One thing that I find really easy to relate to as a guy is feeling a bit unusual about the idea of someone being around to take photos of me! It's one of the most common themes in most couples that book me - that the groom isn't a 'photo guy' and won't know what to do in front of a camera.
Well, I'm here to tell you that first off - the good news is in the style that I photograph weddings, there really isn't 'things' to do in front of a camera. Natural, relaxed wedding photography is just that - you be yourself, and I'll photograph you in a way that documents what went down, in a relaxed way that makes you look good! Over the years though, I have come to recognise some key things that'll help with grooms and groomsmen photos - so I thought it was time to lay them down in a blog post for you all.
I should also quickly note that while this blog post is focused specifically on groom's - these tips can apply to people of any gender!
1. Have mates around.
I'll tell you one thing, you can't underestimate the power of having your good mates around you on your wedding day. First off - it's an experience thing - how epic to experience all the emotions of this huge day in your life with your best mates. You'll love having them around, and they'll love being there with you through the process. Seeing the love and pride in the eyes of your closest mates around you on your wedding day is actually something super special - I can speak from experience on both sides of the lens for that one.
In the morning, if you're getting ready separately from each other, it's the perfect ice breaker having the boys around. It's a funny period the morning before your wedding - there's a lot of anticipation about what's to come, and more often than not all the little things that needed doing are already done. All that's left to do is soak it all in and spend some quality time doing things for yourself because that energy output is going to be pretty big come ceremony time. Having your mates around while we're doing the getting ready photos always is a really good way to start the photos off for the day on a relaxed footing. There's always one of the crew that's forgotten something, or is ready for a laugh to break the nerves. Watching your mate's try and remember how to tie a Windsor is something that's always a laugh - trust me I've seen some classic's over the years! Really though, if you're nervous about getting your photos taken this is the absolute best way to deal with that. Have your mates around while you're getting ready, maybe have a cheeky beer and to be honest, you won't even think about what's going on with me.
2. Book a photographer you connect with.
(and who listens to you).
Sounds simple right? But so important. There's nothing quite like working with a photographer who gets your vibe and understands what you want and can read the room. Having a photographer who listens to what you want is so important for feeling comfortable in front of the camera. I've had so many groom's over the years tell me what they do and don't feel comfortable doing, and that is the info that I love to know!
Take Nate's morning for example - him and his crew were really keen on getting the full getting ready photo experience - photos of everything from the details through to crew portraits of the entire groomsmen party. Olly on the other hand was on the other end of the scale - he wanted a couple of photos - but nothing too much and just wanted to make sure he got the important one's before he went to get married. Knowing this, I was able to come in for about twenty minutes and just shoot some really key moments of Olly with his best mate who'd travelled over from the UK to be next to him on his wedding day. Keeping it short and sweet like this made it easy and comfortable for Olly - and that's was my highest priority.
3. Invest in yourself.
What?! A photo of me?
I had to include this one, as it's super personal for me. I can totally understand that as a dude, spending money on yourself or how you look is not really something that is prioritised. In my experience though, investing in a suit that you feel a connection to and feel great wearing will drastically improve how you carry yourself and feel on your wedding day (and in every day life?). I'm not going to lie here, it was watching Queer Eye about 3/4 years ago that I realised they were really onto something with the whole concept of the show. Investing time and effort into yourself really does impact how you feel!
There are so many good tailors to choose from in Sydney, but here I'm going to shout out to Belance Tailors in Paddington. I bought my own wedding suit from there and it was modern, insanely well fitted and it was an epic experience the moment I walked through the door.
So this concludes our top tips for grooms to feel comfortable in front of the camera. If you're still feeling unsure, I'll leave you with a couple of notes from past groom's about how it all went down on their day;
"I am by nature a reserved, private and photographically awkward sort of guy, emotion in public would not be considered a strength. I found that Elliott had an incredible skill for providing a perfectly relaxed atmosphere allowing me to forget we were even taking photos. As a result, I was able to just enjoy some precious time with my wife."
"Man, cant even begin to thank you enough. Not for just capturing it but for making it feel so easy and natural"