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Wedding Tips

Because family photographs are so important, we encourage all our couples to use a family portrait list on their wedding day.

Our wedding day had come and gone. I anxiously awaited the arrival of one simple email with the subject line, Your Gallery is Ready.  

We received photographs of so many moments that I treasure from our wedding day, but the first photograph I desperately wanted to hang was the photograph of Kaleb and me with both of our immediate families.

I love photographs because they stop time. They spur memories and summon emotions. As a photographer I get to choose which wedding moments last forever in the form of a photograph, which moments will be remembered even when memory fails...which moments captured document the beginning of a journey, prove that love is worth it, represent the deepest connections.

For Kaleb and me, that family photograph represented home. It represented where we came from and who we are.  

Because family photographs are so important, we encourage all our couples to use a family portrait list on their wedding day.


Family Portraits on Your Wedding Day

On your wedding day, we set aside 30 minutes for your immediate family portraits. We often like to schedule that to begin about 1 hour or 1 hour & 15 minutes before the ceremony begins, that way you have time to hide away before your guests arrive, and you can enjoy more of your cocktail hour post-ceremony! Whenever possible, we love using an outdoor location near the ceremony with natural light.

Family portraits go smoothly when organized beforehand. We create family portrait lists for our couples using the information they give us in their wedding questionnaire, that they then approve before their wedding day. If you're making your own list, we recommend writing a list of close to 10 family groupings that include family members' names. When choosing which groupings to include, think about which are the photographs you’ll hang in your home or include in your album, the ones you’ll show your kids and grandkids some day.  

When it comes time to photograph family portraits, we gather all immediate family members in one location, asking them to be there about 5 minutes early. Kaleb then calls out each grouping (which is why we ask our couples to include names instead of personal titles like mom). Kaleb and I arrange the family, take the photo, and move on to the next grouping.

We always recommend having the couple in any full family portraits together, because being married means you’re officially part of the family!

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Becky Dean
I'm a Co-founder and Lead Photographer at Pen and Lens.

Wedding photography is my heartbeat. I love capturing the interactions between the bride and her tribe as they get ready together, the look on a groom’s face when he FINALLY sees his bride for the first time, and the way a dad wraps his arms around his baby girl on her wedding day. Bride and groom portraits make my heart jump and I cry on almost every wedding day.

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Becky Dean, Boise Wedding Photographer at Pen and Lens Photography
Becky Dean
Co-Founder, Pen and Lens

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