Nervous Groom During First Look
Photography by Calin
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Liberty Grand Wedding

Nervous Groom During First Look at Liberty Grand Wedding

This wedding photograph captures one of my favourite moments during this wedding at Liberty Grand. It depicts the reaction of the groom upon seeing his beautiful bride before their ceremony.

There are a few trends in wedding photography that are here to stay. As a professional photographer in the greater Toronto area, I learned to monitor market tendencies so I can adapt quickly to the needs of the bride and groom. Nowadays, couples embrace the documentary coverage as opposed to the posed photography style. That is the reason why many studios see a decline in demand. Their immediate reaction is to drop the prices, which drastically impacts their bottom line.


During my consultations with a couple, well before their big day, I coached them so that I can increase my chances of delivering outstanding photos for their wedding album. This is one of them.

First looks are becoming mainstream nowadays and they give the candid photographer great opportunities to capture the love between the bride and groom. It is during the first look when the groom's cry or in this case bites his fist trying to stop his tears.

In this outstanding image I capture on the special day, we can see a nervous groom looking at his beautiful bride. He's veins are popping as he's obviously overwhelmed with emotions. Meanwhile the bride, positioned on the right of this frame is looking at him holding her bouquet.

Photography Techniques

To create such image, I use a few techniques I will list below.

First, I positioned the bride in such manner so that the groom would come from behind increase their emotions. He is placed in a spot where the contrast between his dark tuxedo and the background is maximal. In photography, this is called figure to ground relationship. Henry Cartier-Bresson is one of the masters of this technique. There are many tools from street photography were photojournalism that I use on a regular basis.

To increase my speed of reaction and my chances to capture this wonderful moment I shot this image in Aperture priority mode. These days, cameras are so sophisticated that they can adjust to changes in the light conditions faster than any professional photographer. As such, instead of missing moments by focusing on manually adjusting the exposure, I trusted my beloved Fuji XT2 to do the math for me so I can focus on the most important thing: the love between the bride and groom.

To capture this environmental portrait of the couple I used a prime lens, namely the Fuji 23 mm F1.4 lens. Fast focusing, sharp as a tack with a beautiful colour rendering, this is the preferred tool of an artist who loves the documentary photography style.

The angle from which I captured this photo allowed me to use the massive arched door behind the groom to frame him. In photography, this technique is called frame in frame.

These several elements make the image stand out and is one of those selected for the wedding album.

Post Processing

To maintain a consistent processing style, and chose a desaturated, filmic look. Besides colour correcting this photograph, I toned down the green of the grass and the flowers in this picture so that the viewer would focus on the couple. Many wedding photographers ask me how my subjects seem to jump out of the page and this is one of the tips I use.

Location: 25 British Columbia Rd, Toronto, ON M6K 3C3.

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