Wedding Photographer Spain – tips on wedding group photos

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I’ve already written a bit about how to choose the right wedding photographer and now wanted to help you out with planning group photos.
A bit of the real-life experience? Clients prepare a long list of must-haves on paper and then, halfway through, they throw in the towel simply because they’re tired of standing and waiting for someone, hot, HOT, hungry, hate their shoes and want to run away with a tray full of canapés. SO, think of the MUST HAVES and we’ll play it by ear from there.

Things to consider:

Time of the day (light may be an issue and there is a need for additional lighting), how many people are in each group, how disciplined are your guests, how much can you endure (Spain is a hot country in the summer), how much time do you have between other things (some things can be moved, others – not. You don’t want to eat a cold dinner on your wedding day).

Timing is everything

When I shoot the groups, it takes anything between 3-5 mins for smaller groupings (up to 5 people) and can take 10 mins or longer for larger groups ( everyone is there but for one uncle who is probably in the toilet; the kids are there but one start to cry hysterically; Grandma can only stand for 30 seconds; it’s a busy place and tourist decide to join in). Just do the math.
I suggest going for no more than 6-8 groups but let the sheer number not deceive you… I’ve had clients with 6 groups and it took us a long time to complete and a bride with 25 groups, all done in 30 minutes 🙂 But boy, was she organized!
And if you’re adamant about having every grouping possible, make sure with the planner that there’s going to be enough time to do that.

Family Formals -Tips

  • talk to all involved. Very often the couple decides on some groups only to have their family step in DURING the shoot and request entirely different groups (hello, Mums!)
  • make a list of MUST HAVES first and talk to your photographer how long do they think it would take to complete the list. Then you can have some extras that can be added on if time permits (i.e. the food’s not ready yet or they’re still looking for centerpieces)
  • put generic names on your list such as BRIDE & GROOM / PARENTS/ SIBLINGS/ etc. for the photographer and have another list for the SHEPARD with real people’s names. So, when you put a generic ‚WORK FRIENDS’ for the photographer, you add  MONICA, GERRY, ADONIS, MANUELA to the SHEPARD’S list.
  • And who the heck is a SHEPARD anyway?? A Shepard is a designated person who is familiar with most people at the wedding and can help the photographer round them up for photos. Could be the Bestman or one of the bridesmaids or anyone bossy enough and preferably loud voice. I, for example, can be bossy, no problem 😄 but having someone help me speeds up the entire process a lot.
I pick for groups needs to be uncluttered, well lit ( I use extra light often) and big enough for everyone in the group.