A first look is something that has existed in wedding photography for some time, albeit it not quite in the United Kingdom just yet. This is something that came into existence about a decade ago in the United States and is slowly making it's way across the pond, although it's still very rare.
So what is a first look I hear you ask? Well it's pretty much what it says on the tin.
Picture the scene, you're a wedding photographer in a church or civil ceremony service room and the aisle is long, with the bride about to make her entrance some 30+ metres away from you. She's going to walk in, and for the first time on her wedding day, look at the groom who will be looking back. He's going to be seeing the bride in her wedding dress for the first time, and she's waiting to see his reaction. Maybe he'll laugh, maybe he'll cry, it's always an unknown as there's so many emotions in the air when it comes to weddings.
The trouble is, you're a photographer at the front of the room and now the groom is looking back towards the bride. All you can see of him is the back of his head. This is where a first look comes into it's own; you can control the environment in which the bride and groom see each other for the first time on their wedding day, and you can make sure you are ideally placed to photograph the reactions of both people. This is what Ben and Le-Anne chose to do on my guidance, and it worked wonderfully. At the time I had a second photographer with me who was capturing Ben's reaction as I was busy shooting Le-Anne. Her reaction was absolutely priceless and the setting was gold too. She was so excited to see her soon-to-be husband all dressed up that she came running forwards, scooping up her wedding dress to make her way down the steps towards him.
For maximum subject separation I shot this with a Nikon 200mm f/2 lens which is in itself an absolute beast of a chunk of glass. It weighs a couple of kilos and it the size of a small dog. But when it comes to creating images like this, there's really nothing else quite like it on earth. The lens compresses the background in such a way that it makes your subject stand out as if they have been photoshopped back into the scene.