Crane’s Chicago Wedding Photography
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Family Portraits

Family Portraits

A wedding is more than a union between man and wife; it’s also a joyous occasion in which two families become one. There’s no better time for family portraits, and many families consider this photo session to be the most important of the day. The professional images you’ll receive are a family heirloom that everyone will cherish and pass through the generations with pride.

What are Family Portraits?

Family portraits, or family formals, are just that – formal pictures of your family on the day you say, “I do!” There’s no one-size- fits-all formula for family and the same rule applies to this photo session. Some couples choose to take pictures with a small, intimate group of their immediate relatives, while others opt to include 50 nearest and dearest members of their extended family.
Whatever you decide, the goal is to capture naturally posed, high-quality images with great lighting where everyone is focused on the camera (no small feat for 50 people!). I understand getting families to cooperate can be stressful and chaotic, but we’ll do our best to keep everything organized, fast-paced and simple. I aim to make these sessions as quick as possible while producing stunning, flattering photos.

What Do We Need to Do for Our Family Formals?

Prior to your wedding, I’ll send you a document to gather more information about your big day and photography expectations. I request that you please complete the entire document, including the section on family formal images and the specific groupings you’d prefer. I understand things change and you might have last-minute requests, but this worksheet will help me develop a timeline for family portraits.

We’ll also discuss what types of arrangements you’d like taken. I’ll include a list of basic formations, such as the bride with her parents, groom with parents, mom with the bride, etc. Special requests are welcome! Only you know your family and how you’d like to see everyone grouped. Just let me know.

How Many Groupings Should We Choose?

This is totally up to you, just be aware that more groupings will require additional time. I can help you develop a basic list of groupings that I photograph at most weddings, or you can develop something totally custom and share it with me. The basic list I use takes about 30 minutes to complete. Please allow 5 minutes for every grouping with four people or more.

Tell Your Family How Much These Portraits Matter!

Let your family know that we’re going to capture professional images for everyone to cherish and appreciate. They’re a very memorable part of your wedding day and will earn a spot on more than one family member’s bookshelf or desk for decades. Make sure everyone understands that there are time constraints, a list of groupings has been prepared and, last but not least, that they should relax and try to have as much fun as possible! We want natural, casual-looking poses.

Where Should We Take Our Family Formals?

The location of your family portraits will partially depend on when we take them. If we do the pictures before the ceremony, they’ll probably be at the church or ceremony venue. If we do them after the ceremony, we could still decide to do them on-site, or move the party to the reception (if it’s at a different location) and complete them there.

Using the information I collect and leveraging my experience, we’ll be able to move through the family portraits efficiently and quickly. Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any special requests or wishes. I’m here to help!