A first-look shoot is a unique and intimate moment shared by the bride and groom before their wedding ceremony. It is a time for them to see each other for the first time on their special day in a private setting, away from the guests. As a photographer, I have had the privilege of capturing many first-look shoots, and in this article, I will explain what goes into planning one and what to expect on the day.

Typically, a first look takes about 15-30 minutes from start to finish. While the actual first look moment only lasts a few minutes, setting up the location and getting the couple ready can take some time depending on the venue..

The first step in planning a first-look shoot is to choose a location. The location should be chosen based on the couple's preference and should provide a private and intimate setting. The ideal location should have ample natural light and a beautiful backdrop that complements the couple's style and theme. If it's a sunny day, look for shading outdoors, such as under a large tree.

Once the location is chosen, the next step is to plan the timing. The timing of the first look should be well-coordinated with the overall wedding timeline. The couple should have enough time to get ready and arrive at the location before the shoot. As a photographer, I recommend allocating 30 minutes for the first look, including time it takes to get in position (travel time) and a quick portrait shot after.

On the day, the couple should be prepared to get emotional. It's a special moment, and it's natural to feel overwhelmed with emotion. I encourage the couple to take their time and enjoy the moment, and I capture their reactions in real-time.

During the first-look shoot, I typically take a few basic portraits of the couple. These portraits are often simple and candid, capturing the raw emotions and reactions of the couple. I encourage the couple to be themselves and enjoy the moment. These portraits are usually different from the ones taken during the main portrait session later in the day.

After the first-look shoot, the couple should have enough time to freshen up before the ceremony.

A first-look shoot is a beautiful and intimate moment that requires careful planning and coordination. It's a time for the bride and groom to share a special moment and capture beautiful memories. As a photographer, I ensure that the couple feels comfortable and relaxed, capturing their emotions in real-time. With the right location and timing, the first-look shoot can be a wonderful addition to any wedding.