It’s been a while since we’ve posted anything wedding photography related, so today I decided to write an article about one of the fun types of shots we often get asked to take…the massive group photo! You know the drill, we start assembling the family for a formal portrait…first the couple, then the parents, followed by the siblings…and next thing you know the entire family wants in on the action! Some photographers might dread having to figure out how to fit everyone in the frame, but we always come prepared for anything and have a great time doing it! Here are a few examples of some fun group shots we’ve done:
This first photo is an example of a traditional family wedding portrait we’ve shot. After the ceremony, we gathered the entire family outside the church and used the front steps to our advantage. The stairs always provide a natural elevation method to provide height to people in the back and get everyone to fit in the frame. The gorgeous facade of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Roman Catholic Church in Southampton, NY (which Pope Benedict XVI recently bestowed the designation of basilica on!) provided a dramatic background to this lovely family.
The setup for the second photo here was a total surprise to us. We were shooting a wedding and the DJ told us a special family photo was going to be organized for us on the dance floor in a few minutes. We made our way from the dining room into the ballroom and there were two chairs in the middle of the floor. The two brides were called in to sit in the chairs. Next, all the children were called in to sit in front of the brides. Next the parents and siblings were called in to stand behind them followed by the cousins, etc. Eventually every single person at the wedding was arranged around the couple without us having to do anything! We took a few “formal” shots to begin with and then the MC yelled out for everyone to show the photographers some love and below is the result of that. What a fun idea!
Our final example was probably the craziest of them all and is proof positive of the great lengths our photographers will go to for the perfect shot! We were shooting a wedding reception in the sprawling backyard of a beautiful home in Water Mill, NY when we were asked to take a group shot from the roof of the house! Our chief photographer, Tom Fitzgerald, happily (and carefully) climbed up a ladder on the side of the house, full camera gear in tow, while I rounded everyone up on the grass below.
Some people were busy talking, eating, and drinking and didn’t realize why they were being rounded up since they didn’t see the photographer in front of them. A simple point of the finger up to the roof let everyone know what was going on and soon the slight confusion turned into excitement! I don’t think any of them had ever seen a wedding photographer up on a roof before! The yard was gently sloped upward which provided for a nice composition of the family and once Tom was in place, we yelled for everyone to look up at him and here is the result! He snapped a few in portrait orientation also to capture the beautiful vineyard behind this house, but here is the cropped landscape image.
These are just a few examples of the large group shots we’ve taken over the years and we look forward to taking many more this year! What about you? Have you had to take photographs of large groups of people? Tell us about your experiences! We’d love to hear them!