Hey guys! This is a new category of posts, where I try to answer all the questions I’ve been asked about photography. I figure that I have all this wedding & portrait photography knowledge up top, and it couldn’t hurt to share! Seriously, I have too many thoughts. 

So I’m going to start writing tips & tricks posts here and there. If you have questions about photography that you’d like me to answer, shoot me a quick email or ask me on twitter

Wedding photography bridal party portrait ideas

One of the questions I’m asked about at every meeting (and with good reason!) is family and bridal party portraits on your wedding day. Here are a few tips for getting exactly the photos you want!

Think about what you’d like in advance. This sounds like a duh moment, but there are so, so many things to think about before your wedding day that sometimes people forget! Do you want to have the standing, smiling, trying-not-to-blink shots? Would you rather have more casual family photos? Maybe a mix? Check out friends’ photos and Pinterest boards, and see how you feel.

Talk with your photographer. I know that I do bridal party portraits and family formals differently than many photographers. So talk with your photographer about the style of “formals” you’d like, and see how much time you’ll need to set aside for the type of shots you’d like to have.

Nominate a sibling or other family member to help assemble the families and make sure Uncle Joe didn’t run off too early. The bossiest siblings are the best candidates for this job! In my lonely only-child case, maybe an aunt or best friend would do the trick.

Talk with your family in advance (especially the moms) about the formals–these are parents’ favorites. If you’re doing something unconventional, talk with family about it so there’s no wedding-day confusion. If Mom just has to have a whole family photo, it’s no problem! But it’s much easier to plan for ahead of time.

The more I talk with my couples, the better idea I have of exactly how to create the most amazing wedding images for them. If you’re stumped, chances are your photographer might have some ideas to get the ball rolling. Your formal portraits will probably be some of the only photographs of your whole family (and bridal party) together, so make sure you know what you’d like. And then cross formals off your worry list!

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