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How much time do you need for your wedding portrait session?

Every wedding I look forward to the portrait session. It tends to be among the most challenging aspects of the day, but the ultimate opportunity to capture the uniqueness of the newlyweds and a their loved ones!

Pressure is on! You have limited time to get as many portrait variations as possible! While you are thinking about the intimate session with the just married couple, you need to first make sure to cover the bridal party and family photos… Best of luck to you when it comes to gathering mom, dad, brother, sister, Aunt Jane, Cousin Earl, grandma, and grandpa… and then getting a photograph with everyone’s eyes open.

Here is a show guidelines list when thinking about blocking off time for the portrait session:

1. How big is your bridal party?
– If you have a bridal party of 1 or 3 on each side, you most likely can get these photos done fairly quickly!
– It is a good idea to get some photos with just your bridesmaids/groomsmen with the bride/groom during prep, and focus on the whole gang together after the ceremony. This will save time, and it will be much easier to keep everyone focused, rather than straying away from the group.

2. How big is your family, and how extensive of family photos do you want?
– You may not care for a photograph of every relative on both sides of the family in one shot, but you also may not have that opportunity again. Communicate with your photographer ahead of time what you think you will be looking for in your extended family portrait sessions, and give your family members a heads up!
– Don’t be afraid to let extends 6th cousin Mary know that a photograph with her will have to wait until later in the night. Portrait session is crunch time, and there will be plenty of time for more relaxed photos during the reception later in the night for these kinds of photographs.
– Think about how many siblings each of you have, any step parents, and the variations you want. Let your loved ones know ahead of time that you would appreciate them remaining focused, present, and cooperative during this time so that you do not miss anyone, and also so that you will have more time for creative shots with your significant other!

3. Do you want to attend cocktail hour?
– Some people want a quick snack before dinner, want cocktail hour to socialize, or simply some time to sit down and relax before the reception.. others can jam pack a day and want to do everything! Neither is right to wrong, but having an idea of what you desire and communicating that to your photographer is ideal!

4. How creative and intimate do you want to get with a portrait session?
– If you want to cover the basics, and get a little creative, you may only need about 30-45 minutes for a portrait session.
– If you want those rare, cutting edge, unique shots, leaving AT LEAST an hour is ideal.. The more time the better.. and trust me, we want to create those keepsakes for you!

5. Did you and your photographer scope out locations ahead of time?
– THIS IS IDEAL! Having an idea of locations for these portrait session will make it much easier to get those awesome shots with a shorter amount of time.
– Things do change… the lighting in that location may be different than what you saw earlier that day, to even a week ago when you went to scope it out. I still recommend having an ideal, but be prepared to make some changes and get creative!
– If you can not pre-plan some locations for portraits, do not stress! Your photographer is a professional (or should be), and they will make you look FLAWLESS no matter what.

In conclusion.. I would say it would be nice to have a solid two hours for a portrait session… BUT… the GBH Events team is fully capable of providing you with beautiful photographs under any circumstance!