What I like most when I write on the blog is the fact that I usually say I’ve been through this. About every event, problem, the situation I probably would have a little story to tell you.
I find it normally, being a photographer, for your pants to break during a wedding. But did it happen to your assistant ruining her mascara, and two hours to pass before you noticed her? Or to trip over in front of everyone while they go out from the church?
What makes me wonder is – why did not anyone warned us before we made fools out of ourselves?
It happens the same in the case of the Frist Look session. In the early years only a small part of the grooms agreed to make First Look, so we had to become convincing in the education of the couples and then the wind started to beat in our favor.
So how do you get more First Look pictures in which the bride and groom see themselves before the ceremony? I will explain how we educate the grooms (attention WE EDUCATE, we DO NOT CONVINCE) and how you make them accept. It’s easier than you think.
In my experience there are two reasons why grooms do not want to make this First Look meeting;
1. They have no idea what’s going on during a First Look.
2. They know what it is but they are decided to see each other while the bride goes towards the altar.
For these two reasons, you have to be aware of one thing:
1. You cannot do absolutely anything if it is the second reason.
2. You must respect the decision made by the couple.
It’s their day and not yours and it does not matter what you think is better, the decision is theirs. You have to act as a professional and deliver the most beautiful photos of the wedding day.
How do I educate the grooms to make the First Look session?
First, you have to make sure that they understand what this is about. Sometimes they have no idea what you are talking about or are not sure if we make some unique photos. So if you explain them face-to-face, develop and explain them how this meeting will take place and what you need to do.
I use a template that I send in the email, template elaborated and reviewed over the years that informs them what First Look is and how we do it.
Here is the essence of this email:
I will explain to them that I will choose a beautiful place, linen with the perfect light, and we will put the groom with his back towards the place from where the bride comes.
I will arrange the bride’s dress to look amazing (the dress and hair in the perfect place, the bouquet, and the makeup) and I will withdraw myself using the lenses to give them intimate space. Then the groom will return and will see his beautiful bride for the first time.
After telling them that we’ll let them alone for 10 minutes, just to look and interact – they’ll laugh, cry and will be natural together.
The groom will have enough space and freedom to show his emotions, to talk about their day and to encompass it.
The bride will show him her wonderful dress and will laugh among the tears of joy.
It’s all in an intimate moment of the grooms.
Who would want to spend the most important day of his life without the one who loves?
In the email, there are links that send the grooms to the First Look session portfolios in order to help them make a clear idea of what kind of photos they will have.
How is it with going to the altar?
The first reason why they do not want to make the First Look is that they will spoil the mystery before she goes to the altar. This meeting will take the whole charm.
I tell them that they are right – going to the altar is very important – but they do not realize that nothing will be taken from the charm in which they see themselves for the first time at the altar. Nothing will affect the charm when she walks to the altar to marry the man of her life. NOTHING!
I’m addressing the brides that the moment will be strong, the First Look emotion has dissipated, now it’s better and more real than ever. Reach truly true to the altar.
They already have laughed, cried and hugged and so they became free to focus on the ceremony itself instead of being anxious to see each other.
Even this idea has made some grooms to change their mind, especially those who are shy to show themselves off in form of so many people.
Also, being married, I have a greater perception of putting myself in their place and explaining the advantages of this meeting.
Remember! It’s their choice.
Remember that no matter what, if a couple decides to wait until the altar to see themselves, you have to respect their decision and you do not talk about it from that moment on. You have educated them and you made them aware of the photographic constraints that a sort of decision generates, so it’s your duty to make those constraints. Still, I was surprised how many couples did not know what a First Look session means and how special it may be.
So try it and tell me how it was. Does anyone have any more tips on how to educate the grooms for the First Look photo?
Tell me in a comment.