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My mission as a wedding photographer is to help happy couples celebrate life's biggest joys with high quality photos and a dang good time. I believe the experience is just as important as the photos and that you deserve beautiful, lasting memories.

Hey!! I'm Gabriella.

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formal family photos after an intimate wedding in the poconos, pennsylvania

Family Photos: Why they’re important and how to plan for them!!

It’s your wedding day!!!! You’re marrying the love of your life, you’re re-connecting with friends you haven’t seen in AGES, you’re sooo hungry and can’t wait to start eating and drinking … but it’s time for formal family photos.

It can be super duper tempting to say “screw it!” to what is arguably the least fun part of your day. I get it. BUT there are ways to make it go by as quickly and as efficiently as possible!!

Before we get into these tips, I want to remind you just how incredibly important family photos are. It’s not every day that your entire family is gathered together in one place. It’s vital that we capitalize on the moment and get family photos taken!!

Tomorrow Isn’t Promised

The unfortunate truth about life is that we are never promised tomorrow. You never know if your wedding day is one of the last times you’ll see one of your loved ones. I’ve spoken to multiple couples who have told me their wedding photos are the last photos they have of loved ones who passed away after the wedding day. With this in mind, I will always prioritize your formal family photos because family (& friends that feel like family) is incredibly important!!!

So now that we’ve established formal family photos are a “must” on your wedding day, let me fill you in on the BEST ways to go about doing them to save time and stress so you can focus on dancing the night away!!!

How to plan for family photos:

🥂 Create a family “shot list” of all the specific combinations of people you want included in formal family photos! (These are the “must-haves” — you can still take more pictures the day of!)

🥂 Set aside one specific time for family photos to take place. A wedding day can already be a bit chaotic with all that’s going on — keeping the plan as simple as possible ensures we don’t need to send out a search party for Uncle Bob!

🥂 Plan to do the family photos before cocktail hour. I repeat: Family photos must be done before cocktail hour!!! Once food and alcohol start being served, it becomes a thousand times harder to organize large groups of people!

🥂 Have family photos listed on the wedding agenda at the ceremony. You know those little pamphlets that are handed out to the guests at the ceremony? Include a phrase like “[immediate] family photos to follow immediately after the ceremony”.

🥂 If family photos are happening after the ceremony, ask the officiant/pastor/priest to announce that family photos are happening immediately after the ceremony before sending you back down the aisle as a married couple!

🥂 Finally, make sure your family knows that they will be needed for photos *before they even arrive at the wedding*!!! Include an extra slip in their invitations or send out a massive group text. If your family already has it in their mind that they’ll be taking pictures before the cocktail hour, there’s much less of a chance they’ll forget and run away towards the food!!

Sample Family Shot List

Partner A with mom

Partner A with dad

Partner A with parents

Partner A & B with A’s parents

Partner A & B with A’s siblings

Partner A & B with A’s immediate family (no plus ones)

Partner A & B with A’s immediate family (with plus ones)

Partner A & B with A’s grandparents

Partner A & B with A’s extended family – mom’s side

Partner A & B with A’s extended family – dad’s side

Cousins pic!!

(then all of above for B’s family)

Partner A & B with both parents

Partner A & B with both siblings

Partner A & B with both immediate families

Partner A & B with nieces & nephews

Now it’s time to create your family shot list!

Though they might not be the most fun photos, formal family photos are an incredibly important part of your wedding day. It’s not every day that so many loved ones are gathered together in one place all dressed up, and you may not know the next time that will happen! Trust me when I say prioritizing these photos will be well worth it in the long run 💛

P.S. If I’m photographing your wedding, I’ll ask you to create this list in a Wedding Day Questionnaire that I’ll send you about 3 months before the wedding 🙂

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- Melissa & Johnnie

“Gabriella was absolutely amazing!!! Words cannot even describe how perfect she was, but I’ll try my best. Right from the beginning, I knew she was the one. She was so caring, calming, organized, and just a genuinely happy person. She made me feel even more excited for my wedding. She was so helpful throughout the entire process right down to the big day. AND THE PICTURES - OH MY GOD. They are absolutely breathtaking and she definitely tells the story of your day in the most perfect way. She captures every precious moment while having a smile on her face the whole time she’s with you. I can’t say enough amazing things about her. I would absolutely recommend her to anyone looking to have the BEST photographer for any occasion. We had such an amazing experience with Gabriella and we can’t thank her enough!”


- Aaron & lydia

Gabriella is the BEST photographer and we could not have asked for anyone better to capture our proposal! I had intentions of interviewing multiple photographers, but after seeing her work and talking to her over the phone, I immediately booked with her. Her passion for photography is so evident. She goes above and beyond to make your shoot about YOU. She does a great job of taking control and guiding you with poses that you will love, and her candid shots are unbelievable. She had a smile on her face the entire time and we felt like a close friend was there doing this for us. Would recommend her 100 times out of 100!

Gabriella was absolutely amazing. She made the photography session so easy and effortless. Her personality is so warm and inviting, she made us feel so so comfortable during these pictures. Gabriella went above and beyond for us and I’m so grateful my significant other found her as a photographer. I would highly recommend!


- Alex & mike

Gabriella is not only an amazing photographer, but she is an amazing person! She was incredible to work with and made everything from our engagement photos to our wedding day extremely easy. She really understands your vibe and does everything she can to help make that come true! My husband is extremely camera shy, but he was so comfortable with her and the photos were amazing!


- kevin & riya

Gabriella is the BEST photographer and needless to say she went above and beyond our expectations! She was hired by my fiancé for our surprise proposal and she did a phenomenal job at capturing every single detail of it. She made our lives easy by understanding us, our personality, the way we wanted to be captured and she did just that! From showing us every beautiful inch of Longwood gardens to telling us about different poses to capturing the beauty and essence of nature! She made my dream come true with these beautiful pictures. We spent 2 hrs with her and there was sign of rush of ending the session and it was more like whatever we felt in the moment which is what I truly enjoyed. She sent us our sneak peak pictures the day off just several hours later and needless to say not only did our jaws dropped but every single person who viewed those pics while asking who the photographer was! We proudly share her information with every member of our family and friends because she truly deserves the best❤️ Thank you Gabriella for capturing the most beautiful and intimate moments of ours and We can’t wait to work with you again!


- brandon & nasia

Gabriella captured our special moments perfectly! She photographed our proposal, Holud night before the wedding, and wedding day. She was very easy to work with and always communicative and responsive. She was able to handle a 300 person wedding with ease and always got the shot. I've only seen the sneak peek from our wedding weekend but I am already in love with the pictures. She truly captured the joy and happiness of the weekend through her photos, which I will treasure forever. She is also just a genuinely kind person, which makes working with her even better :) Highly recommend.