What’s the best series of formals to take? I get this question a lot from couples. Most have an idea of who to include but it is our job to make clear what the order should be.
The Perfect List
Above is the form I give my clients to give them an idea of the order. I can do the above in 20 mins. I want to move through the formals as fast as possible and as efficiently as possible.
How many weddings have I been in as a guest in where the photographer bumbled their way through an hour of formals. Everyone is bored, fidgety, and ready to move on. The photographer must be clear in directions, confident in posing, and get through them quickly.
I work very fast through this sequence of shoots because I have worked closely with the bride and groom. I know what shots they want and I create the order. We also make every effort to communicate with those in the wedding to be at a certain location at a certain time. Communication is key to make this run smoothly.
The above order is the base- we can add to it as needed, but clients, bust be aware that each additional pose is about 2 mins per shot. As photographers we need to educate our clients that taking 75 posed pictures in 30 mins is physically impossible. Don’t offer the Moon knowing full well you cannot deliver. Honesty and accurate information is essential.
Eyes Open Please
Finally, make sure all eyes are open! As a photographer, there is nothing more horrible than looking at the formals images on your computer and seeing a closed eye on someone’s face. This is unexceptable. It is your job to make sure everyone is looking at the camera and that they do not blink.
Check the back of your camera, zoom in on each face. It will save you 30 mins of photoshop editing to open the eyes. Because there is no way you can deliver a formal photograph with eyes closed.
This is one of the few times during the day where many people will see you interact and that impression is massive! Don’t be a whiner and complainer. Stay positive, be energetic, look confident, have fun and make them laugh. It will pay dividends.