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

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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