While I live my life eternally excited about weddings and all the photos they entail, I know that is not how everyone else feels. If there’s one thing I have learned over my years as a wedding photographer, it’s that most bridesmaids and groomsmen aren’t fans of doing big group photos. There are definitely people that really get into it, but most of the time there is just a lot of nervous, unsure vibes when it comes to taking those photos. I’m all about everyone having a good experience, so here’s a look at my approach to taking care of the bridal party during photos!
While you’d think using the same poses would make these photos look cookie-cutter, the size of the wedding party, the location, and their personalities make these photos so fun and unique! No matter the wedding party size, I always start with capturing the full wedding party together to help cut down on the chaos. There’s a lot more direction during these because I’m posing so many people at one time. It’s also the start of the wedding party’s time with me, so they’re much more focused and paying attention. Once everyone is together we begin flowing quickly through my standard shot list!
THE CLASSIC SHOT:
I always call these the “mom” shots. You have everyone lined up, looking their best, and smiling directly at the camera. Girls on the Bride’s side, guys next to the groom. These are the ones parents love hanging up and/or including in an album! I like to do a couple of sets of these, one with any ring bearers and flower girls and some without.
THE MIX AND MINGLE:
Once the classic shot is over, we’ll mix it up! Bridesmaids and groomsmen alternate on both sides of the bride and groom for a more casual vibe. These are much more relaxed and I’ll have the party laugh and joke at each other to get those genuine smiles going. I love seeing the personality of the party come through at this point because they’re not focused on me and the camera anymore, but on each other!
THE FUN ONES:
Now that the wedding party is relaxed and having a good time, I’ll move them right into some extra fun shots! The wedding party giving a cheer as the bride and groom kiss, walking and laughing together, model shots…these are all based on the personality of the party!
Once the full party photos are done, I’ll divide the group. The bride and her wedding party members will get the chance to be the stars of the show! I’ll begin these with the same classic, smiling at the camera shot before moving into more fun poses. Each of them will also get their own individual portraits with the bride!
Capturing the groom and his wedding party members will mirror what I do with the bride’s side. These usually just include more ribbing and bad dad jokes, which I love! 😂
And there you have it, my simple, streamlined approach to bridal party photos! I want to keep the day moving and everyone happy, so these usually only last 20-30 minutes. You’ll get a whole lot of variety during that time though while not overwhelming your wedding party. I know they just want to get to having a good time, so being as efficient as possible gets us done and them moving towards party time! Which they all love!!