Groomals : Guys Night Out | McGowan Images Blog


Groomals : Guys Night Out

We were sitting in an already-closed Starbucks with Chris & Halley when we started talking about the bride-to-be’s bridal session. Sorry, Starbucks’ staff… we were laughing and didn’t notice the time.

Anyway, the four of us were hatching ideas to make Halley’s bridal portraits perfect for her, when Chris said, “Man, that sounds like fun. I wish there was something like that for dudes.”

And I replied, “I know, right?? A bride gets a special portrait session to feel like a rock star and celebrating this time in her life, and the groom gets to… what, show up?”

Mack said, “We could definitely do a cool groomal session. We’ve done GQ portraits of guys before.”

Chris said, “Yeah, but GQ isn’t me. I’m more… drinking at my favorite bar with all my guys, having a blast. That’s the kind of thing I’d want pictures of.”

And Mack and I made eye contact, and said in unison, “WE CAN DO THAT.”

And so, we started planning Chris’s Groomal session.

No tuxes, no fancy venues… just a session with Chris & his two “bros of honor”, along with a few other best friends, at the bar they say has literally “grown up with them”. Hooligan’s in Arlington was absolutely perfect, and these guys had SO much fun. And honestly? So did we. Photographing this kind of relaxed male friendship was really super rewarding, and we’re so glad these guys trusted us enough to just be themselves while we flashed lights in their faces.

New plan… get Mack & his best dudes together for a portrait session like this. 🙂

Enjoy a couple favorites!


I mean… isn’t that just the most fun EVER?? I don’t know that I’ve ever been so excited to hang out with a group of groomsmen as I am to see these dudes again in the spring. 🙂


  1. Chris Barlen says:

    ERRE MUH GOD!! I love em they turned our way better than we actually looked!

  2. Tighe Barlen says:

    F’ing AWESOME! They are really really awesome! And we had a blast! The guys, the “extras,” the photography team and all!

  3. ann says:

    Awesome. Love every bit of it. I think you have discovered the next big thing!!

  4. Alison says:

    That guy noogie/ bro hug is the best shot ever. (Second one in) Please frame that sucker or make it a beer advert or put it in contests… Bc man it makes me feel the happiness! Great shoot and great idea!!

  5. Rachel says:

    These look like they belong in a Men’s magazine!!!! Such a cool idea and awesome work!

  6. Adria says:

    I am IN LOVE with this idea. This idea and me, we’re like THIS. *crosses fingers* These. Are. AWESOME.

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