My Kind of Image: The Groomsmen

So for this week’s image I thought I’d feature a groomsmen shot I took recently at a wedding at Orleans House Gallery in Twickenham.  The reason I’m looking at it here today is that, in terms of documentary wedding photography, group shots are tricky.  The very fact of getting people together for a particular shot is inherently staged.  (I will talk more about big family group shots in a separate blog.)  So what do you do about that?  How do you make the photo fit with your overall style?  How do you get something which is relaxed and spontaneous from a posed set-up?  Well, for me, I don’t over direct.  And then I wait.  With most group shots people have been trained by their previous wedding experiences to stand up straight and look at the camera.  And while that serves a purpose it does end up being a little generic.  It irons out the creases and a little of the personality at the same time.  So I wait for the group to break.  They’re all really close friends after all.  They’re all having a great time.  Sooner or later they’re going to loosen up and crack jokes with each other.  And that’s when you get the photo.

relaxed natural groomsmen photo

This image is particularly satisfying to me because Jay, the groom, had already bought the frames this photo was going to go in before the day itself.  So I had to nail it.   And I think I did.  It’s a relaxed natural moment.  The shape the groomsmen are making has a nice movement to it.  It’s a group shot, a record of all the guys on the day, but it’s not static.  There’s a sense of connection between them which says more than the standard arms around each other shot I often see from these set shots.

 

Technical details for the photography wonks:

Camera: Canon 5D MKIII

Lens: Canon 24mm f1.4

Aperture: f8

Shutter speed: 1/250

ISO: 800

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