Perla Photography | First Looks. A private moment filled with emotions

First Looks

First looks are an American trend that is now taking over worldwide where couples choose to break the rule of seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day during the ceremony in favour of capturing the first look moment. In other words, a first look is a moment staged by the photographer that takes place a couple of hours before the ceremony, where the bride and the groom see each other for the first time on their wedding day. It is usually set in a private place away from family and friends to capture that moment just for the couple.


First looks are a MUST for winter weddings for one main obvious reason: light! If your ceremony is in the afternoon, by the time the registry is signed, the sun is gone and there is no time left for couple and bridal images. So for all our couples that get married in May, June, July and August we STRONGLY recommend having their portraits taken before the ceremony. Don’t be afraid of having your portraits taken around 2pm.. in winter, light is ALWAYS nice!


You’re investing a lot into your wedding photography. With a first look, you’ll receive 40% MORE portraits of the two of you… In fact, if you are getting married in summer, a first look should NOT replace your couple and bridal session after the ceremony but should be considered an addition to it. Do you want to know why? LIGHT. Yes, yet again, light. Everything we do is based around light. If you want images that are true “Perla Photography style” the later the images are taken, the better the light, the better the quality of the images you will receive. If you are planning a first look in summer, at around 1/2/3/4 pm this will need to take place under the shade of a tree, or a building… because you don’t want harsh lights and shadows on your face (this applies only if it is a sunny day). After the ceremony, and close to sunset we can literally go wherever you want because the sun is low, the light is creamy and velvety… your skin is super smooth… can you tell how much we love sunset? So now, all of a sudden you have 2 portraits session in one day with 2 different feels! How amazing!


First Looks allow you to be TOGETHER and alone on your wedding day. Believe me, you won’t have much time after the ceremony ends.. you will be pulled left and right by all the guests and when the night ends you will look into your new husband’s eyes and say: “so, how was the wedding?” hahahahahahah

and the cons…


If you want your husband to have that long-awaited reaction in front of all the guests to see… then, first looks are not for you! First looks are private and intimate, a moment just for the 2 of you.. and yes, sorry, we will be there too!


If you are getting married in summer, as written above, first looks should NOT replace the traditional bridal and couple session after the ceremony. They are an addition to the day. So if your timeline is tight and you don’t want to add 1/2 hours of couple images, then first looks are not for you. First looks also mean that you will need to be ready 1/2 hours before the actual ceremony so everything will move a lot earlier.. especially if you have a big bridal party!

THE DADDY/DAUGHTER FIRST LOOK.. a different sort of first look..

This is for all of the brides who have a sweet spot in their heart for their dad. I have to admit that Daddy/Daughter first looks make me a little teary. For a lot of dads, this is when everything feels real and it hits him… “My baby girl is getting MARRIED!” These are precious moments to photograph and I highly encourage any daddy’s girl to make time in their timeline for this moment. It doesn’t take long at all! The hardest part is making sure dad shows up on time! If dad doesn’t show up on time, the whole timeline can get thrown off, or we’ll have to skip the daddy/daughter first look. Another sweet idea we’ve seen is having the father of the bride escort the bride to her first look! If you wish to incorporate a daddy/daughter first look let us know in advance because we will need more time for the bridal prep.