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  • Writer's pictureSupriya Thukral

What is a "First Look?"

When Marcello and I set out to photograph Alicia and Adam's wedding at the Peel Art Gallery, Museum + Archives (also called PAMA), we could not be more excited! This building is essentially Brampton's courthouse from 1867, and it is GORGEOUS! If you are history buffs like Alicia and Adam, you would understand why PAMA was the perfect setting for their wedding. More importantly, for their wedding, we had access to most of the buildings, including their gorgeous second-floor boardroom.

Alicia and Adam's first look at PAMA Courthouse, Brampton

So, what exactly is a first look?

A first look is an intimate time during the wedding day, when the couple to be married has a chance to see each other before the ceremony.

We're huge fans of the first look. The practicality of time aside, if you are nervous, seeing your partner before walking down the aisle will ease some of that anxiety - emotions have a way of translating into photos. That's not to say that the ceremony will not be intimate or emotional. Still, the difference is, when you walk down the aisle separately, we don't get the chance to photograph the couple together, right at the moment they first see each other.

Location, Location, Location

I guess you know what's coming up: location is everything! Because we're mostly natural light photographers, we love setting the tone of the wedding day with bright photos, that have a romantic feel for them. Lighting is a huge factor in the photos you see here:

The location that you choose for the first look should be somewhere where the two of you can be comfortable, somewhere that you have already scouted out before, and know is beautiful.

On the wedding day, having two photographers is fantastic! Marcello has a unique way of capturing the scene. Because I'm usually the one directing my couples, they don't particularly focus on Marcello, and he can capture those in-between moments that I may not be able to see directly from another angle.

Brides will often choose to do a first look with their fathers, as well. More often than not, wedding days are very emotional for parents, and the first look is just another way to capture these emotions.

Another huge perk to doing a first look is that you can be super flexible with time and get all the couple photos done before any of the waterworks begin. And, more importantly, so that you are not rushed through any family and bridal party photos. You could even join your cocktail hour, and start partying with your friends and family! One of my former brides says, "doing a first look allowed us to hang out with our friends and family directly after the ceremony."

With Alicia and Adam's wedding, the time line was so perfect, that we were able to recreate some shots from their engagement session, and take many, many creative shots at the beautiful venue they had booked!

What are your thoughts?

Should you have a first-look, or should you see each other down the aisle?

Leave us any of your comments or questions below!

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