What’s a “first look”?

What’s a first look? A first look is a private reveal of you & your fiance(e) to each other. It happens before the ceremony and can be personalized in so many ways!

My thoughts on the topic…

My top priority is for you to have good photos. If a first look means more time to capture you and your people in a beautiful location, I’m on board! If not having a first look means we take photos later in the day with better lighting? Great! You’ll have less photos, but they’ll be killer.

There is NO PRESSURE for you to chose a first look. It completely depends on the couple and the logistics of the day. What’s important is whether it’s right for you.

Some ways to personalize:

  1. Blind fold one or both of you
  2. Stand back-to-back and turn to see each other at the same time
  3. Hold hands around a corner, then reveal yourselves at the same time
  4. Have someone special escort you
  5. Share your personal vows at this time

PROS for a first look

  • Less crammed for time
  • We aren’t all hot & sweaty yet
  • It’s a completely private moment. JUST FOR YOU.
  • You get more time with your guests. Maybe even join your own cocktail hour!

CONS for a first look

  • Harsh lighting can sometimes be an issue
  • Heat. We’re simply out taking photos in the warmest part of the day.

Here are some thoughts from a past couple who did a first look:

“Having a first look meant that the wedding and reception flowed together perfectly, there was no awkward gap where our friends and family were left milling around while we took all our photos. You lose the reveal in your ceremony, but if anything it makes that moment more magical, having already seen your beautiful bride all dressed up you can focus on the commitment you are about to make to each other.” – Casey, groom

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San Luis Obispo Wedding photographer specializes in destination weddings across all of California and beyond, Jessica Sofranko Photography, established in 2009

I document love stories, without exception.

All races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and identities welcomed and celebrated.


When life brings you lemons, make whiskey sours.


(805) 305-1427

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