When clients ask if I shoot First Looks the answer is always “yes!” I love First Looks for any couple. They help take away from day of stressors, give the couple time to spend together, and give the photographer time to capture a few stunning portraits while your clients are being super cute together. It’s a pretty good combination.

To give your clients the best experience possible, there are a few things you can do to help inspire their confidence in appearing on camera. I hope you enjoy my list of First Look Instructions for Your Clients.

Step One:

Talk to your clients about the First Look the day before or a few days before. If they have a location in mind, check it out. Be sure to leave the conversation agreeing on the location. This will save you time on the day of their ceremony!

First Look Fall Wedding

Jesse & Brad’s September Farmyard Wedding in Drayton Valley, Alberta

Step Two

Determine with your couple how they envision the First Look unfolding. Be sure that if you imagine the bride walking up to the groom, that it aligns with their vision. They may want things the other way around. Double check so that you don’t railroad their experience.

First Look October Wedding Edmonton Alberta

Roya & Farhad’s romantic October Edmonton Wedding

Step Three

Let them know that it’s ok! They don’t have to remember everything. You’ll provide them with specific instructions before the first look and set them up in the perfect spot that they have picked out. Remind them that it’s their experience/moment and that while you will be there the next day, they can take as much or as little time as they want. Inspire that confidence!

First Look

Veronica & Arlan’s December Wedding

Step Four

On the day of be specific with your instructions. I recommend setting the groom up at the location first. Give him instructions something along the lines of “I’m going to leave you alone for a few minutes and go find your beautiful bride. You’ll hear both of us walking towards you. Keep staring at that tree/object/whatever until you hear her voice or feel her touch.” I then abandon the groom and go find the bride. We walk towards the location together and go through a mini pep talk/instructions “ok, he’s there waiting for you, when you get close and you’re ready, let him know you’re there.” Then I scurry away some distance and let magic unfold.

Fall Wedding Photos First Look

Alison & Oliver’s October Edmonton Wedding

Step Five

Let things flow! Take the shots you need without being intrusive. Keep an eye on your couple, they may look to you for guidance after a few minutes, but don’t interrupt their moment. Once they’re ready and they start to look to you for instruction, take advantage of this time to capture portraits of them in all their giddiness. Have fun with it 🙂

Groom First Look

Katie &  Terry’s August Camrose Wedding


Hi, my name is Janelle, I’m an photographer hailing from Edmonton Alberta. Life is good if I can spend my time traveling to breathtaking destinations that inspire and make my heart feel lighter. If I can go there with an adventurous couple, that’s the making of an awesome story and touching images. I LOVE to travel and share my experiences with the world. I value authenticity and touching moments over a big production.