cortnie dee photography | blog

The Great Family Portrait Scramble

You know what I like? Scrambled eggs.

You know what I don't like? Scrambled families trying to figure out who is where and when to be where and oh no! Grandma started talking Aunt Linda's ear off and they're headed to the bathroom. Portraits are never going to start.

Short lesson: unless you're talking about eggs, let's avoid a scramble.

The way I avoid this is to have a grouping system for formal portraits. 

  1. Officiant and the newlyweds.
  2. Large group - literally everyone ever so that no family member can be offended that they weren't photographed.
  3. Bride's grandparents.
  4. Groom's grandparents.
  5. Bride's parents.
  6. Bride's parents + siblings.
  7. Bride's siblings.
  8. Groom's parents.
  9. Groom's parents + siblings.
  10. Groom's siblings.
  11. Any other groupings that are important to you.
  12. Full wedding party.
  13. Bride + bridesmaids.
  14. Groom + bridesmaids.
  15. Groom + groomsmen.
  16. Bride + groomsmen.
  17. Any wedding party individuals needed.
  18. Newlyweds!!

Obviously, this is changeable if you

  • have extended family to include
  • have no family to include
  • have family members who REFUSE to be in the same photo (I've seen it)
  • have step-parents
  • have deceased family members (please please please warn me)
  • have no desire to do any photos with anyone except your beau

I've been doing this for years and I have seen it all. I have seen some fist fights almost go down, I have seen families put aside their differences, I have seen groups of fifty people at a time. Whatever you need, I'm on it.

Please note any photo-pairing that I may not automatically be aware of. Maybe you are EXTREMELY close to a cousin and I don't call all cousins. Maybe you want to replicate a photo with your mom that she had with her mom at her wedding. Make a list of the top shots needed, and make sure you share that both with me, and with someone who can wrangle those people if they need to.