What is a First Look and why you should do one…

What is a first look?


A first look is between two folks getting married. The two fiance’s meet up at a gorgeous location to get a “first look” at each other in private. It’s a special, private moment to share just between the two of you.

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First look at a Newport RI Wedding

As a photographer, a first look is absolutely essential. Your wedding day is a long succession of small events — there aren’t breaks, just go go go from dawn to dusk. Having a first look slows that down and gives you and your fiance a break to be present and enjoy one another (and your wedding day) without anyone around to interrupt, interject, or have expectations of you. I like to call it my little slice of heaven in a wedding day. It is.

First looks could be not just between you and your fiance and also you and your family, friends or bridal party. It’s a great way to capture everyone’s emotions during major transitions of the day and help hype up that you’re GETTING FRIGGING MARRIED!

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Flower girls seeing the bride for the first time.

Now, most folks will go on and on about how a first look will RUIN a fiance’s reaction when someone walks down the aisle… It’s so false! I have yet to have someone feel this way as a client, and there’s so many aspects to walking down the aisle that make it feel all the more real… There’s wedding guests, an aisle, family members, an officiant. This moment is happening with all the feels with or without a first look — let’s just throw tradition out for a second and talk about all the pro’s to doing a first look.

First and foremost: you get your portraits/formals done before the ceremony. You know what this means? We’re not herding cats. Getting your family members and friends to focus and give a photographer their full attention after the hype of YOU GETTING MARRIED is literally next to impossible. It’s torture for them, you and me. So doing the first look, and having a dedicated time before all the feels make it impossible to focus allows us to whip through portraits like it’s nobody’s business. It also allows you to just frigging enjoy your wedding once that ceremony gets rolling.

With a first look and portraits done before a wedding, I will pull you out of your party maybe twice for 5-10 minutes each time for a sunset picture and a night picture. That’s it. That means you get to have dedicated PARTY TIME from the moment your ceremony ends till the venue throws you out. Do you know how excited I am about that? (It gives me more time to try to convince you to crowd surf.)

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Crowd surfing at a Connecticut wedding.

If you have any questions about a first look, or I haven’t convinced you enough to do one — hit the comments or email me. Let’s talk. I have yet to have a single client regret doing one and almost every client who hasn’t done one has regretted not doing one.

To learn more about how to do couples portraits, check out this blog post.

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