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The Friday Fight-Out: Groups Vs No Groups

This week we’ve been talking a lot about group photos and the impact they have on your day and on your guests. So to cap things off we thought we’d have a little debate to help you to decide whether or not you really do want those group shots!


In the Red Corner, she may be a documentary wedding photographer but having worked with so many couples to whom the groups were important today she’s fighting their cause, it’s Dom “The Tog Bride”

In the Blue Corner, as a wedding film maker he’s generally less in favour of large groups of guests standing perfectly still for extended periods of time so fighting today against the groups, it’s Matt “The Gormless Groom”

Groups Vs No Groups

Dom: Group shots can be a really lovely record of everyone who was there with you on your big day, particularly as those groupings might not naturally occur on the day for the photographer to capture without pre-arranging it.

Matt: The groups shots are rarely popular with the guests as they take them away from their drinks and chatting to their friends for extended periods.

Dom: But as long as you think carefully about which groups you really want to capture and make sure you have helpers on hand who know who the guests are to assist the photographer in getting the right people in the right place at the right time there’s no reason why the groups need to take a long time and your guests are generally perfectly happy as long as they don’t have to wait around for too long.

Matt: It’s not just the guests who are kept away by the group shots, it’s important to remember that you, as the bride and groom, will most likely be in ALL of the group shots and if you’re having portraits taken as well that can keep you away from enjoying your day with your guests for a lengthy period.

Groups Vs No Groups

Dom:  Group shots are always really interesting to look back on in the future and see how everyone’s changed over the years!

Matt: Whilst your photographer is busy taking groups they might be missing out on fantastic natural documentary moments happening between the guests at the same time, particularly if there is only one photographer.

Dom: Group shots are often really important to the older generation as they are traditionally the cornerstone of wedding photography and they will have similar shots themselves to compare to.

Matt: If the weather is too bad to go outside it can be really difficult to get any good group shots and you can end up spending a lot of time trying to make compromised group shots that in the end nobody really wants.

Dom: Guests tend to expect the group shots to happen and if they’re not pre-arranged will sometimes take it upon themselves to get various people together for shots with the photographer which can actually end up taking more time than simply arranging a quick groups session.

Matt: Sometimes there are issues between certain people who may wish to avoid one another that the photographer is unaware of and putting them together can occasionally cause conflicts which might put a slight downer on the day. Sometimes it’s best just to make sure the photographer is aware of who key people are and allow them to capture them separately at some point during the day.

So those are our thoughts but where do you stand? Leave a comment to join the debate and don’t forget to place your vote in our poll below!

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  • Jaye Cole | Tux & Tales Photography - June 6, 2014 - 3:48 pm

    I think the best option is a middle ground where the B&G select just those groups that are most important to them (close friends and family) and avoid unnecessary permutations (eg- now one without the bride…now one without the brother, etc).

    We recommend 6 shots – one with the couple & their parents (each side), one with siblings, one with grandparents and one with bridal party & one with close friends.

    Once you start getting into those permutations or those ‘guilt-ed into it’ shots it can all get a bit miserable.

    As a photographer we refuse to go without ANY group shots. Both times we tried it – it was a disaster. One time resulted in an auntie deciding at 10pm when everyone was more than a bit tipsy and light was less than ideal that there MUST be formal shots. We were stuck there an hour and in the end it ended up with 17 shots and none of them as good as they would have been hours earlier in better lighting conditions (and a little more sober). If they had simply had just 4 group shots covering the family only – the auntie would have been much less likely to be so insistent.ReplyCancel

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