Why The 'First Look' Is King

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On a wedding day, there are so many moving pieces and the timeline is a cruncher. Guests (even commissioners) arrive late, bridal party get lost in traffic, rings get misplaced, the ceremony ends up being 10 minutes longer because the ring-bearer tripped and had a melt-down. THINGS HAPPEN. Its part of life and all of a sudden all of these little things squeeze out all the time you had planned for family photos, bridal photos, and the biggest and most special of all.. the photos of you and your new husband or wife.

>> insert panic emoticon here <<

Alright, I am sure you have heard it before (briefly) and here I am to say it again (but a little differently.) 

Girrrrrrl, you need to do a first look. (or guy)

Firstly, what is a "first look?" A first look is when a wedding photographer captures a very special moment -the first time you see your soon to be husband or wife in their formal wear before you exchange vows. Now, before you getting huffy and start posting things like "what about tradition!" I'm going to tell you all the reason why the "first look" is king and how it will make your wedding day that much more romantic, sentimental, AND less-stressful. (your licking your lips with anticipating, right?) Here it is!


Top 3 Reasons Why 'First Looks' are KING. 

1. Intimacy and privacy. 
When you are walking down the aisle and you see your soon-to-be husband or wife, you are feeling so many emotions! You are excited! You are overwhelmed with love and nerves! You want to cry! You want to laugh! You want to run to them! You want to be you BUT... there is over 100 people staring at you, including family you half-know or plus-ones you have never even met. How can you express yourself without feeling judged or over-whelmed by all the looking eyes that are JUST WAITING for your reaction. You freeze up, go red, and suppress all the real emotions you want to express to the love of your life. You want to assure them, "its not you babe!" - its everyone else thats interfering with the moment. All the eyes fixated on you and this big moment!

A "first look" is just you and your loved one. (Yes, I am there but after a year of us working together, after your engagement session where you made out and got super personal, you know me - I'm not a stranger.) I stand far back so you can have that private moment totally alone, while I am capturing it from a distance for you to fondly look back on and share with (possibly) future babies and grand-babies. You can cry, you can hold each other close, you can twirl, you can feel safe knowing that you don't need to act anyway but the way you genuinely feel because this is your best friend, your soul mate, your partner for life, no one else. 
 

2. Less Stress & Better Photos.
You are spending good money on photos and when the time-line crunches and things start to interfere: the receiving line took too long, your commissioner/officiant went to the wrong church or venue, someone misplace the music for your procession, family photos took longer because your Aunt Hazel went missing, etc..... Life, ya'll. Time-lines are never perfect. But the problem with having photos mid-day is that there are so many moving pieces that can cut in to your valuable time of having photos of just you and your squishy. (Nemo reference, excuse me.) Don't get me wrong. I get it done! I've had anywhere between 45 minutes to 20 minutes to get photos of a couple because the time-line shifted. A good photographer will do the work and do it well regardless, but hey - if you can make the stars align, wouldn't you!?

So if photos of you and your betrothed is important, I am assuming they are, than to me it is a no brainer! Allow for extra (intimate) time at the beginning of the day to cut the stress of mid-day havoc, plus you cut the nerves out of everyone seeing your first look, because you already had it! Win-Win! Your photographer can dedicate more time and creativity to your family and bridal party photos as well as getting early to the reception to shoot details, candids, and your big arrival!

3. Paparazzi got me like... tired. 
It's a longgggggg (and super duper fun) day, but when photos hit around mid-day after the ceremony, you are hungry, thirsty, emotionally exhausted, and honestly SO OVER the photographer - I get it, I don't take it personally. You've been up early getting ready! You just welcomed over 100-200 people to your wedding, you smiled till you could smile no more, and you expressed your raw intimate feelings in front of a lot of people and had to remember (sometimes) long complicated vows to make sure you didn't pull a 'Ross'. (please refer to the series Friends on Netflix if this confuses you.) 

When you can cut out extra time mid-day for refreshments, time with your bridal party, and FOOD (the holy grail mid-day), you will feel renewed when entering your reception venue and ready to embrace your large extended family and friends with open arms instead of wanting to throat-punch them from being hangry and tired. #ivebeenthere 


So, what are your thoughts!? I'd love to hear! Here are three actions to take right now:

 

  1. Leave a comment below! What did you think of this blog post? Was it helpful? Informative?

  2. Share your personal experience, I would love to hear your insight.
    Married: Have you had a first look? Did you not do a first-look? 
    Engaged: Are you considering a first-look now for your future wedding???
     
  3. Go add me on Periscope! I just got it and I AM ADDICTED!!! I share tips for photographers and for brides/grooms to be!

xx 

J

 

 

Jamie Hyatt

Jamie Hyatt Photography, Calgary, Canada

Wedding & Interior Design Photographer in Calgary, Alberta.