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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. That is not to say that I don’t do family pictures at weddings, I do, and I feel that they are some of the most important pictures of the day. But, there is a good reason why they aren’t on my website.
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 more, dare I say , authentic.
Why Are These Picture 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 was lucky enough to have a great wedding photographer in Jerry Ghionis. I have pictures of my brother and I as he was my best man. 15 months after those pictures were taken my brother suddenly passed away. How valuable do you think the simple pictures of my brother and I are at this point? That is why these types of pictures are so important.
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.
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 have get ready for the day. Whether it’s 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.
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.
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.