Organizing Family Portraits At A Wedding
The wedding season is here and the pomp and show melee is about to begin. There is an air of festivity and cheer. The wedding finery is out of the tissue paper packing and aired and ironed. The hair and makeup artist is booked for the D-Day. It could be my niece getting married, but I am entitled to good photographs at the wedding too!
The wedding day arrives and the ceremony begins. There is excitement in the air as the vows are solemnized around the holy fire. The garlanding is done and the dinner laid. Now came the run up to THE most important part, saving a portrait of the entire extended family for posterity. There were frantic calls and hollers to get the family together as everyone was in their corner, either chatting away or eating dinner.
Some of the group might have turned boisterous; some are busy touching up their makeup. Finally every one whom we need for the shot is ready and gathered at the location. This required a person from each side who intervened and got everyone together. Then came the choice of location, where the shots would look natural and not forced. We decided on a bower outside the banquet hall where there was plenty of natural light and the flower arrangements added to the ambience.
The stage was set, the players were assembled and we were ready to go! The photographer was a sprite of a woman who wielded a camera fitted with a massive telephoto lens. She scrambled up a chair and asked all of us to group up together with the bride and the groom in the center. She took her time setting up the shot. Kids in front, kneeling and the shortest to the tallest fanning out from the side of the bride and groom. She even took care to separate the same colours of clothing to create a natural vibrancy in the picture.
The first shot was taken after a loud hail to smile at the camera. The inherent happiness evident on every face added to the picture. The photographer cleverly got the entire group together and then slowly started peeling off members to get pictures of the extended and then the immediate family. It was smart of her to get the larger groups done first, as the hassle of grouping and then regrouping was avoided.
The photographs were finally done from every angle and the natural light was fading fast, so the photographer asked us to get back to the festivities and spent some time catching the candid shots of all of us laughing and chatting as we went back to whatever we were engrossed in before the call for the family photograph.
What was different in this round of photographs was the absence of awkwardness and stiffness. The photographer’s smile and charm had coaxed us all to be natural and happy and that shone through in the finished shot. There were about six or seven shots she took for the setting with each group, and she shared all the raw pictures with us. We had a great time choosing the one we wanted to frame and the ones meant for the album.