When I first started shooting weddings, I absolutely dreaded the group pictures. It's so easy to line everyone up and shoot (with my camera!), than to organise an artfully composed shot of unruly, hungry people at a wedding. But if the group really trusts my creativity, and the people themselves are relaxed and willing to break the line, we can create some inspiring group images. I think the above wedding party group shot I took in Dublin last Spring has to be one of my all-time favourites. A great way to loosen people up and get them to pose is to have a drink. And there's no better drink in Ireland than Guinness!
I like this one too at Cabra Castle from a wedding I photographed this past year. Who says the bride and groom and have to be up front in a group shot? And having a person or two sit on a chair arm really breaks up the balance a bit and adds visual interest to group shots. They all look as if they've been sitting having a chat in the drawing room. Pre-Guinness obviously!
Bridesmaids go really well in a beautiful bathtub if there happens to be one in the room like there is in The Morgan in Dublin. Use interesting interior or architectural features to your advantage.
And if you have a big family group and stairs to pose them on, put them into little groups. It adds much more interest than just standing them in a line.
Pay attention too while other people are taking photographs of the groups. Often a group is more relaxed if they know the "official" photographer isn't snapping away at them. You are sure to get some natural shots as the observer.
Any group shots that you've done that were really successful? Let us know!