How I take group wedding photos and why having a wedding photographer gives the photos that extra little pop!

It’s a part of the day that many don’t like, but, if you have a wedding photographer, it can go a lot easier. I’d like to visually share with you how I get nice group photos with lots of natural smiles and nice light.

Step 1 – Pre-Wedding Day

I ask my couples to give me a list of around 8 formal photos that they want. This eight does not include the group shot or the Bride and Groom shots. These Eight photos are the common ones, like the ‘Bride with bridesmaids, Bride and Groom with Mum and Dad’ and so on. I keep it to around eight so it can be done in a good time and isn’t leaving everyone hanging around.

Step 2 – I will ask for a designated Person to round people up.

During our initial meeting, I ask the couple to designate the loudest person they know who can round people up for the formal shots. On the day I pass this person the shot list and while I’m taking a photo they are gathering up the people next on the list for me. This speeds up the process immensely!

Step 3 – Keeping the process humourous and entertaining

I am smiling and engaging with everyone all day. It doesn’t take long for people to warm up to me. I ask people to take off bags, phones, and glasses, but I do it in a very jokey way that creates humour in the group. I have words I use to position people that again make them smile.

My Son took a great shot of me engaging with the group as I’m setting them up.

The photo above was taken by my Son William and it shows that I’m engaging and having a laugh with them all. This is a really important part of the process. If people aren’t relaxed it will show in the photos.

At this point, I could just take the photo but when possible, I want your photos to stand out from other people there. I often have a number of people standing behind me with their phones taking photos of my efforts setting up the shot. I honestly don’t mind this because I use lighting to enhance mine so mine won’t look as flat as their photos will be.

Next, I add a little bit of lighting pop to the scene. I don’t want it to look like I’ve blasted them with light, but I do want to enhance the scene. William took a natural light shot just before I took mine, and the people on their phones behind me will also have shots like this…

Yes, it’s quite nice, but it feels a little plain because my light hasn’t been added yet. You can see above that I am still engaging with the group and they are all at ease.

When I’m happy I combine everything together and take my shot…

And there we have the final photo. That extra little bit of light on the group just brings them out from the background and makes them stand out that little bit more.

Yes, phones can take good photos, but it’s the ability to control the lighting that makes your Wedding Photographers photos stand out from others.

Do you need a Wedding Photographer for your wedding? Let’s chat!

Simon Day

If you have a wedding, portrait, event or festival coming up please contact me. Likewise for portraits. Check out my social media channels: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter