Carina Photographics Guest Blog | First Looks

As wedding coordinators, we get asked quite frequently about photographers – how long to hire them for, what types of photos to ask for, timeline etc. One of the M A I N questions we are asked about is whether or not to do a First Look.  So we turned to one of our favorite photographers, Joanna Carina from Carina Photographics for her thoughts about including this in your day and decided we would share her advice with our favorite people!

To Look or Not to Look? Having a First Look on Your Wedding Day

One issue I see a lot of couples struggle with is if they should do a First Look, or if they should wait to see each other when they first walk down the aisle. As a wedding photographer, I have worked with couples in both scenarios. While both ways can work well, there are a few distinct advantages to going with a First Look prior to your wedding ceremony.

The First Look begins with some private time for just the two of you…alone. Unlike your walk down the aisle in a public arena where all eyes are focused on you, these private moments, where you see each other separately from the more formal portraits, are often extremely special for you both. You are able to exchange meaningful gifts, relax, and think about the moments to come. This quiet, contemplative time also serves as a break to calm your nerves. This pre-ceremony atmosphere creates a smooth, steady flow through the day’s events.

Not only are you in top form, but hair and makeup are still fresh and you are still comfortable in your wedding attire. Often times, wedding days and wedding wardrobes can be hot, so people look less and less fresh as the day moves on. Seeing each other in top form will happen if you choose to do your First Look right away.

After the First Look time has finished, we take some posed photos of the two of you. While we still refer to these photos as “posed”, rest-assured that we use our expertise to create images of you that look relaxed, natural and intimate. These photos are the ones that most often end up on walls and in prints or albums. We also take these photos privately, away from bridal party and family members, if possible, to continue to capture candid emotions and moments together.

Once your portrait time is finished, you are able to regroup with bridal party and family members and complete as much of your posed, formal group portraits as possible prior to your wedding ceremony. Once your ceremony is complete, you are then able to spend as much time as possible mingling with your guests and not forced to break into posed photos afterward while wishing you could be somewhere else.

All-in-all, including a First Look into your wedding day is an amazing experience, and one I highly recommend!

Special shout out to Joanna Carina for her insight on to look or not to look, letting us feature her on our blog + showcasing some of her A M A Z I N G photos! To learn more about Carina Photographics, check out her website: