Chris is part of the husband and wife wedding photography team, Chris and Becca Photography. Connecticut, NYC, and Boston are their main wedding spots, but they are also internationally featured destination wedding photographers.
Believe it or not, the Groom is actually 50% of the wedding couple. The focus of the day is usually more on the Bride, and this means that the Groom often gets overlooked. Many photographers struggle with photographing the groom for a number of reasons.
Usually, the groom is less excited and more hesitant to have pictures taken at all. A lot of guys aren’t used to wearing a suit, and may feel self-conscious in front of the camera, making them more difficult to photograph. It can be a challenge to take photos of someone that isn’t excited to have you there and is feeling self-conscious. All the reasons why people struggle are also reasons why it is so important to be confident when posing and photographing the groom. The bride is usually already on your side, and knows the importance of photos so now the most important person you need to make comfortable and convince is the groom. Let’s start from the bottom and work our way up. The groom’s feet should always be slightly turned out. Not so much that it should look or feel unnatural, but it shows confidence. Whereas, if the groom’s feet are ever pointed in, it makes him look self-conscious and awkward. As a rule of thumb, the groom should always have his weight on his back foot. Meaning that he should not be able to move his foot that is further away from you and your camera. If he is failing to understand your prompts you can always say “be able to pick up your front foot off the ground.”
You never want a groom to pop his hip toward the camera, it looks uncomfortable and feminine. Depending on what type of shot you are looking for you can have his hips even or popped away from the camera. You might need to reassure him that what might look a little silly in real life looks great in pictures. Most people know to have a bride slightly turned. For the groom it is similar but different. Photographing a bride is more about creating curves and creating a beautiful composition without boring straight lines, whereas posing the groom is about minimizing the waist and emphasizing the shoulders. You are generally looking for the silhouette of his upper body to create more of a “V”.
Make sure the Groom’s head is either straight or leaning toward his lower shoulder. Having his head tilted toward his high shoulder can have the unintended effect of making the Groom look feminine. In general, people look better being photographed from slightly above. However, some grooms may be taller than you. I like switching my camera to live view throughout the day and shooting with the camera higher than if it were up to my eye. Another possibility is to have him sit down somewhere, or find a place where you can stand above and shoot down on him or the couple (like a set of stairs.) That’s it, you’ve got all you need to start killing those groom shots. You’ll be amazed how much easier couple photos start to flow once the groom relaxes and has confidence in what you are telling him!