which groupings to include, ask yourself these questions:
Between gathering family members, arranging everyone, fluffing your dress, and letting your photographer take several photos of each group to ensure that everyone looks their best, you can estimate that each group will take four minutes to shoot.
With the questions above in mind, I recommend the following family photo shot list for your wedding day, which would take approximately one hour to shoot:
Not seeing something on this list that you want? Perhaps you want a photo with your siblings (This could happen during bridal party photos if all are in the bridal party) or a three-generation photo with you, your mom, and your grandma. Not to worry! Adjust this list as you need.
I recommend having no more than 15 groupings and * limiting your shot list to your immediate family and grandparents. This way, you can get your family photos done within an hour and enjoy your reception!
* Few brides and grooms frame or include extended family photos in their wedding albums. Your reception is a great time to grab photos with extended family members. That said, this is YOUR wedding day.
Perhaps you have an aunt who practically raised you, and you would like a formal photo with her. That’s totally fine! Add your aunt to your shot list and just make sure you have enough time set aside.
Everyone’s family looks different. Some families are traditional or nuclear; others include step parents or step family; and others are made of friends who are so close that they might as well be family.
No matter what your family looks like, they’ve likely played a huge role in making you who you are. So, be sure to honor your family and show your appreciation for them by setting enough time aside for family photos.