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Formal Family Photos

How to create a list of formal family photos

Large family gathers for formal photosOne of the jobs of the wedding photographer is to take formal family formal photos. These are the pictures of the bride and groom with their families, either at the church or wedding venue or outside. It is always helpful to the photographer for the bride and/or groom to make a list of the desired photos.

Here are some tips for making your list. Realize circumstances are different for everyone, but these are some general rule that will apply to most couples.

When doing formal family photos, start with your parents

You will want photos with your parents. I recommend the bride with her mother and father (or stepmother or stepfather), as well as a separate photo with each of them. Get the same photo with the groom. The same will apply with the groom’s parents.

Add siblings

Bring in any brothers and sisters with your parents. This will provide a full family photo. The bride and groom should be together in these photos. Then consider photos just with the siblings without the parents.


Add grandparents to the family mix. You may want to add them to the photo with the parents, or just take photos of the bride and groom with their grandparents.

Joined families

Getting parents of both the bride and groom together in a photo with the couple is always a good idea. If parents are divorced and stepparents are involved, this may require a few different photos.

Wedding party

Photos of the bride and groom with the wedding party generally are taken during this time. Add to the list photos of the bride with her attendants, the groom with his groomsmen, and group photos with everyone. I personally like to take photos of the bride separately with each one of her bridesmaids, and the groom with each one of his groomsmen.

Flower girls and ring bearers

Photos of the bride and groom with flower girls and ring bearers can be adorable photos, so be sure and add these to your list.

Depending on the size of the family, allow at least 90 minutes for these formal portraits.

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