Photographing groomsmen can be a little bit tricky because the attention span tends to be a bit shorter than photographing the bridesmaids. One of my main goals is to try and keep things moving and interesting, and sometimes that means in addition to shooting fast, I’m actually telling a joke or two. I’ll leave the jokes to myself. My goal in shooting a group of groomsmen, are to photograph them altogether, as well as each one of them individually, and each one of them individually with the groom.
It’s a lot of photos to get, but I have a pretty good method in making sure I can get it all done if, for times sake anything has to be cut, it’s usually photographing each groomsman alone. I usually start out with something easy, just lining up all the groomsmen in one line in a row and alternating them according to height. I like to make triangles with their heads, so if I have groomsmen that have differentiating heights. I’m usually going up down up down, as I place them across the photo in the straight line. From there I try to break up the line as much as I want to get a traditional photo of the groomsmen, most of the time they tend to like the ones, where they’re not as traditional.
To do this I simply have some of the taller groomsmen move backwards, and the shorter groomsmen move forward, and then tighten them up, and have them step in a little bit closer to the groom. I’ll usually photograph this set up two ways, one with a higher aperture so I’m getting all of the groomsmen in focus, and then again with a lower aperture. Sometimes asking the groom to step one or two steps in front of them, so that he is the focus of the picture, and all of his groomsmen are just standing strategically behind him. If you are running short on time, this is a great way to quickly photograph all of the groomsmen individually. From here just ask them to take a step away from the groom and then you walk around to each one of them, and just do a quick headshot. It takes much less time for you to walk to them, than it does for them to walk to you.
From here I like to photograph each of them individually, with a groom and then if there’s time either do another pose maybe involving some chairs or some different kind of scene, to give them another group photo to choose from later in the album. Even with group photos – as long as I have the room in the place where I’m shooting, I like to shoot with either a 50mm or 85mm lens, because I adore the compression that it gives in the image. Occasionally I’ll also shoot at a slightly lower angle on the groomsmen, shooting up at them while being careful that nobody looks like they have double chins, does tend to make them look more powerful and more masculine.
All while I’m posing and taking pictures of the groomsmen, my second shooter has a job here as well and usually she’s off to the right, or the left with the longer lens a 135mm or maybe a 70 to 200mm photographing little close-ups of the groomsmen, in groups of two or three, or just one of them individually. This creates a nice set of candid images in addition to the ones that I’m taking, where they’re typically looking at me. I hope this has sparked some ideas on workflow, and methods for photographing groomsmen.