Wedding Insights From REAL Couples | Christopher Duggan Photography

Considering Family Dynamics When Planning Your Wedding Photography

by | Jul 18, 2022 | Wedding Insights | 0 comments

For every wedding we photograph, we ask the couple to create a list of the formal family portraits they’d like to capture at their wedding. 

When we first talk about the wedding, I’ll ask you a bit about your family. And weeks before the wedding, I send each couple a form to fill out to share these ideas with me… I include space for a very important topic: “Tell us a little about your family.”

For example, I want to know: 


  • Are there any family dynamics you want to share with me before the wedding? 
  • Are your grandparents going to be there? 
  • Are your parents divorced and in new relationships? 
  • What should we know when we’re directing family photos?
Wedding Insights From REAL Couples | Christopher Duggan Photography
Catherine & Edward's Tappan Hill Wedding Portraits; photo credit Christopher Duggan
Wedding Insights From REAL Couples | Christopher Duggan Photography
Every family is unique, and every family has their own dynamics (actually this is the most exciting part of why I love weddings so much). There might be members of your family that don’t get along with each other well, or longtime partners or friends that feel like family that you wish to include, or certain personalities that could potentially slow down the process… 
None of this is new to me, I promise! Every single family has something they’d like me to consider when navigating photos and relationships day-of. All of this is extremely helpful for me to know, so we can make the beautiful images YOU want to preserve your big day. The more information a couple shares with me, the better.
My goal as your wedding photographer is not only to capture the important moments of the day but to tell the beautiful story of your family and make sure your family feels seen, honored, and relaxed.
Your answers help me plan how I can make that happen. For example, should we ask for extra chairs or shaded areas for grandparents while we’re making photos outside? These nuances are on my mind and in my heart as I work to prep for your wedding…
So many of your family members will want photos with you, because they’re excited to support your marriage, and I never want anyone to feel left out. If you tell me what you anticipate ahead of time, I can help you manage expectations, dynamics and feelings on your wedding day.
Tappan Hill Wedding Photography | Christopher Duggan Photography

I can’t even describe how amazing Chris is to work with. He has such an amazing and calming presence which is an unbelievable characteristic to have for your photographer on your wedding day. He made photos so fun and listened to everything that we wanted.

We got all of our photos back from our wedding and I can’t even pick which ones are my favorite because they are all just so incredible. He captured moments that are so incredibly special to us, seriously didn’t miss a single one. I started sending them to our friends and family and even they were raving about how amazing our photographer was and how “he definitely loved me/us” but seriously it just felt like that for every single person at our wedding. I really just don’t even know how he did it!

Chris, you were the second best decision at my wedding – the first one was saying “I do.”


– Gerri, married 11-27-21

Allie & Sarah’s Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Wedding Portraits; photo credit Christopher Duggan

We were so impressed with the time Chris took to get to know us as a couple with our specific family dynamics. He made us incredibly comfortable in a time of high stress leading up to the wedding and left us with the most stunning photos. Though we had a big wedding he captured nearly all our guests and left us with beautiful portraits of family members that we will cherish for many years to come. 


– Sarah, married 10-30-21

I have some pretty amazing clients!

If you’re currently planning a wedding (or if you’ve already tied the knot!), do you have a piece of advice that you would like to add to this list? Send me a DM on Instagram or leave a comment here!



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