Some of the most meaningful images from your wedding day are what we call “moment of truth” pictures. What we mean by that is photographs that capture the last seconds before something really significant happens. Images that show those transitional moments that link one big part of your wedding to another. A good example is a picture of a bride and her father waiting together just before they walk down the aisle. Another would be a photograph of the unmarried women jockeying for position during the bouquet toss. Or groomsmen getting ready photos (like this one from a Baltimore wedding) that capture the group preparing to head off to the ceremony.
You might not think that these moments will matter all that much. Thanks to our experience as wedding photographers, though, we can tell you that they are often very significant. And the photos of them will be some of the ones you treasure the most 30 years from now.
Why is this? Why are many of these images almost as compelling as pictures of what comes next? What is it about wedding photos of groomsmen like this one that makes it so that you cannot take your eyes off them?
Above all else, what makes these kinds of images special is that same thing that makes any great wedding photograph. They capture raw wedding-day emotions on film. Those feelings then help tell an important piece of the story of that event and the couple whom it celebrates. It helps you or any viewer understand what it was like to be there at that Baltimore wedding. And moments of truth are always rich with emotions. Which means they almost always make for great wedding photos!
It is not emotions alone that make these images so powerful, though. It is also which emotions your wedding photographers document in those moments that make the difference. In any picture of a transitional wedding-day period a sense of anticipation hangs in the air. The people in them know what is coming next. As a result, you can feel the excitement and nervousness in their body language. You can sense their attempts to calm themselves as they prepare to step into the next part of their day.
At the same time, you know, just like them, that they cannot quite manage it. The enormity of what is to follow is just too much. Take this image, for example. How can anyone rein in their excitement when their friend/brother/cousin is about to marry? And how can any groom calm his nerves when he is about to commit himself to the love of his life? The emotional tension that they (and we, by extension) feel always makes for great wedding photography.
The combination of all those factors and elements gives you photos like this. As we mentioned above, we took this particular picture before an especially lovely Baltimore wedding. The groom and his groomsmen had just about finished getting ready at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel. They had put on their vests and tied their ties. All that remained was putting on their suit jackets and heading out the door. That tension that we talked about above permeated the room.
To calm the mood and to move things along to the next part of the wedding, the groom’s uncle called the group together for a quick prayer. As they joined hands, their Baltimore wedding photographer quickly dropped to the floor and slid into the center of the circle. From that vantage point, we were able to compose an image that focused on their hands. More specifically, it shows each man’s hand resting in that of the man next to him. That emphasizes the circular shape of the scene and creates a visual reminder that this groom and groomsmen are now bound together forever in friendship and family. Their hands linked together form an unbreakable chain that neither time nor distance will ever break. And they are a vital component of one of the groomsmen getting ready photos we have ever taken.
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