Groomsmen Wedding Group Photo

Here is a groomsmen photo from a recent wedding.

Groomsmen Group Photo Pose
Groomsmen Group Photo

Some people wonder how we can get good photos of groomsmen, especially since a lot of groomsmen are uncooperative or dislike having their picture taken. We've had years of experience dealing with all types of groomsmen, from the easy-to-work with to scenes bordering on a drunken frat party. 

One thing that gets them every time is when we use our Jedi mind tricks to pose them - and sometimes it really takes some doing, but usually when we explain what we are going for, we can get that first pose, then when we show them a preview on the back of the camera, the groomsmen get a lot more agreeable because they get a taste of how epic and cool their photo can be.

This is a classic groomsmen group photo pose that we like to call the 'Flying 'v', based on the classic 'Mighty Ducks' movie. In fact, it's funny how many of our group photo poses are based on movies.

 

 
Groomsmen Wedding Photo Lighting:
- AlienBee B800 at 1/8 power into large softbox high and just camera-right.
- LumoPro LP160 - bare - at 1/16 power directly behind group, low.
 
I was pushing it on my shutter speed, which if you notice my exif data, was set at 1/400 sec. The 'official' maximum flash sync speed on the 7D is 1/250 sec, but I've been lucky in that my particular camera will sync up to 1/320 with just the tiniest vignette at the bottom of the frame. This means that at 1/400 sec, the flash wasn't covering the bottom 1/8th or so of the frame, and I did loose some of the 'starburst' shadows cast by the flash behind them at the bottom of the frame. 
 
Also note that I don't own the nifty new drool-worthy PocketWizards that can 'hypersync' to give you another stop or so at full flash output power. 
 
I could've dropped my shutter speed to 1/250 but that would've required me to stop down even more than f6.3 to compensate, which I just didn't want to do because (1)I didn't want my depth of field to be too deep (which it ended up being anyway), and (2) I didn't want to have to crank up my flash output power even more, this being at the beginning of a long day of shooting where I really needed to conserve battery power and keep the recycle times low to keep the group shots flowing quickly. Compromises - boo.
 
If money were no option, I'd just slap 8 or 9 580ex II's (or SB900's if I were McNally) on some stands, all synced up with the new PocketWizards at super high-speed sync, open up wide, and not care about my shutter speed.
 
Or I'd use one of those nifty Singh-Ray ND filters to drop the ambient down to something I could manage at f2.8, and just crank my flashes up to the max to compensate.
 
But as it stands, I've found a cheap, happy medium by shooting raw at 1/320 sec or 1/400 sec, and opening up as wide as I can while not clipping the sky, then bringing my true vision to life in post. And when I look at the frame, it's probably best that I shot at f6.3 to get all of the Groomsmen in focus.
Groomsmen Wedding Photo Pose