When we first started shooting weddings 14 years ago, we noticed that almost every couple said something to the effect of, "Well, we know we have to get the boring family shots because Mom and Grandma really want them, but we don't want to really focus on it too much." And since we were also so young and inexperienced, we pretty much agreed. I mean, you've planned this awesome wedding day, and you want to spend it just having fun with your friends and family, not standing around being called up in groups for a bunch of standard posed photos, right?
We went on for a few more years with this belief. We continued shooting family portraits at every wedding, but it was definitely our least favorite part of the day. Then, something happened. We started getting calls and emails from clients whose weddings were a few years back, and they were saying things like, "My grandfather just passed away, and our wedding was the last time our entire family was together. We are so glad we got those portraits with him." Or, "We have a couple kids now, and we are really loving being able to share these family photos with them, because it's helping them learn about their family history." Wow. Mind blown. It was then that we realized just how important these photos are. . .that the value of them increases exponentially with each passing year. It was then that we also looked at our own wedding album and realized that all of our grandparents are now gone. But we have those photos of them, from that beautiful day where we were all together to celebrate our marriage. And we realized that someday, our parents will also be gone, but these photos will remain.
We knew right away that we had to start educating all of our clients on this. 14 years later, almost every couple still says the same thing when we do a consult with them about their wedding. But now, instead of agreeing with them and glossing over the subject, we tell them these stories. And they are usually pretty caught off guard, but their interest is piqued. We tell them that these photos may not be super important to them now, but they will be eventually. We tell them that we completely understand that this isn't the part of their wedding day they are most looking forward to. We tell them that we have a system in place where we can get family portraits completed in about 15-20 minutes, and get them back to the celebration. And they realize it's a win-win. They get family photos, but we get them in and out and on to cocktail hour in no time flat. Boom.
It's really hard for all of us to try to imagine what life will be like for us 5, 10, or 30 years down the road. Heck, it's hard for me to imagine what next week will be like. And that's ok. There is no way to know what life will throw at us or how it will feel. But what we DO know is that we have right now. Right now we can take advantage of the time we have with the people we love the most, and document it in photos. You DO NOT have to take an hour out of your wedding day for this. But give us 15 minutes, and we will give you something you will value for a lifetime.