What are some tips for speeding up group pictures?

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QOTD from Mollie: "Wedding Question! A bride booked us very late in the game, and couldn't meet with us until a few days ago (week before her wedding!) She's only allowing 30 mins for ALL the "posed" pictures (B&G alone, wedding party, family, etc). I know we'll go over, but any tips for helping speed up the process? Thanks!"

Sarah: I take a list and I would let everyone know at the rehearsal know where you need them and the time constraints

Christina: if u have extra time while they are getting ready i would recommend taking all the brides maids out and doing a shot, vise versa with the groomsman, then do a group shot with them all together u can always aim for a composite if u run out of time at least u will have photos to work with. Also if the bride gets done early enough u can stick her in with the bridesmaids and knock those out of the way. Ask her which shots as far as parents and grand parents she wants so u can get those done first...then sometime during reception possibly sneak them away for a few mins of alone time and capture them together.

Katie: Get a list of everyone's name beforehand and give it to your second shooter/assistant/member of the bridal party that's responsible and not going anywhere. As you work your way down the list, have the assistant pair people up, etc, and have them ready and waiting for their name to be called. Kind of impersonal, but the last wedding I shot, we did all posed, post-ceremony portraits in 45 minutes in 100+ degree weather. We were QUICK! ;)

Erricka: Ask if they would be interested in a day after session for the B&G shots?

E Shay: I wouldn't "speed up" the process. I would want all of the shots I do get in her specified 30 minutes to be AWESOME shots. I would rather have fewer BETTER shots than more CRAPPY or RUSHED shots. If she complains during the 30 mins that you didn't get so-&-so, you can remind her that SHE put the 30 min time limit in place. If she complains after the wedding and after she gets her pics, you can remind her then, too. First and foremost, I would talk to her and discuss how long formal pics can take. Maybe she doesn't know. Sometimes the brides and grooms tie our hands...and ultimately, they are the ones paying for it, so they should get what they want even if that means cutting out some pics you would normally take.

Heather: I only allow my brides 10 family groupings for times sake and explan to her that she is going to want the pictures of her and her husband. I'll be the one to tell aunt Sally "no" if I need to. We can get pictures of your aunt and uncle with you at the reception.

Jess: wow that is not long at all i spend that with just the bride and groom easy.. id have a talk and tell her that if she wants quality pictures you need more time or something might get missed. my time requirements are in my contract as well so no surprises

Kellie: Agree with the above gals, but if you CAN, try to fit in one with her & her mother.... that is onc complained about if missed!!! remind her is any of the others are missed of her time limit, but get her & her mom, and the bride & groom. do not worry about anyone else.

Heather:  Do you have a second shooter that you trust? You could split up if necessary.

Mollie:  Thanks so much for all the advice!

Ashley:  I am shooting a wedding next year where the venue has a strict and SHORT time limit for formals. I have 40 minutes for all formals and "the first look". I will be breaking it down as such. 5 minutes for the first look. 10 minutes for (ONLY IMMEDIATE) family formals. Then family is dismissed. 5 minutes (3-4 poses) for each of the following. Whole bridal party, Bride & Bridesmaids, Groom & groomsmen. Then bridal party is dismissed, and I'll have 10 minutes for just the bride & groom. It will be tight, but if you have a list of shots you want before hand, and a game plan you can get the it done in a short time. You will need to be vocal, and make sure everyone knows beforehand that they need to pay attention, move quickly, and get the images the bride and groom want. :)


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