How To: Large group shots

I posted this picture Saturday afternoon and have received several emails/messages about composition and working with large groups in general…so I wanted to share how we did it!

First of all, this is the largest bridal party we have worked with so far (10 GM + 10 BM + 2 RB) and this crew was amazing! There were so many moments at Saturdays wedding where I had to stop and set my camera down because I was laughing so hard I didn’t want to drop it. We laughed and cried all day with Catie & Joe’s beautiful wedding party…they were bridal party perfection.

While we were shooting our formal bridal party portraits it was monsoon-forrest-gump-style raining outside. Conditions were no where near perfect outside and we were running from pockets of rain all afternoon. I just adore Graduate Athens and their newly renovated spaces so we tucked into the lobby and made some wedding day magic. Catie was the kindest bride ever. She and Joe have been together since they were 16 (12 years total!) and this party was a compilation of their friendships from high school to college and all of the people in this group were so important to them. This shot was Catie’s vision and I’m SO glad she asked for this because it was really fun to shoot! Now on to how we did it…

I told a friend yesterday that we just stepped back, crossed our fingers, closed our eyes, and hoped for the best….and I was kidding of course but that is how you can feel in a situation like this. The lobby was full of people, it was beautifully lit through huge windows on the right side of the space, and there were a LOT of people to include in the image so spacing was important to consider. We wanted this image to feel warm and homey, like a family rather than like a bunch of individuals all sitting together, so we positioned everyone by height and gender (so that we could evenly distribute colors of attire) and asked everyone to sit or stand how they felt most comfortable. Since the room was light-heavy on the right, I added a few more people on the left side of the couple and I really feel like that balanced out the image for me. I shot wide with my 24 mm lens so that I could make sure everyone was included and sharp and I LOVE the end result! This might be my favorite group shot to date.

**And here is a shot of me taking this picture…thank you to Logan Potterf of Sara & Logan Weddings for snagging this for me. 🙂

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