Top 5 reasons you should photograph your formals, informally

Each and every year I meet with dozens of couple's who all tend to say the same exact thing during their consultation: "We love the way you capture weddings. We definitely want more candid photos than anything else." And it makes sense. Real, candid moments are 100% better than any stale, posed moments. Especially when it comes down to the portraits of the bride & groom. However, during the wedding planning stages something changes. Most couple's email us with a list of "formal" photographs to take. Wait - I'm confused, didn't you want candid photographs? 

Formal photographs vs. informal

Formal photographs are described as photos taken in a formal setting or arrangement. Take your family for example. Most families want "formal" photos taken with the bride & groom on their wedding day. We choose a spot close to the ceremony, line everyone up, and take all the groupings you've emailed us and run off photo after photo interchanging groups as we go along. We get a group set, yell out "Ready?! 3, 2, 1" and capture that moment. So what's so wrong with that? There's no emotion behind it. Everyone is lining up to smile for a second and then run off to cocktail hour or the reception. It's a "hi & bye" situation with mostly distant relatives who you only see twice a year and that's about it. It usually looks something like this:

Informal photos are described as photos taken in an informal way or setting. For example, take that same situation we spoke about above and take the same photograph in an informal way:

There's emotion behind these photographs and you can feel it as soon as you look at them. We normally capture 75% of the day like this...However, what if 100% of the day was like this? 

As photographers, we strive to capture the memories as we see them. We don't interrupt moments, we capture them. Hence why this year we're guiding our couples to stay away from the formal photographs. We understand that your family will want them. But that's because they don't know another option. They grew up and got married with all formal photographs and no nothing else. Heck, if they had it their way, your wedding album would consist of all group photos. We're here to guide them into a different experience. When they see your wedding album filled with pure emotion, candid, real photographs, they'll love them for many years to come and be so happy you went along with that route.

Below I've outlined the top 5 reasons why you should switch over to this type of format for your wedding and what pro's it has for you as the couple.

1 - You're going to get real emotions

I think we've come to the conclusion that lining up in the group photo and waiting for the photographer to yell "SMILE!" isn't going to capture any type of memorable moments. However, when you have your first dance, and mom, dad, grandma and grandpa are crying watching you and immediately grab you after your dance, and hold you so tight - Those are memorable moments. Imagine your whole wedding album like that. It would capture the day beautifully without any stale, posed photos.

2 - You'll have more time with your guests

Imagine only spending 10 minuets photographing your family instead of a half hour to an hour. It would free up time for you to go out and greet everyone, enjoy a cocktail or two and any other shenanigans you have planned for your big day. 

3 - Your photographer will love you even more

It's no secret that couple's want control of every single portion of their wedding day. Heck, they have a right to. After all, it is their day. But as creatives, it's our job to have them trust in us when it comes to photographs. Trusting in your photographer will allow us to do our job flawlessly and capture those candid moments we first spoke about during your consultation. Controlling each and every photographs only feels like homework to us. We'll look at the list and know that we need to capture xy&z. Trust us, we've done this before and we'll capture all the important people :)

4 - We'll still do some formal photographs

A big worry when we mention this new format to clients is their immediate family and couple's session. Most couples do want photos with their parents and siblings and we still want that to. We think that your immediate family should definitely be photographed formally because it's an important photo to have. When it comes to their photos, we bring them on a little adventure and capture their emotion along the ride. We'll still set out time to do photographs, they just might not be overly posed as you would have expected.

5 - You'll have more fun

You wont have to put together any shot list, you wont have to go around asking mom and dad who they want to be captured, and you won't have any more stress than you already have when planning a wedding. Your day will go by seamlessly without a ton of downtime for your guests and you'll have more time to enjoy the day rather than taking photos all day! 


We know that this takes a lot of trust in us as your photographers. Our promise to you is to capture your wedding day as we see it. Your day is unique, special and unlike anyone else's. Hence why we wanted to reach out and see if you'd be on board with this new plan were trying to guide our couple's on. Here's a few candid, real moments from a recent wedding!

Ryan DeVollComment