A part of the wedding day that is quickly becoming one of my favorites is when I shoot portraits of the bride and groom immediately after they get dressed. It usually takes me 5-10 minutes and my goal is to get a simple classic picture of them. While the foundation of my approach to shooting these whether it is the bride or groom is to leverage available window light in the getting ready room, have a clean neutral background and setting, and to do a simple pose, my approach varies slightly for the groom.
In doing the groom portraits I usually like a sharper contrast between highlight and shadow because to me it better accentuates masculine features as opposed to the bride where I want to keep everything soft and pretty. The predominant lenses I use for shooting the bride are the 85mm and sometimes the 50mm, for the groom I use a 50mm and a 35mm. I think the 35mm creates interesting portraits where I can capture more of the background and have more negative space.
This is a portrait from the recent wedding of Nina and Kyle. The photo on the left was shot with a 35mm and I like how it encompasses more negative space. The photo on the right was done with the 50mm. In both I shot Kyle from a 90 degree angle from the window to get a sharper contrast between highlight and shadow and had him angle his body slightly to control how the light hit his face. I kept the poses simple and clean and a dark neutral background which was achieved by turning off all the lights in the room and having as the one source of light the window.
This is a shot of Tim taken right after he got dressed and he is facing on a slight angle to the window and I am shooting him with a 50mm standing at a 45-60 degree angle to the window.
These are shots I captured while second shooting for my friend Isabel taken in the lobby of the groom’s building . The shot on the left is with the 35mm and the shot on the right is with a 85mm. He was facing a bank of windows but sitting far enough into the room that it softened the light. I utilized two simple poses in the same chair and two different lenses to get two completely different looks.
Here is Sam and once again I am shooting between 60-90 degrees from the window with a 50mm to get a sharper contrast between highlight and shadow. The only light in the room is the window which helps create a dark background.
Lastly here is Kyle again this time seated. I continued to shoot with my 50mm at a 90 degree angle to the window to get that sharp contrast between light and dark.