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Apr

For Photogs: Taking Family Photos with Paparazzi

Sometimes during a wedding when I am trying to take the posed family photos, the family members end up looking at everyone else taking photos of them and not at my camera. It makes family photos take even longer and can be frustrating. Have you been in this kind of a situation? What do you do? 
 
Thanks, Frustrated
 
 
Yes, yes and YES! I have been in that situation more times then I can remember and get questions often from other photographers about this! For me, there are really two main challenges when other guests are taking photos of the family you are trying to pose and photograph. First, is the very challange you pointed out - the family members start looking around at other cameras, then back at my camera, then back quickly at all the other guests taking photos, and so on. It makes for an awkward family photo when only some of the family members are looking at my camera and then others in different directions. The second challenge is when the family is constantly blinking because of guests' camera flashes going off. We've all been there, right?! It can take so much longer to complete family photos when the photo has to be taken again and again to account for family members blinking from guests' camera flashes. 
 
That being said, there are some things that I do on a regular basis to avoid these two things from happening and help me efficiently and quickly complete family photos. 
 
One thing I might do if it's a key family photo (like one whole side of a family) and lots of guest are trying to photograph it, I will stand off to the side for about 15 seconds and direct the family to look at the guests taking photos. I will then step back in front of the group and direct the family to only look at my camera now. I have found this is much more effective then trying to have all the guests hold off on photographing the family. Not only do guests step away after taking a photo so that my camera is the only one taking photos, but the guests are so grateful they were able to get a quick photo on their device. If guests still continue to take photos of the group and it is effecting where the group is looking or blinking, I will stop taking photos and turn completely around to the guests and ask them to refrain from taking photos until I am done. If time is limited and there is no time for me to stand off to the side or LOTS of guests are photographing the family photos I will usually ask them to refrain right off the bat and explain that them taking photos is interfering with my photographing the family. Sometimes at this point my couple will echo what I have said to specific guests which can help as well!  
 
Your couples have hired you to photograph their entire day to the best of your ability, including the family photos. So remember to be assertive when you need to be! I hope this is helpful and please know that you are definitely not the only one that finds themself in this situation wedding after wedding!

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