Family Formal Portraits in 15 minutes! • Veronica Ilioi • Hawaii Wedding and Portrait Photographer

Family Formal Portraits in 15 minutes!

I am bringing back the “For Brides” series! I’m so excited to be of service to you with free content. I remember when I got married while many people blogged, most photographers kept this kind of information to themselves, or your photographer had to purchase it from them. I love that I’m a creative entrepreneur in today’s society where people give freebies. I LOVE FREEBIES and I’m pretty sure you do too! I mean, who doesn’t? 

how to get your family formal portraits done in under 15 minutes on your wedding day

Anyway, if there is one thing I used to dread as a wedding photographer it was family portrait time. It just always ended up being too slow and too crazy, people didn’t look at the camera, babies crying, Father of the Bride ran away somewhere. I mean, we’ve all seen it happen. It wasn’t until I decided to request a list of family photos as well as letting my couples know that family portraits are meant only for immediate family. That means

parents, step-parents, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, grandparents and great grandparents.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized how important and special those 15-20 minutes dedicated to photograph the bride and groom’s family was. One of my favorite bride’s grandmother passed away not too long ago, and the wonderful thing was that she now has a special image of her and her sweet grandma on her wedding day. From now on, that image was one of the most important photos Corina will have. Those are heirlooms passed down from generation to generation. As a wife, you will look at your photos and see your grandparents’ love for each other and for you.

bride and grandmother photo at the weddingHere’s the good news. These don’t have to take longer than 20-30 minutes. I’ve taken family portraits in under 10 minutes. It can 100% be done. Here’s a few tips on efficiently taking your cherished family portraits.

  • Have a list of all your immediate family. About a month before the wedding day, I send my brides a list of family combinations, all they have to do is fill in their names. This makes the process so much easier, because while I take photos, the second photographer or assistant will be calling the next family! Next thing you know, all your family portraits are taken and we can go into your sunset portraits!
  • Specify parental relations. Make sure you let your photographer know if your parents are divorced, or if a parent is no longer with us. As photographers, we’re so used to call out certain combinations, knowing ahead of time of any relations we need to be aware of allows us to make sure we remember.
  • Don’t worry about the babies. I am 100% serious. Don’t even worry about making them look at the camera, my crazy self will get their attention one way or another, all you  need to do is smile and look at me! 🙂 Me and my second photographer will make sure to get their attention. We will most definitely bribe them with cookies and cake.
  • Enjoy your wedding day. At the end of the day, today is your day. As a photographer, together with the coordinator we will do our best to keep everything within the timeline but we will never rush you and take away from you having a good time!


And now, my go-to photo grouping list! Enjoy!

B&G + Both sets of Parents

B&G + Bride’s Parents

B&G + Groom’s Parents

B&G + Bride’s Immediate Family

B&G + Groom’s Immediate Family

Groom + Immediate Family

Bride + Immediate Family

B&G + Bride’s Siblings

B&G + Groom’s Siblings

B&G + Groom’s Grandparents

B&G + Bride’s Grandparents

B&G + Groom’s Step-parents

B&G + Bride’s Step-parents

Additional groupings:

Bride + Parents

Bride + Mom

Bride + Dad

Bride + Siblings

Bride + Each Sibling

Bride + Each Grandparent

Groom + Parents

Groom + Mom

Groom + Dad

Groom + Siblings

Groom + Each Sibling

Groom + Each Grandparent

That’s it! I hope you’re enjoying this blog series! I’d love to hear what other posts you’d be interested in reading about! Let me know in the comments below!

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Veronica Ilioi is a destination wedding, elopement, and portrait photographer based out of Oahu, Hawaii, but would love to travel the world photographing you. She loves capturing emotions and freezing them for generations to come. But more than that, Veronica wants to give you an experience you’ll never forget. Photos that will be timeless even when you and your love are old and gray. Memories that will bring you right back to your wedding day. She captures photos in a light and airy, joyful and romantic way. Let’s not overlook the fact the Veronica loves cracking dad jokes, eating chocolate like its the most important meal of the day, and having deep meaningful conversations.


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A lot of moving pieces go into making sure you have all your bridal details photographed without being bombarded with questions on your wedding day. Grab our free guide for a stress free wedding day.


Complete Bridal Details Checklist


Grab Your complete bridal details checklist

A lot of moving pieces go into making sure you have all your bridal details photographed without being bombarded with questions on your wedding day. Grab our free guide for a stress free wedding day.