Family Portraits | Virginia Wedding Photographer

When I meet with my couples to discuss the order of day for their wedding day, one of the things we discuss is their family portrait preferences. I ask them if they would like pictures with their entire extended family members ("ANYONE who is related to you!"). Some say "yes," and some say "I don't even know all the names of everyone I am related to." Either response usually puts a big smile across my face. For a few reasons! When Tommy and I were planning our wedding, I knew that I wanted a huge family photo of anyone who was related to either one of us. I love the picture. It is "Our Family." My dad's family has lived in Florida since before I was born, my mom's family has lived in Ohio since before I was born, and Tommy's family has lived all over the state of Virginia for most of his life, as well. Somehow, we have managed to become and remain close friends with almost all of our faraway family members. And if you can't tell, family is very important to both Tommy and I. :)

This is the photo I wanted taken on our wedding day.

There are a few (okay, a lot of) people missing from our big family photo, which makes me a little sad, but I know that there will never be another picture that even comes close to this one. Weddings offer rare opportunities to gather all the people that are specifically important to both the bride and the groom together in the same place. We took advantage of the chance to have family portraits taken, just as some of my clients also do. These pictures may not be the most artistic or creative ones from your wedding day, but sometimes they are the most special photos.

So when planning your wedding day timeline, try to take time to really consider the family portraits you would like to have taken. What are the photos you may not have the opportunity to have taken after your wedding day? That day may be the only time in your life that you will have all of your favorite people together in the same place.

My sister and I don't usually shoot from a "photo list," throughout your wedding day. However, we are more than happy to work through a list of specific family groups during the formal portraits. Like I said, this was something that was a top priority for me, so I completely understand if it is your big priority, also. Just be sure to let me know!

Liz Cook

Liz Cook is a wedding, birth, and motherhood photographer based in Central Virginia. Her intuition and creative perspective allow her to connect both professionally and personally with her subjects, and thus, her portfolio is saturated with authentic emotion. Whether she's sharing her story with fellow entrepreneurs or enjoying quality time with her husband and two daughters, Liz is both present and passionate about capturing and celebrating life. Her work has been featured by O "Oprah" Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Glitter Guide, Essence Magazine, domino, Rue Magazine, among others.