Weddings - The First Look

October 02, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

The groom stands nervously at the front of the church waiting for that first glimpse of his bride in her beautiful dress as she walks towards him. SO many emotions from the day and finally that moment has arrived after months of planning. THAT is what the First Look always used to be. Tradition stated that you don't see each other until the wedding, a tradition that many still believe and trust in.

But is it for everyone? Not at all! Some couples want to buck that tradition and are having a First Look before the ceremony. Now I am not here to say it is right or wrong to do this, I am a firm believer that a wedding day is about two people getting married in a way that suits them and no one else. It is for the bride and groom to decide, but I just want to explain why I love shooting First Looks before the ceremony.

The first "First Look" that I shot before a ceremony was for Lisa & Scooter. I had seen it with many of my colleagues and friends and I always offer it as an option because I want to make sure the bride and groom are getting what they want. 

So the day of their wedding came and I was really excited to shoot this for the first time. To make the "First Look" work I had to understand what it was all about, what was the purpose of it? I needed to put myself into their position to try and get an understanding of how they were feeling.

The wedding day is full of emotions, very different emotions. Yes it is a happy occasion and one of the biggest emotions is happiness but I think a wedding is one of the only occasions where any emotion there is in the world, you can feel it. Months of planning and building up to this one day can start getting to a head.............. Then when you see your future at either end of the aisle, all those emotions turn to that moment. Happiness and a few nerves are whats left as you walk towards each other. We can cope with those feelings!! 

When you are happy, you want to see your other half and share it with them. When you are upset, you want to see your other half and share it with them. When you are stressed, nervous, excited........ you want to see your other half and share it with them. Don't you? But they are not there in the build up to seeing each other because they are getting ready to see you at the end of the aisle. 

I see the "First Look" as a moment where you can be alone for a few minutes, let all those emotions drift away or come out to the person you need to see more than any other. It is a time with just the two of you to say nothing to each other if need be, but just to be with each other. No guests, no family, no planners.................. just them. SO how do I capture that moment? With a LONG lens and discretion. The "First Look" is something I have planned out in detail before it happens.

As a wedding photographer emotions are what I love to shoot and I find that a "First Look" before the ceremony produces so many positive emotions in a short time. It is a photographer's dream.

I am going to show you two storyboards with just three pictures in each. Lisa and Scooter were very cool and collected through the whole of the wedding but in that "First Look" their emotions rolled out of them and I adore the shots I got. 

The there is Idus & Clayton. The day had been a little stressful and things were all running a little late. This is not unusual, but they don't know this because they had never done it before and they wanted everything to be perfect of course. The moment that got me with these two was the middle picture. I always shoot to get their first reactions and then after a few minutes I want to give them a real short time without me there so they can have that moment. I stepped inside for literally two minutes and when I can back out they were dancing together in the courtyard, laughing and having fun. Any negative emotion they had, was gone and Idus told me why. She got to see her best friend! it's as simple as that.

So before I show you the pictures I just want to say that the day is about you. Whether it is sticking to traditions that are close to you or mixing it up a little bit the important thing is that you make it YOUR day.




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