It has been my experience, with 40 years as a wedding photographer,
that the most forgotten people when it comes to photos at a wedding
are often the individual parents of the bride and/or groom.
Most photographers will be sure to include the parents in
photos with the bride and groom, but most will never think
to inquire about doing groups of the individual dads of the
bride or groom with all his brothers and sisters who are present
at the wedding. And of course, the same is true with the individual
moms of the bridal couple, too.
While you're getting these photos taken, be sure to include
any parents and grand-parents of those brothers and sisters
that are there, too, to capture their entire core family group
A wedding is almost the perfect place to take these kinds
of photos with the individual parents and their siblings. Everyone
in the families has gathered for the big event, many times
from far-flung regions of the country.
Their child's wedding may well be the first time the brothers
and sisters have gotten together in years. It may be many years
in the future before they are ever together again. If the opportunity
to take these group photos is passed over because nobody thought
much about the importance of this fleeting opportunity, then
those photos may end up never being captured. These photos
often turn out to be the most important and most appreciated
of all the photos I take regularly at the wedding.
I'd be willing to bet that less than 10 percent of wedding
photographers plying their trade today know to get these photos
for you. You will have to specifically ask for them to be taken,
or they just won't be done!
Other important people that most photographers will probably
overlook photographing for you at the wedding, unless you give
them your written photo request list, are the bride and/or
groom's god parents, groups of the bride and/or groom's co-workers,
high school friends, youth camp friends, fellow fraternity
and sorority members, fellow sports team members for high school
The one thing no wedding photographer can do is look at a
room full of total strangers and figure out how they interlock
with each other just by looking! I gave up trying to do that
after photographing my very first wedding 40 years ago! Now
I send each bride an email before the wedding requesting exactly
this sort of information, so that I don't end up missing anyone
of importance to the bridal couple on their special day.
You will want to see to it that your wedding photographer
is thoroughly armed with this often overlook information, so
that they will get these photos for you. Remember, your wedding
photographer can't read your mind when it comes to who among
those present on your wedding are important to you and need
to be photographed with you.
You might also help make getting these photos easier for
your photographer by making sure that the people who are going
to be included in these special group photos are told to be
available for the photos being taken when the other groups
are done...either before or immediately after the wedding ceremony.
You will not want to be trying to pull these groups together
at the reception, because getting them all together at the
same time at the reception is often one of the most difficult
things you'll do on your wedding day. It is better to avoid
doing these photos at the reception altogether, if possible
and get them done early in the day.
Also, be sure that all the people to be included in your
photos know to stay in the room the photos are being taken
until all the groups are done. If someone slips off because
they think they are through being photographed and it turns
out that they are needed for an impromptu additional last minute
group request, everything grinds to a halt photo-wised, until
someone tracks them down and brings the back.
If you aren't careful, this could be repeated over and over
again as various people slip
outside for a smoke or to use the restroom after their group
as been taken. When this happens, it can extend the time needed
for the photos by as much as an extra half hour...and that
time is probably cutting into your reception time, too.
A lot of churches today have church services scheduled pretty
soon after the wedding concludes, so many times the photographer
ends up being rushed time wise on getting the group photos
for you. I've had priests tell me immediately after the receiving
line concludes, "You have only 20 minutes to get all your
groups done. We've got a church service starting soon."
In my email to be bride before the wedding date, I always
try to avoid having this happen by asking if there is a church
service planned for after the wedding...and, if so, how soon
will it begin after the wedding. I point out that everyone
will need to RUSH back in immediately if we are crowded for
time by the church. Don't let others complicate it for your
photographer by them slipping out of the room before all the
group photos are taken.
Copyright, Bill Collins, 2004
Company: Cincinnati wedding photographers