For Brides: Choosing a Wedding Photographer That’s Good With Families

Choosing a Photographer That’s Good With Families

We know, we know – we love all those romantic bride and groom portraits just as much as you do! Trust me, they are important. But imagine, for a second, that you have just finished saying your vows to your husband, have just walked back down the aisle – this time with your groom by your side and not your father – cheers on all sides. You’re happy, elated, RELIEVED. You have just a moment alone until….family starts wandering over to you, curious about when and where the family pictures will be. Everyone starts talking over each other, someone is calling for Great Aunt Judy, Grandma Beth is telling you about HER wedding day, and slowly the chaos starts to build.

What once seemed like such a short portion of the wedding day is quickly escalating into something more than it needs to be.What are you looking for now? Your photographer. To take control. To calm the crowd. To restore order. You don’t want this to take long. You’re already hungry, and you REALLY don’t want people to start getting antsy – this is cocktail hour, afterall.

Now do you see why choosing a wedding photographer that’s good with families – not just pretty detail shots and romantic portraits – is so necessary? Of course you want these treasured images of family members that have traveled far and wide to be here, but you also don’t want these photos to take forever. No one does! I promise you that it IS possible to make family photos manageable, quick, and enjoyable (or at least NOT painful!). Here are some things that we at Mckenna Rose Photography do to make sure that this portion of the wedding day goes as smoothly as possible!

Open Communication

I establish a great line of communication with my brides well before the wedding day via email and text so that they feel comfortable being honest with me. What images are important to YOU become important to me. And, the opposite is true as well. If you don’t want that shot that you just know so-and-so is going to want then I’ll put that on me.

Pre-Wedding Day Questionnaire

I send you a questionnaire about a month before the wedding that provides me with all the necessary details to be 150% prepared for your day. From mother and father’s names to wedding day timeline to vendors list. A big part of this form is related to family photos. You don’t want to be figuring out a million different combinations of group photos on the day of your wedding. Instead, I ask you to think about it well in advanced when you’re not feeling pressure from the timeline or other’s influences. I want you to have the chance to honestly ask yourself what shots are most important to you.

I also provide a checklist for which family photo combinations you would like taken, and then multiple questions that ask for anything unique or not included in the checkmark list. I also ask if there are any sensitive situations or relations that I should be aware of – divorce, death, maybe just a cranky relative 🙂

Getting It Done

That was all prep work for this one portion of the day. Now I command and engage the crowd in a way that is efficient, but still kind. I still want people to enjoy themselves during these photos! I want to get you guys to cocktail hour just as much as you do – and I’ll do it in a way that doesn’t sacrifice good photos OR a fun time. I take my list of photos that you helped me create, and I have it already organized to get the biggest group photo done first. Then we work our way to smaller and smaller groups. This means I can excuse people as they finish, leaving only just immediate family at the end. This allows people to not be sitting around unnecessarily waiting for their turn. I bring this list with me and quickly check each pose off. I have first names of the important people so I can call them out – by name! – and get them where they need to be quickly and without confusion.

Family photos during the wedding day don’t have to be painful, and they certainly don’t have to be long! When you choose a wedding photographer that has the skills and organization that we do at MRP, then you’re giving yourself the gift of headache-free family heirlooms that you’ll treasure forever! Remember – you’ll associate your wedding day photos with how you FELT in that moment. Trust me, you’ll feel good about your family photos when  you choose the right photographer to begin with.