A Photographer’s Guide : Getting Tough Grooms to Smile

bride and groom hugging on wedding day in nashville tennessee


bride and groom embracing after wedding ceremony in Nashville

Oh grooms, I’ve heard this so many times from my brides, “My fiance hates pictures and I’m worried he won’t smile during pictures for our wedding”. Girl, let me tell you, I totally understand the stress and the worrying, but let me just tell you, he’ll smile. Since working in Nashville and meeting some of these Southern grooms, I’ve got a few tricks to crack even the toughest of them. If he’s more reserved or self conscious, I’ve got a few tips that are sure to get him to crack a smile or two!

couple during summertime engagement session near Nashville river

Engagement. 👏🏼 Sessions. 👏🏼  – This is literally the best way for us to get to know each other before the big day. Grooms are more likely to relax seeing a familiar happy face than a stranger they’ve never met but now have to hang out with all day. That’s why I include them in EVERY wedding package, even the small ones. It’s that important to me to get to know you both as a couple to ensure we get the best pictures, especially the funny ones that show off your personalities. 

couple hugging and laughing during boat ride on tennessee river

Timing – It’s all about timing and making sure we keep things moving along at a quick pace. We talk and joke around the whole time, we may even need to do a quick hype up dance session, whatever it takes to get the groom on board and ready! An hour session at a fast pace is more engaging and fun rather than 30 minutes doing the same 3 poses held for minutes at a time.

bride and groom laughing during wedding pictures after ceremony

Candids – It’s so much easier to get true smiles from guys when you’re not asking for one. So I have groomsmen give them funny marriage advice, have the groom whisper things or inside jokes in their bride’s ear, anything to make them laugh and enjoy the experience! Also, first looks with just the bride and groom are the best times to capture that real smile. An audience can make a lot of grooms clam right up, so I always encourage my brides to find a location where it can be more private. 

couple holding hands on mountain top engagement session in Nashville

Making sure both the bride and groom are having a good time is the key to getting all the pretty pictures but also the sweet candid ones. They need to feel comfortable and relaxed throughout their day! 

Basically when we take pictures you know we’re going to have a good time, and get all the important moments captured. Curious about what a wedding with me is like?


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  1. […] things to focus on, and let the rest fall to the wayside and try and enjoy the moment! Get all the candid silly shots with your hubby, and dance all night long. We’ll all forget about the decorations and the napkin […]







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