The big day has arrived. You’re obviously excited, maybe a little nervous and perhaps just a tad hungover. With a few hours to go until “I do” how will you use your last moments as an unhitched man? You might want some quiet time to reflect and retrace how you arrived at this momentous occasion. Maybe you’d like to relax and reminisce with your groomsmen over a beer or two. You might remember there’s a speech that needs to be finished. Or perhaps you’re looking forward to having a photographer document you getting dressed.
There’s no right or wrong with the last option; the transformation of a man into a groom can be a very compelling set of images. But there is a huge difference between authentic and fake, and it’s this gaping chasm that I ask you to consider.
Authenticity means doing what you want to do, when you want to do it, which might or might not involve getting dressed while your photographer’s with you. It might even mean not having a photographer with you at all. But if you do opt for a photographer, the end product of authenticity means that you’ll look back at your photos and see the day as it really happened rather than how your photographer structured it.
Of course you might be perfectly happy to stage your prep and have a laugh with your boys as you struggle to figure out the windsor knot, which once achieved you might then undo after the photographer’s left as there’s still three hours to go until the wedding and it’s so warm that even the Esky is melting. If you’re comfortable with that then happy days. But think about whether you’ll feel a connection with the images when you look back at them in a few years time.
Hopefully you’re now questioning whether you need photos of your prep. If you are, the first thing to establish is what your options are with your photographer.
If your photography package has a fixed number of hours of coverage, figure out whether there’s actually enough time for the photographer to visit you in the first place. This will depend on factors such as the travel time to get to you, the distance between you and your bride, and the distance from there to the ceremony. If distances are going to be an issue then the bride will always take priority. But if there’s a second photographer who can travel independently, you may find that they will look after your groom photography while the lead photographer sees the girls.
If time isn’t an issue then consider whether you need a photographer with you at all. If you don’t (perhaps because you have a busy morning running errands or just want some privacy) then the photographer can always schedule extra time before the ceremony to photograph you and the boys looking smart, making final adjustments and meeting and greeting your guests.
If you’re keen to have a photographer, establish what time they’ll be with you and for how long (most photographers allocate up to an hour) and then decide if you want to get dressed during that time.
If it’s a warm day and the photographer is seeing you before spending a couple of hours with the bride you may opt not to get changed and just relax. If you’re the sporty type then having photos of you playing golf or kicking a footy around can make for a dynamic, unique and much more genuine set of images. One of my grooms went for a surf and spent most of his morning finishing his speech.
Whilst dedicated spin instructor Brett worked up a sweat leading his class (and his groomsmen) before going for a dip in the ocean.
Of course if you’ve invested a lot of thought and hard earned into your outfit you will understandably wish to have your transformation documented and this is also a great time to capture a bit of genuine bromance, such as this moment between Jed and his brother.
And this moment between Richard and himself.
I hope I’ve given you something to think about and welcome your comments and opinions.
Images by Milton Gan Photography
About Milton Gan Photography: Milton Gan combines his artistic flair, eye for detail, and passions for love, style and elegance to create a finely crafted photographic experience for each and every one of his clients.