October 24, 2017
I love first looks. They’re such a lovely way for couples to see each other for the first time on their wedding day, have a private moment, and bask in each other’s love. So here’s a great guide on how to shoot a first look.
If you’re asking ourself, “Um, what’s a first look?” It’s when couples opt to see each other for the first time before the ceremony, and get all the formal photos out of the way prior to walking down the aisle. Also known as a “first reveal”. About 60 percent of my couples go this route, and more do ever year.
I could write a whole other post on why first looks are the best, but now let’s focus on how to properly capture this moment.
***Note: I’m using the terms “bride” and “groom” simply to denote the two different roles in a first look, not necessarily to refer to the man and the woman. The same strategy would apply to same sex marriages, regardless of gender.
We photographers see about a million weddings, but for our couples, it’s their first time! They have no idea how to set up a first look. So we do it for them. A couple things you should look for when picking a location and setting it up:
Be very clear to both the bride and groom what they’re supposed to do.
Having two shooters is great for any wedding day, but even more helpful when shooting a first look. Different angles are crucial to how to shoot a first look.
View more tips on what lenses to use during different wedding situations here.
This is their moment. From the time the bride starts walking towards the groom, do NOT interfere. You are invisible. Their hearts are beating out of their chests and they just can’t wait to embrace one another, the last thing they need is a photographer barking, “no wait, stop, just need to get this quick shot. Okay, take a few steps more, now tap in on the shoulder, okay stop again.” You’re there to document a real moment, not to create a posed one.
Interjecting is the biggest mistake you can make. It’s not worth compromising one of the biggest moments of the day (if not their lives) to get the oh so perfect shot.
If you totally missed a shot that you’d like to get, simply wait until the couple is finished hugging and kissing, and stage it after.
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