Having your photos taken on wedding day can be stressful, but by taking a moment to think about the photos you want ahead of time you can be better prepared to step in front of the camera. We call this type of understanding “knowing your limits” and it can help us better plan for your formal portraits on your big day. There are many special circumstances involving group photos out on location that require a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone and by recognizing them before your wedding, you can be ready to handle these situations and not let them deter you from getting the gorgeous photos you desire.
A common interest in many of our wedding clients is a more rustic looking style; posing in fields and prairies, barns, etc. This type of scenery is also a favorite of ours, but there are some things to take into consideration when picking a location for your group photos. For instance, prairies and fields tend to have tall grass as well as exposed dirt. This can pose an issue to dresses (especially longer dresses) and have the potential to dirty the edges of your train. However, if care is taken in choosing the exact spot in an open field for photos, those types of issues can usually be avoided. We always do our absolute best to ensure everyone’s safety (including keeping everyone clean). The photo below was taken in a prairie this past fall. Although there was exposed dirt on the ground, the tall grass bent under the dress train kept the dress off the ground and safe from scuffs and stains.
When traveling to spots within a location for photos, keep in mind footwear. While heels look great and are a common choice for weddings, it may be advisable to bring a comfortable pair of shoes to slip into during the group photos. Often times there is quite a bit of walking involved to reach desired locations after parking and if heels aren’t something that you are used to, it can begin to take a toll on your feet. A pair of sandals or flats might be something that can help with this, then slip back into your heels when it is time for the photos. Also, depending on your dress length, these more comfortable shoes may be worn longer if your dress covers your feet.
Another limit that some people may run into on their wedding day is rain, or should we say, good luck. Rain can be off-putting and understandably so, but what is important for us to know is if rain will prevent you from going outside for group photos. Although rain may be uncomfortable, most times it is a temporary discomfort. Once back indoors, your dress will dry and look as if nothing ever happened, however if you embrace the rain and use it as a backdrop, you can get unique photos that will make others hope it rains on their wedding day too!
One of the last limits some may run into is time. Wedding day is generally scheduled to the minute and this can eat into time for photos if not done correctly. If there are group photo locations that you absolutely love, keep in mind the travel time needed to get there, find the different areas for photos, take the photos and travel back. While it may not seem important to consider, in the grande scheme of events, total travel for group photos could take an hour or more depending on the locations. One way to combat this is to choose locations closest to your reception or ceremony park. Although specific places may have a personal meaning to you both, often times they can be recreated elsewhere that allows for less travel time and more time for photos. To go along with this, keep in mind the restrictions of limo and party bus drivers. Some companies will not travel on the highway, which forces their routes to these locations to be longer.
Knowing your limits can ensure your day runs a little smoother. Although as photographers we great at thinking on our feet, the more information we know about your photo preferences the more we can plan for an enjoyable and relaxing group photo session with your bridal party. We encourage everyone to speak up and be a part of the planning process when it comes to your wedding day photography.