Large Group Family Weddings

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jack, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. Jack

    Jack Guest

    Wedding photography is very specialized

    How do photographers manage large family groups?

    Is the best policy to "arrange them" according to size etc.

    or is it best not to mix in and leave it up to the group to arrange
    themselves according to their own family politics, hierarchy.

    What's best, any ideas?

    Best wishes
    Jack, Mar 2, 2004
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  2. Hierarchy. Anything else invites problems. I might add that if you
    expect a problem, or if you are approached prior to the event, then the one
    paying the bills gets the choice. Most of the time, if you assume the
    position of authority, things go smoothly. If you act uncertain, then you
    get 49 or more opinions and demands at a time when the participants are
    under a lot of stress. You want to avoid that.

    If for some reason you end up with a conflict, do it both ways.
    Joseph Meehan, Mar 2, 2004
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  3. Jack

    Ken Burns Guest

    Never leave it up to them to arrange themselves within a group because it
    will never happen! In your pre-wedding planning session you need to go over
    your list of group photos and make sure they approve of the groupings and
    sub-groupings. As far as actual posing within the groups and sub-groups,
    you must take into account the size of each individual (tall in the front,
    short in the back) and the physical structures you have to work with at the
    church (steps, risers, etc). Political heirarchy has to take a back seat to
    photographic composition or you will never succeed.

    Ken Burns, Mar 2, 2004
  4. Jack

    Jack Guest

    So it's neck and neck

    One vote for photographic composition against political hierarchy
    One for political hierarchy against photographic composition

    Perhaps it depends on the situation.

    Jack, Mar 2, 2004
  5. So you would place the bride next to her short bother-in-law and the
    groom on the other side with his tall cousin Fran? ;-)
    Joseph Meehan, Mar 2, 2004
  6. Jack

    Tom Monego Guest

    My one BIG failure and why I don't do weddings is I let a m.o.b. redecide the
    group picture. Was going to be wdiing party and parents take in a
    sheltered court yard. I get there and there is about 50 people standing
    waiting for me. The mother says "well we see aunt tilly so infrequently we
    want her and her family in the picture too". So we are on the coast in Newport
    RI in November with 20mph wind blowing off the atlantic. THEN I start setting
    them up as I see the hierarchy bride and groom, wedding party, parents and the
    rest of the slackers trying to get this done quickly, the mother goes I want
    several pictures varying who is next to the bride and her. Won't let me use my
    set up, no body wants to get behind anyone else WHAT A DISASTER. The mother
    refused to pay me, the bride and groom did apologizing profusely.
    Moral, you have to be a director not a nice guy. A high vantage point down
    onto the group really looks nice.

    Tom Monego, Mar 2, 2004
  7. Jack

    RustY © Guest

    I always insist on a deposit that covers all my expenses and it is made
    clear that this is for nothing other than to reserve me for the day.
    RustY ©, Mar 3, 2004
  8. Jack

    bob Guest

    Our photographer asked for a list of groupings, quoted a price, and asked
    for 1/2 in advance and 1/2 at the wedding.

    At the wedding, he just went down the list we had given him and shot the
    pics. Very pleasing experience.

    bob, Mar 3, 2004
  9. Jack

    George Kerby Guest

    You paid him in full before he delivered the prints?
    WOW! You are easy. ;-)
    George Kerby, Mar 3, 2004
  10. Jack

    Tom Guest

    And you are a moron. What else is new?

    This is a VERY common price arrangement between pro wedding shooters and
    "happy couples".

    It varies only in the amount the photographer chooses to take as a retainer.
    I use the 50% at signing and 50% on or before the day because I can. My
    packages are structured that way.

    Most wedding pros use 1/3 to 1/2 the chosen wedding package as the cost of
    the non-refundable retainer charged. The balance is due the day of the
    wedding and in some cases, 30 days prior.

    I deliver a professional package. The prospective bride and groom (although
    it is almost ALWAYS the bride that makes the decision) have a chanve to look
    at my work, see example albums and are welcome to a list of references.

    Only amateurs shoot "on consignment". Or morons.

    Tom, Mar 3, 2004
  11. Jack

    George Kerby Guest

    I stopped doing weddings years ago. The amount of time you put in makes you
    about $20 an hour when all is said and done, so you MUST be right and know
    your stuff.

    I don't waste my time with that nowadays. Only coroporate and industrial
    where I can be compensated for my services in a more professional manner.

    I was speaking from a consumer's point of view. To give a TOTAL stranger
    COMPLETE funds in advance is just plain STUPID. But as P.T. Barnum once
    said- never mind - you know anyway.

    AND thanks for the complements and be sure and HAVE A NICE DAY!!!
    George Kerby, Mar 3, 2004
  12. Jack

    bob Guest

    That's the advantage of working with an established professional. We used
    the photographer we did based on a strong recommendation, a telephone
    interview, and a review of his portfolio.

    I was very comfortable paying him in advance, and my comfort was rewarded
    with excellent photographs that I will enjoy for the rest of my life.

    On that topic, my wife is a wedding musician, and she usually gets paid
    before the ceremony (usually *just* before). I think the caterer and the
    florist wanted a good portion of their money in advance too.

    bob, Mar 4, 2004
  13. Jack

    Tom Guest

    Then it's a good thing you stopped. I would quit too if my work was worth
    so little.

    Tom, Mar 6, 2004
  14. Jack

    mark_digital Guest

    do it quite well. In fact, people have been very cooperative as if "let's
    do it for ol' Ron".
    My brother-in-law is a total ass. Photographer wanted to have everyone
    stand in front of this beautiful church. Nobody could get Dave (the ass) to
    stop hiding his face. At the reception he hid his face behind a newspaper.
    Isn't it sad when adults have to act like children needing attention? He
    should have stayed home.

    Funny, when I'm at his home he talks a deaf ear off of everyone.

    His social demeanor must have something to do with "being out of his
    mark_digital, Mar 6, 2004
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