How long do family photos take? Wedding day family photo time frame

How long do family photos take? Wedding day family photo time frame

How long do family photos take? Wedding day family photo time frame

When it comes to taking family photos, there’s no one answer to “how long do family photos take?” The amount of time will depend on a variety of factors, including the number of people in the photo, their ages, and the settings chosen. It can take between 45-90 minutes or more.

This post from Wendy Magee will discuss different family photo timeframes based on diverse scenarios. The wedding day family photo time frame is also included. So whether you’re planning to take a few quick shots or take your time and capture every moment, we’ve got you covered.

How long do family photos take?

How long do family photos take?

How long do family photos take?

In general, it’ll take around 30 minutes for family portraits.

Family size matters

The size of your family can affect the duration of your session. With fewer participants, photos can be taken in a shorter time frame. With a larger family, the process may take longer because there will be more people to photograph and pose.

Your location requires how much walking

Some places are close to each other, but getting to others can be harder and take more time because you have to walk. For example, if you live in the city and want to take photos of your family at a park, you will need to walk there. If you want to take photos of your family on a farm, you will need to drive there.

The weather can also affect your photo session. If it is sunny and warm outside, your family may not want to stay inside for too long waiting for the light to change. Conversely, if it is cold and snowing outside, your family may be more willing to stay inside for a longer time for their photo session.

Adding a family film can change the timeline session

If you’re ready to take on a family-oriented film session, expect your time commitment to be around 90 minutes or possibly more. This is so that we can ensure proper photographs AND video are captured during this experience—after all, it’s good for everyone!

Your child’s emotional state

Children’s moods can change throughout the photo session, which can affect the duration of the photos. If your child is happy and cooperative from beginning to end, you’re likely to get great photos in a shorter time frame. However, if your child is fussy and difficult to photograph, expect the timeline for the session to take considerably longer.


Lighting can play a big role in family photo timeline management. If the light is too bright, photos may come out blurry. If the light is too dark, photos may not be taken at all. It’s important to read your child’s facial expressions and adjust the lighting accordingly.

Be prepared to retake photos

If, for any reason, your family does not cooperate during the photo session, you may need to retake some photos. This is another reason why it’s important to have everyone ready and dressed beforehand. You’ll save time in the long run by avoiding unnecessary retake sessions.

A point of natural termination

Once the session has reached its natural endpoint, we’ll stop taking photos. This usually happens around 60 minutes into the session for average families, but it can vary depending on the family’s size and mood.

Wedding day family photo time frame

Wedding day family photo time frame

Wedding day family photo time frame

The duration of a group photo can vary depending on the size of the ensemble; an approximate time is 1.5 minutes per small group. Undoubtedly, it may seem like an extended period for one solitary snap, which is about 30-45 minutes.

However, there are nuances associated with taking such shots that require more than simply pressing a shutter button.

Set realistic expectations

Depending on how much time you’ve dedicated to getting family photographs, you may need to temper your expectations. Even the most skilled photographers can’t take pictures of 50 different groups of things in about 30 minutes. Before starting a task like this, it is important to think about what is most important to you.

Yet, using one’s photographer more and starting early may help accommodate all desired portraits.

When to take family photos

Before the ceremony, take most family photos for a first look. If you need more shots, you can always have them during cocktail hour or after dinner. 20–25 minutes should be plenty for 10–12 clusters of 8–12 people each. Don’t worry if your photo shoot has gaps!

If you haven’t scheduled a first peek, schedule family photos right after the ceremony before guests head to the bar. Whenever the bride and groom make their grand arrival down the aisle, make sure the officiant speaks up loudly so everyone stays in place for photos.

Weddings without a typical glance will include Mom, Dad, and siblings; thus, bridal portraits must be a priority!

In early days, having a photographic likeness taken was a special event for which people dressed in their best clothing. Modern pictures record everything from beloved pets and birthday parties to graduations.

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Suggestions for controlling your wedding day family photo timeline

Suggestions for controlling your wedding day family photo timeline

Suggestions for controlling your wedding day family photo timeline

Most weddings entail a lot of photo taking, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Here are some tips to help you manage your wedding day photo timeline:

Plan your session in advance

Have an idea of where you would like to take photos, and have everyone ready by the time we start. This will minimize running back and forth between different locations.

Include names and relationships in your shot list to speed up the process

In the immediate moment, a shot list can be useful for expediting the process. It provides your photographer with an easy reference to call out specific names, which accelerates setup time.

First looks might speed up the reception with formal photographs

Have a first look and finish family photographs before the ceremony if you’re worried about not having enough time. Hence, you can enjoy the wedding reception longer. You can also take pre-ceremony couple portraits and family photos during cocktail hour.

Assign a family friend to gather guests

Ask a guest who knows your full family to take formal shots. If somebody is missing during group photos, this person can go into the crowd to find them.

Avoid overbooking portraits

Shooting a lot of wedding photos can be taxing and take time away from your loved ones. Enjoy the actual, transitory moments rather than worrying about portrait time. Instead of posing, ask your photographer to take more candid photographs. They’re the prettiest.

FAQs How long do family photos take?

When should family photos be returned?

4-6 weeks to get pictures back from a photographer. The U.S. averages 4-6 weeks. Luxury photographers take 4+ months, amateurs 1-2 weeks.

Why do wedding photographs take so long?

Immediate family photos should take another 45 minutes. If the photographer was there from the minute you got ready to the first dance at 8 p.m., they will have a lot of images to edit and go through.

How lengthy are first-look photos?

First impressions take about 15-20 minutes. The wedding timeline places that period one to two hours before guests arrive. To have ample time, your wedding ceremony should be on schedule.

How long do photographers edit family photos?

4-6 hours. Depending on one’s schedule, this gets edited in one evening or over two days.


The average time for a family photo to be taken is around 30 minutes to an hour or more. This includes setting up, taking the photo, and cleaning up afterwards. Following‘s tips can help make the process go more quickly!

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