Brian Gluys of 222 Photography shares his thoughts on the first-look photo.

The first look is controversial-tradition, after all, says the groom is supposed to wait to see his bride until the ceremony-but it's also a huge time-saver on an already hectic day. So, first-look photos: yay or nay?


OK … why?

The first look is the perfect opportunity to be still, quiet and relaxed with your fiance before things get moving. Honestly, if for nothing else, I strongly encourage couples to think of a first look as a couple of hours in their crazy day to slow down and be with one another; be fully present without the hustle, timing and logistics of the wedding.

Yes, it allows for extra time for pictures and creativity in composing powerful images, but it also provides a much more intimate setting for the groom to first see his bride. He isn't down an aisle in front of hundreds of people but rather in relative solitude with the one person to which he's committing both the day and his life. This setting allows for emotion to present itself. From there, pictures take on a breath of life-the images become unique, meaningful and absolutely impactful.

Aside from the personal and emotional aspect of a first look it may also make sense logistically. Fall and winter weddings mean less daylight, and a first look allows time earlier in the day to fully utilize the available daylight for outdoor photography. Regardless of the season and depending on a couple's schedule, the earlier first look and subsequent portraits may make more sense.

There is something to be said for the anticipation and tradition. But, I think when we look back through our archives and review the most profound moments, we find that it often is during a first look.

Either choice is a good one. The choice solely lies on the couple and what fits best for them and their wedding.