Why group photos matter: my plea for family formals

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Shall I start by honestly confessing that I find this the most boring time of the day? Taking family formals. No one will get really excited by it. Well, hardly anyone then. There is often a grandmother, a mother, or an aunt who can’t wait to have the particular photo printed and already in her hands. In fact, she wants to put it in a frame and hang it up. Why should we withhold this from her? Well no idea actually… and secretly I would like to be among the pictures on my grandparents’ photo wall. Really!

Not too creative group photos

I never really enjoy making them myself because there is little creativity involved as a photographer. Or brides and grooms want mega creative family formals, but the guests don’t really want them. Then you call out, “well guys, now all of you have to be funny” and just like that your cousin keeps looking a little grumpy. Or you’ve called 49 day guests together and guest number 50 is just making a brief toilet stop. Or, and we also experience this sometimes, someone is just not there anymore. That person is then checking into the hotel, for example. Result: a group photo in which not everyone is in the picture.

Why I understand why they need to get made anyway, is because we are married ourselves. And yes, surely our wedding photographer had to photograph a few combinations of ours. From our beautiful mothers who had done their very best for their outfit, from my sister-in-law who had been specially to the hairdresser that morning, my little brother who had a bow-tie on, from the partners of our (divorced) parents who now also are part of the family, and from the sweetest dogs in our family. And when my grandfather asked if he could have his picture taken with Ramon separately our photographer said: “of course, come and stand here”. What a lesson! Especially now that my grandfather is sadly no more and I still have a picture of him and the most important man in my life.

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Tips for your family formals

And that’s why we’re giving you a few tips, to make it all just a little bit easier and more fun:

Make sure you think in advance about whether or not you want group photos at your wedding. You don’t owe anyone anything, but if we organize it well together, we can arrange the most popular combinations in 15 minutes. You happy, we happy and your family happy too. If necessary, consult with your immediate family to see if they have any expectations about this.

Please send us a list of up to 10 combinations. In this way, you can quite easily get everyone’s picture taken once, in full, from head to toe. We give a maximum, because we find that more combinations often have a dramatic effect on the time frame. Please also pass the list along to your master of ceremonies, as he/she often knows more about family relationships. Anyway, think of a picture of you with your parents, picture with all the girls and one with all the men. A photo with any bride’s children, one with your master of ceremonies(s), and possibly also with your separate families.

The most convenient time to take the photos is either at the end of the wedding ceremony, or at home (when you want to have your photo taken only with your immediate family and start the day together in the morning, for example).

If you secretly don’t want your brother’s new girlfriend to be in the picture too, just let us take a picture with and without a partner. It’s about 30 seconds of extra work, so no problem.

And if you really hate having your picture taken, just let us take 1 big group picture. Then everyone will be in the picture at least once (and then after that we will do our best to get you casual somewhere with your parents in the picture).

So much for our plea. In case you’re still not convinced, you just really don’t want group photos and that’s totally fine too. Then we will continue taking more natural photos. But then at least we did our best : )