First Look Photography – Is it really worth it?

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First Look Photography | (786) 888-9111 Photographers

What’s a first look?

First looks are relatively private moments where the bride and groom get a “first look” at each other, in their wedding attire, before the actual ceremony takes place. It’s typically a very emotional moment for the couple and usually produces some breathtaking photos. Pictures aside, it just gives the couple a beautiful moment to share with each other amongst the usual chaos of a wedding day.

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What’s the point?

Some of you might be wondering, “Why would I have a first look?” It might seem like you’re just adding more to an already packed day, but a first look definitely has its benefits. 

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The moment lasts longer

The feeling you get when you see your fiancé for the first time on your wedding day, there’s nothing quite like it. It’s an incredibly special moment, and you have the right to enjoy it for as long as you want. If you wait until the ceremony, the moment really only lasts from the entrance to the altar, then boom, the wedding starts and it’s over. With a first look, you get much more time to hug, hold and kiss each other, while the photographer captures all of it. Then once the two of you are ready, you can go on to take your wedding and family portraits before the ceremony starts.
Some couples worry that by having a first look, they risk ruining the moment at the actual ceremony. Trust me, when I say, this couldn’t be further from the truth. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a couples cry at a first look and then cry again at the ceremony.

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Calms the nerves

Your wedding day can be an emotional roller-coaster. Those final moments before the ceremony begins, will almost 100% leave you feeling stressed or flustered. So by the time you actually made it down the aisle, you can be a giant bundle of nerves. Now while having a first look means an addition to an already hectic day, it can actually have a very calming effect. Sharing a moment with your spouse before the ceremony can help relieve so much anxiety! It’s like one deep breath of air before the final push. There’s going to be a big wave of emotion as you see your partner, but once that subsides you should start to feel more relaxed. And trust me, that relaxation definitely shows in your pictures!

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Get portraits out of the way earlier

In most weddings, once the ceremony is over, there is a brief cocktail hour for guests while the newlyweds, bridal party, and close family have to run off to take portraits. Now, you would think this is enough time for this to be done, but you’d be surprised at how rushed the entire process can be. Before you know it, time is up and you have to get back to the guests at the reception. By scheduling a first look a few hours before the wedding starts, there should be ample time for the photographer to capture the moments between you and your spouse, as well as, the additional portraits with family and the bridal party. You know what that means? When the ceremony is over, you get to enjoy cocktail hour with everyone else!

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Extra time to touch up for the ceremony

Now I wouldn’t wish this on any bride, but picture this. You decided that to wait until the ceremony to see each other. The ceremony has started and the two of you see each other for the first time. It’s a magical moment, but it quickly becomes overwhelming and before you know it, you’re crying. Not a few baby tears, we’re talking full blown ugly crying. You try to wipe away the tears, but all you end up doing is smudging your makeup. The ceremony is starting and there you are at your own wedding looking like a hot mess. Now picture the same scenario, but it’s a first look. You might still look like a hot mess, but thankfully you have another 20-25 minutes to go back and have your makeup retouched before the actual wedding starts. And like we said earlier, with most of the nerves out of your system, you’ll be so much more relaxed during the actual ceremony.

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FAQ:

Q: Does a first look cost extra?
A: No but it does add an extra hour or more to the photographer’s time

Q: How long will it take?
A: Typically one hour of portraits including first look

Q: Will I have time to readjust my makeup?
A: Yes

Q: Where do we take the pictures?
A: To be decided by photographer that day.  Game time decision

Q: Can our families be there too?
A: It’s recommended to be a private moment. Family can join later.

Q: Can we wear our rings for the pictures?
A: Definitely.

Q: Do we have to do family portraits after the first look, or can that wait until after the ceremony?
A: It is also recommended. This way you can enjoy 100% of your cocktail hour.

If you’re curious, here are a few first look portraits that I’ve taken over the years:

Ask Me Anything

If you have any questions about first looks, just click the button above and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

 

For those of you who are curious about the idea of having a first look, I hope that this post gave you some good insight. Also, please don’t think that I’m trying to say, you absolutely need to have a first look done. If you and your spouse prefer to do things a bit more traditional, that is more than fine. It’s your wedding day and you have every right to plan it the way you want.

Lake Como – The Destination Wedding of your Dreams

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Planning a destination wedding, but not sure where to go? I’ve got your answer right here! Lake Como, Italy, is hands down one of the most romantic and picturesque places on the planet for a wedding!  It might seem like a stretch, but just keep reading and I’ll tell you why Lake Como is the perfect for any destination wedding!

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Unmatched Scenery

Due to its location at the the foothill of the Italian Alps, the area is blessed with some simply stunning views. Lush green hillsides, exotic plant life, snow-capped mountains, and of course, the vividly blue water of the lake itself. You’d struggle to think of a more picturesque location for a wedding. Even outlets like the Huffington Post, refer to Lake Como, as one of the world’s most beautiful lakes.

Several Options for your Ceremony

With a wide variety of different towns, and villages scattered along the shoreline of Lake Como, there are quite a few options for you to choose where your ceremony will take place. Smaller, intimate weddings can be held comfortably in one of the many villas/mansions that overlook the lake. If you’d prefer to be outside for your wedding, there are also several beautiful gardens that make incredible venues. As for those of you who are thinking about having a more traditional ceremony in a church, there is a Catholic Church as well as a Protestant Church that can host your wedding.

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Image above by Alain Martinez at Villa Erba in Lake Como

Amazing experience for your guests

One of the best things about a destination wedding, is that it leaves everyone with memories that will last them a lifetime.  Inviting your loved ones to share your special day in a place as beautiful as Lake Como, is something that will stay with them forever. If they chose to come a few days before the wedding, they will have the opportunity to take one of the many ferries that tour the lake, and get to bask in the charm of all the different towns and villages that surround it. Once they’ve finished immersing themselves in the rich culture and history of this magical place, they can start looking forward to the main event. Your beautiful fairy tale wedding!

Romantic Escape

Above all else, Lake Como is simply just one of the most romantic places a couple can pick to get married. There is just something about Lake Como that just emits love and romance. Maybe it’s just something in the water, but there is definitely a reason so many iconic movie scenes have been filmed here, and why so many celebs come here for romantic getaways. Whatever it is, there is no denying that there is something magical about this place and honestly, why wouldn’t you want it to be the venue for the beginning of your happily ever after?

If you still need more convincing, here’s a few more pictures from a wedding I shot in Lake Como recently at Villa Erba.


I hope that you enjoyed this article and that it was helpful to you. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to
get in touch with me and as always I’ll do my best to help you out!

Central Park – 5 Great Spots for Wedding Photography

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Central Park, one of the most visited parks in the United States,  has always been an iconic location for wedding photography. Filled with acres of beautiful greenery and stunning architecture, it’s no wonder that Central Park is the most filmed public park in the world. The only issue, however, is that with so much to offer, it can be overwhelming for most couples and photographers to try to find the best spots to set up and shoot. Having personally been in that position, I thought that I would take the time to make a short list of some of my favorite locations within the Park to shoot, as well as provide tips for shooting in Central Park in general. With all that said, let’s jump into this list!

Location #1: Bethesda Terrace

Kicking off the list is the Bethesda Terrace. Located towards the lower portion of Central Park, on Terrace Drive, this stunning piece of architecture is one of the original structures constructed within the park. The large staircases present at this location can be utilized as a beautiful backdrop with the couple or just the bride in the foreground. The intricate details of the staircase railings can also provide interesting elements to your photos. The main attraction of this location, however, is the Bethesda Terrace Arcade and its Minton Tile Ceiling. With large archways to frame your subject and rustic tile work all around you, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination! One of the easiest ways to get to this spot would be to enter the park on East 72nd street and 5th Avenue and then follow Terrace Drive until the terrace becomes visible.

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Location #2: Bethesda Fountain

A short walk down from the Bethesda Terrace is the second location on this list, the Bethesda Fountain. Easily one of the largest fountains in New York, its grandeur makes it perfect for taking very wide group shots of the wedding party. It can also very easily been used for intimate portraits of a couple. The reflections and shimmer of fountain’s water, in the sunlight, create beautiful visuals for both photo and video work. They key with this location is trying a variety of perspectives and angles.

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Location #3: Central Park Mall

A short walk down from Terrace Drive, you will find yourself on the Central Park Mall. Surrounded by the beauty of numerous Elm trees, the Mall has become a go to for portrait photographers. Forming a canopy-like covering over the pathway, the trees do an amazing job of reducing the harsh light of the sun, and creating a soft natural glow, the type of light that makes a bride look that extra bit more beautiful. The Elm trees are great for out of focus background elements that can really make the subject of the photo pop. Best part is that as the seasons change, so does the look and feel of the pictures! Once again the easiest way that I have found to get here, is by entering the park at East 72nd street and 5th Avenue, then following Terrace Drive. As you approach the Terrace itself make a left and the Mall will be straight ahead.

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Location #4: The Pond

With a name as original as they come, The Pond is well… a pond, located at the lowest end of the park, just a few feet away from 5th Avenue. With New York being famous for its fast paced lifestyles and the constant hustle n’ bustle, The Pond has become a great little escape for people who need a break from it all. With that in mind, the calm, secluded nature of this location makes it ideal for engagement or wedding pictures of just the bride and groom. The best point of access for The Pond would be through Grand Army Plaza and West 59th Street. Follow Grand Army Plaza and then make a slight left at Doris C Freeman Place. From there just follow the path until the water is visible.  

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Location #5: Gapstow Bridge

Last up on this list is the Gapstow Bridge. Located on The Pond, this bridge is an incredible spot to sit and admire the iconic New York skyline. Now what sets this bridge apart from so many of the other bridges scattered throughout Central Park, is the way the plants continue to grow up and across the stonework of the bridge. As a result the bridge can be used as an additional backdrop to the pond, or you can place the focus of the picture on the bridge itself. Once again this is an area where you can let your creative mind run wild as you try different ways to compose and frame your shots. Once you are at the pond, getting to the bridge is just a matter of following the path along the right side of the pond until it becomes visible.

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Tips:

With all that said, I hope you’re excited and already starting to plan your wedding or engagement photoshoot. Before I wrap this post up, I did promise to give out a few helpful bits of advice that might help to make things go smoothly on the big day, so here they are:

Permits.
Contrary to what most people may think, you do not actually need a permit for a personal photoshoot in Central Park. If your shoot does not require anything more than handheld equipment and a tripod, you can simply show up, shoot and be on your merry way without a fuss. If you plan on having a much bigger production, click here, to request an approval for your project.

Map out your shoot.
If you want everything to go as smoothly as it possibly can, take the time to plan and select the locations you want for your shoot. Map out these locations and come up with most efficient way of getting from one place to the next so you don’t end up wasting the majority of your time walking back and forth between locations. Also, while you’re doing that, here’s a list of all the bathrooms in the park. Trust me you’ll thank me later.

Time of day.
With Central Parking being one of the busiest places in the state, it means there is a strong chance of other people wandering around in the background of your photos. To help cut down on this, the best solution would be to start your shoot at the crack of dawn. If you get to your first location before the sunrise can I can almost guarantee that you will have the park just about to yourself (aside from a few joggers). On top of that, the soft natural light of sunrise should be perfect for the shoot!

Accommodation & Transport.
If you plan on taking my advice and starting your shoot at sunrise, you’re going to want to take the time to think about how you’ll be getting there and where you’ll be staying the night before (especially if you live outside of the city). For me you can’t really go wrong with staying in the Plaza Hotel. You’ll be walking distance from the park and won’t have to think about waking up any earlier to make it in time for sunrise.

Suggestions for the bride.
Chances are there will be quite a bit of walking involved in a shoot like this as you go from one location to the next. With that in mind, I would highly advise packing a pair of comfortable shoes to walk around in!

Food & Drinks.
Now, like any other place in New York, chances are there will be vendors outside selling food and drinks, but it is never a bad idea to pack a small back with a few snacks and water to hold you over until you find a spot to buy food.

Get creative!
Don’t be afraid to embrace your surroundings and use them to create something that you will never forget!

 

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Here are a few more shots of the park, just in case you need a little extra inspiration!

Conclusion:

As we all know Central Park has always been, and will always be, an incredible place to get breathtaking photos and videos. I hope that this article gives you a platform to start thinking about all the different places that you might want to shoot in the park and not to feel intimidated by all the possibilities. Go out there and just have fun and enjoy the moment! When you get shots feel free to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and tag us in them!

If you have any questions feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll be able to help you out! Click Here

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Brittany & Ryan – Gatsby Themed Wedding – The Breakers Palm Beach – Part II

Hello bloggers…

Welcome back for part II, which covers ceremony and portraits.  Take note of these vitals, which are the people involved in making this event happen.

Venue: The Breakers Palm Beach, Gown: Berta Bridal, Planner: Posh Parties, Cinematography: Cabana Pictures, Event and Floral Design: The Breakers Design Studio Beauty: Lotus Hair Studio, Entertainment: Powerhouse, and capturing these images forever: Alain Martinez Photography

This is only part II of III.  There are a large number of images from this wedding and thus we decided to split the post in 3 parts.

Enjoy!

 

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come back at 4 pm for part III.  We want you to experience the whole wedding!

Brittany & Ryan – Gatsby themed wedding at the Breakers Palm Beach – Part I

Hello bloggers,

Today I want to share with you all a beautiful and elegant wedding we recently photographed at the Breakers Palm Beach for Brittany and Ryan.  Such amazing families came together, both sides were an absolute pleasure to work with.  Take note of these vitals, which are the people involved in making this event happen.

Venue: The Breakers Palm Beach, Gown: Berta Bridal, Planner: Posh Parties, Cinematography: Cabana Pictures, Event and Floral Design: The Breakers Design Studio Beauty: Lotus Hair Studio, Entertainment: Powerhouse, and capturing these images forever: Alain Martinez Photography

This is only part I of III.  There are a large number of images from this wedding and thus we decided to split the post in 3 parts.

Enjoy!

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Don’t forget to check out part II and III later today.