Wedding Photos First Look | Wedding Photography Planning


Thinking About a First Look?

First look wedding photos are when a couple lay eyes on each other for the very first time on their big day. It can be an intense, emotional snapshot moment. Even though it’s a common practice in wedding photography, it’s still a big deal. So, as you’re getting closer to your special day, you’re likely thinking, “Should we go for those first-look wedding pics, or keep the suspense alive until I strut down that aisle for the grand reveal?”

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The Advantages of First Look Wedding Photos

  • Get a head start on family & wedding party photos afterwards.
    • Once the first look pictures are captured (which typically takes about 15 mins), you can transition into getting some of the family portraits and creative bridal party shots out of the way. That way after the ceremony you can focus on just your bride & groom photos. I recommend collaborating with your photographer ahead of time just to confirm the weather/lighting the day of as well as the location being utilized for the backdrop.
  • It offers some precious moments together.
    • For some couples, having a first look doesn’t take away from the ceremony at all. It can also help some couples shake off any anxious jitters before their ceremony. The emotions will be flowing regardless so if you want that special moment ahead of time with your partner, go for it!
  • One of a kind photo opportunity.
    • Weddings are all about intimate emotions, and a first look lets me freeze a couple in that uniquely organic moment. These photos have you both together in that raw moment.

The Disadvantages of First Look Wedding Photos

  • Getting ready earlier
    • You may need to start your day earlier just to accommodate all of the picture taking segments of your wedding day. Even though you are opting out of doing these first look wedding photos, you can still accomplish getting the individual group shots of the groomsmen & bridesmaids before the ceremony. I highly recommend sharing your schedule with your photographer to collaborating the best way to seemlessly integrate all of the picture taking segments into your day.
  • Factor In Lighting
    • Another important factor to consider is the lighting. Despite your photographer and videographer’s efforts to stay inconspicuous, they will still be present. First looks frequently take place during the day when outdoor lighting can be quite harsh. Therefore, you may want to prioritize dedicating a specific 15-minute window solely for first look photos. Afterwards, schedule the family portraits, wedding party photos, and bride and groom photos for after the ceremony, when the outdoor lighting is softer and more ideal.

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Keep in mind though that this “first look wedding photos decision” doesn’t have to be set in stone weeks before your wedding day. You can always change your mind…right up until your wedding day. Discuss with your photographer First Look options.

Every photographer has their unique approach to capturing your special day. When I first meet with engaged couples in Pittsburgh, I prioritize listening to their preferences and priorities in wedding planning. This initial discussion guides me in tailoring the wedding photography coverage to suit their needs. As you plan your wedding day events, please don’t hesitate to share any specific shots or ideas you have in mind for the pre-ceremony part of your day. Your input will assist me in determining the appropriate amount of time to allocate to this preparation phase of your day.


pittsburgh first look wedding photos couple

First Look Wedding Photos | Pittsburgh Wedding Planning