Many couples these days are not looking for the stiff formal photography of weddings past. They are looking for natural images that capture the emotion and special moments of the day. However, often they and their family are also looking for a few group photographs from the day. So how do you ensure that these posed images fit in with the rest of your wedding photographs?
If you are having a more traditional photographer, one who poses everyone for every shot anyway, the any very formal group images will work well with these. Their style will work together and they will not look out of place in your album.
However, if you are having a more natural type of wedding photography then do make sure you look at your photographers posed images within their wedding albums.
Group images can be fun and relaxed. There is no need for formal line ups. Your photographer might suggest that some of you sit down, that you might lean on shoulders, kick your heel up perhaps, whisper something naughty. But they will still be paying attention to the details. They might make sure the mens shirt cuffs are showing, the brides dress is perfect and that you are all standing in a way that flatters you and makes you feel good. If you are feeling a little awkward then they should be able to help you relax and enjoy the moment. After all if you feel good you take a much better photograph than if you feel awkward and uncomfortable.
Sometimes the best photographs are taken when everyone thinks the camera is switched off so don't worry if your photographer keeps on photographing once they have said that they have stopped. Those images, where you hug your best friend or kiss your father can make the best group shots anyway.
Group photographs take time. Six group images can take about 20-25 minutes depending on how quickly people come when they are asked. If you have more time allocated for these then I would suggest leaving the number of group photos at six or so but using that time to be more creative. Go to a different/better location, use props etc. Your photographer should be able to advise you when you speak with them and help you get group shots that fit in with the style of wedding photography you are having and that you will still want in your album.
Here are a few group shots that are fun and relaxed, without being too contrived and which have made it into albums as part of the treasured memories of the day.