Monday, February 22, 2016

Behind The Frame: Photographing Groomsmen

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Photographing the bride and groom with their friends is one of my favorite parts of the wedding day.  I know those candid moments with your bridesmaids and groomsmen will end up as some of their favorites and are often the ones they will frame and put on their shelves.  Bridesmaids are a little easier to photograph because most groups of girls are used to taking photographs together all the time and feel comfortable getting close and posing together.  I'll often photograph bridesmaids both candid and laughing and a little more serious with a sexier editorial take.  Groomsmen can be a little harder.  They never know what to do with their hands (always in pockets) and seem to feel a little awkward lined up in front of the camera.  I completely understand that, it is an awkward thing to line up and PLEASE never do soccer pose!  This is not your 4th grade soccer team portrait, this is your portrait with all your friends on your wedding day! You want to look debonair and handsome, not goofy and uncomfortable.  There are lots of tricks for photographing the groomsmen well like staggering the line and having them walk, Reservoir Dogs style, but my favorite groomsmen photo ever actually came from a completely un-staged inbetween moment, and reminds us all to always have our camera at the ready.  I was shooting the bridesmaids against this gorgeous lake in the background in CT while the groomsmen waited their turn and all sat on this low stone wall.  My second shooter was snapping candid closeups of them laughing together and I walked over to come get them, but instead of just asking them all to follow me over towards the lake, I waited a beat and captured a few wide shots of them all just hanging out so comfortable and natural and it was my favorite of all the groomsmen photos.  The stone wall was in harsh direct mid-day sun and this shot digitally would not have turned out very well- a huge advantage to shooting film!  The lesson I learned from this photo was to always keep my eyes open and remember that the best moments can be the ones between the planned posed portraits, and when it doubt, sit groomsmen down!  Leave them for a few minutes to get comfortable with each other and let the magic happen naturally.

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