Are mens portraits Up In The Air?

Updated: Nov 8, 2020

We all would love to have a great photo of ourselves, however most of us are likely to feel apprehensive whenever taking pictures is mentioned, and this is very true with men. Many photographers including myself sometimes get these butterflies when it comes to working with with men in general. I know this because whenever I get hired to be a second shooter, I always get the groomsmen. That's when we just have to jump in cold. We wonder at this point, what will the politics be like. I see that guys have different social codes of conduct while together, and there is a tendency to stay within those confines.

I was hired as a second shooter for this wedding, and my first assignment was to photograph the groom and ushers (for some reason everybody does that to you). I met up with them and introduced myself as their photographer. They knew what I was there to do, we got down to it and did the must do shots, the ones they knew they are obliged to do... the groups, the duos, and singles shots. It worked well because that's the shots they are expecting.

Those photos to me were kind of cliché, just documented moments. But when we were done I sensed an air of uneasiness as to what to do next, not just from them but me too. I could tell that some of them just wanted to move on and go have a beer before the ceremony gets real. Then I got an idea for a shot I had seen in a magazine, and I started explaining it but they just looked at me sideways. I continued to pursue the idea and I explained, you guys hold the groom horizontal face down across your joined arms and on 3 you toss him up in the air, and I will lay on the ground to shoot up and catch him in mid flight. Some of them laughed and some of them thought it would be interesting to see him land flat on my face. But the groom said he liked the idea. After a couple of begrudging moments as to who was to hold were, we finally worked it out. They threw him up about 3 times and bingo we got a shot. When I showed it to them they were amazed at what we had created! That it really broke the ice, and everybody had a new sense of value and respect to what photography can really mean. Later in that evening, I added extra photos of the groomsmen with friends, wives, and girlfriends. There are many different challenges that come with every wedding, business, and family portrait. We have many years of experience and love the challenge of putting people in there best light. My goal and inspiration is to offer a product and service of equal exchange and equal value. Whether inside a studio or outside, you will be investing in professionally enhanced and edited images designed for multi media use. For more information and creative ideas connect with John Wood Photography.

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