i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again…no two grooms are the same and their groomsmen are no exception! i’ve done military weddings, weddings for older couples, wedding for very young couples. i’ve seen a lot. but something that always rings true is that if they’re having a good time…the wedding photographer’s job is easy! if you can’t beat them…join them 🙂
i recently had a wedding and i went into the groom’s suite and explained that i know men don’t typically like portrait time and that i would make it quick if they cooperated. i dared them to make it take more than 10 minutes. an hour later…when i sent my second shooter to get the groomsmen for portraits, they strolled out with a speaker and “apple bottom jeans” blasting! they were dancing and cutting up and having a great time! you know what…they didn’t care that they were there taking pictures in suits. they didn’t care that they had to wear shoes that were uncomfortable. they were there, supporting a guy that they would do anything for. but they were there to have fun. i love when groomsmen decide to make their portrait time enjoyable. i’ve heard horror stories about inappropriate groomsmen and wedding photographers, but i think if you establish your role early on, you have nothing to worry about.
with all of that being said, no two groups of groomsmen are the same! you may come across a group that really doesn’t want pictures done and that’s okay. i’m going to give you a few tips to make sure your groomsmen know what to expect and to make sure they cooperate!
first things first…make sure their boutonnieres are on before you start! the worst thing you can do is rush it and have to retake everything! at that point…you’ve already lost their respect and any amount of patience they had with you.
second, i would get the groups shots first. get them done quick and ask the groom beforehand if there is anything specific he wants. save those for last. it will help them to have something to look forward to.
third, if there are ring bearers…they need to be there at the beginning and be the first ones done! you think the groomsmen have a small amount of patience…try photographing a 3 yr old ring bearer that had his fruit snack taken away so you could take his picture in a bowtie 🙂
fourth, i would make sure they have eaten! you don’t want to have hangry groomsmen! period!
fifth, (photographers) prepare your groom. as your walking with them to the location for portraits explain how you will start with the biggest group, dwindle down to individuals with the groom and each groomsmen and then grab a detail shot or two and then they’ll be done!!!
lastly, you just have to go with the flow. sometimes groomsmen want to do things their own way and there is nothing and no one that can stop them!
it is as easy as that 🙂