Group shots - keep them to a minimum!

I often get asked "how many group shots should we have on the day?"

I always meet at length beforehand with each couple to go through all the group shots they would like on the big day. It is very difficult to put a number on the amount of group shots to go for, but I do prefer it when they are kept to a fairly small number, as this gives me more time to spend with the bride and groom, as well as capturing those informal moments which make each wedding unique. If you don't want to spend hours posing, I would suggest a good selection would be as follows:

  • Groom, bestman and ushers
  • Bride and bridesmaids
  • Full bridal party
  • B, G and her parents
  • B, G and her immediate family
  • B, G and his parents
  • B, G and his immediate family
  • B and girls
  • G and lads
  • Full group

Of course, all families are different, but if the above list is used as a basis, and possibly a few more added to it, the formal photos will not take over the day, and will leave the photographer with plenty of time to concentrate on the bride and groom shots, as well as having time to capture the candid stuff.

I always compile a full photo list with timings, which is approved by the couple beforehand, so we all know what is happening, when and how long it will take.

Obviously the photos are a very important part of the day, but they do not need to take over everthing else. If the photos can be relaxed and natural , not only are they more enjoyable for everyone on the day, but the shots produced look much better. My advice to anyone about to make a list of the group shots they want would be to write down all the ones you "think you should have" and halve it!