Images can speak louder than words when it comes to educating a couple on why they should plan for a First Look (also known as a Reveal Moment), whichever you wish to call it.  As wedding photographers, we understand the benefit of having a first look. To refresh, here are a few:

  • Make up and Hair are Fresh – If you’re starting the couples session 5 hours into the day, there’s a chance makeup or hair could be out of place.
  • More Time for Portraits of the Couple – If you’re trying to squeeze in all family portraits, bridal party pictures and couples session after the ceremony, you might be racing the sunset.
  • Two different lighting scenarios – If you have a daytime session after the first look and a sunset/night time session in the evening, you’ll get a wide variety of images and moods.
  • Amazing Moments – The first look has the potential to create some of the best emotion from the day.

Sometimes couples have already decided they will be traditional.  Sometimes the groom has been envisioning seeing his bride for the first time walking down the aisle – surprising me that they had actually had a vision for their day.  If you’re a photographer who sees the value in your couples having a first look and hopes to convince your couple to do a First Look, here are a few ways to sell it:

  • Have a blog post already written with a collage of First Look moments that you can easily refer to.
  • If you can, have a PDF already printed in your wedding contract/proposal/agreement that explains a first look. Having a tangible piece makes it easy to pass along to the groom if he doesn’t have the time to go online and read your blog post.
  • If you did a First Look for your own wedding, explain why you chose to do so. Or if didn’t have one but were to do it over again, why you would include a first look.
  • Don’t force it – simply ask if they have decided on it, and as an experienced wedding photographer, the benefits you see.  If many of your couples have decided on doing one, explain why that is and the difference you have seen in the way the day flows.
  • If you are a natural light photographer, explain that if they decide on a sunset ceremony time, their portraits will be captured using artificial flash – so what they are hiring you for may not be the look you deliver.
  • Present them with two timelines – one with a first look, and one without so they can see the flow of the day.

I’ve had “traditional” couples change their mind as I explain what happens during a First Look.  I’ve even had clients’ eyes swell with tears as I explained the process.  So if you can explain it and show your clients you are doing it in their best interest, they will trust you with why you believe it’s a good decision to make.  Whether your couple decides to go with a First Look, what is most important is that they feel educated and good about the decision they make so you can feel confident that you are delivering what your clients expect.