A First Look and Why You Should Consider One.

I do not know how I have not talked about first looks on my blog yet. So, lets get talking! But first, congrats to Kelsey and Seth who’s first look is featured all over this blog post, and a huge thanks to Winsor Photography for letting me come and celebrate with this couple! First looks are so much more fun with another photography friend!

Now, first looks, simply said, are AMAZING and are pretty simple to explain. A “First Look” session is where you let your photographer to create a wonderful environment to capture your groom seeing his girl all dressed up, as HIS bride,  for the first time. Sometimes these session occur in a “formal session” a few days/weeks before your wedding date. Sometimes these “sessions” occur just before  your ceremony on your actually wedding day. But either way, the main point is to allow your photographer to be there, in a quiet, secluded area with beautiful light, to capture the thing we want to see most- emotion and reaction!

As a bride, you feel so beautiful wearing a wedding dress for the first time and want to see the reaction of your man when he finally sees you as a bride!  There is nothing that can replace those moments of eager anticipation and excitement. But wait, allowing your groom to see yourself before the ceremony is bad ju-ju right?  It is un-traditional and might give grandmother a heart attack when she find out you are even thinking about it! But let me explain three main reasons why I LOVE first looks. And honestly,  you will be better served and get better images for your wedding by doing them!


1. You really get a chance to relax and soak in the moment.
Your wedding day may be one of the busiest days of your life! From the moment you wake up you are BUSY, getting ready with your hair and makeup, mom running back and forth looking for earrings, your sisters shoes, dads tux, etc. and that is just the morning. From the time after the ceremony, friends, family and loved ones want to come up and say their congrats and celebrate with you, guests are waiting on your during cocktail hour, wedding coordinators as constantly checking time and the clock. I feel rushed just thinking about it! Ironically enough, you do not even get a lot of time to talk to your new spouse!

It is wonderful to take a few moments after the getting ready, set aside in a secluded area with no one else but your photographer where you can just relax and breath. You do not have to  worry about having a 500 people wanting to talk to you or needing anything. First looks create a moment where the world and all your morning nerves have melted away.  From experience, every bride cannot wait to see his reaction. That is what this is all about! You want to see his face when he sees you for the first time AS HIS BRIDE! Grooms can be emotional with tears, laughter or just tender smiles, but whatever his reaction is, you really get the chance to focus on each other and let it all soak in!


2. More pictures!
Your  photography is a critical investment for your wedding day. You have spent time  and money in finding the photographer that fits your style and someone you trust to completely capture the memories of your day. When you do a first look, you get individual time and attention all to yourselves just for beautiful images!  It is a quick transition from the first look into some truly beautiful and romantic pictures together! The brides that opt for a first look session or a first look moment on their wedding day ends up with a SIGNIFICANT amount more of images to add to your albums and to have around your home. If you are already investing in quality photography for your wedding, wouldn’t you want to make the most of it and capture more of your day and your story?


3. Control of the environment. You know now how special it can be sharing a first look in an intimate place. But let me shed some light on the benefits strictly from a photographers perspective. The first things I look for during a wedding day is where the locations with the best light are! Without great light, it is REALLY hard to get beautiful images. The couples that choose to do first looks, not only get more images and a more complete album and story, we control WHERE we choose to do your first look.  I will get your groom all set in the perfect place with beautiful light to get the BEST quality of images. I cannot describe how difficult it can be to get capture a grooms reaction from the back of a dark church building, with strict photography limitations. It can restrict what images I can deliver to you. First looks allow the freedom to move where needed to really capture your and your grooms natural and sincere reactions.


If nothing else, LEARN FROM ME! When I was a bride preparing for my own wedding, I knew that I wanted to do a formal session before our wedding day. I did not have any hesitations about allowing Trevor to see me in my wedding dress before our ceremony, I wanted the additional images, save time doing so many bridal portraits on my wedding day itself and have more time celebrating! So we choose to do a separate session with our photographer, secluded all by ourselves, to capture some really beautiful images!  But what I did not think about was capturing the moment Trevor saw me for the first time on film! Oh how I regret this!!! I wish I could recall his face when I walked around the corner dressed up for the first time as his bride! Those moments are priceless and only happen once in a lifetime!

If you have any questions about fitting a first look into your timeline and wedding plans, please do not hesitate to ask your photographer. I am always thrilled when my brides want to do a first look and really try and help wherever I can to make it a reality!

Enjoy a few of my favorites from the rest of Kelsey and Seth’s first look session:

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