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How to Handle Awkward Family Dynamics in your Wedding Photography

October 1 2018 by convey

As much as we would all like for everything to be smooth sailing, there is no denying that a lot of family experience tension and some uncomfortable dynamics. When that threatens to spill over into your wedding day, though, that discomfort can shoot up into new territory. You don’t want your photographic memories to be tainted by tension or marred by contempt. Just breathe. There are some tried and true ways to get through those awkward family matters and keep your pictures a breezy success.

Let Your Photographer Know

It may seem simple and straightforward, but that’s because it is! Trust us – your photographer is a trained professional and this won’t be the first uncomfortable family situation they’ve been a part of. Letting them know ahead of time about particular family dynamics will help them help you stage and pose photos that will keep potential conflicts at a minimum.

Be Strategic With Seating

Get ahead of the game and avoid pictures of pouty faces at the ceremony and reception by having assigned seating and making sure to sit feuding family members far away from each other so they never even have a chance to feel and breed discomfort.

Keep the Mood Light

Don’t even focus on the bad dynamics! Keep your mind on your big day and incorporate happy details and fun things into your ceremony and pictures. Who would get grumpy blowing bubbles? Or goofing around in a prop-heavy photobooth? Or could keep a scowl on as they’re being served mini cheeseburgers? Don’t even entertain someone’s dark cloud.

Enlist Help

If you are anxious about familial dislike seeping into your pictures, let your friends or other family members know and ask them to help you keep those people apart and out of photos together.

Have ‘Em Practice

Look, they may hate each other but, if they’re at your wedding, they clearly love you. Set aside some time to talk with those you are worried about the awkwardness with and have them practice faking calm and contentment, at least for the photos.

Awkward family dynamics are almost an inescapable part of life anymore – but they don’t have to show in your wedding photos! Be honest, be prepared and be present and your pictures will speak a thousand happy words.

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About Author

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Sesha Smith
Owner & Photographer of Convey Studios

Sesha has been photographing weddings since 1998. She has so many favorite things from photographing weddings that she can’t pick just one: the bride’s mom helping her daughter get her wedding dress on, the first time a groom sees the bride and he tries to hold back tears.

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