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One of the most frequently asked questions I get asked by couples is how much time should they set aside for the family wedding photos. Luckily, there is a really easy way to figure it out.

Planning how much time you need for family photos should follow these rules:

  • Plan three to five minutes for smaller groups (5 or less)
  • Plan five to ten minutes for larger groups (5+ people) and smaller groups with children or anyone who might need some extra time

That’s it – that is the magical equation for figuring out how much time to set aside for family photos on your wedding day.

Wedding Family Photos

I also have a general flow to family photos that will also help the time move along.

I usually start with one large family photo – both the bride & the groom’s families together = 10 minutes

Then we’ll do the bride and groom with one side of the family and shuffle people in and out as the photos proceed.

Let’s assume, each person has a 4 person immediate family and one set of grandparents. The family photo line-up would look like this:

  • Bride & Groom with brides entire family = 10 minutes
  • Bride & groom with brides’ parents = 3 minutes
  • Bride & groom with brides grandparents = 3 minutes
  • Bride & groom with siblings = 3 minutes

Total time to set aside (rounded up) = 30 minutes

And then we switch sides and repeat for the groom’s side of the family, which would be another 30 minutes.

You can also use that rule when figuring out how long for the bride or groom alone with their own family.

Using the same family scenario from above, that would look like:

  • Bride with whole family = 10 minutes
  • Bride with immediate family (no grandparents) = 7 minutes
  • Bride with mom = 3 minutes
  • Bride with dad = 3 minutes
  • Bride with both parents = 5 minutes
  • Bride with grandparents = 5 minutes
  • Bride with grandma= 3 minutes
  • Bride with grandpa = 3 minutes
  • Bride with siblings = 5 minutes
  • Bride with each sibling = 3 minutes

Total time (rounded down) = 45 minutes

I choose to use the lower or upper end of the rule times based on the number of people and then just rounded the time down to something that was close to the total amount of time.

If you have small children, or a family member who needs a bit of extra time, you should choose the upper limits of rule.

All of my wedding packages include two photographers, which really helps in utilizing the amount of time we have for photos. Because there are two photographers, we can usually half the amount of time required, as both photographers are available to take family wedding photos.

In addition to setting aside enough time, there are a few other things we can plan to help make sure family photos go smoothly.

  • Schedule family photos after the ceremony. Scheduling your family photos immediately after the ceremony helps keep people on time. No one leaves and no one loses track of time while waiting for photos.
  • Choose a photo location close to the ceremony location. I also always pick a spot for family photos that is very close to the wedding ceremony or a pre-determined location making it easy for everyone to know where to gather.
  • Schedule your single family photos before the ceremony. I’ve talked about this before because this is still one of my favorite wedding tips. All those single family photos (groom with his family & the bride with her family) that need to be done can often be done at the getting ready location before the ceremony. This leaves only the couple/family photos to be done after the ceremony and it will be feel much shorter for the families while waiting.

Most importantly – relax. It is my job to make sure they go smoothly for everyone. As long as you set aside the right amount of time for your family photos, I’ll take care of the rest.

If you have any other questions about how to plan your wedding photos, send me an email or leave a comment below.

Family Wedding Photos

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Kailah & Kyle were married in Mexico but wanted to get a some day after photos back in Alberta. The day before their session it rained. Poured. Cats & dogs. And even though the massive amounts of mud (epic amounts of mud) stopped us from getting Kailah’s spot, we still found some good spots in Kailah’s hometown of Cardiff, Alberta. Here are some of my favorite images from our afternoon together:

Edmonton Wedding Photographers
Edmonton Wedding Photographers
Edmonton Wedding Photographers
Edmonton Wedding Photographers
Edmonton Wedding Photographers
Edmonton Wedding Photographers
Edmonton Wedding Photographers
Edmonton Wedding Photographers
Edmonton Wedding Photographers

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I know meeting with wedding vendors can be tough. I remember calling up vendors for my wedding and having no idea what to say. And when it comes to your wedding you want to hire a photographer whose work you love, but is also an professional you can trust.  So when I meet up with couples for the first time, I try to answer all the questions I can think of to help them out. But I also put together this list of questions to ask a wedding photographer.

These questions here will make sure you are hiring a photographer that you can depend on and ensure that you have clear expectations on what you can expect while working with them.

The questions have been structured so that they hopefully flow into a natural conversation nicely.

Here is the general flow of the questions:

  • Start by getting to know the photographer you are meeting with and the experience that he or she has
  • Find out what they offer and the package prices
  • Understand how the actual wedding day will flow
  • Understand what the photographer will be delivering & what product options are available
  • Ensure that they are prepared for anything that could go wrong with a plan B
  • Figure out what the next steps are if you’d like to book them

Questions to Ask a Wedding Photographer

The important thing to remember when meeting with a photographer is that there are no right/wrong answers to these questions. Keep an open mind when meeting with a photographer and his or her specific workflow and style. Remember that your goal is to hire a photographer who is professional, that you have clear expectations on what you can expect from them & most importantly, can give wedding photos you’ll love.

Get To Know Your Photographer…

  • How long have you been into photography? How long have you been shooting weddings? How many weddings have you photographed?
  • Why do you like to photograph weddings?

Find out what they offer and the prices…

  • Can I see coverage from a complete wedding?
  • How many images do you typically deliver for a wedding?
  • What is the cost? And what are the payment terms?
  • Are there any additional fees?
  • Are your prices guaranteed if I sign a contract?
  • Do you have a product price list?
  • What products (prints, albums, canvases) are include in the wedding package?
  • What is the ordering process for products (prints, albums, canvases) and how long does it take to receive them? Can we see samples?
  • Will we receive a disc of the images?
  • Are the digital files provided high resolution and watermark free?
  • Can we or family members purchase images after the wedding?

What if you need a Plan B?

  • What happens if you get sick or unable to photograph our wedding?
  • What happens if the weather is bad and we can’t do outdoor photos?
  • Do you have back-up equipment?
  • Are my photos backed-up?

Wedding Day Details

  • What a does typical wedding coverage look like for you?
  • How long will it be before we get to see our pictures? How long will it be before we receive our pictures after the wedding?
  • Will you pick the photo locations, or do we have to find them?
  • Will the photos be a mix of color & black & white?
  • Do you have any references?
  • If I get a picture in color, but would prefer black & white, will you do that? And if so, would there be an additional cost?
  • Who will be my wedding photographer? Will it actually be you? (if a studio has multiple photographers)
  • How many other events will your also photograph that weekend?
  • What happens if I’d like you to stay late that day?
  • Is there an additional cost for retouching?
  • How long do you keep the files on your computer?
  • Is there a limit on the amount of pictures that you take?
  • What kind of processing or retouching will the final images have?
  • What steps do I need to take to book you?

Questions to ask a wedding photographer

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One of the questions people ask me the most is how can they take better photos. It’s kind of a tough question to answer – there are a million ways to get better photos. There’s lighting, posing, know your camera. That is one of the things I truly love about photography  – there is always something to learn.  I’ve dug though  quite a few online photography classes and tutorials and there are a couple that have risen to the top as my favorites. I keep coming back to these sites because they are easy to follow along with, are good value and are constantly updating their content. It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out or you are a pro, these sites have something for everyone.

Photography Concentrate – Their tutorials are super simple to follow along with. Anyone, even someone who is starting from scratch, will find their guides easy. I love that they also have guides for the insanely important items – such as backing up your photos. And there are tons of great freebies on their site, so check them out.

Digital Photography School – Digital Photography School is a goldmine of information. Their blog will answer any question you might have about photography. They cover everything from the nitty gritty technical stuff to posing to finding inspiration.

ClickinMoms – I didn’t join ClickinMoms until last year and I’m kind of kicking myself about that now. Their forum is filled with great people who are always helpful. I’ve taken some of their breakout sessions and a few of their online courses, which are instructor led, and have found both to be exceptionally well put together. All of the instructors have been great at adjusting content for the photographer that they are working with.

Succeeding as a Wedding Photography Business – This isn’t an online photograph class but a group on Flickr that I have been a part of since day one. I’ve found answers to pretty much every single question I’ve ever had on this forum.  I’ve learnt so much from the people in this group. Take some time to dig through the archives – you’ll find some really great information.

I know that there are thousands of places out there, but these have been my mainstay places. Check them out and if you have a site or two I should check, let me know.

Here’s a sneak peek from a session I’m working on.

Online Photography Classes

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On of the most frequently asked questions people have about maternity sessions is when should someone book their maternity photos to get the best photos of their baby bump.

You want to book your maternity session around the 28-32 week mark. Right around 30 weeks is that sweet spot where you have a nice beautiful baby bump, but you aren’t in that uncomfortable phase that has been known to happen in the last few weeks of pregnancy.

Good timing is always helpful, but if you find yourself unable to book a session around that time, don’t worry! There are poses to help accentuate

Don’t worry about the weather. There are options for both indoor and outdoor sessions. If we find that your session has weather that won’t let us take pictures outside, we can move to an indoor session or book a studio to get your maternity photos.

Maternity Photos Edmonton
Maternity Photos Edmonton
Maternity Photos Edmonton

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