The Groom and His Men. The groom, Josh, is second from the left, sitting down beside his Best Man.
Let’s face it: the groomsmen tend to get short shrift when it comes to wedding photography. The bride gets soooo many more photos; I admit to having captured far more images of the bride than of the groom. That being said, I did my utmost to get great shots of the guys.
After my hair and makeup photo op session with the bride, her mother, her daughter and the bridesmaids, I grabbed my lighting equipment and hot-footed it down to one of the lower levels of the resort where the guys were getting ready in a small, private club / gameroom.
The entire scene was infused with old-fashioned gentlemen’s club masculinity: the subdued golden lighting, the pool tables, the poker tables, the (unstocked) bar, the leather couches. All that was missing was the blue cloud of cigar smoke hanging in the air.
All of the images here were taken with the ISO set to between 640 and 2000, even when I used flash. Two of the scenes I photographed were taken with only the ambient light and no flash. In hindsight, I was near a number of electrical outlets, so I should have used my 500-watt continuous light with the umbrella instead of the flash, as I would have been able to see the light at all times instead of just after I’d taken the shot.
For the scene at the top of this post, I used my Gary Fong diffuser dome over the flash which was on my 5D Mk III. I set the ISO to 1250 with a shutter of 1/40 and an aperture of f4.
For the pool table scenes, I set up the umbrella and flash so the light went through the umbrella onto the guys. The off-camera flash setup was approximately 45 degrees to my right and at one end of the pool table so that the light was softer and covered the entirety of the groom and groomsmen. I used the 5D Mk III, set the ISO to 640, the shutter speed to 1/50 and the aperture to f4.
For this poker table scene, I turned the umbrella so that the open end faced the men. The flash bounced off of the umbrella rather than shot through. This produced a stronger light on the guys. I used the 5D Mk III and set the ISO at 640 with a shutter of 1/50 and an aperture of f4.
This scene was shot with just the ambient light. I used the 50mm prime on my Canon 1-DX, set the ISO to 1000 and the shutter at 1/40 with an aperture of f4.
For this toast scene, I again used only ambient light, setting the ISO on the 5D Mk III to 2000 with a shutter of 1/25 and an aperture of f4.
I used the Gary Fong dome diffuser over my flash for this image, setting the ISO at 1250, shutter at 1/40 and aperture at f4.
The only issue I really needed to watch was getting reflections of all of the guys in the polished coffee table as they toasted the groom. Maybe I didn’t get all of their faces in the reflections, but I at least got their arms with the drinks. Oh, btw, that liquid was *not* whiskey. The guys mixed coke and a little water to make it look like whiskey.
Despite the best efforts of my flash, I still worked with Photoshop CS6 to lighten some of the faces. The photo I most had to work with was the first photo in this post. The other photos were better in terms of the amount of light and shadow I wanted. Because of the low-light interior, it was necessary to use my Imagenomic Noiseware reduction software to get rid of that graininess inherent with low-light / high ISO imagery.
The bride and groom had created an extremely handy schedule, so I knew exactly where I had to be and when. And, by golly, that schedule worked like a charm for everything! So, after the groomsmen photographs, I checked the time then lugged myself, my cameras, and my lighting equipment up to Maegan and Josh’s 16th floor penthouse suite.
Next post: Getting Ready