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Ask the Expert – ‘What can I do to make the wedding photography as painless as possible?’

Image by Rory O’Toole Photography

I don’t really like posed photos, but my parents insist on me getting ‘traditional’ photos of the family etc. on the day of the wedding. I hate having my picture taken and I also don’t like the thought of missing the craic after the ceremony… what can I do to make this as painless as possible?! – Sarah

From the Experts

David McLean of DMC Photography – View profile

Hi Sarah! Good question – I get asked about this a lot when I meet potential couples. The good news is that you’ll always have to get a few traditional group photos just to keep the family happy, but they can be done quickly and painlessly. These shots don’t have to be very formal and once everyone has had their chance to show off for the camera they will be happy and relaxed, and this means you can also relax and start enjoying yourself. Be sure to tell your photographer you want this to be as quick as possible. In my case I always aim to get the group photographs done in 30-40 minutes maximum and then continue taking casual/candid photos as the bride and groom mingle at the drinks reception. If you hate having your picture taken then I advise you to find a photographer you feel comfortable and relaxed with, as his or her personality has a lot to do with how things will go. Arrange a personal meeting with those photographers whose work you like, and do this as early as possible to increase your chances of finding the best one. Don’t worry  – the right photographer you feel comfortable with will make a huge difference in how you feel on the day.

Paul Duane Photography – View profile

If most brides and grooms are honest, the ‘posed traditional’ photos are viewed as slightly stiff, dull, old-fashioned and even a bit annoying nowadays! A more relaxed style of photography is far more popular currently and I think this is great, because it represents a far more realistic record of your wedding day. Remember they are a relatively small part of the photos that will be taken on your wedding day and most good photographers will not make you stand there for hours on end in awkward poses. A good photographer will make even these photos fun and will take around 20-30 minutes, they can be a bit of a craic too, as you’ll have everyone there in one place! It’s really down to you if you want them taken, it’s your wedding day after all, but if you want to keep your parents happy then it can be done and dusted in 25 minutes. And don’t worry, the craic will be going on well into the night so you are not going to miss much!

Rory O’Toole Photography – View profile

This is a pretty common question I get from couples. It’s understandable that family members like to see traditional shots taken at the wedding – after all, it can be rare that families are all together in one place at the same time and all dressed up too! Being organised is the best way to handle these photos. The main cause of delays and stress during the family photos is people going missing. Ask one member of each family before the wedding to let everyone know where and when the photos will be taken and that they’re expected to be there! As for hating having your picture taken, well… that puts you in the majority! My advice is – don’t worry about it. There is so much going on on the day, you’ll find it easy to forget the camera. The photographer will call if he needs someone’s attention, but other than that all you have to do is just chat with your friends and family, laugh and enjoy yourself!

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Rachel Green

Rachel Green

If you think the bride should always have the last word, then Rachel is on your side! A devoted fan of everything quirky, unusual, colourful or crafty, she loves scouting WOL's real weddings for unique and fun touches. When not gazing at pictures, she's dispensing no-nonsense advice on everything from reception entrance songs to bridesmaid problems.


  1. Avatar Rachel says:

    I am getting married on 28th December, less than 2 weeks away. We booked our photographer in January 2013. At the time there was a wedding website, a client area etc and we found him at the Wedding Journal show. In the last few months the website has gone replaced by a contact form only. The phone number for contacting doesn’t work. Any time the photographer has gotten in contact he says he will call and then never does, we now have a mobile number for him but he hasn’t yet answered and spoken to us. Starting to really panic now and not quite sure what to do. Any advice??

  2. Pamela Mahon Pamela Mahon says:

    Hi Rachel,

    Please contact us at [email protected] with your photographers details and we will help you look in to this.


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