8 Secrets to Standout Family Wedding Photography + Craftsy Photo Class Giveaway

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Shoot spectacular wedding day photos with eight strategies for working with a large group. Then, learn everything you need to know to take charge of a hectic wedding shoot and capture the polished family photos of your client’s dreams. Enter now for your chance to win expert photographer Neil van Niekerk’s online Craftsy class Wedding Photography: Posing the Family (a $59.99 value!) — a special offer for The Phoblographer readers!

Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored post by Craftsy

Have a plan

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Before you go into a wedding, have a plan together for how you will complete the family photos, who is in each photo and how they are positioned. Make sure you know who in the family is married to whom, whose kids are whose and which people are divorced or not on good terms. Also, be sure to have a shot list that moves people in and out of photos quickly in an order that makes sense.

Use your voice to direct people where to go

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The family of the bride and groom can not guess where you want them to be and many of them have little experience with posing for photos. Make sure to tell them exactly what you want, who should stand where and whether they should be looking at the camera, looking at the bride and groom, smiling or not smiling.

Elevate yourself for a big group

If you are shooting a group of 20 or more people, consider using a step ladder to get a little bit of extra height. This way you can have some people stand behind the others without anyone hiding.

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Strive for symmetry and balance

As you are posing people, think about symmetry and balance of your composition. If there are all tall people one the left side and all short people on the right, switch some of the people for the sake of balance. If you have ten people to the right of center and four people to the left of center, move a few people to the left for some symmetry.

Encourage bent knees and elbows

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If you have the time, give your subjects some coaching on how they can look the best and most relaxed. Having them shift their weight to one foot or the other will allow one of their knees to be bent—this is specifically helpful for women. Having a little bend to the elbows will also allow people to look less stiff.

Give people something to do with their hands

People look most uncomfortable when they don’t know what to do with their hands. They can fold them in front, put them in pockets or hold on to a relative. Having something to do with their hands also helps with the above point, keeping their arms from looking too stiff.

Put people next to each other that make sense

If the bride’s mom and dad are still married, don’t put them on opposite sides of the family photo. Keep nuclear families close to one another. Never, ever put someone in between the bride and groom.

Put taller people in the back

This should be obvious, but you want to see everyone’s face in the photos. Ask taller people to stand in the back of a group photo and shorter people to stand in the front. Make sure everyone can see you and your camera. If they can’t see you, you can’t see them.

Now that you’ve conquered wedding day basics, learn the best go-to setups for groups, sequencing strategies, flash techniques and more, when you enter for your chance to win expert photographer Neil van Niekerk’s online Craftsy class Wedding Photography: Posing the Family!

Hurry, don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy lifetime access to six easy-to-follow video lessons you can watch anytime, anywhere. You’ll even get a gear list and a family diagram example plus Neil will offer personalized guidance and even critique your photos!

What are your favorite tips for photographing families on a wedding day?

Two winners will be randomly selected on 7/28, 2014 at midnight MT. This has been a sponsored post kindly brought to us by Craftsy.