Wedding Wednesday

Family Formals & Breaking the Rules

Wedding Wednesday

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BUSY! I feel like I’ve only been in the office for like an hour everyday and I have a pile of work just growing and growing by the hour! It’s that time of the year. College kids are leaving, school is getting ready to start, doctors appointments have to be made and I’m still shooting weddings every weekend! Whew! So this Wedding Wednesday is going to be short and sweet because I have to shower, do something with this crazy hair and run out of the in less than 30 mins!!! So! This is just a post to show brides that BREAKING THE RULES and tradition is really ok!

Most brides and parents prefer to have their family formals taken inside the ceremony location. This is definitely an option that normally works out just fine. If there is room for group formals and adequate light, we can make it happen. But why “Just make it happen” if we can make your family portraits really look like a FAMILY PORTRAIT session? What most brides and parents of the bride do not understand is that the lighting inside most churches is very dim and they would have much more flattering images if they walked a few steps and allowed me to shoot them outdoors. I realize sometimes this isn’t even possible! Sometimes the weather does not cooperate and/or there is no shaded area to make this happen. However, in my opinion, if you have an area that could work, why not shoot these portraits outside and make them as natural as possible!? Here are a few reasons why I think outdoor family formal shots are a good idea!


1. You can start them immediately! Instead of waiting 15-20 minutes for all of the guest to leave the ceremony location, you can gather the family after they recess out of the ceremony and immediately jump into portraits and save time! (Of course I let the bride and groom have a few moments of “Oh my gosh we’re MARRIED!!!” … then we get to work!


2. Better lighting! I’m a natural light photographer which means I LOVE shooting outdoors. The light indoors can often be dim and a bit yellowed, depending on the ceremony venue. By shooting family portraits outdoors, you are guaranteed to have better coloring in your images and better light to work with! You’ll see this in the examples below!


3. The Backdrop! Most couples pick their ceremony site because they love the look and feel of the area. Some get married in large cathedrals and libraries and gorgeous sanctuaries! I love shooting ceremonies at these beautiful venues. However, when it comes time for family formals, most people don’t realize that the only thing that is going to show up in a family formal, are the people. I don’t shoot family formals with a large wide angle lens to capture the curving staircases or the arches at the top of the ceiling. Family formals are shot close and cropped in to the subjects. No one wants family shots that are so far away that you can’t tell who anyone is! So even though it’s a beautiful venue, you will see that architectural beauty captured throughout the ceremony shots, not the family formals.


4. More Room! There is always more room outside which allows for more flexibility with the portraits!


So enjoy some of these examples and have an amazing Wednesday! Here is Andrew and Stephanie’s awesome ceremony location at CNU’s Library!

Family formals in the shade outside!

Ryan and Annamarie‘s cute Chapel ceremony!

Being outdoors also creates a more laid back atmosphere… loved this candid!

Buddy and Jill had a gorgeous church! But if we had shot family formals in this room, you would have NEVER seen the WHOLE room in those shots. You would have only seen wood paneling in the background of the family portraits.

So we shot them outdoors and it looks so much better in the album!

From Jordan and Katy’s wedding!Beautiful family portraits!

Just showing that I’m practicing what I’m preaching!!! haha We took all of our family formals outdoors as well!

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

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Oh, this wedding day!! What a beautiful Texan dream! I met Melanie when she attended one of our workshops years ago in our home. She had the sweetest spirit and such a kindness about her. I remember loving how she made personal marketing her own and did headshots in a pile of Skinny Pop!! I loved her creativity and her ability to envision what she wanted in her brand.




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