Hey! I’m Kelsey, an intimate wedding and elopement photographer in Indiana, and I have a perfect wedding family photo checklist for you.
Over the years, I’ve seen lots of my couples struggle building a family photo list that flows well and doesn’t leave anything important out. This is the perfect base shot list to work from and I’m sharing it with you too!
First and foremost, having a wedding family photo checklist will help keep you and your photographer organized.
Next, it’ll save you time! You won’t waste any moments trying to think of who you should grab a photo with next — you already know. Trust me, there are too many other things going on on your wedding day to try to remember the people you wanted photos with.
Sticking with that list will also keep Aunt Betty from wanting her own mini portrait session with the two of you in the middle of family photos. (Sorry, Aunt Betty)
And finally, you won’t forget anyone important. There won’t be any panic afterwards because you remember the next day you forgot to grab someone for a photo, or your photographer didn’t know you even had a third brother who should have been in that picture.
Plus, it’ll help you get better candid photos, too. Yep! An unexpected result of having a great wedding family photo checklist for your photographer is that it’ll give me a sense of who is most important to you. That introduces me to your family and helps me know who to be watching for great reception candid reactions and those dancing photos.
With the below checklist, I recommend setting aside roughly 30 minutes. You can count on each photo group on your list taking roughly 2 minutes to photograph by the time family members are organized and posed, dresses are fluffed, boutonnieres are fixed, small children are smiling, etc.
If you elect to add extended family members, set aside extra time. We’ll come back to that in a second!
This is just a starter template. I recommend using this checklist as a base and adjusting it to fit your family dynamics. It’s easy tweaks to fit your siblings, step-parents, or other guardians.
Also, I recommend you add people’s names. That way when you pass your list along to your photographer so they can use it on your wedding day, it makes it easier for them to organize each shot. It’ll make family photos a breeze and you’ll be glad you did.
Finally, it’s a good idea to make your photographer aware of any family dynamics that might factor into groupings or posing. Sometimes there are some family members that don’t get along (we have them, too!). It’s helpful to let your photographer know not to ask them to stand next to each other.
Extended family photos often take significantly longer than all the other family photos — sometimes an extra twenty minutes all by themselves. These folks often don’t know they’re supposed to be included in photos, so they run off to grab a drink or go to the bathroom. If you decide to include extended family members in your photo list, make sure to set aside extra time and let these family members know in advance they specifically are needed. An announcement from the officiant that family should stick around for photos should specify who (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents) so they know.
If you have lots more folks you want photos with, I recommend doing this at your reception! After dinner when folks are dancing, you’ll have a great opportunity to grab a group of your cousins for a pic. This is also a great time for Aunt Betty to get all those pics with you she wants. This way, you won’t be limited on time and get to enjoy socializing with these relatives at the same time.
Let me know how the list works for you!