Group photos are so important for any event. Sometimes they can be a challenge, we’ve all been asked to stand in a group photo for too long and we know how it feels, we’ve also all had some really fun group photo experiences surrounded by friends and family having an awesome time. Here are some tips and tricks on how to make it feel good and move FAST because these people are hungry (assume everyone is always hungry, I can’t be the only one!.)
1. Setup the Shot
Scope out a location that is nearby and large enough for everyone to fit. Get the lighting setup and camera seconds locked down. In this case, a (sturdy) balcony right outside of the main party area (below). The closer the better corralling people to somewhere out of site will be nearly impossible. Have some chairs nearby or anything else people can stand or sit on to create more levels.
2. Check-In for Timing
Check in with the party host and let them know what you’re planning. Get the other vendors on board. Everyone working FOR you is the best possible situation. Check with the caterers, DJ, and event coordinator, ask them when a good time to do it is and how long you have. Ideally, when everyone is done taking the photo they will have a nice hot meal waiting for them when they’re done.
3. Find Your Person – Start Small
There will undoubtedly be someone at the party who is in a position to make important decisions about who to include and also excited enough to help you make it happen. Get them pumped up and have them gather a small grouping from the party. In this case, it was the Bride and Groom and their immediate family. Set them on a mission to run around and gather their peeps. Your job is to corral the loved ones that are brought to you. Just look at this beautiful radiant woman, she was on top of her job!
3. Set a Good Example
The take the first couple you’re bought and instruct them that they are a shining example, a beacon for other members of the first group to flock to. These two will help you collect and keep people once they are brought to you by your person.
4. Position Your “Small” Group
Keep smaller family groups together start from the middle and work outward taller members behind and shorter members in front. Make sure your key members are positioned in a prime spot (In this case, the Bride and Groom). Count to three slowly, loudly, and also count on your fingers and hold them in the air. Snap a shot on every count, including a shot just after “Three!”. Do it again. Ask them to make a funny face, loosen up the group and recognize that they may be hungry/bored of standing in this position for so long. Consider entertaining them by singing a song. Assure them it will be worth it and move quickly to the next task.
5. Gather EVERYONE
Get excited, clap your hands, dance a little… however, you can encourage everyone to get in this picture DO IT. You won’t have time to position everyone but try to switch some around as they come in to maximize visibility for everyone. Here’s a secret, you can avoid dancing by having the DJ tell everyone to head over… if you don’t have a DJ channel your inner cheerleader. Leave your initial grouping and have everyone else gather in. Remember some people have been here for a while, consider leading the group in song. Say “hey, does anyone know this song? ‘WE ARE FAMILY…’?” If you’ve got this group on your hands everyone will start singing and you’ve bought yourself an extra second to shuffle some people around. Follow the same steps as the small group for taking the big group picture.