Timeless, high quality imagery for kind-hearted couples who desire a warm, boutique experience honoring their life-long commitment and legacy.

 Based in Columbus, Ohio and serving state-wide

Family Formal Portraits | Wedding Planning

Ohio Wedding Photographer | Ashleigh Grzybowski

The List

I recommend couples plan for up to 20 family groupings since the time between the ceremony and reception is typically limited. Up to 20 groupings can be photographed within 30 minutes. If there are any extended family groupings, I recommend to photograph those during the reception as to not take away from other portrait time. Below is a standard list of family formals.


The best location for family formals is outside. Most family formals are taken after the ceremony. The front of the church is typically thought out as the perfect location for family formals. While it does work and is convenient, it is not my first recommendation. Lighting in churches is not created for portraits and is typically very poor lighting conditions for portraits. Lighting issues that typically arise are different colors of light that negatively impact skin tones, orange light (the worst!) or extremely hot light which creates unflattering shadows.

I have a lot of experience photographing family formals in churches. I will use flash to help solve as many lighting issues as I am able to but some lighting issues can’t be solved with flash alone. For example, I am not allowed to turn off lights in churches which is one key tool I need to solve poor lighting conditions.

Preparing Family

Preparing family will help family portrait time go as smooth and fast as possible. Below are the three items to let all family members who are in the portraits know before the wedding day.

  • Arrival Time – Tell your family exactly where to arrive and what time. If family portraits are taken before the ceremony I recommend telling them to arrive 15-20 minutes before portraits start.
  • List of Groupings – Let your family know you have provided the photographer with the list of family groupings. This will reduce family members adding in groupings the day of which delays getting the pictures done.
  • Ordering – There is a perception about the order family portraits. I order family portraits in a strategic way which allows the portraits to be taken in the most efficient manner and minimizes movement. It may seem odd but telling family this ahead of time will reduce questions day of.
Ohio wedding photographers

Ashleigh Grzybowski is a Wedding Photographer based in Columbus, Ohio and serving couples across Ohio.  Ashleigh specializes in producing timeless, high quality imagery for kind-hearted couples who desire a warm, boutique experience honoring their life-long commitment and legacy.

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