Tips for a Smooth Group Session

DSC_0133Group shots can be some of the toughest things, for the photographer, for the bride, and the families.  Babies will be crying, toddlers are just done for the day, and Grandma and Grandpa are baking in the sun.

To ease this phase of your wedding day, I’ve compiled some tips and with my shot list so that you can make this run smoothly, and everyone, even those small babies, can be happy.

Tip #1. Ensure Your Group Knows They Will Have Their Picture Taken.

I will always shoot the main group, right after the grand exit and that first kiss as husband and wife.  This allows those who need to leave quickly to do so, while still having a token that they were present.

Tip #2. Color Coordination

Make sure everyone, who is supposed to be wearing the bridal colors KNOWS they are to wear them for the group photos.  It may seem silly, but it does happen.  People get rushing and forget what they are supposed to wear if it is not clear from the start.  So help your parents, siblings, and whoever is part of your special group, know what they are to wear on the day of your wedding.

Tip #3. Have Makeup Handy for Touch-ups.

After your first kiss, your lipstick may have smudged, so I would recommend having either your mother, your maid of honor, or some other trusted female to have makeup on hand so we can touch up any smudges or add a little powder to reduce shine if it is a hot day.  I would also suggest wearing waterproof mascara, as joyful tears tend to flow freely.


So that you can plan accordingly, here is what my general group shot list looks like:

  • The “Everyone” photo.  This is for everyone who attends your ceremony.
  • Grandma and Grandpa.  Most grandparents don’t do well in extreme temperatures and so I try to take their photos first to allow them to get where they are comfortable as soon as possible.
  • Siblings who have small children or those with special needs.  After grandparents, most young kids get cranky from having to sit still so long and usually missing a nap or lunch.  I will do my best to accommodate those with special needs so that we ensure they get to be part of the celebration.
  • Family shots.  Your families may need to help with preparations for the reception so we will help them get to where they need to be quicker.
  • Mom and Dad with couple and separately.
  • Siblings with couple and separately
  • Couple with nieces and nephews (if requested.)
  • Bridal party.  I like to save these for last because we can have a bit more fun with these.  This is your last hurrah with your friends on your wedding day so I will do my best to make it memorable (and possibly humorous).
  • Couple shots.  I will do the bulk of these the night before so we can have better lighting, but there is a special sparkle in the eyes of the couple on the actual day of the wedding that I want to help you remember.  After the huge list of photos you just went through though, we will only take a few.


From start for finish, your wedding day photos will be about an hour and a half, but could increase or decrease depending on the number of guests you have.

As an added bonus for you, I will provide a cooler of bottled water if we are shooting outdoors.

Keep on the lookout for more great tips to help your wedding day run smoothly and subscribe so that you can have the latest info.

Have a warm and happy week.