Simple Tips for Photographing Men with André Brown
There is a distinct art to photographing men, one that I would even say has become a passion of mine. This is most likely because of my love for men’s fashion and styling, but also because I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like on wedding days because as the lead photographer I’m primarily with the bride. I do, however, try my best to prioritize time to capture specific photos, many of which have been instrumental in defining my photography style and have afforded me the privilege of calling myself an “award-winning photographer.”
If you are a wedding photographer, you may have started your career as a second or third shooter. This generally means that you will be tasked with photographing the men. As of late, I have had the opportunity to work with a few new mentees and it appears that photographing men has been a bit of a pain point. So, I wanted to share some simple tips on how to capture great photos of men.
First and foremost, it is imperative to have a basic understanding of fashion etiquette. A client having a well-tailored suit and shirts that fit properly are often outside of our control as photographers. But if you have an understanding of some of the basics, you can act as a trusted advisor and give suggestions to your clients ahead of time.
Beyond that, understand that when wearing a jacket, the jacket is to be unbuttoned while seated and buttoned while standing. Now, you know the saying, “rules are meant to be broken,” and occasionally I break the “unbuttoned while seated” rule. This is usually when the subject’s jacket is too large and I want to mask it so that I can achieve a cleaner looking photo. When the subject is seated with a buttoned jacket, it creates unflattering bowing and bunching in the lapel of the jacket, making the subject appear unkempt, which is not appealing in photos. Admittedly, I also break the “buttoned while standing” rule if I’m creating images that are laid back and casual. Yes, the rules can be broken but when you do so, be sure you do so with tact and intention.
Note: When wearing a jacket, the bottom button is always to remain unbuttoned. For example, if there is one button, button it. Two buttons, only button the top button. Three buttons, the top two buttons are the only ones buttoned. Aside from being a faux pas, I find that having the bottom button fastened limits the range of motion and makes the clothing fit in an unflattering manner. Posing with the subject’s hands in their pockets isn’t very appealing especially if the suit is tailored properly.