Is The “First Look” Becoming The New Wedding Tradition?

If you don’t live and breathe wedding photography (like I do) or gotten married in the last 5 years, you might not be familiar with the term “First Look”. It is a trending topic that is hotly debated among future brides and wedding photographers. Essentially, it is an orchestrated meeting of the bride and groom before the ceremony. Gasp! Yes, I said BEFORE! This is a special time where the bride and groom spend time alone to take in the moment AND each other. All while being documented, which produces some intense emotional images by the photographer.

Now, I know what you are thinking…”Isn’t it bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony”? Or maybe, you think it will have less of an effect the first time he sees you coming down the aisle? These are all valid points…and there is no right or wrong, just preference. So, I have put together a few pros vs. cons to demonstrate the key points:

– More time for romantics! This is a big advantage because the more time I have with the bride and groom, the more creative we can get with the location, poses, etc.
– Family members get to enjoy cocktail hour since all family formals are taken beforehand
– The bride and groom get to enjoy cocktail hour a bit (with the traditional timeline, you are shooting the whole cocktail hour)
– We don’t have to try to squeeze family formals, all the bridal party together, and all the romantics into cocktail hour. With a traditional timeline, this usually causes a feeling of being rushed and usually results in less time for pictures of the bride and groom together. It may even result in missing the chance to shoot during the golden hour (the last hour before sunset and best light/most “romantic light”
– Once the ceremony is over, the bride and groom just have to worry about getting more shots of the two of them and then party time! There is definitely more “flow” in this sort of timeline.
– Make-up and hair look “fresher” in the images shot before the ceremony (this is especially true in the hot summer months)
-Disappointing parents?
-Wanting to share the first look with all of your guest and family
And here is the photographic evidence:
photo courtesy Jasmine Star

(clockwise from top left: sourcesourcesourcesourcesource)

photos courtesy Katie Day Photo

Pinterest Is Changing The Way We Plan Our Weddings

I spend so much time on Pinterest that it is like a committed relationship. Maybe more like an unhealthy, dependent crush. But seriously, I’m a tad bit addicted. In my “Pinterest Fantasy World”, I have decorated my virtual living room a million times over in the most decadent interiors on the planet. Food? Yep, I have more recipes than Paula Deen and Martha Stewart combined. Fashionable Clothes? Check. (move over Anna Wintour). My virtual life even has a place for all of the exotic traveling I do including a five-star underwater hotel in Dubai and hot-air balloon rides over Africa.
And then there is the board titled, “Wedding Inspiration”. In all seriousness this is the one that means business. Gone are the days of dog-earring pages in a bridal magazine or making collages on a poster board. This is sophisticated and EASY! All of the details of your big day can be organized into categorically neat “boards.” One for dresses, one for cakes, another for flowers…and even photography. And as a wedding photographer, this is a god-send. The benefits can work two ways. First, a potential bride has an opportunity to see what personal style a photographer has before hiring them. And yes, this matters. The second way Pinterest is beneficial is for photographers to visually gain insight into the bride’s taste. The bride can even pin photographs with certain poses or props that they would like to see in their wedding photography. This is invaluable to a wedding photographer and helps ensure all of the expectations are met on the bride’s big day.
If you haven’t tried Pinterest yet…give it a whirl. You will be glad you did. I know I won’t be breaking up anytime soon.

Erin+Mike Engagement Session-Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

I met Erin and Mike at the OK Bridal Show in July and they had my attention right from the start. I share a lot in common with them…they love shoes, soccer, they were funny and they liked hanging out in Midtown. So when we booked their engagement session, it was a no-brainer to do the shoot on 9th street where the couple spends most of their “date nights”. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect and these two were a blast hanging out with. I am really looking forward to the October wedding.

How Important Are Engagement Shoots?

Ahhhh….the engagement shoot. There are so many different styles. Classic, silly, cute, smitten…I mean, I have even seen some as steamy as that hot cologne ad with Victoria and David Beckham. But, no matter the content, the purpose is to document the couples love and promising future that lies ahead of them. But, there are some other reasons engagement sessions can be beneficial.

-First, a chance to get to know your photographer. This is so important. You have too many things to think about on your big day, let alone wondering if you will “click” with your photographer.  This is a no brainer.

-Second, you and your fiance will have a better understanding of how things will go on the actual wedding day. Everything from posing to the speed in which your photographer works. And on the flip side, your photographer will get a better understanding of your expectations.

-And lastly, you get to see the photographer’s work before the actual wedding. It’s like taking that sports car out for a test drive on the Autobahn before you buy.

And if you can’t afford to spring for the engagement session (which this single mom totally understands), at the very least try and meet them for dinner or even coffee. There are only a few things that actually live on past the actual wedding date….the dress, the rings and the photographs. Make sure you pick someone who will tell your story the way in which you want it told.


OK Bridal Show Success

This past Sunday I participated in The OK Bridal show at The Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. This was my first Bridal Show, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I went all out on the look of my booth. I wanted it to really represent my personality and my style. Mission accomplished. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out…and from all of the positive feedback from the brides and other vendors was priceless.

I leave you with a picture of the booth. A special thanks to my mom, Marilyn and my friend Nicci. I couldn’t have done it without them.