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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Q: Does a first look cost extra?
Q: How long will it take?
Q: Will I have time to readjust my makeup?
Q: Where do we take the pictures?
Q: Can our families be there too?
Q: Can we wear our rings for the pictures?
Q: Do we have to do family portraits after the first look, or can that wait until after the ceremony?
If you’re curious, here are a few first look portraits that I’ve taken over the years:
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.
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!
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Map out your shoot.
Time of day.
Accommodation & Transport.
Suggestions for the bride.
Food & Drinks.
Here are a few more shots of the park, just in case you need a little extra inspiration!
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!
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Over the past couple of years the age old rule of seeing your groom at the altar for the first time has become a thing of the past. A private “First Look” or “Reveal” before the wedding ceremony has been around for many years. What is a First Look? This is the moment where the bride and groom see each other for the first time in a private location. They share a special moment while the photographer captures every hug and kiss. From having extra time with your significant other to being able to enjoy spending more time with guests after the ceremony, there are so many reasons why a First Look is beneficial on your wedding day. Here are my top 10…
1) IT IS NOT BAD LUCK! This is the least of your worries on your wedding day.
2) Get that First Impression you’ve always dreamed of: Walking down the aisle in front of all your guest is one of the most nerve wracking things a bride and groom will ever have to do. There are so many things a bride is thinking about while walking. Is the veil on straight? “Am I holding the bouquet at a good height?” “Oh, cousin Beth made it.” “Smile for the camera!” “Wait, I haven’t made eye contact with the groom yet.” By the time you’ve reached the altar, the 10 seconds of walking down the aisle towards the rest of your life have simply passed. The moment of a First Look allows you to control the scenario. It can be as intimate as just the bride and groom with the photographer in the background capturing the moment, or as fun and exciting with your whole bridal party watching. It all depends on the mood and emotion you are envisioning.
3) Allow your photographer creative freedom: Traditionally, portraits are taken during cocktail hour. That gives your photographer only 45 minutes to capture family portraits, bride and groom portraits and reception decor. When it comes to photography there are different factors to think about – if you are looking into having creative and romantic photos, the First Look will allow you the time to capture everything you have always dreamed of.
4) Additional time to enjoy the benefits of daylight photos: Natural light does not require a fancy set up or flashes. A photographer has the ability to play with the light and create the perfect setting. During the day, the photographs show the colors and textures of nature’s beauty which makes your memories look bright and vibrant as apposed to dark. However if night time photos is what you like having a first look will allow you to have the best of all worlds.
5) Time to relax before the ceremony: Allows time between photos and ceremony to freshen up and re-apply makeup if necessary. The reveal also adds time to your day by allowing a few minutes of freshening up and relaxing before walking down the aisle.
6) Make it worth your while: In some cultures, the bride and groom have to see each other before hand anyway to sign the marriage license together. So why not get the most out of it and see each other earlier to get amazing photos.
7) Extra time with your significant other: In a traditional wedding scenario, the bride and groom only spend the ceremony and reception together. Totalling up to 5 hours together. A First Look allows you a couple of extra hours together to enjoy on your big day.
8) The venue of your dreams: Have the choice of taking your portraits at a different location than the venue or hotel where you’re getting ready. If the picture spot of your dreams is out of budget or time frame, then a first look is the way to go. 100% of our New York City brides want portraits in Central Park which is usually not possible unless they do a first look.
9) Be the FUN Bridal party you see in magazines: Dedicate ample time for just your photos, family and bridal party photos. When group photos are taken during the “First look” time, it is more organized than if it is done after ceremony. This gives you the ability to inform family and bridal party members when and where to meet. It also gives you time with your bridal party for some fun and creative photos. After the ceremony, the area is busy with guests mingling and walking around. It can be distracting for the family members who need to be in photos which then leads to a delay of gathering everyone together.
10) Enjoy your cocktail hour: Not only does a First Look allow you extra time for photos with your significant other, but immediate family portraits can be done during that time as well. This way, the bride and groom can spend cocktail hour mingling with guests and thanking them for joining your wedding celebration. Usually, thanking guests takes place during the reception where the bride and groom spend almost all their time going from table to table. Joining cocktail hour not only allows you to eat, drink and relax but also allows you to fully enjoy the reception with your new spouse.
At the end of the day, it is all about enjoying time together as newlyweds and enjoying a day that goes by so quickly. Squeeze every fun second out of it and a First Look is definitely a step in that direction.
Recently we had the honor of mentoring the leading studio in Norway, Frost Studio, to show them our ways and our style, and to try to influence the Norwegian wedding industry to be a little riskier and sexier. We shot two weddings and some killer Rock The Dresses while there that I cannot wait to share with you all.
Today I want to share some of the images from one of the weddings. Stine and Alexander’s wedding in a forest in Fløyen, a beautiful mountain that overlooks the entire city of Bergen. I was actually with the groom not the bride which is unusual to me, and thus you will not see any getting ready portraits.
I cannot tell you what a pleasure it was to shoot this wedding with, teach and learn from Margrete and Kristin from Frost Studio. Shooting weddings with such different structure than what I’m used was definitely a treat, and breaking the mold of tradition was definitely a pleasure. I assure you this will not be the last time we shoot together!
Enjoy these portraits.
Since they were going to walk down the isle together anyway, I convinced them to do a first look a few minutes before ceremony.
a local a capella group performed during the ceremony and I gotta tell you, it was awesome!!!
Then on to the woods!!!!
Blue petty-coat imported from New Jersey.
One of my favorite shots from this wedding below…
I decided to do different post production on these two pictures. One a little darker and more “twilight” the other one a lil move vibrant.
Well there you have it. Just a few of the images from the wedding. I’ll be posting the other wedding soon as well as the Rock The Dresses and my over all impression and review of this AMAZING country and its beautiful people.
Congratulations Stine and Alexander I hope you enjoyed working with this crazy guy from Miami.
Everyone else, keep it locked here for more hotness soon….