Tips for getting the family formal portraits done fast and easy for everyone

Family portraits can be one of the more stressful moments of your wedding day. With numerous individuals to coordinate and potential family dynamics at play, it’s essential to plan ahead for a smooth experience.

Here are five helpful tips to alleviate stress and ensure that your photographer will capture portraits that you will cherish for a lifetime:

bride hugging father at her wedding.

1. Create a list of family members you would like to have featured in group portraits

Start by compiling a list of the family members you want to capture in your portraits. Consider immediate family, close relatives, and special friends who hold significance in your life. Having a clear list ensures that no one is overlooked amidst the excitement of the day.

Then create combinations of group photos of these significant individuals.

To assist with this step, I’ve created a helpful template that you can download. You may complete and return to me before your wedding day.

I will use this list to call folks in and out of each group photo for a smooth process.

2. Keep the list to a minimum

I suggest limiting the list to immediate family and grandparents. Although it might be tempting to include extended family members, having too many photos to pose for can drain your energy and try your patience. We can always capture extended family members and special friends with you at the cocktail hour or reception.

Bride with parents at garden wedding.

3. Use the proper names of the family members on the list

This may be an obvious one but there may be multiple family members referred to as “mom” and “dad.” Using their proper names ensures clarity about who is being called into the photo lineup.

4. Tell your family members where to go for photos in advance

Inform your family members of the exact time and designated photo locations well in advance. This is to ensure that everyone knows where to gather at the appointed time so that no one gets missed in these precious photos.

5. Assign a point person

Choose one reliable person from the bride’s side of the family as well as the groom’s side to help coordinate all participating family members. These two individuals will play a key role on your wedding day. They will assist in gathering family to make sure they are where they need to be, and they can read from the list you’ve created for each group portrait.

Bonus Tip: Family Politics

If there are any specific family politics involved, proactively communicate them to me so any tension that may arise during photos can be avoided.

Final Thoughts

These tips are your secret sauce to stress-free and heartwarming family portraits that will bring a smile to your face for years to come. Remember, I’m here for you every step of the way. So, let’s capture some beautiful moments together! If you have any questions or need extra guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out. Your picture-perfect day awaits!

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I am a Seattle Wedding Photographer

Hello, Friend

I've been photographing weddings around Seattle and beyond since 2009. I do this because I truly love the art of photography and making people happy. Your reaction to seeing your photographs makes my day. My photography style is inspired by years of travel to faraway places with my camera in tow. I will bring the same curiosity and artistic approach to your wedding day.

If my work inspires you, I would love to have the opportunity to photograph your wedding. 

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Tony Asgari

Seattle Wedding Photographer

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