Capturing the Emotion of a Wedding Day: How to Photograph a First Look

How To Shoot It May 14th 2014 3:23 PM 4 Comments

Wedding season has started all around the country and countless couples will be saying “I Do.” The best part: you will be there to capture the emotion that embodies a wedding day. One trend that has become popular in the past decade are First Looks. First looks allow you to capture the sheer joy of a couple seeing each for the first time on their wedding day in a controlled setting, before the bride walks down the aisle. The First Look can evoke high levels of emotion. In the B & H sponsored video below, Joe Buissink tells us how he sets up an emotional first look and captures timeless images.

REWIND: CONVINCING CLIENTS TO DO A FIRST LOOK

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Technique

There are endless ways to shoot a first look, but Joe’s is one that can easily be used in your own work. By positioning himself behind the bride, Joe is able to capture the groom’s facial expressions extremely well, while allowing his second shooter to capture the bride’s emotion. Ending the first look with the couple embracing is a nice final touch.

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Thoughts

Joe does a great job explaining his technique, giving you a good base to go off of if one of your couples would like to do a first look. I agree with Joe’s statement, that, while setting up a first look is not photojournalistic, it does help to tell the story of the day. I think the raw emotion of a first look is beautiful,timeless, and something I think every couple will love, even if you have to sell the idea to the more traditional couple.

 Via: B and H Youtube Channel/ Images via screencaps

 

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Chris Nachtwey

About

Chris Nachtwey is a full-time wedding and portrait photographer based in Connecticut. He is the founder and creator of 35to220 a website dedicated to showcasing the best film photography in the world. Chris loves to hear from readers, feel free to drop him a line via the contact page on his website! You can see his work here: Chris Nachtwey Photography

4 Comments

  1. Juha Sompinmäki

    Excellent advice here. I’ve been doing this pretty much the same way, except I’m rarely working with second shooters, so at some time I need to flip to the other side to get expression from both of them.

    • Chuck Eggen

      I’ll be doing the same. One man show. Maybe I should consider a second shooter.

  2. JZ

    This is great Advice and I will use it. However in the video he says he is “talking” to the groom but in the article says “By positioning himself behind the bride, Joe is able to capture the groom’s facial expressions extremely well, while allowing his second shooter to capture the bride’s emotion. Ending the first look with the couple embracing is a nice final touch.”

    Maybe the roles are swithed?

    Either way I’m going to work up the next groom.

  3. Ant

    Love the idea of this but it seems something that only happens in America, never seen it happen in the UK. First time Bride and Groom see each other is the ceremony as that’s traditional, hope it take off over here!

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