Ahh, the joys of first looks and perfect wedding timelines
I have shot a select few weddings that could not have gone better timeline-wise. It is absolutely refreshing when it happens because it allows me to fully do my job and it allows the bride and groom to relax and simply be along for the ride. In contrast, weddings with messy or tight timelines will create a wedding day full of frenzied emotions and frazzled brides. A lot of this comes down to trust: when a bride knows that she can trust me, she is free to take my advice when it comes to the timeline and she is free to just be a bride - not a wedding coordinator.
The best work I do happens when a bride places a big emphasis on photography for her wedding day. There’s nothing I love more than when a bride and groom value their wedding photos.
A couple of amazing weddings come to mind when I look back on the 50+ weddings I have photographed. At both of these weddings, they decided to do a first look so they could get most of the pictures done before the ceremony. We were able to get all of the wedding party pictures done beforehand as well as complete the family pictures (and we were able to take a ton of shots - not the usual 3 or 4 poses). Both also decided to leave their reception for about 20 minutes to take sunset pictures as bride and groom. Let me tell you - I do my very best work (as I’m sure most photographers do) when I don’t feel rushed. Since I knew that excellent photography was a big priority for these couples, I knew that I had all of the time in the world to slow down, relax, and create some really memorable photos for them.
I could also see that they felt comfortable. It’s pretty obvious to me when a couple does not feel completely at ease during a photo session. Having a set-aside time for photos with just the bride and groom eases a lot of that discomfort and totally banishes any feelings of being rushed.
You may feel that if you do a first look, all you will be doing on your wedding day is taking photos and you will be tuckered out. I think the opposite is true. I could tell that these particular couples were having so much fun on their wedding day! They even got a chance to relax for 30 minutes before the ceremony. I would never push a couple into doing a first look - I didn’t do one on my own wedding day- but I will always extol the virtues of it.
I love, love, love working with couples that trust me. That trust, combined with a great timeline with *hopefully* a first look, allows me to do my job well - creating wedding images that you will want to hang on your wall and show your grandkids one day.