Collaborating with the Groom: Tips and Techniques

Many wedding photographers believe their job is primarily for the bride and I understand the reason. It’s usually the bride who has spent endless hours searching for the perfect photographer to capture the most special moment of her lifetime. Sometimes, it’s even years prior to the wedding day. I’ve had people contact me multiple times sure, but 8 out of 10 times it’s the bride’s note that gets me. Every single detail needs to be perfect and brides-to-be are happy to begin plan to ensure they are exactly as they were.

On the day of the wedding it is the bride who receives all the attention, and appreciation. This is not to say that the groom’s part is not important, but no. His admiration and affection are most important as the groom is his knight-in- shining armor and so on. Yet, she is the princess. If she’s content, he’s happy too isn’t that the way they talk about it?

Oddly enough, I’ve discovered that it’s not the bride who is the most difficult to impress by your work. In the end, if she’s made the choice to choose you and is already aware about what she can expect. The bride? This is a slightly different story.

How To Work With The Groom_2
NIKON D700 + 85mm f/1.4 @ 85mm, ISO 200, 1/640, f/1.4

Why Is It Different With The Groom?

If you’re a male take a look at this question: do you enjoy being photographed? Without a doubt, for the natural models the majority of men feel uncomfortable when they see someone point their camera. In a flash and without warning all the awkward smiles and poses begin to creep out, and all for the photographer to subtilly “fix”. This is, unfortunately it isn’t always an easy job.

A portion of this could be due to me being a man which means I’m equally uncomfortable when in front of a camera. I’m not one to like being photographed by anyone else or at least have no idea what to say if somebody takes photos of me. I feel uncomfortable. There are many reasons that are derived from this. If I’m not sure how to stand when being photographed, it just is logical that I’m not adept at posing men too.

This is why I’m going to admit that I’m not quite as comfortable taking photos of men as it is with females. Am I getting better with time and can I keep improving? I definitely would like to think that it is. The thing that is most helpful is realizing just how different it is to work with men.

1. Don’t Go In With DSLRs Blazing

If the bride wants her wedding photographer to record every moment of the day the groom will usually trying to stay clear of the guy or woman with a camera who could cause him to appear very unprofessional in photos. His friends will surely mock, naturally. They may even look at your actions with suspicion.

The only way to beat his instinctual “instinct” to think that you’re someplace else is to earn his trust. Trust, in the real sense of the word. It’s so much is actually that he should be as comfortable before you as when he is with his friends or, in some cases, even more. The first piece of advice I would give to a new wedding photographer when being with the groom to not shake the hand of the groom with a camera firmly pressed to your face.

Since one of the initial impressions you create is vital it is here that your social skills should be able to show first. While holding your camera up close to your eyes may demonstrate your dedication to the job in hand however it’s not very social.

How To Work With The Groom_3
NIKON D700 + 50mm f/1.4 @ 50mm, ISO 200, 1/1250, f/1.8

The majority of the time, when I get there to see my husband-to-be the camera is being stored in the bag. It tends to remain there for a considerable period of time. The groom’s work involves some less photography at first however, it’s not a lesser amount of effort. It’s just an entirely different kind of work. Therefore, while the camera is stored in its bag speak with him. Begin to get to know each other on a first-name basis discuss things that aren’t related to weddings or photography.

Do not be a photographer, be who is with your friends. Simply, hang out with them for a few minutes. After that, take your camera until the main man in the world is at ease with you. To ensure that he is relaxed, there are a lot of questions to start with, beginning with his family, education, the way did he meet his bride-to-be If he’s seen the gown and if he had any input in any aspect of the plans in any way. The more hospitable the environment is, the more relaxed!

This isn’t as easy to accomplish as it might appear, simply talking to someone who you’ve never even met like he’s a long-time friend. If you’re uncomfortable and uncomfortable, how can you expect him to not? Since you’re the person who could cause him to be nervous as you are the one who has the camera. Social skills are essential for every photographer and since during weddings, you are likely to interact with hundreds of individuals, they are essential in the business.

2. Explain Things

For brides, the wedding photography itself is typically about enjoying the moment. It’s an extremely romantic experience with just the two of each other in love with an individual present to capture the moment. The most gorgeous woman on earth and is the most joyful. He is the reason for it. Then the person holding the camera makes them hug one another, look at each one another and kiss, laugh and then throws a few sly compliments during the best time (or I would hope that it is). They’re in love! At the end of the day (plus some weeks as you are working on the photos) they will realize how much in love with each other they were. Isn’t that romantic?

However, this can happen an issue if you’re a male. If your bride’s “in in the present” enjoying herself, awed as well as admiring her (she has the right to express herself in this manner) With the majority of clients I have worked with men, they seldom think “oh I’m sure he’s going to be doing some fantastic work, I’m going to be enthralled by those photos”. Let’s face it – the majority of them will think in the direction of “why do you think he’s pointing my camera in the direction of me? I’m not even doing anything. Do I have to have to be performing some thing?”, at the minimum. The photographer only has one option to make the wedding a romantic, smooth experience for both the bride and bride as well.

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NIKON D700 + 50.0 mm f/1.4 @ ISO 250, 1/200, f/1.4

How? Easy – discuss it with him. I’m not talking about explaining the meaning of aperture and how the f stop affects depth of field, but it doesn’t. Tell the photographer why you’re posing the way you do doing it, and why you are there and what exactly you should be doing and the reason for it. It is also helpful to start with the bride and her partner as he can see that the whole procedure is not just simple and easy, but also quite comfortable. In addition, gracefully taking his bride in stunning lighting will draw your attention away from him and instead towards the stunning way she looks and that’s exactly what is expected to occur. When he becomes conscious of your decisions and the motivation behind it (even even if they aren’t the primary reasons) you will be able to feel more confident and confident about his actions and will forget about what he looks like in the photos his smartphone colleagues took while at work.

3. Keep It Simple

Do you realize that the majority of grooms would be willing to hold their eyelashes up for the photo shoot, in case they need to? Yes. A lot people who were my customers prepared to do everything to help their wives. I can only imagine the terrifying dreams they had of my photography and photoshoots! This is a tip Don’t oblige the groom to stand on his eyelashes. It’s not only a bizarre photo but it also won’t make him feel relaxed and at ease before the camera for even the slightest tiny bit.

I will give you a new example. I remember seeing this couple dancing. It wasn’t a wedding dance, in fact, it was a competitive event that was a sort of competition (believe you me when I say that I took dance classes about 12 or so years back!). The thing that really surprised me was it was stunning to watch, but once I had gotten beyond the mesmerizingly graceful and slow dance moves and focused on the dance on the dance, I would notice that the dancer was not performing his dance in any way.

The dance partner was there – you could feel the tension and the amount of effort she put into it. He was just in a solitary position, barely moving. They appeared elegant. That’s when I understood that men do not need to spend a lot of effort to look attractive when he is with an attractive woman. Also, being simple with people who aren’t models is crucial. If they feel more comfortable when they are in their front, they’ll appear better too.

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NIKON D700 + 85.0 mm f/1.4 @ ISO 640, 1/3200, f/1.4

What I advise the couple during the photoshoot is that it’s not necessary to pose. Simply relax and be. To be relaxed. To forget that I hold the camera in my arms and be just yourself. You’d think it wouldn’t help, but based on the things I’ve previously did, saying these easy things actually puts my guests at ease, and especially the groom. I also inform him that this will make it one of the most easy things he’ll have to do on his wedding day and that there’s nothing to be concerned about. It’s so easy. Following that, I work to fulfill what I said.

My first principle that I adhere to is not to turn the animals into puppets. They are real people and, as such, they move. However, putting them into an exact pose is something else however, they are permitted to breathe and make their bodies more comfortable, and even altering something if they don’t want to. Each pose I guide them into, each gesture is theirs to make – my instruction is simply soliciting for them to repeat.

The truth is, I can never make them prettier than they already are. But I do observe when they are at their most beautiful, and assist them to get back to their best. Therefore, my job isn’t straightforward and I need to remain attentive and focused. The task is easy that is – no eyelashes touching and just sitting like they do for a moment while they stare at each other and forget about me.

4. Make It All About Her

It may sound contradictory However, giving your bride more attention can help your groom to feel relaxed as well. Wedding pictures can affect both parties, but they are much more for the bride (there always are some exceptions!). It is crucial to get several photographs of the groom and it’s great the groom finds the photos pleasing as it seems that very few people like the way they appear in photos. However, in the end even the pictures of the groomsmen are designed to be a gift for the bride first.

5. Watch Those Compliments

It’s crucial to make sure your clients are assured that they are beautiful however, how you go about doing it is just as important. This is where your social skills are useful again. Don’t hesitate to express your appreciation and don’t be a liar.

If you are honest people will trust that you are sincere and will feel more comfortable even. In addition, when you are taking an active part during the photo shoot (I prefer to allow my couples at least a amount of time on their own, where I sit back and let them relax each other) Keep them interested and talk to them, joke with them, and listen to what they’re telling you, whether it’s an account about how they got married or simply a funny incident over the weekend. This lets them relax, get their minds off of the fearful poses and make them feel more confident as a person, first of all.

Take a Step Back-1
NIKON D700 + 50.0 mm f/1.4 @ ISO 200, 1/125, f/1.4

Another thing. If you’re male photographer, don’t overdo it by expressing your appreciation to the bride. She is after all his. I’m sure you’d not wish to cross the line accidentally however, if it happens in the future, it’s difficult to come back from. There are many ways to compliment the bride, without making the groom smirk at you and tell him your second half is gorgeous or ask him whether he thinks she’s beautiful. So the bride receives her appreciation, you get her soft, natural smile and he won’t feel like he’s going to kick you for being rude.

Final Words – What is Your Experience?

In this article, I’ve explained some details about how I interact with my clients particularly the groom. There isn’t “one trick for every occasion” I’m sure you’ll agree. A few of the guys I’ve photographed seemed very relaxed with cameras, while others tried to keep the most basic of conversations to an absolute minimal. Yet, I’ve found that adhering to these guidelines can help not only make my couples feel comfortable and make the groom have fun with the photo shoot he’d had nightmares of, but it also reduces some stress off me too.

I’m pretty sure that very few groomsmen interact with their clients the way I do, simply because we’re different and have several ways of doing it. So, I am curious to know what are your experiences in working with brides? It would be particularly fascinating and beneficial to hear from a female photographer’s perspective However, anyone is welcome to share their experiences in the comments below.