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Groom Photography Tips

Too many photographs of the groom are heads and shoulders, with a broad smile or caricatured, serious look that more often than not resembles a grimace. Aim for a natural look and be aware of the small detail that go into the making of any formal portrait.

Because the groom’s clothes are much ‘straighter’ than the bride’s and can’t be fluffed out to create paths of design and light, you’ll have to be much more conscious of how the lines of the jacket, vest, or waistband fall. Watch for the jacket riding up over the shirt collar and make sure the cuffs of the shirt come out from the sleeves of the coat. Even though facial expression in the shot might be great, a portrait can be badly hurt by your missing any of these seemingly inconsequential details.

It’s rare to see or sell a full-length formal of the groom, so concentrate on medium distance shots. Using a lighting set-up similar to the one for the bridal portrait you can have the groom lean in slightly, one foot on a stool and an arm resting on the knee, with the other hand in a pocket. Remember to watch for lines by making sure that the groom’s shoulders aren’t parallel to the top of the frame and have the head turned to one side or the other so the shot doesn’t look like a wanted poster.

It’s ok for the groom to have one or both hands in his pockets as long as the hands fit. Some formal wear is very tight or just has decorative pockets, so hands may seem bulky if shoe horned in. If the hands are left out of the pockets, do something with them. Putting hand in hand is better than interlacing fingers. You can also have a thumb hitched into a pocket or belt, creating a jauntier pose.

Many men’s portraits seem stilted when compared to those of women. This may be caused by the photographer and subject feeling as if they are trapped into portraying the ‘male image.’ Go with your feeling about the individual and don’t get caught out in stereotypes. This will make your subject more comfortable and allow you to make a more honest photograph. Look for motion, movement of lines and dynamism as ways to break any stiff, visual looks. Once the subject has posed himself, or you’ve helped him find a comfortable position, request an extra lean-in towards the camera. This extension does wonders for male portraits.

Use your judgment about diffusers with the groom because some benefit by its use and some don’t. Though these filters aren’t in general used for pictures of the groom alone, they can help create an idealized rendition of the subject. Smiling is not against the law in the portrait of the bride or groom. The demeanor of the groom’s portrait needn’t be serious or moody. His warmth and flow are what you should aim to bring out.