Should you do a First Look? My Favorite First Look Photos and Why I Love Them

2.20.17 | Weddings

One question that comes up from clients during most first meetings is how I recommend the photo timeline be structured for a wedding day. That really depends on a lot of different variables, but one of the main aspects of a day that determines what we shoot and when depends on whether the bride and groom are willing to do a First Look.

To be sure we are all on the same page, a First Look is when a bride and groom see each other before the ceremony. It usually involves me choosing a pretty, private place where the bride and groom can see each other and have a few private moments (while I discreetly photograph it, of course). Doing this, rather than waiting for the groom to see the bride for the first time walking down the aisle allows for a few benefits to the wedding timeline overall, but also creates a very special, private moment that the bride and groom can share before the rest of the day is spent surrounded by people. I did a First Look on my wedding day and it was so special!

It’s often one of my favorite moments to capture during a wedding day! Plus, there are a few key reasons why doing a First Look can help the flow of your wedding day and just enhance your experience overall:

  1.  You get to spend more of your wedding day with your honey and you get to have more opportunity to enjoy the day’s events together, rather than hiding from one another until the evening when the ceremony begins. This is such a big plus in my eyes! Don’t you want to spend more of your wedding day with your significant other?
  2.  You get to get all (or most) of the photos done prior to the ceremony so that after the ceremony, you get to focus on enjoying the party you spent SO much time planning!
  3.  For many weddings, ceremonies start close to or at sunset. If you don’t plan a first look to do all your photos prior to the sun setting, you will be doing all of your photos after basically in the dark. As a photographer who can shoot in any light, this CAN be done. BUT, most photographers these days specialize in natural light photography and prefer to shoot in pretty, natural daylight– that’s me! And there’s a good chance that you hired your specific photographer because of that style. So, consult your photographer about timing and lighting for the day. A First Look may be your only option to get beautiful photos together in that pretty, natural, pre-sunset light.

I have been shooting weddings for many years and though I’ve had many clients initially come to me and say “No thanks” to a First Look. But, after discussing the benefits it offers to the wedding day timeline, they decided to go ahead with it. I’ve never heard one of those say “man, I wish we hadn’t done that.” To the contrary, people are always SO happy that they did. It’s always a beautiful, positive experience and always creates beautiful images of that very special moment.

Just ask some of your married friends who did a First Look for their own wedding day- I trust you won’t find one who wishes they hadn’t. 🙂

Ultimately, the decision to do a First Look is yours- as my client, I’m happy to support your decision either way! I just always like clients to know the pros and cons and whether not doing a First Look will affect the outcome of their images, etc.

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A Lifestyle Brand Shoot for Bloom Baby Products

1.5.17 | Families & Kids

In December, I produced and photographed a big shoot for Bloom Baby, an international baby product brand that creates really beautiful high chairs, cribs, baby loungers and more. I had SO much fun dreaming for this shoot and making it all come to life for my camera. This shoot was the inspiration for me to get to work on building an aspect of my business that I have always wanted to do, I just never made the time to do it.

This year is the year of accomplishing goals for me, so it’s happening. Below is a sneak peek of the shoot (which you may have see more of on my photography Instagram account). I’ll be sharing more of this very fun project soon with more exciting announcements!


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A Montage Beverly Hills Wedding – Lauren & Michael

12.1.16 | Weddings

This gorgeous wedding, held at the beautiful Montage Beverly Hills, was just stunning beyond belief. It was elegant and luxurious, overflowing with gorgeous florals, and so much fun! It took place on Valentine’s Day and had little nods to the holiday of hearts here and there- but classy all the way. With touches of blush and rose gold, along with a hanging installation of heart-shaped escort cards and heart-shaped french macarons served with dessert- the couple celebrated their wedding and the holiday of love with all their friends and family in the most beautiful way.

Below are some of my favorite images from the wedding that was exceptionally coordinated and designed by the one-and-only Geller Events. Flowers were by Marks Garden and the stunning, bride’s dress was by Christos.



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A fun nod to the holiday with the groom’s socksmotage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-016

And in the hanging installation of heart-shaped escort cards


Such a stunning and sweet couple!motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-017 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-018 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-019 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-020

Those hanging branches provided an entryway for guests into the ceremony area and were covered in roses and gardenias- I wish a photograph could have captured how amazing it smelled!motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-021 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-022 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-023 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-024 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-025 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-026 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-027 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-028 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-029 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-030 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-031

I LOVED the variety in long black gowns on the bridesmaids. So chic.motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-032 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-033

The dusty blush color of the bridesmaids bouquet and the black gowns felt so romantic!motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-034 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-035 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-036 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-037 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-038 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-039

Ready for the aisle! I love how excited Lauren’s dad is here!motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-040 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-041

Flower girls are always cute. But twin flower girls?? The cutest!motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-042 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-043 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-044 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-045 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-046 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-047 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-048 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-049 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-050 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-051 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-052 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-053


The ballroom had more flowers than I have ever seen in one place. Not only did it look luxurious, but it was the best-smelling ballroom to ever exist. Check out those balconies covered in florals! It was jaw-dropping to every guest who entered. And those rose gold chairs from Revelry were so perfect.motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-054 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-055 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-056 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-057 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-058 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-059 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-060

Check out the floral treatment for the stage! So dreamy!motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-061 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-062 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-063 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-064 motage-beverly-hills-wedding-valentines-day-lauren-michael-065


What an unforgettable day. Congratulations, Lauren & Michael!!


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