traditional family wedding picture of ken stewart family

Traditional Family Pictures at Weddings

Every wedding that I do has standard family pictures

If you have looked at my website for wedding content to any extent, you probably won’t see too many standard family pictures at weddings, if any at all. However,  I feel that they are some of the most important pictures of the day.  And I do them at every single wedding that I document. 

What is a Standard Family Photo at a Wedding?

To me, a “standard” family photo  is one in which I appropriately set up the group and have them look into the camera. A very simple, very basic photograph. A picture like this is more about documentation. Recording, for posterity sake, members of a family. Doing so simply and in a traditional manner. It’s important to understand this definition as I address the types of family pictures at weddings that I do so that I can show that I actually do them and to illustrate how I then try to get beautiful pictures that are more natural and as authentic as possible.

Why Are These Pictures Important?

Legacy is important to all of us. It is what we leave behind when we’re gone. This is why I feel that wedding photography, and photography in general, is so important. We leave behind evidence of our existence and our love. This enables those that come after us to stay connected with their past. 

I was married in 2014. I have pictures of my brother and I from that day. Fifteen months after those pictures were taken my brother passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. So those pictures with him are the last pictures that I have of us together. How valuable do you think these pictures are at this point? That is why I stress the importance of these types of pictures to my clients.

Natural Family Pictures

Normally, before the wedding ceremony, I like to get photos of the bride and groom each with their immediate families. This is usually done where each of them are getting ready for the day. That could be a hotel, their home or the home of their parents. This is more convenient and, in the case of the parent’s home, much more personal and meaningful.

cleveland wedding picture of family
family laughing in picture at cleveland wedding
amily picture during christmas wedding in cleveland
family laughing in cleveland wedding at christmas

For these pictures, I start with standard pictures but then progress in trying to make them more relaxed and casual. I see if the families will interact with the bride and with the groom. It is in these moments that people tend to get emotional and those are the most important moments at weddings (and the ones that I love the best). Doing these also gives you and your family more choices for professional prints and for your wedding album. If any of the formal or informal family pictures are missed, I will insist that they get done at the wedding reception. They are that important.

traditional family wedding picture of ken stewart family
weintraub family on jewish wedding day
ride laughing with mom
bride and mom on wedding day

Altar Pictures at Weddings

The most traditional wedding pictures that I do are always on the altar. Whether that is at a church, a country club, or, less regularly, on farm / barn. We have a captive audience since the ceremony has just taken place. It is a great time to do these standard pictures. It is also the most traditional place to do them. Sometimes, and more often than not lately, couples will opt to see each other before their wedding ceremony. A “first look” as it’s popularly known, allows the bride and groom to take care of obligatory pictures and to have a more intimate moment with each other. This is also the best time to do the standard family pictures.

cleveland wedding pictures of family in church
family picture at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church Akron

Why Aren’t There Standard Family Pictures on the Website

For my website, I am trying to post pictures that are uniquely mine. Pictures that no-one else but me can create. The one thing that a client cannot quantify and get is the individual style and personality of each photographer. That is why, in general, photography is not a commodity. It’s not like a loaf of bread or an automobile where one is exactly like the other. There are other types of bread or cars, but if you like one in particular, you have to buy that brand. I could write a whole other blog on that subject, but by illustrating this, you can better understand my approach to what pictures go on the website. But, is it also important to note that, even though there are creative pictures throughout your day, pictures with your loved ones, no matter how simple, are the most important and will always be done at weddings that I photograph.

large indian family picture

Family Pictures at Weddings // Cleveland Photographers