Photographed by Melli & Shayne

Story

For our groomsmen, we really wanted to bring out their characters and dynamics as a group of friends. Especially the younger crowd; the boisterous ones that know how to get the party started. For this group in particular, they fit all the criteria to make a super fun photo. When we were assembling the guys together, we kept our ears open to how they spoke to each other. Just by listening to this in the background, we could figure out who was the ‘joker’ of the group, who was the one always being ‘teased’ and all these awesome little things. When we started shooting, we used this information to our advantage.
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Directions

EnergeticFunnyJokesPlayfulWalkingMovement

Have your group of guys get put the arms over each others shoulders, like buddies and walk towards you. Keep the movement going and encourage them to tease and joke with each other. A good trick to get them off to a good start is to tell them to pretend like they had a bit too many drinks. The drunk guy walk. Tell them to relive their bachelor night and have fun with it. Even ask one of the group members to make the group laugh, or tease each other.
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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
“Put your arms over each other like good mates and walk towards me! Bump into each other, tease each other, and do a drunk walk! Just like on the bachelor party! “
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Composition

Center FramedMiddle ThirdsMid Range

For this shot we wanted to get real close to our group as they were having such a great time with each other. By being this close and framing their top halves in the image, we can really bring an emphasis to their laughter, to their good moment and to their friendship. Don’t be afraid to frame close up and only get their top half. It fills the image with energy and emotion.
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While your group walks towards you, let them get closer to you so you can frame it really close up. This really brings the viewer into the moment with the group.

Focusing

Single Point Focused on The Grooms face Single Shot Autofocus
We often have our group on the same focal plain which helps ensure all of the members are focused. It was no different in this case. We used Single Point AF as we had much more control as to where we wanted that focus to go. We aimed it at our groom and kept it positioned there as best as we could.
Light & Weather

Soft LightNatural LightShadeAfternoon

Fortunately the forest was quite dense which helped create enough shade for us to shoot the group photos. There definitely were patches of light everywhere, so we paid careful attention to avoid it as best as we could. Weather wise, it was pretty clear at this moment. It was a couple of hours before a storm formed.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/500 f/2.0 ISO 1000 WB Auto

Camera

Canon 5D Mark IV

Lens

Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II

Editing

Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:

 

The edits are made to be warmer with a big focus on skin tones and light play with shadows and highlights. A few minor local adjustments were made (Gradient and Brush) as well as finishing off with a fine layer of grain. The whites are not blown out nor are the blacks 100% crunched.
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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
Our challenge with this group photo was avoiding the light patches that came through the trees. It’s something that you can easily overlook and if you have exposed for the subjects in the shade, and someone walks into that patch of light, theres a good chance they are going to be over exposed / blown out.

The second challenge was keeping the guys under control ? If you give a bunch of guys the job of having fun with the groom, they will. And they will do it awesomely!

Location

Forest Germany

Faber-Castell Waldhütte

Faber-Castell Waldhütte Faberhof 1, 90596 Schwanstetten

Final tips & Advice

Don’t be afraid to get one of the guys to be the “funny” guy. There is always one. Have them take charge and make everyone laugh. Even ask them to bump into each other or pretend they had one too many drinks. The idea is to get them all having a good time and being themselves. Another tip would be to absolutely try out a 50mm lens for group photos. The compression is just to die for. But just make sure you have enough room to capture the group full body as well.
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Melli & Shayne

Photographer Germany Canon 5D Mark IV Canon 50mm f/1.2 L
We are Melli & Shayne, a couple coming from vastly different worlds but have been inseparable ever since we met in Zanzibar. We have been passionately capturing love stories since 2014 and have loved every step of the way. We love to meet fellow photographers, to share our knowledge amongst a bottle (or two) of wine and support every one wherever we can.
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Everyone fails. It’s how you take it that will separate you from the rest. Failure is a lesson. And knowledge is a win.

Designed with love by Katharina + Katharina & Shayne Thomas. Background image by Adrián Vilanova

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