First Look Photo Session: Pros and Cons

By, May 18, 2023

At True Photography, we’ve had the privilege of capturing countless first look photo sessions. We understand that the decision to have a first look photo session on your wedding day can be a difficult one. That’s why we’ve put together this post to help you weigh the pros and cons of this popular wedding trend.

First Look Photo Sessions:

San Diego wedding first look photo session photographed by True Photography


  1. More Time for Photos: Having a first look photo session before the ceremony allows us to capture more photos of you and your partner. This extra time also allows us to take advantage of the best lighting conditions of the day, resulting in even more stunning photos.
  2. Intimate Moment: A first look is a private moment between you and your partner, away from the hustle and bustle of the wedding day. It’s a chance for you to share a special moment together. Additionally we are able to capture those emotions in a more intimate setting.
  3. Reduced Stress: Seeing your partner before the ceremony can help to ease any nerves or anxiety you may be feeling. It can also help to reduce the stress of the day, allowing you to fully enjoy the ceremony and reception.


  1. Tradition: For some couples, the idea of seeing each other before the ceremony goes against tradition. If you or your partner feel strongly about adhering to tradition, then a first look photo session may not be for you.
  2. Timing: Adding a first look photo session to your wedding day timeline can add extra time and planning. This can be challenging if you have a tight schedule or a large bridal party.
  3. Missing Out on the Aisle Moment: Some couples prefer to save the first look for the aisle moment. Seeing each other for the first time as you walk down the aisle can be an emotional and memorable moment. With first look photos that moment could be missed.

Ultimately, the decision to have a first look photo session is a personal one. Overall that choice should reflect your unique style and preferences. At True Photography, we work closely with each of our clients. We always ensure that our clients wedding photography captures the essence of their love story, whether or not they choose to have a first look photo session. Check out our first look photo gallery for more inspiration.


To the Moon and Back | Photo of the Week

By, November 17, 2017

During Anna Marie and Scott’s wedding reception, we noticed the full moon rise above San Diego. We knew we had to pull these two out for a couple photo, and they were more than happy to oblige! To achieve this shot, we used a telephoto lens and external lighting, and the result was this stunning image. Enjoy our Photo of the Week :)Moonlight night shot

Check out more of Anna Marie and Scott’s amazing wedding photography


Second Thoughts on a First Look

By, July 21, 2017

For many couples, the ‘first look’ is a huge highlight of the wedding day. The reactions are magical when a wedding couple is ridiculously in love, and setting eyes on each other for the first time! Especially during winter months, when sunset is early, a first look helps to ensure amazing portraits are captured during daylight hours. It is also useful when time is tight later in the day, the venue has a variety of scenic backgrounds, or there are multiple locations involved.

Bride covers grooms eyes for their first look on a bridge
One great way to reveal is to stand behind your beloved, cover their eyes, and take a moment to chat and laugh before facing each other.
Groom turns around and reacts to his Bride
First Look
Bride tip toes around blindfolded groom
The blindfold is another fun way to have some interaction before the big reveal.
Bride taps groom's shoulder
Bride and groom hold hands for their no look first look
Groom looks at his bride with awe from top to bottom
Groom admires his brides dress from the back
Groom anxiously waits to see his bride for the first time
Bride sneaks up on groom for their first look
Groom temderly kisses his bride after first look
Groom turns around to see bride
Groom reactions to seeing bride
Groom smiles with glee when he sees his bride
Bride and groom enjoy a moment for first look
Even with a first look, we recommend reserving time for couple photos after the ceremony, as the light is often very nice at that time. That way, you have beautiful portraits together in both daylight and evening settings
Groom tear up when he sees his bride
Groom overwhelmed by emotion
Groom laughs with tears of joy when he sees bride
Bride full of emotions after their first look

The first look can be private and intimate, reserved for the nearly-weds only. Or family and friends can be invited to participate in a more elaborate sneak peek. Or, if you prefer to remain traditional, you can wait until the ceremony to see each other. No matter how you do it, we’ll be there to capture that very first breathtaking moment!

Here are a few more tips to ensure the first look is a success:

  1. Make sure that you are running on time or are early. If you are rushed, you may feel stressed! Going into the first look, we want you to be relaxed. It is important to be able to take a deep breath, and to really absorb the moment.
  2. If you plan on doing pictures with the family after the first look, make sure they are also early/on-time. Consider telling everyone to arrive 15 minutes too early :) But tell one family member on each side the real time, so when you have not yet arrived, they understand why.
  3. Give the wedding party (especially bridesmaids) an earlier time to be ready than necessary, as well as the hair/makeup artists.
  4. From tips 1-3, you may have gotten the idea that being ready early (or at least on-time) will have a very positive impact on your photographs. It starts the day off right!

For a longer look at the first look, check out our full gallery of first look wedding photos.

San Diego Wedding Photographer

Wedding Photography San Diego

For over twenty years, True Photography has set the standard among San Diego wedding photographers for innovative, stylish, and timeless imagery. As well, when you are seeking a San Diego corporate event photographer, True Photography leads the way with creative and powerful event photography. Each photographer is hand selected for their creativity, technical knowledge, and charismatic personality. We invite you to view each portfolio, and select the photographer who will best capture your vision for your big event. Your San Diego Wedding Photographer – your San Diego Event Photographer – True Photography. Whether it’s San Diego Wedding Photography or San Diego headshots, or San Diego Events, True Photography will deliver. Check availability: [email protected]

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