14 Apr “It’s your day too” – a groom’s perspective
In case you missed it, we were featured in the excellent blog series, Your Story in the Details, that is hosted by Rasberry Greene. We were so honored to be a part of this collection of ultra talented vendors, please take a minute to read through these stories of creativity. Definitely worth your time!
That brings me to a question that was posed to us for the story; “What advice would you give to a bride?” Jessica gave a great and very concise answer, but I decided to give my point of view; one that isn’t discussed in many wedding related blog posts: the groom’s day.
Don’t forget that this is your day too! I hear so many grooms say, “I don’t care what we do… I just showed up to say ‘I do.” I find this both sad and a little demeaning, you’re getting married too right? Not that I’m trying to burst the bride’s bubble, but last I checked it takes two to tango! This maybe one of the only times you’ll pay for photography for yourself, so why not get your money’s worth? Just like the bride, our grooms get pre-wedding shots and individual shots that spotlight the groom. When I shoot a groom, I like to think of the pictures of he and his bride as a matching set. Ones that could be hung side-by-side and look equally as elegant together.
“First looks” have become a staple in the wedding photography world. Its a wonderful chance to experience the beauty of your bride without the pressure of holding it together in front of the audience in the ceremony. (Pro-tip: If you feel you’re choking up during the ceremony, don’t fight it… Everyone loves to see the moment sink in through your eyes. Some of our favorite photos are of our grooms wiping away their tears.) “First looks” also give us a chance to get incredible wedding day pictures of you both before group pictures kick off. We really enjoy getting to show off your elegant side and really capture what your wedding is all about, your perfect day.
As men, we often don’t particularly care for photos of ourselves. I’ll be the first to raise my hand. I like very few shots of myself because of a multitude of reasons, but as a photographer I see so many men shy away from photography. Some guys can already hear the ribbing from their friends ringing in their ears, while others just have no interest in seeing themselves frozen in whatever crazy pose the photographer chose. Unfortunately these external forces can cause us to feel silly or self-absorbed and this in turn makes guys freeze up. There’s nothing worse than looking uncomfortable or uninterested in the shot. If you feel out of place on the shoot, let your photographer know. Its in their court to help you find a pose that fits your personality best.
That brings me to my next point: Don’t be afraid to show that personality. Trust me – your personality, no matter how incredibly goofy it may be, is one of your most attractive qualities to your bride-to-be. She wants that personality to shine through in your photos and, though they may not admit it, your groomsmen want you lead the way on how thick to lay on cheese that day. They are your best buds, so its obvious that they like your personality too. Take advantage of that and do what you can to help the photographer capture the best parts of your day! Also, think about a certain gift to give your guys or an activity to do while awaiting the ceremony. Many times these shots can capture the revelry of the day in a unique way.
I think one of the best things about being a husband-wife photography team on wedding days is the dynamic each one brings to the photos. As a woman, Jessica has a certain insight to the emotions that a bride and her party go through on the wedding day. She’s much more in tune to what women want than I would be in that situation, not to mention being a woman herself makes the other women more comfortable during pre-wedding dressing and makeup shots. I believe the same applies to guys too. Having experience as a guy in these situations helps me avoid some of the awkwardness that could effect the photos. I personally never get dressed in the presence of other people and, other than in the gym, I doubt many guys do that either. This is why I normally don’t shoot guys “In the process” of getting dressed. I find that setting up shots of the most important details of a groom’s outfit the most satisfying. Pay attention to the details of your wardrobe. Go for a great watch, cuff-links, pocket squares and maybe some more stylish shoes. These details can complete a very fashionable portrait for your wedding day.
Don’t be afraid to “GQ”. We see male movie stars and rock-n-rollers bust out these stellar portraits all the time, but so few men feel that can get away with photos like this. Don’t let intimidation get the best of you, go for it! Find several shots of a celebrity’s style you respect. Try the poses out in a mirror, so you can see what works and what doesn’t (and don’t let getting caught posing stop you either! Most women think its cute and will appreciate how much you value the quality of your pictures.) Also, don’t let yourself be victim to a baggy tux… I, like most men, didn’t speak up when I was getting fitted for my tux. My pants were several sizes too big and my jacket was a couple sizes too big also. It was hard to move in and I felt huge all day, I tried to make up for it with poses, being a photographer, but there are still pictures I can tell I wasn’t totally comfortable. A good tailor is the key to a great look, and that begins with communication. Here is a helpful crash-course in suit tailoring and it pertains to wedding tuxes as well: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/09/25/good-fitted-suit-visual/
Most importantly, you want to leave your bride to be breathless after seeing you in the wedding pictures. One day she’ll be showing your children the pictures of their dashing dad on his wedding day!
I hope these tips can save some of you fellas a little grief on the big day. Suit up and keep it classy guys!