What is a first look?
A first look is a relatively new wedding trend. Traditionally a couple doesn't see each other until the wedding ceremony, but the concept of seeing each other beforehand has become pretty popular pretty quickly. I personally love both scenarios. Whether a couple is seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony or before, the moment is always wonderful.
Why do couples decide to do a first look?
I think a lot of couples decide to do a first look for timeline purposes. If you see each other before the ceremony you can do a lot of pictures with your family and bridal party before hand, as opposed to trying to fit it all into the one cocktail hour. I also think some feel that there will be less pressure on the moment if you see each other with less people around. Either way it takes a little bit of planning to do it in a way that gets the best pictures. Here are some tips and 'how to's on how to do a first look.
Put it in your timeline
A first look takes time and accounting for that time before hand will make the day of go more smoothly. I would say 20 to 30 minutes should be set aside for the first look. That way you can take in the moment and do a few pictures with just the two of you after.
Pick a location
Take some time to consider where you'd like to do your first look. I recommend picking some place that isn't too crowded, is easy to get to, and that means something to the two of you. Katelyn and Mike chose to do theirs at Fort Williams park in Cape Elizabeth Maine and it worked out so well!
How it works
On the day of I will set one of you up facing the right direction. I will then communicate to the other person that we are ready! I recommend walking up behind the other person, tapping them on the shoulder to cue them to turn around and then let them turn. I will be all set up to photograph the two of you.
Take in the moment!
After you two see each other make sure to take a few minutes to take in the moment. I say this so that you both don't immediately look at me right after and so that I have ample opportunity to get some great shots.
ALso-First looks aren't just for couples!
Some of the sweetest moments I've witnessed as a photographer are first looks between a bride and her bridesmaids, parents, and other family and friends. While I still suggest you put it in your timeline, they definitely don't take as much time but can add a lot to the wedding photography portfolio.
So! If you and your partner decide that a first look is for you make sure to let your wedding photographer know and work it into your timeline! Happy wedding planning!
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