Today I am delighted to share with you this post written for us by Guest Blogger Anna Brim, of Aloha Photography.
Group shots are so stuffy and old fashioned. Or are they?
I meet with many Brides who instantly tell me that they don’t like formal stuffy photos that their wedding is going to be relaxed and informal therefore they don’t want the “typical” line up photographs. I nod and agree and say “well this is your wedding you need to have what is right for you”. I agree to a certain point particularly from a photographers perspective, gathering the troops and rounding them up can be a laborious task!
A lot of people in families don’t see each other very often at all so straight after the ceremony they are having a good old chin wag and catching up on the gossip. Even though they have the rest of the day to do this and for many there is waiting around for the breakfast etc, they still choose to have an in depth discussion now. They do, they just do. If you have young children at the wedding, it is likely that they will be bored and running around and the really little ones will be hard to get hold of as they have either been taken out of the ceremony because they are crying or they will be off having a feed. If your ceremony is at the same venue as the reception, some people will be off sniffing out the bar to start the festivities. If you have to travel guests spread out and start making their way to the cars. These are the things I have observed (I do love to people watch!) and there aren’t many weddings I have worked at or been to where this has not been the case.
Here are some examples of reportage photography
Capturing your family members
There will be family members there that you don’t see very often, some that are very dear and special to you and maybe some elderly relatives. With reportage style photography the elements of your wedding are captured and it makes for some beautiful images, however… it is often quite difficult unless a Bride points out “who is who” to ensure that you photograph the most important people in their life rather than perhaps dare I say it, “other guests”. Unless there are more formal shots or you specifically get the Bride and Groom with certain members of the family, there is that chance, that risk that you may not get pictures of the right people together. I know we have photos from our wedding with Nan and the Great Aunts and Uncles and they are great because I know they won’t be around forever and we have those photographs to cherish.
The when and what
Many Brides have this vision in their heads I am sure that group shots are just going to be ghastly. They are not, or at least when I am shooting a wedding I try and make them as quick and as painless as possible. People don’t necessarily like having them taken or being in them but afterwards my wedding couples have always agreed that they are glad they had them done. They may not be “up there” with the arty reportage shots on their walls but they have them in their album to look back on in years to come.
I always ask Brides and Bridegrooms to sit down with or without me and come up with an essential shot list. I always ask who the key people are, get their names and make sure that I know what the family dynamics are. I give my Brides a list of suggested shots and we go through those deleting or adding where appropriate. This ensures that the couple have photos of them with the people they want. We also agree at what point in the day these posed shots are taking place and for how long for. It is their wedding after all, I am just there to document it and suggest not tell.
Here are some examples from the same wedding of “staged” shots, all taken at different points in the day.
The first was taken at some point during the afternoon reception, the one in the middle of all the guests was taken at the reception venue and the one last one was taken after the ceremony.
So my advice to you when thinking about your wedding photography is this:
What style do you want for the day? Do your research – I am very happy with I am presented with a scrap book of images. It tells me that firstly the Bride has thought about this but also it gives me a visual idea of the sort of things that she has in mind. It helps me know where she is coming from and how she wants her day captured.
Consider some posed / staged shots of people that are important to you – agree with your photographer who they are, where you are going to do these as it doesn’t have to be straight outside the church it could be at the reception venue and when you are going to do them. Most photographers will take the lead on this and make sure people are where they should be but you could always delegate some grooms men who know the family to help too as the photographer can only call names, the grooms men will hopefully know who they are by sight too.
Build a rapport with your photographer – they are going to be with you all day so it is important that you build a rapport with them and you feel that you would be happy for them to be involved on such a big day. If it doesn’t feel right before the wedding it won’t on the day either. Personality and their interpretation of your ideas counts for a lot, they are recording your memories for you and how you relive the day. I can’t stress this enough, you want to look at them with great joy and fond memories.
I hope this has helped you to think about your wedding photos a bit more. Do look me up on Twitter or Facebook to interact and ask any questions!
To see more images from this wedding please go to: http://www.alohaphotography.co.uk/index.php?pid=147&sid=163