Windowlit Groom’s Portrait at Le Manoir

We had just a couple of minutes to capture this portrait. To achieve it, I needed to consider the various light sources in the room, and pose this groom so he looked as relaxed as possible.

Relaxed groom’s portrait at Le Manoir

To me, Eddie looks a little like George Clooney, and once I had that in mind it was hard to forget!

This was taken on the morning of Eddie’s wedding, in the bar of Le Manoir. The light in there is really interesting as it comes mainly from two sets of windows at right angles but there’s also artificial lighting on the walls above the pictures.

I wanted an unusual portrait so we cleared the tables and stools and placed the chair in a spot of light so that Eddie would be lit primarily from the windows to the left with some back light from the windows to the back and right.

Keep poses natural

With guys, it’s best to keep poses very natural and not overwork them. Watch what your subject does normally then tune, adapt or exaggerate it, depending on the look you’re going for.

I posed Eddie to look relaxed, with his legs crossed and his arm leaning on the chair’s armrest. By having him sit up straight but then lean very slightly towards the camera, he also comes across as more actively engaged with the viewer. I asked Eddie to clench his back teeth. This flexes the muscle at the bottom of the cheek and gives really good definition to the jaw line – it’s a great way of giving a guy a squarer, more pronounced jaw.

I then sat on the floor with my back pinned against the bar and used a wide angle lens to get everything into the shot. It was created with just available light; no flash was used.

We didn’t have a lot of time to get the shot – straight after this, we headed off to get Eddie to his wedding ceremony!

Room Diagram

Camera Settings

  • Focal length: 30mm
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Shutter speed: 1/180 sec
  • ISO: 400