{How To} Avoid Awkward Family Photos

I really don’t like taking pictures for long periods of time. My face starts hurting from smiling so much, and my candid shots are not flattering at all due to my lack of a chin. I can look pretty awkward. The last photos you ever want looking awkward are your wedding photos. There are several scenarios that can result in awkward wedding photos like crazy family or a drunk bridal party. I’m going to show you some examples and give you some fun tips on how to avoid awkward wedding photos!


Scenario 1: The Photobomber. This is obviously the photographer’s responsibility. It’s an easy one at that. Make sure the area is clear of wandering guests before taking bridal portraits! Even if the wanderers are properly posed and camera ready, tell them to scram! Otherwise, your photo will be photo bombed.


(Arm Kissing)

Scenario 2: Bridesmaids. Please don’t make them kiss your arms. That’s common sense. Another awkward, yet popular, pose is the bridal party group jump. I can’t jump, so I would ruin this picture. It’s also very uncomfortable to do and look at. You and your ladies are wearing pretty dresses…and they are not meant to be jumped in.


(Heather Burrow’s friend)

Scenario 3: Groomsmen. These are the groomsmen from Heather’s wedding. For the record, she gave me permission to do this. There are not many words I can say that would justify the funniness of this picture. It’s less awkward, more hilarious. But if you knew Heather and Justin, this is perfection. I also don’t recommend making your groomsmen jump in the air for their photo either. However, no shirts and only vests is a great alternative.

(Heather’s friend)

Scenario 4. Confusion or The Silly Pose. If one of the groomsmen is tempting you to spank him, react exactly how Heather did. Be the prettiest person in this awkward pose! If you are uncomfortable with doing silly poses, then politely and assertively tell your photographer that you don’t want to do silly poses.

(Heather’s friend)

Scenario 5: Height. This is Justin Burrow with a tall bridesmaid. This photo is awkward for obvious reasons. No male wants to be pictured where he looks extra short, nor does a lady want to be pictured looking extra tall. Other than being an awkward photo, they can make the people in them feel insecure or self conscious, and no one wants that. The wedding photos will look the best if you match your bridal party by height.

***Heather Burrow gave me permission to post these photos as examples. She also wanted me to reassure you that she had a lot of great wedding photos along with this handful of awkward ones. She was a ravishing bride!***

Advice from Wedding 101 Vendors on how to avoid awkward family photos:

From GraceAnn Visser, assistant photographer at Nashville Photography Group: “Asking family dynamics before hand. Be aware of divorces, step-children, and other family dynamics so you know if mom and dad need to be on opposite sides of the photo. Do this BEFORE the day of. Doing it during only makes it more awkward.”

From Brian Snyder, owner of Snyder Entertainment: “When shaving the number of your favorite nascar driver into your back hair, DO NOT take a family photo shirtless.”

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