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Cole: A pro offers advice on taking wedding photos
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Dear Harriette » I just want to respond to the letter from Fabio in Dallas, who experienced some family-photo drama at his son's wedding. I am a professional photographer, specializing in weddings, and have been in the business for 27 years. With the complications of divorce, multiple-parent combinations and family angst over posing combinations, I think I've dealt with every possible scenario. I came up with a solution a few years ago that I've found successful when dealing with complicated family dynamics. When meeting with the bride and groom before the wedding, I suggest that each side draft a list, provided to me before the formal photos are taken, of all possible combinations. The intent is twofold: First, it removes the stigma of choosing who gets photographed, because EVERYONE gets in a group one way or another. The second benefit: It shows all parties that the photographer is working from a list, and that neither bride nor groom nor photographer is ''playing favorites'' with who will be posed or in what order. The photos are available to whoever wants them; if you don't want a copy of the bride and groom posing with your ''ex,'' you don't have to have that one.

- Michael, Rochester, N.Y.

Dear Michael » Thank you for sharing your experience of divided families and photographs at weddings. Tensions can run very high during weddings. Your suggestion about having both bride and groom provide photograph lists is smart.

Dear Harriette » Your response to Fabio regarding his girlfriend's distress over Fabio's son wanting a picture of him, his bride and his parents on their wedding day is way off. You called the bride and groom selfish. The girlfriend is being selfish and trying to deny that her boyfriend had a life before, which did not include her. It is not selfish for a son to want his PARENTS in a picture with him and his bride.

- Steven, Dallas

Dear Steven » I appreciate your perspective. I attempted to explain that I believe it's wise for all family members to participate in photos. Flexibility is important, too, but if you are creating a new family, I recommend that you include all family members.

Harriette Cole's column runs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

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