How to shoot: Groomsman
Welcome to this lesson on how to shoot the groomsmen. Now, for this uh section, I have some examples here from a specific wedding. I thought we could take a look exactly at how I pose and position a lot of these groomsmen. Um It's hard to get a group of men and go through a demo. We only have one groom at this wedding. So I thought I'd take you through these uh this wedding actually shot very recently. Now, let's go ahead and look at my lightroom classic. So we're gonna start off with uh just the general portraits of the groomsmen. Now, you can see I have the two of them. Uh right here. The left man is the groom and the right man is one of his groomsmen. Now, what I'll do is I'll find a great spot where I like to do portraits of the groom and I'll have the groomsmen off to the side and I'll just run through a photo with every single groom uh groomsman. So they'll come up, they'll get next to him and we'll do a long uh portrait uh type shot and we'll do a uh you know, a closer sort of h...
orizontal photo of the two of them. Now, the way I start with this is I start with them standing next to each other. And for men, I like to have them put their outside hand in their pocket. So if the gentleman on the left, which is the groom, I'll have him put his right hand in his pocket and his, uh and the other guy who's on the right, I'll have him put his left hand in his pocket. And what that does is with, generally with men who are in suits. It creates a really nice uh sort of position in how they're holding themselves. And it has this thing where it automatically set in like, oh someone's looking at me and they'll actually most of the time stand up straight, which is great. And so it's a really nice way to um get into shooting people who haven't really been photographed before, right? The idea is that we wanna go through these, well, but we also don't wanna have to coach a lot of folks on how to model or how to pose and instantly with gentlemen telling them to put their hand in their suit pocket like this. It just creates this really nice aura of posing without actually like telling them like sit up straight, stand up straight, you know, be proper. So having them put their outside hand in their pocket, it looks nice, it looks formal. Um And it looks really, you know, you know, easy and classy and it's a very easy set of instructions for them to understand. So again, I'm exposing to their faces, I have them pretty close hands on the outside of the, on the outside pocket and I have them face tilted, facing towards each other. Right. I don't wanna have them shoulder to shoulder that's not as inviting and welcoming. I have them sort of pivoted towards one another and that is a little bit more welcoming. A little bit more friendly and the groom will usually want a photo with every single one of his groomsmen. So I'll do the long up and down portrait style, the uh vertical and then I'll do a horizontal one. And at that point, I'll tell them, hey, you guys go ahead and be friends, get close arms around each other, have fun and they'll end up just either one of them will inevitably put an arm around each other or they'll get closer and that's the time to start firing away. And I'll do a lot of these um on the 24 to 70 or the 85 millimeter, the 24 to 70 on my camera is one of my favorite lenses, but I like using this for this kind of thing because it is faster and it is quicker. I will try to shoot at 70 most of the time. And for this example, especially with the formal photos being able to jump out and do a full body and then to jump in and like this to do a two shot that's at even closer at 70. Looks really nice. And I love the look of my 24 to 70. You can use the 85 but you definitely will have to be moving back and forth quite a bit if you want to accommodate for horizontal and vertical. Now, something else, um I do here is here again, is the next groom. I haven't come in hands on the outside. We're in a nice place with a lot of natural light that's coming from the window that I'm using. I've put the background. Uh I put the ba I've put them so that they're facing a window a little bit and so that the background falls off a little bit and it's not as distracting most of the time, I'd like to create a lot of distance between where the groomsmen are and the background, right? Because more will be uh out of focus in the background to create that sort of professional aesthetic. So we have them in this position, hands on the outside. And at this point, I'm gonna tell them, hey, can you guys just look at, look at each other really quick and it usually causes this to happen, right? It causes them to look at each other. They get awkward, they have a funny smile. I'll kind of make fun of them for a second and then they'll go back to looking at the camera and everything will be fine, you know. So having them get these little candid moments are like really fun. And typically, again, a lot of these folks haven't been photographed at all, so they're already feeling very awkward. So the idea is to make them feel comfortable, make them laugh. Have them in, have them out. Don't spend too much time on it with gentlemen. Um The hand in the pocket is a good thing and the other hand is usually hidden like in this photo, you don't see them as much again, same thing. This time I did the close up and had them look at each other and they had this little awkward smile and you can see how I go through each one and this one's a little out of focus, but they were laughing at looking at each other like they had this weird look in each other's eyes and I snapped away. I missed focus a little bit, but I still think it's like a really wonderful moment and I actually made this one black and white, I think too, which makes it more candid right here, big expressions and you can see it's a very simple direction for us, right? It's leaning to each other face, each other pockets on the outside and uh smile. Look at camera. Now, if you guys could just look at each other. Great. I punch in look at it really quick snap, snap, snap, move it out. This all works fast because I put them in a specific situation and I also had the groom be in one spot. I had the groomsmen on the side and I just cycled them through as you're doing it. It helps if you start with someone that you feel seems to get the photo uh sense because the other ones will be watching. And so they'll know what you're going to ask of them. And hopefully if they haven't been drinking too much or aren't too excited, they'll be paying attention and be ready to help you be efficient with it. Again, I'm exposing to their faces. I put them in a place where the dis the backdrop is a little bit further away. Um creating the distance between subject and background will allow for that nice out of focus Boca area. Um And yeah, I think this is a wonderful shot. The outdoor stuff you always wanna make sure to put the sun at their back. If we need to, that way, they're not uh squinting or eyeing, not having sunglasses is great, not having hats. Hopefully you'll have time to have gotten the bane. And uh and then that will be each shot with groom and groomsmen. So let's quickly move on. Let me scoot down. So let's talk about the groomsmen together with the groom as an overall photo. I got lucky in this location. It was shot at a hotel. I found this really awesome chair and you have to be ready to, you know, go with the location that you got often. It helps to scout it out, go see what you can use. I knew that there was a big window upstairs here that was gonna allow a ton of light in. So I didn't have to use my flash because I don't like using my flash if I can avoid it. And I knew that there was these movable chairs and in my head, I thought it'd be so great to like do this sort of godfather e uh shot where I had the groom down below and the groomsmen behind. Now, you can see I did the same thing right on our left, we see a groomsman and he is facing towards us and his, I had him put his right hand in his pocket. And on the other side, I had the gentleman put his left hand in his pocket, whatever side is facing is the hand is the side that you want to be putting in the pocket. Again, it just looks classier. Also, I try to remember. It looks like I did a good job on this one. But for gentlemen, having just the top button button, um having their bones on their left side. And if you're sitting down like our groom is in this photo, he's unbuttoned and a little bit more relaxed. Again, same thing everybody look at me with a smile, 123, take a picture. Great. And then I got in a little closer, did a few more. And then this one, I was like, hey, guys just look casual, talk to each other, have fun. And uh that's what started that. Here's one where I did one where I said um you know, smile but with no teeth. Not everyone got the memo on this one. Someone didn't smile, someone did. This is the same thing, right? We have the groom in the middle. I tried to offset it because there are uh five groomsmen in this one. So with the three on the right, I have them stagger bringing your shoulder out their left hands in their pockets on the right side. I had them with their uh with their right shoulders towards us in their right hands in their pockets. And for the groom, I had, I had to, I lined them up, I lined him up with the three on the right, but I had him turn towards the ones on the left. And the reason being is that I felt that like he needed to be distinguished somehow other than just the coat, but I didn't want him straight on like that. I feel like that looks awkward to me and I felt if he was turned the other way, it was just three and three and that didn't look as dynamic. This has a little bit more dy dynamic to it like it has. It's a little more striking, it's less uh down the center and, and symmetrical. This is what I prefer doing and I thought it felt nice. I had him put both hands in his pocket so he had that sort of stable look, got all their feet and then I got in close and asked for a big smile. And then again, with this one, I think this one he caught up. I have a really fun thing with uh bridal parties and we can do this with all bridal parties is I'll tell, um, in this case, his name was Tim. Tim, the groom. I was like, Tim, if you could, um if you could just tell me really quick, which one of these is your favorite gentleman and then he like looks around for a second and then they're all like, what's he gonna say? And it causes this sort of candid fun moment. Um He just got distracted and started buttoning his suit, but like, look at this photo, it seems a lot more natural. Um And then afterwards, I'm like, all right, one more photo guys really quick and although their hands are not in their pockets, they've relaxed, they're, they're chill, they're in the same place that I had the other ones before I've shifted them now a little bit so that there's an open window um hitting all their faces. And again, the background is a little bit further, uh than closer to help add with that out of focus. And if you wanna look at our settings here, this was on my 24 to 70 but this one's at 36 millimeters, specifically a 2.8 so that I can have a little bit of the fall off, which to be fair can be dangerous shooting at a 2.8. This group of a staggered nature because we don't like, for instance, if we look at this photo, I'm sure this gentleman is a little out of focus and a little bit out of there because the focus nailed our guy right here shooting at a 2.8 it'll start to fall off. Right. So if all your gentlemen and all your subjects are not in line with each other 2. you have the potential of losing focus if one's behind the other. So I would try to typically shoot at closer to a four or 56 in this sort of situation. Um, unless you don't have the light and, uh, that's what sort of happened to me, I think because I was at a 36 millimeter, it worked out, um, this closer ones, a 41 and still at a 28 and they look all generally in focus. But as soon as you start to punch in on like that 85 or if you're at 70 you're starting to shoot at a 2. you'll start to lose focus in the levels of people. So if you're gonna shoot at a 2.8 in a group situation like this, make sure that they are all in line. And if you're outdoors and you have plenty of light, just shoot at a 56 with a longer lens, you'll still get that fall off and you'll make sure that everybody is in focus because that is the key, right? We wanna be able to see everybody's faces in focus. So those are my groomsmen photos. Um The same practices apply to the groomsmen in the group photo of the wedding party you can see in this photo again, they're all on one side and because they're all facing me with their left side, I had them all put their left hands in their pocket, including the groom. And again, you can see how uniform that looks classy. It it makes them stand up straight and it gives them a nice little uh sort of positioning in the photo. Um Again, it's very simple, right? Have them all staggered uh hands in left pockets and you can see some variations, ask them all to look at the couple and we'll get to the girls here in the next lesson. But that's the best way to really be posing the groomsmen as a sort of group