The question that gets asked is “When should we do our family and wedding party photos?” The answer that you will hear from me is, do them ahead of the ceremony if you can… with very few exceptions it is the best route for a wedding day full of emotional truths.
Look at it this way, if all of the planned group photos are done beforehand, then you both get to enjoy your crowd fully and immediately… that makes them happy, too. ;0) Imagine the difference between that and having to disconnect for an hour of family shots!
How about the portraits of just the two of you, you ask? Spend some time with your people and, depending on the light, take a little time for some romantic portraits. You will be breathing again by then and relaxed enough to be in the moment for some very special images.
Just about every wedding has a timeline that will allow a couple of short sessions in sweet light… your photographer should line out the times that might work best for your particular day. Trust me… you won’t regret having made the effort. Years from now you will have those lovely pictures of the two of you… forever young and so very much in love.
There is something about an old barn on a sunny Oregon day… something very right. We had just finished the larger wedding party pictures and sent the men and women in to freshen up before the ceremony. Meanwhile, Liz and Josh wanted a couple of shots taken with their Maid of Honor and the Best Man… the barn was the perfect choice for this since we were out of the way of arriving guests. This barn has been in the family for ages… both Josh and his brother have grown up here and I like that it is a family member in a sense.
I kept the couple back for a few portraits here knowing that the ceremony was the next big thing ahead… we made some beautiful images in a short amount of time. Lucky that we did because the other 15 minutes that we had planned for afterwards didn’t happen… sometimes it’s just too important to be with the guests who have come so far to see you.
One of the things I try for in every wedding is to have two short sessions carved into the time line for portraits of just the bride and her groom… they don’t have to be complicated and we really don’t need more than about 15 minutes per session. If the light is right and the timing works, you can get a lot done. If you don’t take the time, you miss out on one of the most important parts of the day… the whole reason you are getting married is to be that couple. Special pictures of the two of you that should last you a lifetime.
I hope you will consider talking to me about your wedding, even if you don’t have a barn. ;0)
We mapped out the wedding timeline sitting at my kitchen table… when I asked Cait and Matt if they wanted getting ready photos, they said no so we decided that the day would start with them seeing each other for the first time. Arriving early at the University Club, I found them decorating their chuppah, still in jeans and sweaters. We staged our gear and started covering some of the details and the lovely architecture while they went upstairs to change. After a bit, I went up to ask Cait a question and found them helping each other dress… well, I stayed through the very precise bow-tie process and we decided that it would be really silly to go through a fake first meeting. ;0)
I love the people I get to work with… for the most part, they are happy and flexible as the day unfolds in front of them and it makes for the best pictures possible.