One of the challenges of Groom photos, is that with portraits of both the bride and groom, your models, have likely never had a portrait session or been directed by a photographer. The groom, in particular, may be a bit more difficult to photograph because of his potential discomfort with being in front of a camera. So how do you build his confidence in order to get great groom photos? Here are a few tips from weddit...
1. Separate him from his friends
If you’re shooting groom photos, he’ll likely be with his friends or family when the time comes. At first relax and introduce yourself, this will put everyone at ease. Let them know you are just going to be taking a few candid shots and may ask them to do things now and then. But keep it relaxed as you are part of their day and not just a photographer.If you’re just taking portraits of him, separate him from this group, and he’ll be much more relaxed and feel less self-conscious about posing. This will also lessen the distractions and help the two of you get to work creating great groom photos.
2. Give simple instructions
As with posing most people who’ve never modeled, you’ll want to keep your directions for the groom simple. Give straightforward directions, and try to be comprehensive about how he should position his entire body. When you need to, demonstrate how you’d like him to pose by posing your own body. At first I like to say nothing and let him relax and be himself and see what he does naturally, and from there give a little advie of small things he can do, like looking out to the window light, putting his hands in his pockets. I think with groom photos keeping things light, simple and classic are always best. Use window light and with a dark background, or a white wall can work well too to getting great simple Groom photos.
3. Compliments the Groom
When it comes to making the groom comfortable and building his confidence, compliments don’t hurt. It may not pay to make them overly personal; maybe stick to things like “you’re doing a great job!”, “you’re going to love these shots”, etc. And if you can tell he’s having difficulty warming up to being photographed, appealing to his funny bone could be a good icebreaker. Meaning a much higher chance of awesome Groom photos!..
4. simply sitting
Find a chair or couch that has some nice window light. Ask the groom sit towards the edge of the chair. Ask the groom to switch between looking out to the window and engaging directly with the camera. Ask him if he used to model, anything that will help him lighten up or get a smile or a laugh in any way. Stay relaxed and tell him what you see, don't be afraid to ask him to move forward a little or to place his hands somewhere else that might work better. Getting great groom photos is a lot to do with the rapport between the groom and the photographer. If you are not relaxed and confident, the groom will not be either.As always switch between letting groom be himself and seeing what he does and a little direction. I believe too much of either is not a good thing. For example just giving no direction at all or changing him completely. I feel great groom photos have a gentle balance between both.
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Photo credit: All images in this blog post by Lukas Griffin.