On my Youtube Channel I'm known for taking pics of lots of pretty women around the world. What some may not realize is before my Youtube and commercial work days I shot hundreds of weddings in many places which meant that I had to of course, shoot men.
Now this isn't a bad thing. Shooting men is quite a bit of fun and is actually a completely different dynamic than when I shoot women. I remember when I shot weddings I would go into the bridal room and more often than not the feel and vibe of the shoot was a romantic, fairy tale type of a shoot. Everything seemed to be very poetic and magical.
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Then I would head over to the Groom's Room. That was a different story. Typically the groom's room involved a bit of alcohol consumption by the groom and his friends which lead to some pretty fun and crazy shoots. In other words, I had to learn to shoot differently based upon shooting a bride vs. shooting a groom.
Many times (unless you're a male model), men don't particularly love having their picture taken. It's always one of those types of scenarios where men just "want to get the shoot over with." I learned over the years that using humor was a great way to get the groom to relax and actually get into the shoot. Once I got their buy in, the shoot turned into something magical.
Now I'm using generalities here and there are always exceptions. Women and brides can certainly be wild and very funny and men can certainly be romantic and elegant. But in the hundreds of weddings I've shot I've found my descriptions of both to be what I encounter the majority of the time. Best piece of advice, learn who your clients are and adjust to their personality and needs.
So that leads us to this shoot. This was a bride and groom out in Hawaii for their honeymoon. They found out I was in Hawaii on vacation and made arrangements with me to do a shoot of them in their wedding attire while out there. This was very unique timing as it was their first day of their honeymoon, and my last day of vacation with my family. So they were eager to get their honeymoon started and I was eager to get packed up and head to the airport.
I first spoke with the bride Karolina and when we spoke about doing the shoot she was very excited. Her husband Ray was happy to do the shoot, but just didn't want it to go very long. He was more than cooperative but like many grooms just "wanted to get it over with." Understanding this dynamic I persuaded the couple that there was this amazing rainforest that could produce some really gorgeous images.
So we drove down there to shoot. I started setting up my gear and my friend Chris Millen agreed to come along to help roll video. Thanks Chris! I didn't have any assistants or crew since I was just there on vacation. So I set up my gear and started shooting. But the important thing was that I started shooting the groom (Ray) first. I wanted and needed him engaged in the shoot. I wanted him to feel good about taking the time to do the shoot and to feel good about himself.
We started joking around while shooting and before we knew it we were having a really fun banter back and forth which lead to some really great sets of images. If you can get a groom to laugh and get him to feel good about himself, you can create some fantastic images. Ray's wife is a model. So you can imagine that might make anyone feel a little intimidated. He probably assumed that a photographer would only be interested in shooting her.
By starting with him, by showing him that I really wanted to create something amazing with him, it really builds confidence which lead to a fantastic shoot. At one point he teased his wife Karolina telling her that she was jealous I was spending so much time with him lol.
The bottom line is that if you take the time to show a man that their time is valuable and that you are invested in shooting them, the rewards can be great. I highly recommend you watch the video to see the posing and techniques used to create the images below.
Images taken with the Sony A7Rii and the 35mm Sony Zeiss f/1.4
Images taken using the Sony A7Rii with the 85mm G Master f/1.4
**Links to Gear Used:
I hope this helps and that it gives you some insight on how I shoot male subjects in general. In essence if you do it right, it's an absolute blast that can give you some stellar results...