Clevedon Hall Wedding

How Many Group Photos Should I Get At My Wedding?



Six? Really? No, not really. That's just an arbitrary number that has no relevance to your own wedding. I don't think anybody can provide you with a list of group photos you should get at your wedding. However, as a wedding photographer in Bristol, I can certainly help you come up with a number. We've probably all been to weddings where the photographer took over half the day to shoot formal group photos. Sometimes this is the photographer insisting, sometimes it's what the client actually wants but more often than not it's what the client thinks they want; all they have to go on are Pinterest and internet lists and to draw from their own experiences.

As a documentary wedding photographer, it's my job to record the day but also to advise and to manage expectations. I've been to a fair few weddings over the years as the photographer, but, I've also been on the other side of the camera as a guest so know what it's like to wait and wait for the wedding photographer to finish. It's easy to spend hour after hour working through every iteration of group photos in a variety of poses but I really feel you'll be missing out on why you're having a wedding in the first place - a celebration with all those closest to you; I recommend spending quality time with them, not standing in front of me!

Formal group photos are a record of who was present and what they were wearing; not much else. There is nothing wrong with this, I enjoy doing them, I think they're important and I'm certainly getting a few at my own wedding. However, they are staged so do lack genuine emotion; it's hard to look back on these types of photos and get a feeling of time and place.

I show a lot of candid, documentary wedding images on Instagram, Facebook and in my portfolio so I was recently asked if I did group photos as well - absolutely I do!

I shoot weddings the way I would want my own wedding photographed. I want the photographer to get on with their job without disturbing us or our guests. When choosing your wedding photographer, be sure that they know they're working for you and not the other way around - you don't want someone spending hours dragging you around getting dramatic shots to boost their portfolio at the expense of your precious time on your wedding day.

There is another way! When I take group photos, I aim to get them done efficiently in 10-15 mins, not fussing over every small detail or overly complicated lighting set-ups. I find taking hours to do formal photos really breaks up the wedding. During the group 'formals' I prefer the clients and guests to still have fun throughout, then getting them straight back to the party ASAP. I know that I still want some group shots for myself and our parents.

But, after all that, you still didn't answer the question! You're right, let's go with six.

Here are a few group shots from a wedding at Clevedon Hall.


Clevedon Hall Wedding Photographer | Somerset

Alex and Fiona had their stunning wedding last August on a warm summer's day and I was honoured to be their Clevedon Hall Wedding Photographer. 
As the Bride's Parents house and St Peter's Church are both in Portishead they were keen to find a local Portishead photographer to capture the day and luckily I live just down the road and have shot a number of weddings at the church before. The day started out with the Bridal party getting ready at her parents house in Portishead; I joined them that morning to capture the excitement and anticipation. I was really pleased with the shots I got capturing the buzz that was palpable throughout the house.

The ceremony at St Peter's Church was intimate and unique; made special as always by the fantastic vicar and volunteers at the church. A wonderful reception followed at Clevedon hall; an impressive and versatile venue and a photographer's dream. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a North Somerset wedding venue. We're spoilt for amazing wedding venues in North Somerset and this one really does not disappoint with it's grand architecture, sprawling grounds and luxurious décor. We took some time to get some natural and relaxed group shots but I mostly focused on the candid pictures - which is the reason after all that most of my clients choose me as their documentary wedding photographer! I was so pleased with the shots I got of this wedding - the relaxed and fun atmosphere of the day really jumps out of every picture and there were some really priceless moments from the adorable children. If you like my style of photography and need someone to tell the story of your wedding day, please don't hesitate to contact me here for a quote and chat. Thanks again Alex and Fiona for letting me be part of their day.

Wedding Photographer Clevedon Hall | Somerset + Portishead

Just a spectacular day as the wedding photographer at Clevedon Hall in Somerset.  Clevedon Hall is a wedding venue very local to me so I was really excited when Alex and Fiona asked me to photograph their wedding. Starting with bridal preparations in Portishead then a chauffeured trip in a vintage car to St Peter's Church in Portishead for the emotional ceremony. The reception took place at Clevedon Hall, a luxury wedding reception venue near Bristol with gorgeous grounds, an orangery and a spectacular library for the wedding breakfast. This wedding had so many great moments to photograph, with all the guests allowing me to go about documenting their day in a reportage style (alongside a couple group shot requests, of course!)

Here is a little preview of Fiona and Alex's wedding from earlier this summer. 

Wedding Photographer Somerset | Portishead and Clevedon Hall

This shot is what wedding photography is all about for me. Although the bride walking down the aisle should be on every wedding photographer's shot list, it doesn't always result in such an emotional moment with such fantastic lighting. It's often said that a documentary wedding picture has three elements to consider: lighting, composition and storytelling. A good picture will have two of those elements, a great picture will have all three. That look on the bride's face, the proud father, the side and back lighting, and the framing of guests on either side - all three elements that, in my biased opinion, go together for a great wedding photograph.

The ceremony for this wedding took place at St Peter's Church in Portishead, with the reception at Clevedon Hall in Somerset. Check back with Clevedon Hall wedding photographer Scott Wilson for the full blog post from this beautiful Somerset wedding.