Four Reasons We Love Formals Lists | Transcription

The formals list is basically a document that the bride and groom will help prep to list out what specific family formals they want to capture. Reasons that we want them to do this include, number one: first and foremost, that nobody is left out. If we are simply following a list, we’re going to make sure that we capture all of the images that the bride and groom wants, nobody’s going to be left out. If anybody else beyond that wants to capture images afterwards, great, but at least we have all the shots that the client wants.

Number two: it helps to protect feelings. Once again, if you show up to a wedding and you’re doing family formals, and you have a group of thirty people standing around the bride and groom, and you do just the immediate family, and you do just these shots, and then you have all the people that are standing around that never get their turn, or they didn’t get enough, or maybe you got two mom shots on one side but only one mom shot on the other side. These are things that could potentially hurt client’s feelings and hurt those that are close to them. We want to make sure that we protect everyone’s feelings, and if we’re following a list, that’s really not going to happen, because we’re going to get basically all the shots that the bride and groom wants. You know what? If it’s not on the list, no worries, it’s not on our list of shots to get.

It prevents awkward moments. Families are often non-traditional, and they can have complicated interpersonal relationships. This list is going to help us to preventing awkward moments. When we put a dad next to a mom who are separated, okay? Or, yeah, husband next to a wife who are separated, I’ve had these kind of moments before, guys. I’ve asked the father of the groom to stand next to his wife, and they look at me weird, and it’s the most awkward thing you could possibly have when standing in front of a big group. You kind of make a joke out of it, “Oh, no worries, let’s just do this, forget I said that.” It just makes for an uncomfortable situation.

This list helps me to understand these family relationships a little bit better, and if I have questions, like, “Hey, I noticed that your mom and your dad are have now different last names, are your parents going to be bringing plus ones? Tell me like, is there anything in the family relationships that I need to know beforehand?” Again, it’s perfect way to kind of have that conversation about the family relationship. Sometimes, your bride might say, “Yeah, you know what, dad’s going to show up with his plus one, which is his girlfriend,” and I actually had this happen, and she said, “His girlfriend is my age and I do not want her in any of my photographs.”

How bad would it have been if she showed up with dad, and I don’t want to make people feel bad on the day of, and so I have her in every single shot with her dad’s side of the family? That would be not only awkward for the bride, it would also make the bride not want to use any of those photos whatsoever. Prevents awkward moments, and it helps us, again, to capture the images that the clients wants, and it also, lastly, helps us to keep things smooth and efficient. Having a list of specific images makes it so that we can budget our time, we can budget the formal shoot, and we can run it in a smooth and efficient manner.

Guess what? We asked the bride and groom to also assign one of their friends or family who knows everybody on each side that can gather people. After the ceremony, when we say, “Family, hang around,” I have sister Sue on the right side who’s going to help us go through the list. Sister’s going to say, “All right, up next, can I have auntie this and uncle this, and we’re going to have you guys ready.” I’m still posing the previous group. Once they’re done, I simply bring them in, and we do another shot. I’ll organize them in the shot and so forth, but they’re ready to go. It’s going to help us to run smooth and efficient, and we can gauge how much time we need by the size of this list. Four reasons that we love formals lists, and why you should too.


The Initial Meeting

Prepping for the Engagement Talk Through

Engagement Shoot Prep & Communication

Prepping for the Wedding Day Talk Through

Wedding Day Preparation & Communication


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