THE FIRST LOOK
THE FIRST LOOK EXPLAINED
If I were asked to choose one aspect of a wedding day that can make the day easier, it would be shooting a first look. Without a doubt, it’s the best choice for many reasons. To preface this, I want to say my approach to the wedding day is to capture what you want, and how want it. I will never pressure anyone into doing a first look if that’s not what they absolutely desire for their wedding day. So which ever direction you choose to go, I will be right there with you. Read on for a few highlights of choosing a first look.
MORE TIME TOGETHER
I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard any bride say, “My wedding day went by too slow!”. Ever…!
A traditional wedding timeline provides very little “together” time for the bride and groom. The wedding day is always on fast forward it seems, and you just can’t escape that aspect. You will be busy getting ready, taking photos, talking to guests, and dancing the night away. The day will fly by so fast, and I regularly hear brides say they don’t remember many of the moments that take place throughout the day. A first look will give you some of that time back, and your day will be so much more memorable because you will be together for all of it!
On a traditional wedding day, the portraits will typically start with either the groom and his guys, or the bride and her girls. While I am shooting the first party, the other group is hanging out in their room just waiting. When I finish with the first group, I will get them back to their designated room, and then take the other party out for their photos. This part of the timeline is not very efficient and takes up a lot of time. If you choose to add a first look, you can then combine the bridal party groups into one session, where you can all be together and have a great time. This equates to several hours you won’t be kept in separate rooms, and increases the amount of photos of you two together.
YOU WILL HAVE MANY MORE OPTIONS
Doing a first look expands the timeline for the day, and allows for a more relaxed pace. Having more time, and not rushing the day, makes the experience more memorable. All the time lost shuffling the bridal parties around on a traditional timeline can be utilized in a more creative way. We can do extended shoots with the bridal party as a whole, or more photos of the bride and groom together. Overall, you will have a lot more photos together, and with your bridal party.
In most cases, we are also able to photograph the majority of the family photos beforehand as well. This opens up a lot of options for you after the ceremony. There’s only a few photos we need to capture after the ceremony, and then you’re free to spend the remainder of the cocktail hour with your guests. Some couples choose to spend that time having a private and quiet dinner together, or some choose to take more portraits. The main takeaway is that there are a plethora of options open to you when you choose a first look over a traditional timeline.
THE CALMING EFFECT
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your lives. There is no doubt going to be some nervous anticipation associated with that! A traditional wedding day has a lot of mechanics at work, and this is especially relevant when you have a big bridal party. Having to shoot each party individually while making sure the groom doesn’t open the wrong door, or look out the wrong window and catch a glimpse of the bride. A first look changes everything, and has a calming effect over the day. You guys get to have a moment together with nobody watching you. We get some beautiful photos, and then the rest of the day just flows perfectly. It seems like the nerves are mainly based on the eagerness of the bride and groom seeing each other for the first time. So it makes perfect sense that the earlier this happens, the earlier the nerves take a back seat.
First look photos always have an undeniable level of realism. You can be yourselves, share a few moments together, and say anything your heart desires. It’s incredibly special because it’s such an intimate moment that you can focus on one another instead of everything else going on around you. The grooms always seem to have much more natural reactions, as they aren’t worried about the surroundings and the guests. He is only focused on his bride and how beautiful she looks. It’s so different when you haven’t done a first look, and the nerves are getting to you. Then you have to stand up in front of a huge crowd, and don’t even have a second to share what you are feeling at that moment with each other. When there is no pressure, you can be yourselves, and this always leads to the photos you will truly cherish for years to come. The ability to share this moment with each other privately is so special.
“Nothing stifles creativity more than a tight timeline”
CREATIVITY & PHOTOGRAPHY
From a photography stand point, we are able to pick locations with great light for the first look. Sometimes ceremony locations don’t have the best lighting or backdrops. Having control over the surroundings makes all the difference in getting the photos you have imagined and dreamed about. Another point to mention is that the photos we take will be earlier in the day when the brides hair and makeup are fresh and in a flawless state.
If your wedding is not going to be in the Summer season, then you will have less light to work with. This is especially relevant for Winter weddings when sunset is around 5:30 PM. First looks for winter weddings can make all the difference in the world if you want those gorgeous evening light portraits.