Creating a Family Portrait List for your Wedding

Creating a Family Portrait List for your Wedding

Ottawa Wedding Photographer | Black Lamb Photography

I always tell my wedding clients that they need to make a family portrait list.  Creating a family portrait list for your wedding helps the formal portrait time go much more smoothly and faster.  It also ensures that you get photos of everyone that you want to have formal portraits taken with.

creating a family portrait list for your wedding

Speaking from Experience:

Here’s a true story.  Years ago I was a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding.  Nevertheless, as a photographer, I usually bring my professional camera with me to take my own photos.  Portraits were taken by the hired photographer during the  formal portrait time.  The photographer was hired to just capture the ceremony and formal photos.  After he left, I took some of my own portraits with my professional camera.

An unfortunate Event:

Fast forward a few weeks later.  I gave the portraits I had taken to the bride.  Her mom thanked me for taking such beautiful portraits–especially the ones of her son, Rob (the bride’s brother).   She said that during the portrait time, they had sent Rob off to do an errand.  I don’t remember the details.  However, what I do remember is her telling me that he missed the formal portrait session entirely.  Thus, they had zero shots of him from their photographer.  Rob wasn’t in the wedding party.  So, I guess no one noticed that he was missing from the formal portrait session.

Crap Happens:

It boggles my mind how they didn’t notice that he wasn’t there when it came time to shoot portraits of Mary with her family and siblings.  Maybe they noticed, but it was too late.  Who knows.  But what I do know is that it made a big impression on me that I didn’t want any of my couples to be in that situation where they missed having their portrait taken with a family member or close friend.  Even at my own wedding I wrote up and printed out a list of group photos.  I was specific with what people would be in what photo.  When if comes to portraits, I didn’t want to miss a thing.


Make list in chronological order of when they will be shot:

To make the formal session go faster, it’s best if you keep in mind the people who will be in each shot and try to keep people who are in multiple shots to have their group shots taken one after the other.  Then they can leave and go about their business of enjoying the day.  Or perhaps your great grandmother or great aunt will be in the shots.  Make sure to have their photos taken first so that they can leave and sit somewhere.  Also be mindful of people who need to be at the reception early to either put some final touches at the venue or who need to get things organized before the reception begins.  Make sure that their groups shots are shot at the beginning of the portrait session so that they can leave and do their assigned wedding tasks.

Book Me to be your Wedding Photographer:


I’m an Ottawa area wedding photographer serving Ottawa, ON, Gatineau, QC and the surrounding Outaouais area.  If you’re getting married in Ottawa or close by, I would love to hear from you.  Contact me today to book a consultation.


Black-Lamb-LogoFacebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest