You want your wedding day to be full of picture-perfect moments. From the first kiss to that first bite of cake, those memories will be irreplaceable. But, what makes a wedding day special isn’t the flavor of the frosting or the height of the garter toss—it’s the people you love celebrating this amazing chapter in your life.
That’s why your groomsmen photos are so important.
In this guide we’ll talk you through how to wrangle your goofy, lovable, sometimes difficult-to-track-down groomsmen for pictures that will live in your wedding album—and your mind—for many years to come. We’ll cover:
When it comes to capturing your matching men in all their glory, it’s best to keep the photo sessions short and sweet. The more preparation you do ahead of time, the shorter and sweeter it will be. Work with your photographer to answer a few important logistical questions about your groomsmen and the kind of photos that you’re looking for, such as:
How many groomsmen will there be?
What kind of shots are you hoping to get of the groomsmen (ideas on that in just a bit)?
Where and when do you want the photo sessions to take place?
Is there any background information that the photographer should have in advance (ie., the best man has just had knee surgery and can’t stand for too long, or maybe one of the groomsmen is ultra camera shy)?
How many photos will you want of the groomsmen? Enough to constitute a dedicated groomsmen album or just enough so that everyone has a memento?
Gathering these details about your groomsmen before your big day will help the photographer stick to his or her short, but sweet photography plan.
If the idea of coming up with creative ways to capture your groomsmen’s best angles is giving you nightmares, don’t worry. Experienced wedding photographers can conduct photo sessions like these in their sleep. But, to make these photos feel natural and aligned with your wedding dreams, check out these 11 groomsmen photo ideas.
This is the quintessential “chill” photo you may conjure up when you’re envisioning a James Bond-type and his crew sitting back and relaxing before a big mission.
Once your groomsmen are all suited up for the big day, this look will be easy to accomplish.
Framing the shot: Have your groomsmen sit, recline, or lean in repose in a comfortable setting, that can include:
Keep expressions and body language light, fun, and relaxed so that the polish of the day and the casual interactions of the groomsmen will result in photos that feel warm and sophisticated. Having the photographer capture your groomsmen in their most natural state right off the bat will put everyone at ease, and will allow the unique personalities of each groomsman to shine.
As the clock ticks down to the ceremony, your photographer will probably nudge the men to start getting ready if they haven’t done so already.
Framing the shot: Have old friends help each other suit up—polish each other’s cufflinks, adjust suspender straps, curl the collars over the necktie. With a touch of posing and a handful of candid smiles, these groomsmen prep photos will naturally pull at the heartstrings.
Plus, by giving the groomsmen something to do, even the most camera-shy among them will feel comfortable in front of the camera.
If the newlywed-to-be is wearing a tie, grab a few shots of the iconic tying. This is an especially sharp shot if the tie holds special family significance or shows off the colors of the wedding.
Framing the shot: After deciding which of the lucky groomsmen will help tie the tie, try out a few angles, such as:
The photographer can also grab some shots of the tie or bow-tie by itself, especially if it's a family heirloom or is particularly photo-worthy.
You and your partner have put a lot of thought into every detail of your wedding—including what the groomsmen are wearing.
Framing the shot: Ask your photographer to take a few shots of the unique aspects of your groomsmen’s outfits, whether that be Iron Man-themed cufflinks, colorful pocket squares, or the groomsmen tie. Shots of the suit details on each man may need to take place outside, depending on the quality of light in the room where the groomsmen are getting ready and what accessories are being captured (we’re looking at you, iridescent bird’s feather bow ties).
Sometimes, when groomsmen are getting their pictures taken, they have a hard time knowing what to do with their hands. Use props to help give your groomsmen eye-catching photo toys to play around with. You might be surprised to see how creatively they incorporate the props into photos.
Framing the shot: Find a plain background for the photo session. A busy backdrop will make the image feel too cluttered with the addition of props. Try handing out fun photo props, such as:
Need some stylish props for photos? Find everything you need (from photo props to decorations) at Zola’s wedding boutique.
When good friends get together, there are bound to be toasts. Have your photographer capture the “cheers” with a few well-positioned shots.
Framing the shot: There are a few different ways to capture this classic wedding moment:
The One-on-One – The best man and the soon-to-be newlywed tipping their glasses towards each other.
All In – Have every groomsmen raise their glass in a circle, while the photographer grabs a bird’s eye view shot.
A Thank You Toast – The groomsmen in your wedding party deserve a little toast too! In this shot, the only person raising the glass should be the soon-to-be newlywed. Have the photographer capture the back view of the spouse-to-be raising a glass towards the groomsmen, keeping the groomsmen in focus.
Sometimes, an active shot helps loosen up your groomsmen, and it lets their personalities come out.
Framing the shot: Find a clear stretch of space—whether that’s a section of sidewalk or an expanse of green near the ceremony venue—and have the newlywed-to-be and groomsmen walk in a horizontal line towards the photographer. Feel free to talk, make jokes, and sling arms around each other in camaraderie.
Taking those last few steps to the ceremony can be quiet moments of loving reflection. Who better to share those moments than with groomsmen?
Framing the shot: Depending on how you want to approach those last few steps towards the ceremony, there are a few ways to snap this shot:
Carrying on shoulders – Feeling a little playful? Have the most reliable and strongest groomsman hoist the newlywed-to-be on his shoulders with the rest gathered around. Be sure to confirm with the heavy-lifting groomsmen beforehand, assign a spotter, and do the shot somewhere where there will be a soft landing.
Destination shot – Have your photographer take a photo of your groomsmen and the newlywed-to-be walking in a horizontal line towards the ceremony venue.
Running towards your future – If you and your partner can’t wait to say “I do,” have your photographer take a shot of the groomsmen running towards the ceremony venue.
There’s nothing quite like a candid shot of your wedding party during emotional moments. Ask your photographer to grab a few pictures of your groomsmen watching you and your partner during these parts of the day.
Framing the shot: Have your photographer grab a few wide shots and close-ups at a few pivotal moments, including:
Chances are that your photographer may catch a few teary-eyed smiles.
When the ties come off and the heels are kicked to the side, this is when your talented photographer’s skills really come into play.
Framing the shot: Invite your groomsmen to dance around you and your partner, or even just let your groomsmen take center stage. You can work with your DJ to help introduce the wedding party members so that they can coordinate with your photographer to snap some great shots.
Years from now you’ll look back fondly at shots of the groomsmen dancing together, grabbing bridesmaids up from the table to do the “Cupid Shuffle,” and rallying around the freshly minted couple on the dancefloor.
Exit photos of the couple are a stunning opportunity for the photographer to get one more shot of the groomsmen living it up on your special day.
Framing the shot: Have your groomsmen light the sparklers, throw the rice, toss the confetti, or start up whatever exit activity you’ve chosen for the day. Any final hugs or fist bumps between the groomsmen and the couple are guaranteed to become profile pics for years to come.
From capturing the big moments to the smallest, sweetest details, wedding photographers are masters of immortalizing your big day. If you’re thinking of groomsmen photo ideas (but still haven’t found the perfect photographer), here are a few tips to help get you started.
Using Zola's vendor search, you can look for photographers in your area and help narrow down the search with filters such as:
From there, you can look through portfolios, check out service offerings, and compare and contrast potential photographers until you find your perfect match.
Just as painters, sculptors, actors, and musicians specialize in different mediums, professional photographers also typically have a style that they adhere to. It can be helpful to figure out the kind of style that you’re envisioning for your wedding photos when looking for a photographer.
When looking for potential photographers, consider the following shooting styles that you have to choose from, and explain to each candidate what vibe you’re going for:
Photojournalistic/candid – As the name implies, the photographer treats the couple, wedding party, and guests like subjects of a feature story, simply observing and capturing all that unfolds throughout the day. This style may be ideal for a laid back couple who cringes at the idea of posing, or for couples who know their gorgeous destination backdrop speaks for itself.
Fine art – These photos possess “light, bright, and airy” qualities, which are further enhanced with the use of film. These photos will have movement and texture, and may be composed like a still from a feature film.
Traditional – No wide angles or artistically composed scenes here—just eye-level shots of people in front of scenic backdrops. Don’t equate traditional with boring, though. This style may be simple, but it’s classic, and will withstand the test of time.
Artistic – This style is for the couple who eschews the rule book. These photos will typically be taken from interesting angles as the photographer plays with light and composition.
Natural light – Natural light photos are imbued with a soft hue, as the photographer only uses Mother Nature’s gifts to light the scene in front of them. This style is best reserved for daytime weddings.
There are also editing styles to consider. Be sure to ask for a full portfolio from each of your potential photogs, and quiz them on their process. These wedding photography styles include, but are not limited to:
Dark and moody – These images will be heavily saturated—imagine a photo shoot taking place deep in a mythical forest. Depending on the time of year and what color scheme you are using, this style could be the perfect complement to your big day, especially if you’re actually getting married in a forest.
Light and airy – Light and airy photos are lightly edited and, like natural photos, primarily use soft, natural light to enhance their subjects.
Vintage – These photos may have a heavy grain and are often shot using film.
High dynamic range – These photos will be heavily edited, with the photographer manipulating images to bring out bright colors and high contrast.
Making it official with your best friend and life partner is the greatest part of getting married. Having gorgeous photos to gaze upon years after you say “I do” is a close second.
From first look pics to dance floor candids, your expert shutterbug will probably send you more images of your big day than you ever imagined was humanly possible, including killer shots of your groomsmen.
Now that you’ve got a handle on some of the best groomsmen photo ideas, and have a better sense of what kind of photography style may best suit your needs, you’re ready to tackle every item on your to-do list with a little help from Zola.
Zola’s extensive wedding vendor database allows you to peruse the top wedding venues, photographers, caterers, beauty experts, and more in your area that are both available during your wedding time frame and in your budget.
Start your wedding photographer search at Zola, today.