Group shots are an essential part of any wedding photographer’s repertoire, but getting them right can sometimes be a tricky business.

Tips for great group shots at weddings

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There are times when post production can come into its own, such as in the case of the bride who wanted her late daughter included in her wedding shots, but getting everyone in the right place at the right time is generally an essential achievement on the day.

A former Wedding Photographer of the Year, Paul Cudmore, agrees that group shots can be the trickiest of any of the shots expected. This is not least because the pressure is on to not only please the bride and groom but also to ensure you are creating keepsakes for a whole host of extended family members.

What is the secret to success and what is it important to know before the big day?

The importance of planning

Whether you are a wedding photographer in Hampshire or a snapper in California, you need to plan everything carefully, from the types of shot you are going to take to who you want in each photograph.

As wedding photographers such as lemontree will tell you, knowing the timetable of events is also essential; however, you should be prepared to be flexible − things often seem to run later than planned on the day.

What does everyone want?

It is important to know what you want to achieve on the day and relate this to what you have established that the bride and groom want you to achieve from your efforts.

Who will be there?

When it comes to group shots, you need to know who will be at the wedding and who must be included in the shots and placed in the most prominent positions.

It can also be a good idea to get some insider information on the key players likely to be involved on the day. A little rapport can work wonders when it comes to getting people to cooperate.

The location details

Visiting the location in advance and at the relevant time of day will enable you to plan all your shots, including the group shots. This will ensure that you will have everything you need, from enough space to the best possible lighting on the day.