Are you trying to decide whether to do a first look, or wait to walk down the aisle?
Conflicted and unsure if you should do a first look? If you want my two cents, read on. But ultimately, it’s your decision, and you need to make it as a couple.
It’s your day, and this is the moment, your moment, and no other opinion matters. Whether you decide to do a first look and the photos before the ceremony, or wait to see each other at the aisle and do the photos between the ceremony and reception is a decision a lot of couples struggle with.
As a wedding photographer, I have pretty much photographed it all. But my absolutely favourite moment of a wedding is when a groom sees his bride. Not a single groom has failed to react. From the most emotional, to the coolest “never show emotion in public” groom, they all react. Granted, some reactions are more reaction-y than others.
What do I think as a photographer? Should you do a first look?
I’ve been asked so many times which is the better option. I don’t know that there is a better option per se, but I do have a preference. It’s the aisle walk. BUT WHY? you’re wondering if you’re leaning toward a first look. It’s ok. If that’s what you want to do, do it. It’s a very intimate moment and I do really love the intimacy of that moment – seeing your spouse-to-be in a private setting. Just the two of you, looking your finest and ready to join forces for life (ignore the lurker with the camera).
So why do I lean toward the aisle walk? Well, as a photographer there are several reasons.
Consider the time of day and the light!
The first look is almost always done around mid-day or shortly thereafter. This is the worst time of days to do photos. The light is bright and harsh, and much harder to work with. Unless we luck out and it’s overcast, but that’s just a game of chance. Cloud cover on a wedding shoot is a real blessing, let me tell you! But it’s not guaranteed and it’s not a complete solution.
But can’t I just photoshop awesome light into your pictures? Kind of, but not really. Photoshop is amazing, but it’s not magic. And yes, I can warm up the colours and fake a magical sunset background. However, I can’t fake the light on your skin and it looks “off” and at least a little fake, no matter how great my editing skills. And the time it takes to do just one photo, well… when you’re talking dozens of formals that need editing, you’re talking dozens of extra hours.
The later in the day we can do the wedding photos, the better. The light softens as the day goes on. And on occasion, I luck out with some spectacular natural light. But good light is fleeting, and though it’s never predictable and is pure chance, it definitely never happens in the early afternoon.
You are ready for your big reveal, and you won’t want to ruin any part of your look before the ceremony.
When have you ever put so much effort into looking so good? That’s right. Never. So it’s understandable that any bride will be on edge and paranoid about ruining any part of that effort before the ceremony.
This does tend to limit your wedding photos since your participation will be hindered by these very real concerns. You’ll be fretting about your hair, your gown, you won’t want sore feet before the ceremony, oh my look at you all shiny and sweaty now! All in all, wedding formals will be less relaxed and less fun.
Does that mean don’t do a first look?
Absolutely not. It’s your day and as I said before, do what you want! There may be time factors to consider or family or bridal party accommodations that need to be made. It may be more important to you to have a seamless transition between your ceremony and reception. You may have a location that is full of shade and you’re ok with the lighting. Besides, an epic light it’s never guaranteed.
Even in the hot midday sun, we will still get some gorgeous photos. Do what suits you. I’ll make it happen for your photos one way or another!
Do you just really, really want to share a private moment without ruining the surprise?
How about a first touch? It makes the excitement palpable, and it’s such a beautiful moment. Just a little moment to hold hands and share a minute before the ceremony. But don’t peek, or you’ll ruin it.
Are you looking for a wedding photographer? Go ahead, creep the site. Check out the galleries, and have a look at the sample albums on the homepage. Yes, I travel! Contact me to see availability. I’m terrible with my social media, but follow/like me and too see my few and far between but totally awesome posts! Instagram | Facebook