As a documentary and reportage style wedding photographer in Swansea I am often asked if I do the more traditional formal group photographs. The simple answer is yes I do! When I’m meeting clients for the first time I will ask them to prepare a small list of the names of the guests that they would like in each group.
I then ask them to make a couple of copies so they can give one to somebody in the bridal party (usually the best man or one of the ushers) that knows most of the guests. This can really help speed things up on the day and helps me in photographing the groups efficiently so the guests can enjoy their day with the minimum of disruption.
Depending on the size of the wedding I recommend that the formal group photographs are kept to a maximum of 10 groups, any more than that and it can often drag on a little too long…
People are like flowers under hot lights when being photographed, usually the best images are among the first to be taken. We all know the feeling of trying to hold a smile over a long period of time!
One shot that I always try and do is the large group photo, this is one of the only times that such a large amount of family and friends are all together in one place and so being able to capture that is really important to me.
I try and find somewhere elevated so I can get the best view, if there’s nowhere available then I have my own mini-ladder in the car, the perks of being a press photographer too!
One really important thing to keep in mind, especially when you’re a guest as part of the large group photo is to make sure you can see the camera lens!
If all you can see is the back of someone else’s head, then that is what the camera will see. I always do my very best to make sure this doesn’t happen but when you are looking at over 100 faces, you do occasionally miss one or two!