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Photographs after ceremony

For those of you having a church wedding your photographer can make the time after the service a fun time for all.

After a church wedding service wedding photographers will often start taking group photographs straight away without giving the newly weds a chance to speak with their guests. Endless group photographs are really a thing of the past for most people getting married as they see this as a major interruption to the proceedings. People want to have fun including the guests, but if a couple want lots of family shots taken what should a photographer do?

This is largely down to the weather; if it’s freezing cold the bride won’t want too many shots taken – it’s her wedding day and if too many shots are taken while she freezes when she looks back at the photographs what she’ll remember is being cold. Guests will get bored; I’ve spoken with many couples over the years who have been guests at friends’ or family weddings and the photographer has monopolised the time at the church after the ceremony. This may be due to time restrictions; if the couple have chosen a short photography coverage perhaps up to the start of the wedding breakfast because they have a small wedding photography budget then spare a thought for the photographer who has to get the photographs the couple want and this time is very convenient as everyone is together just after the ceremony. This applies to civil weddings as well as church weddings.

It’s down to the photographer to work very quickly and make sure that the guests have fun and have the chance to take their own photographs; make it a boring experience and guests will leave for the reception in the case of church weddings or go to the bar for a drink if it’s a civil wedding.

Guests will not be around for the photographs the couple might want them in so the shots then have to be taken at the reception or someone has to find the guests for the shots; from the photographers point of view wasted time when they’re on a tight schedule can be a real problem and may mean there isn’t enough time to get the required photos by the time the venue need to get the guests to take their seats for the wedding breakfast.

I prefer to provide all day coverage when I photograph a wedding; the time constraints associated with less photography coverage don’t exist. I’m there all day so if I can’t get a shot that’s wanted before the start of the reception I’ll get it afterwards. I often get requests from guests to take their photograph; sometimes there’ll be a group of people at the wedding who do not see each other as often as they’d like so a photo of them dressed up with their friends will mean a lot.

A bit of pre-planning and a bad weather photography plan. Some photographers will not do group photographs as they only capture what happens and see the group photographs as a major interruption to the way a wedding flows; I can see their point but the way I shoot groups, if required, is always a fun experience for everyone at the wedding. It need not take very long so fear not you won’t get bored!

I work incredibly quickly and always make it clear that if the guests work with me we can get the shots done in a minimum amount of time; sure from my point of view, as a photographer, it’s easier if the couple don’t want groups but I will say that to me it’s all about choice. The few minutes taken for a few group shots mean the couple have those photos of the people featured in each of the groups; if they’re not taken the couple may regret not having those few shots taken after their wedding when they’re looking through their photographs, as many couples who have booked other photographers I have spoken to have.

The snap shots that many photographers take are often the sort of shots guests could take; professional wedding photography should be so much more than this. Be careful and make sure you get to know your wedding photographer if your wedding photography will be important to you.

Photographs after the wedding ceremony the ideal time for group photography.