Expert answer: How to manage group photography

Absolutely Weddings’ experts answer your wedding questions. Here, Eye Imagine’s Neil Horne discusses how to manage group photography at your celebration

Q: I want a mix of group and informal shots at the wedding, but have a large number of guests who need to be included and I don’t want it to become too stiff and formal. How should this be organised?

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A: This really does come down to planning, so it’s important to discuss it with your photographer ahead of the wedding day and pin down exactly what you want in terms of both overall style and the groupings of formal shots.

I will always recommend to my clients that they should include some more ‘formal’ portraits and group shots in the mix – even when the overall style of the photography is reportage and informal. These don’t have to be too stiff and posed, but in 20 or 30 years time it’s important to have that image of key people all together in the family photo album.

Timing is crucial, so when you’re planning your day build in a slot for the portraits and group shots to happen. I’d recommend it happens early – ideally between the ceremony and the celebrations and before guests relax, remove their hat, undo their tie and start to enjoy the party atmosphere. Even if you have lots of group shots, these (along with bride and groom portraits and shots of guests enjoying their day) should be manageable in 90 minutes or less, with organisation.

Do put together a list of the group shots you want and give that to both the photographer and a trusted member of your team – perhaps the wedding planner or toastmaster. That way, they can liaise and ensure that all the right people are located and come together for the shots you want for the photo album.


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Photo: Neil Horne

Neil Horne is an award-winning weddings, lifestyle and portrait photographer. See more of his work at the wedding of Gemma and Michael, and at