Taking unforgettable portraits of grooms is not as easy as it might appear, but spending extra time to create epic pictures of a man about to get married is always worth it. When we first opened our wedding photography business in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, we assumed that capturing images of the groom after he has finished getting ready for his wedding ceremony would be very simple. We figured that the brides would be the tough customers and that most grooms would be easy to please, so we could just snap a couple of shots of the husband-to-be before moving on to the next portion of the marriage celebration.
It turns out that grooms want to look great on film every bit as much as their future spouses, and the challenges of getting the posing and lighting right are the same regardless of who the subject of the photo is. We naturally want our grooms to be every bit as happy as our brides, so we continually strive to find ways to put our male clients in scenarios that make the pictures of them look like they could be found in the pages of a wedding magazine.
Every time we pick up our cameras, we want to produce images like the one featured here. This particular groom and his now-wife exchanged their wedding vows in a lovely ceremony at the Springfield Manor Winery Distillery Brewery, a beautiful vineyard in Frederick, Maryland. Though a little bit of a drive from downtown Washington, DC, the venue is a fantastic choice for any pair of fiancés looking to tie the knot in the wine country surrounding the Nation’s Capital. It is set partway up a gentle hill, giving the manor house a spectacular view of the foothills of the nearby Catoctin Mountains. The interior of the main facility has a rustic elegance that gives the photos of brides and grooms getting ready a luxurious feel, and the back lawn is a great place for holding nuptial ceremonies amid the natural beauty of suburban Washington, DC.
The groom and his groomsmen got ready on the ground floor of the manor house, while his future wife and her bridesmaids got prepared upstairs. After the usual clowning around, cracking jokes and toasting the groom, the guys got dressed, tied their ties and pinned on their boutonnieres. It was at this point that we got a few minutes to take some portraits of the groom before he headed off to get married.
We started by asking the husband-to-be to look in the venue’s antique mirror and adjust his time. It is a shot that we always like, because it allows us to capture his face and his wedding tuxedo/suit, because the straightening of the tie gives a little bit dynamism to the image and because photographing over the subject’s shoulder adds depth and dimension to the picture. This approach worked even better than we could have hoped in this particular photograph, because the groom’s posture makes it seem as though he is not posing. The slight lean of his body gives the impression that he is pausing for a brief moment to make sure everything is perfect before moving on to more important matters. And that sense of movement makes the picture look incredible.