This young man had the cutest face, even when he wasn’t happy. I was lucky to be the second shooter at this wedding, because I could stand back a little and catch people a little more relaxed and a little les guarded and without their “cheese” smile. The little gentleman was a natural in front of the camera as long as he didn’t have to sit a specific way, in a specific spot, with specific people! What can I say, he didn’t like doing the group shots!
I don’t think anyone likes doing the group/family shots, they can look posed, and oh so 80’s! But for some families they are a must, the whole family is usually at the big event, everyone is dressed up and looking their best. In fact some people clean up so well, you don’t even recognized with all the “spit and polish” a phrase my dad likes to use when he sees people all dressed up. He learned to polish his shoes the old fashion way.
Group shots, and a few thoughts about planning your group shots. Think about and talk to your photographer about the group and family shots you want and that are important to you. How much time do you have, who will be with whom, how many different groups, and where they will be taken.
If you have young people as part of your wedding party, or expected as part of the family photos talk to them ahead of time, let them know what is expected, and how much time it will take. Just like your friends who have never been a part of a wedding, they need to know what the plan is and possibly what the reward is. For us, once the group/family/portraits are done then we can go on to the reception and the celebration, what will be their reward?
Introduce your photographer to the young people, ahead of time, possibly at the rehearsal. Let the kids know that it is alright that this person is going to be working with you and them to get some special photos. Often we tell our children not to talk to strangers, so having a photographer/stranger in the crowd who is friendly, chatty, and asking them to move here, or there, look this way or that is a bit of a mixed message that should be discussed ahead of time. Help them learn safe boundaries around this new person, again so they understand what is expected.
Snacks and drinks are a good idea, for everyone but especially the kids. Routines are broken during the wedding day, and we don’t get to eat, drink or sleep as we usually would. This can be disastrous for some kids, even some adults, so plan ahead. Keep the snacks clean, drinks clear or light, and hand wipes handy!
Weddings are long days for all of us, especially old folks and kids, plan for the best, prepare for the worst, and remember that 20 years or so, when you are attending a special event for that very special young person, you will have a great picture to give them as a memory, and sometimes the funnier the face the better!