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Family Portraits

Setting up and Figuring out your Shot List

As part of your Timeline Consultation (with Traditional Wedding Packages only, unless a Timeline Consultation is added to Short Wedding Coverage), you'll have a link to your own Google Drive Folder. A Family Shot List spreadsheet will be in this folder, along with a couple of other documents.


Across the top of the document will be directions on how to fill it out, including how we'd prefer you format the groups (this way, we'll know their names and their association with you). If you know how to use Google Sheets and can match the colored background to the appropriate group in the "color key," -- awesome! If not, you can include in the notes section whose family it is.


Each line represents one photo. This means that breakdowns for specific photos should be separated into each line so every photo taken is listed separately in this document.


If there are any special needs we need to be aware of (physical limitations of family members, autism, or anything else that might help us know a specific photo might need extra time), please include that in the "Notes/Questions" section next to the photo group in question.


Don't worry about the order—that's why we're having you do this in advance! We'll sit down and reorganize the list so it flows in a way that works best with our experience with this part of the day. We'll then have you review our changes to confirm that everything looks good.


As you make your list, please remember that each photo takes approximately 2-5 minutes to complete.


If you plan on requesting other group photos for other parts of the day, please keep them in a separate section of the Sheets document with a title. Unless otherwise specified, we will assume the list provided will be for the Family Portrait portion of the day (either right before or right after the ceremony, depending on your First Look choice).


We'll ask you to complete this by your Timeline Consultation Meeting so we can accurately estimate how long to put aside for the family portraits. Feel free to add any additional notes that we may need to know (e.g., "My family is always late for everything, but his family is punctual" or "They'll be on time but will talk the whole time"). Essential is information like if any family member included in portraits does not speak English and who we can rely on for translations.

Who Goes In The Family Shot List?

That part is entirely up to you! That's why we have you make the list.

These are considered "Portraits", which means they are done in a specific location, posed, and with everyone (hopefully) looking at the camera. They are usually done either before or immediately after the ceremony. 

Some couples reserve this for immediate family (parents, siblings/siblings-in-law) and grandparents, while others include aunts, uncles, cousins, and anyone else they consider family. Just remember what we said above, each photo listed can be estimated to take 2-5 minutes per photo.


Casual group photos can be done informally during the reception if preferred for large extended family groups. If that's the case, put those at the bottom of your list with a note.

Every family is different, and every family dynamic is different. This is why we ask you for this list in advance and go over everything for you. We know there can often be awkward or uncomfortable family situations, and if we know about them going into this part of the day, we can do our best to keep everyone happy and enjoy celebrating you two!

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Have a large extended family you'd like to include in portraits but are worried about what it might do to your timeline? Take a page from one of our couples who had a large extended family flying in from overseas, and have us cover a portion of your rehearsal dinner. You'll then have plenty of time for lovely portraits with aunts, uncles, and cousins while keeping the family portrait portion of your wedding day streamlined with just your immediate family.

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