Family Formal Photographs at Weddings

Family formal photographs at a wedding are a time-honored tradition, capturing the essential familial bonds that weddings often celebrate and fortify. These photos are more than mere snapshots; they are keepsakes, symbolizing unity, love, and the blending of families that a marriage represents. Let’s explore the significance, planning, and execution of family formal photographs at a wedding.

Understanding Family Formal Photographs

What Are Family Formal Photographs?

Family formal photographs at a wedding are structured, posed pictures that typically include the couple and their immediate family members, such as parents, siblings, and grandparents. These photographs aim to capture the familial connections and are often considered among the most cherished keepsakes from the wedding.

These are the images you think of when you think of old school wedding photography. They are posed, everyone looking straight at the camera, and used as documentation of the event rather than artistic expression.

The Importance of Family Formals

Family formal photographs are a visual record of the family at a significant moment in time. They showcase the love, unity, and joy shared between family members. These images can become heirlooms, passed down through generations, and often hold sentimental value.

Weddings are one of the only times you will ever have every family member and friend in one place with a professional photography team on hand.

Planning for Family Formal Photographs

Creating a Shot List

Planning for family formals requires attention to detail. Work with your photographer (like Rebecca, if you’re seeking a luxury touch) to create a shot list that includes all the combinations of family members you want to include. Consider the dynamics, ages, and special relationships within the family to ensure that everyone is comfortable and the process runs smoothly.

At RAA, you can expect us to send you an email that allows you to enter names into boxes and think through these. We will also ask you if there are any special circumstances to consider. These might include Great Aunt Sally and her trouble getting around, or even how Aunt Sue and Uncle Joe divorced last year and no longer speak. Navigating families can be a tricky business!

Timing and Location

Selecting the right time and place for the family formals is crucial. These photographs are often taken after the ceremony but can also be scheduled during the cocktail hour. We will determine the best place in the schedule to do these and then have you approve it. Keep in mind that we budget 1 minute for each image. This means that if you come up with 50 groupings during your consult email, you can expect to spend at least 50 minutes taking these pictures.

It is extremely helpful to designate a family wrangler. Someone who knows both sides of the family (often maid of honor or best man), to be in charge of fetching anyone who has snuck off to cocktail hour. We admit that this section of the process is pretty boring and stressful, so it’s very common for people to sneak off.

Executing the Family Formals

Coordination and Communication

Communication is key in executing the family formals without stress. Informing family members in advance about when and where the photos will be taken ensures that everyone is prepared.

You should also tell everyone to stay in one place until the images are complete.

Professional Guidance

A skilled photographer will provide direction and create a relaxed atmosphere for the family formals. Their expertise in positioning, lighting, and capturing genuine expressions will result in timeless and elegant photographs.

Our second shooters and assistants earn their keep during this time, as they help us quickly and accurately move through this process by calling out names and keeping everyone on track.

Conclusion: A Moment to Treasure

Family formal photographs at a wedding are not merely a routine; they are a celebration of family bonds, a reflection of joy, and a testament to the love that surrounds the couple on their special day. Planning and executing these photographs with care will result in beautiful memories that will be treasured for a lifetime.

Whether it’s a grand smile with all the generations or a tender moment between the bride and her father, family formals capture the essence of familial love at a monumental occasion. It’s a tradition that resonates with the heart and finds a cherished place in the family’s history. In the artistry of wedding photography, these images stand as reminders of the day two families became one.

Still trying to decide where to go from here? Check out these blogs to help you learn more about the wonderful world of wedding photography and videography with Rebecca Ann Aesthetic.

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