5 Tips for making a Family photo list

So you are getting married and need to create a shot list/checklist for family photos. Where do you even start? Here are a few tips that might help you, plus a link to my group photo list spreadsheet. 

1. Why you should make a list

Let's start with the list. Yes, you should list all the group photos you want. Please don't tell your photographer, "oh, just the usual family photos" It's 2022; there aren't any usual families and thank god for that! I don't know your structure, and I don't want to miss anyone important to you or make things awkward by forcing the two divorcees to stand next to each other. Or even worse, bring up the loved one that has passed and couldn't be there. So do your photographer a solid and make that list! 

2. Group Photos vs. family photos

Gone are the days of still and formal wedding photos until we come to this part of the day. Why are we still only doing family photos like it's 1950? Ditch the family photo list and make a group photo list! Add your college friends, your San Francisco friends, and your high school friends! There is no reason you can not include friend groups in your list of formal photographs on your wedding day. 

3. Make it a game

At a recent wedding I did, the only family at the wedding were the bride and groom's parents and siblings—a total of 5 people. The rest of their guests were all friends from all over the US. And not only did this couple group up all their friends for photos and give them a heads up, but they also let them know which number group they would be in. When it was time for formal photos, everyone who needed to be there for photos was there and knew their group number. This led to a fun countdown for all the groups still waiting for their turn. One of the, let's be honest, tedious parts of the day became a fun game! What's more, they had photos with all their different friend groups!

4. Make it editorial

Another great idea for group photos is to set up a lounge area for alternative family portraits. It takes a few minutes longer to set up an editorial style grouping than your regular old-fashioned family photos, but it looks so cool! One couple even went so far as to set up a lounge area and invited their guest to take their beautiful family photos as a wedding favor. The guests loved it, and it was great fun!

5. Delegate

Here is one last tip for my busy brides and grooms. If you are asking yourself, who should I include in this list? You can delegate this job to your mom and/or mother-in-law-to-be; it's a wonderful way to include them! Plus, you can still curate the list in the end.

Please don't stress about it, but do make a list! Remember that you can always add more groupings or variations on the day.