Tips for the First Look - mintmagnoliaphotography.com

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I'm Magan!

Wife, mama, and educator obsessed with chick-fil-a mac & cheese and dry shampoo.

An entrepreneur since the ripe old age of 5 when I would sell a single cracker with spreadable cheese from my lunch box for $0.25. 

I have built a successful photography business while working for a decade in the insurance industry. 

I hold my Masters in Education and love to teach. So it is no secret that I would teach from all I have learned along the way.

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Tips for the First Look

first look tips

First looks have continued to become increasingly popular, and for good reason! The couple gets even more shots of the bride with her groom. A first look also provides the couple time with just the two of them to be together on their day with no one else around (except for their photographer of course!).

What if they don’t want a first look?

I sometimes have a bride and groom that are adamant about not seeing one another until she walks down the aisle. And I totally understand. It’s a long-standing tradition, and there is something special about a groom’s face when he sees her for the first time. However, I do still get TONS of emotional groom images from the bride walking down the aisle. Even though they saw each other for a first look before, that moment is THE moment. There’s just something about the whole scene: music playing as she enters, and the raw emotions that come along with seeing his bride and knowing that this is the moment their hearts join as one.

Recommend a First Look

I always recommend my couples do a first look, even when they are on the fence. I tell them all of the things I listed above and have a conversation to highly encourage a first look. More often than not, they opt for the first look and I have never had anyone say they regret it!

Tips & Tricks

I’m going to share some tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way to achieve successful First Looks. I hope you will find them helpful! Enjoy!

Step One: First Look Location

private first look location

This should be private and quiet away from the hustle and bustle. Avoid places where guests will be arriving, vendors are setting up, or the wedding party and families are hanging out. The space should have nice, even lighting, a decent area to walk around. Pro Tip: Always have a backup location. Every now and then something can change with the original location – especially if you picked it out a couple of hours prior and the sun has changed causing the lighting and shadows to change.

Step Two: Prepping the Couple

Tell them what to expect, explain to the bride what you want her to do and the groom as well. You want to make sure these instructions are very clear and easy to understand. This allows you to capture the exact moments the way you need to.

  1. How it will happen
  2. Have them take their time
  3. Be the Phantom Photographer. They know I’m there, but I’ll be out of the way so they can have their own special moment together. I want them to be comfortable and just be themselves together.

Step Three: Your Angle

If you have the luxury of having a 2nd shooter with you, you are going to want to capture from both views. One shooter behind the bride as she walks up to him and the other with the wide angle shot to include both typically from the side.

Step Four: Let them Enjoy the Moment

make the first look all about the couple

Let them enjoy these moments together. Don’t rush the couple, and don’t bark orders at them. This is why clear instructions from the beginning is so critical. So you can capture those beautiful candid moments and capture their true love for one another.

For more tips on all things photography, make sure you bookmark Mint Magnolia Photography check out the other posts on my blog!

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