What is a first look?
A first look is when a couple decides to see each other before the ceremony. Usually, one person will be facing a certain direction while their spouse-to-be walks up behind them and taps them on the shoulder, then they turn around and see each other for the first time. It’s always a super sweet moment.
Why do people do them?
A lot of couples will do a first look so they can take portraits before their ceremony. Taking portraits before the ceremony frees up time for you to attend your cocktail hour and visit with your guests. It also provides an opportunity to break up photo time into smaller chunks.
On any given wedding day, we’ll set aside time for couple portraits, wedding party portraits and family formal portraits. When you do a first look, you don’t have to do all these pictures following your ceremony. Instead, you could break them up.
First looks flow naturally into couple portraits (example below). From there, whoever else is ready (more often than not the wedding party) can be photographed. There are lot (possibly too many) variations of what you could do, but don’t freak-- I’ll help you figure out what will work best for you!
Where should you do your first look?
Good light is key. Whereas your ceremony may have been set for a certain time for the best light, the first look tends to fit in where you need it. Often this means we’ll look for some shade to keep you evenly lit. Don’t worry-- I got this part.
How much time should you set aside?
Since we usually flow into couple portraits from the first look, you’ll want to set aside about 30 minutes.
What do you we think you should do?
I don’t have a preference. Honestly. And I don’t want to tell anyone how to set up their wedding day.
If you don’t want to do one, cool! If you do, cool!
As a documentary wedding photographer, I'm all about capturing what happens, not dictating it. That said, I'm happy to talk with you and help you think through the decision and how it would work specifically for your wedding.