Our Columbus wedding photography clients often think their family portraits will be simple, quick and easy, but they're actually the most time consuming. This is because of a lack of preparedness beforehand. By doing a few easy things ahead of time, your family portraits will be the ones everyone wants to hang above the mantel in their home.
Before your big day, we'll have met with you several times and worked with you on your engagement shoot. We'll a level of understanding, trust, and familiarity there and that goes a long way on making your wedding photos seem more relaxed and natural. This is the main difference between your couple photos and your family portraits. We have no idea who your family is or even what they look like. If you'll do a little work ahead of time, we can knock out those family formals and get to the good stuff.
We like to plan everything out with you, about 6 weeks ahead of your wedding. Start thinking about this a few days before our meeting and make a list. When we meet up, we'll discuss everything from family dynamics, groupings, and where the family photos will be taken. We want this plan to be solid, so if there are any changes after our meeting, you should tell us. This is probably the most important part to making family portraits go smoothly. Too often another family member or friend will want to jump in line for their photo with you. Save these for later, there will be plenty of time for them, we promise.
Also, ask your Best Man and Maid of Honor to help with wrangling the members of your family that are in the portraits. Give them the list of family members a couple of days before so they can be ready when the time comes. They will have a better idea of who your family members are and will be able to get them where they need to be somewhat easily. That way we can continue to get everyone lined up and take the photos, rather than surveying your reception venue asking every lady in the place if they are your aunt Evelyn.
Lastly, letting your family members know they'll be needed ahead of time will save a lot of time. Looking for family members that didn't even know they were going to be in your photos is where most of the time is lost. Once you figure out who will be in these photos, let them know about 7 days before the wedding that you'd like them to be part of your portraits, and when or where those will take place. Then the night before, remind them to be ready.
Believe us, everyone involved wants this to go smoothly and quickly, so that everyone can get to the celebrating that much sooner, including us.
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