The Wedding Photos You're Not Seeing On Instagram

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….and perhaps the most important wedding photos of all.

We’ve all been on Instagram and seen beautiful couples photos and bridal portraits. That makes sense as a photographer, the artful couples shots get you in the door. 

Here’s the problem: So much focus can be put on the couple and bridal portraits (because they are going to be the one’s the photographer posts later) that the most important set of photos often get tossed to the wayside.

I believe all of the wedding photos are important, but I think there’s an extra layer of importance on the post-ceremony family group photo time.

Everyone has “The Family Shot” sitting on their grandma’s piano or bookshelf in their house. In fact, growing up, the group shot of my family was the only photo I ever really saw from my parents’ wedding. 

Social media culture is great for running a business and getting your work out there, but it also comes with a temptation that the kids like to call “Doing it for the gram”. Sometimes this temptation causes photographers to lose sight of why they are even shooting a wedding: I’ve seen many complaints about photographers with huge followings spending a lot of time posting themselves on Instagram stories while shooting a wedding rather than actually focus on shooting the wedding. 

So why is “The Family Shot” at risk? 

Large group photos are a totally different ballgame from the rest of the wedding photos. You may have upwards of 50 people of all ages in this photo. Because it’s not as flashy or “cool” of a photo, I’ve seen photographers rush this shot time and time again. Of all of the photos from the wedding day, it can be the hardest. Often times, you have to talk loudly and gather everyone in a group and make sure you have all your lighting and settings ready to go so you don’t miss the second where the baby is looking at the camera. You gotta get 2 or 3 versions of each group combination just to make sure no one is blinking (this is a tip I learned from when I worked in school photography and had to take large group photos of kindergarteners). Glasses off, smiles on, and make sure no one’s hidden behind anyone in the shot.   

If you are a photographer, you probably won’t be posting “The Family Shot” to your social media, but I guarantee that the family members will post it on Facebook, Instagram, and they’ll probably print it too. The family group photo time is an advertisement to the most important people at the wedding for how good you are at your job, and it will make or break your word of mouth. 

For the bridal party and family, the group family photo is easily the most important shot of the entire wedding. It’s a symbol of two families becoming one, and it represents the whole reason everyone is there in the first place.  

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