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How to time the couple portrait photos

Shawn Connell

We’re frequently asked how much time is needed for couple portraits on the wedding day. The short answer—as much as possible. It depends; however, on the type of couple and how many quality photos they’re looking for. We typically break down our wedding clients into two types of couples that come to the studio:

  1. The first type of couple comes to the studio because they know they’ll get great photos of themselves and they’re comfortable in front of the camera. This is the type of couple that wants a 3-hour photo session all over the venue, sometimes even with different outfit changes. This couple loves to be in front of the camera and I love this style of client, it’s very fun for the photographer.
  2. The second type of client is a little more passive and wants to enjoy their wedding day—not have a full photoshoot. This is the couple that just wants to get portraits “over with” and trusts the studio to make the photos look great. The photographer will make a fun, creative portrait session for the couple, but capture most of the photos throughout the wedding day.

The timing of portraits will also depend on the wedding day schedule, time of year, time of day and where the wedding is taking place. The minimum amount of time for a couple session is 20 minutes, on average the studio spends between 45 minutes and 1 hour.

Remember: photography plays the biggest part during the wedding day timeline. The time allocated to bride and groom portraits is crucial—a wedding must have a couple portrait!

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