On a couple’s wedding day, Brides are usually the show-stoppers, receiving the most pampering while preparing for the big day in order to take her groom and guests’ breath away when they get to see her. Photographers often think of a wedding as a bride’s day, but it’s important that we give grooms our all as well and make sure he looks his best. Or, if you’ve booked a wedding with two grooms, you’ll want to ensure that both get the attention and care that is so often lavished on brides so that they can look and feel amazing on their wedding day.
It’s our job to notice our clients’ beauty and to use our photographer’s eye and our developed skills to show them a version of themselves they may not be familiar with when they get to see the photos.
We hold an incredible power to boost (or diminish, if we aren’t careful) our client’s confidence in their appearance, and on a wedding day in particular, as we capture memories that will be relived time and again over the years when flipping through the album, we want them to remember looking perfect. One way we do this is with good posing and attention to detail.
When posing a groom who is standing, we want to start with feet shoulder width apart and toes pointed outward, to a natural degree. If we point toes inward, it just looks awkward – it can look childish and doesn’t project confidence. With women, we like to shake up her stance by having her rest her weight on only one leg, but for men, it can go either way – weight balanced across both legs or primarily resting on one leg.
Hands at rest
So often, when photographers chat among themselves, we’ll hear a befuddled photographer whimper, “but what do I do with the hands?” It’s true that you’ve got to do SOMETHING with them, but you have to be careful to keep whatever that ‘something’ is looking natural. For a resting position, the classic ‘hands in pocket’ look works, but some care needs to be taken. When hands disappear into pockets underneath a jacket, it can look odd. Counteract this by making sure some hand skin can be seen – leave thumbs out or tuck them in with the rest of the fingers exposed instead.
Hands in action
We said you need to do something with the hands, and sometimes that something is an actual action. For example, you can have the groom handle his corsage or fix his tie. When working with hands, be mindful of the angle created by their elbows. A right angle works better in fashion when you want to draw attention to the apparel. Angling the hand toward the face draws attention there instead. Arms and hands can work like leading lines, directing the viewer’s eye, so make sure to use this to your advantage.
An easy trick to utilize when posing is this: simply having the subject take a breath before photographing them can do wonders for their posture. It automatically straightens their shoulders and tucks in the stomach.
Hair Part and Chin/Jaw
How you turn the subject’s head has a big impact on how the image reads. Usually, a subject will have a preferred side, and sometimes you can tell which side that is without even asking by observing which way they part their hair. Often people will subconsciously part their hair into the preferred side, and this is a good thing for photographers because when photographing a man, the hair part is better turned away from the camera. If it’s turned toward the camera, it can look like a bald spot and direct the subject’s eye by being a lighter spot in an area that is likely darker unless the subject has light blond hair.
How the chin is positioned is important – if it’s pointed too far down, the dreaded double-chin that even emerge on the thinnest of subjects will appear. Too high, and the jawline is stretched out, robbing the subject of a nice, chiseled jawline appearance.