So you book a wedding, and you are super pumped. Why wouldn’t you be?! Being a part of a couples wedding day is the ultimate honor. As a photographer, every wedding booked is so exciting! You send out your routine questionnaire, and learn that they are having a wedding party of twenty five people! We are talking ten bridesmaids, ten groomsmen, and a few ring bearers and flower girls. What?! That’s a lot of people for one photo!
So, what do we do?!
First step, take a deep breath! All too often photographers freeze up when things get difficult with light, posing, or stress of the wedding day. Take a breath, and look at your options. Then, ask yourself these questions.
Where can I find different levels?
Photographing a long line of people can look blah. It looks careless and ends up with so much empty space that the photo looks empty. Find a set of stairs, a fun rock or fountain, or even chairs from the ceremony site! Giving the image multiple layers adds dimension and helps with framing everyone! After all, we wanna see those beautiful faces! We also love using our Sony 16-35mm to make sure we are on a wide enough lens, without having to be too far away from the group!
Where are my shorties?!
Find your shorties, and pair them together! It’s unlikely ALL the men will be taller than ALL the girls- especially in heels. So make sure you utilize their heights and pair the shorter couples together so you can still see the people in the back row. Plus, you don’t want to emphasize drastic height differences. Pairing people that are similar heights helps make everyone look like an average height!
Where is the open space?
Our favorite pose with large wedding parties is a walking shot. “Alright everyone! Find a partner and link arms! Newlyweds you take a few steps to the front of the line, and now everyone is going to look around, laugh, and walk towards me!” This helps everyone feel comfortable because they are partnered up with someone, but also because walking is totally natural. They can start to feel silly after staring in a camera for such a long time, and this helps get a more genuine photo. It also makes your job so much easier! What is better than the people posing themselves?!
The key to photographing these larger wedding parties is to be prepared. When you know you have a large group you are going to be photographing, get to the wedding venue early and get your plan set! This will help get rid of any stress before they day even starts. Find those stairs, chairs, and open spaces! Make a game plan, share it with your second shooter, and make some magic happen!