One of the most stressful parts of the wedding day is the family portraits! How are you supposed to make sure you get all the photos you want while not forgetting anyone and still enjoying your day & cocktail hour? Over the years as Napa wedding photographers, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. Here are some of our top tips and tricks to make sure that your wedding day formal family portraits run smoothly!
1. Strategic Planning:
An essential element of a seamless and unforgettable wedding experience is strategic planning. Collaborate with your soon-to-be spouse to curate a comprehensive list of desired group shots. By doing so, you will ensure that everyone is poised and organized, leading to an efficient process on the big day.
2. Location, Location, Location:
Choosing a breathtaking and spacious location that can effortlessly accommodate the size of the group being photographed is crucial. It is imperative to select a backdrop that is neat and uncluttered. Additionally, thoughtful consideration of the lighting in the locale is pivotal in creating an elevated ambiance.
We like to use the ceremony site for family portraits when available for a few reasons; it’s already clean, everyone is already nearby, and it makes for a perfectly decorated backdrop for your family portraits.
3. Effective Communication:
Impeccable communication is the cornerstone of creating a smooth and stress-free family portrait experience. It is crucial to communicate with your family members to align expectations for the group shots. Make sure everyone is aware of when the portraits will be taking place.
A great tip to help keep everyone on track is to have an assigned “helper” to help wrangle any family members that may have wandered off too soon. If you have a wedding planner or day of coordinator, they are a great option to help assist.
4. Streamlined Efficiency:
To capture all the necessary shots without detracting from the wedding celebrations, it’s vital to avoid unnecessary photographs and redundant poses. Posing with extra large groups of family members all at once often leads to unnecessary stress and craziness. More often than not, with those large groupings, you won’t even be able to see everyone’s faces. We recommend sticking to a list of about 10 portrait combos with a max of 10 people for anyone combination.
Before your wedding day, we make sure to send out a pre-wedding questionnaire where we’ll ask you to list out any and all family portrait combos you’d like. We then use that list on your wedding day to make sure that you don’t forget a single important photo! And any photos with friends or other close loved ones can always be taken at the reception.
Napa Wedding Photographers
We’re Adrienne & Dani. And we’re the team of besties and wedding photographers behind Adrienne and Dani Photography. We’ve been so lucky to love and serve the best couples as their Northern California wedding photographers. And we’d love the chance to serve you! Click here to get in touch with us about your wedding date and be sure to follow along for more joy with us on Instagram.