First Looks are amazing to capture.
It is essential the photographer have the right equipment and be able to use it to capture this once in a life moment.
It is also essential the photographer not make an ass of themselves by ruining the moment by making themselves the central part of the ceremony- it is about the couple so stay the hell out of the way!
I position myself halfway down on the brides side. I will photograph her entering the church, then turn quickly for a couple of shots of the groom. Then it’s back on the bride as she gets closer to me. I will stay on her until she passes me before I finish the sequence out.
It takes about 2 minutes and you have to nail it.
I use 2 cameras during the sequence. The 70-200mm is used first to capture when she enters and to get his look. Then I switch quickly to a 50 mm to photograph her as she nears me. I will use the 50mm until she just passes me before I switch a 3rd time for the final shot.
Then I will grab the 70-200 again to compose my favorite shot which is the groom’s face framed by the bride’s head. The focus point should be on the groom so he is in focus.
It’s important to follow the bride here (But not too close so you walk into the back of her!- I saw a wedding photog do that) to get a tight crop shot. Otherwise other people will be in the shot.
Shoot at 2.8- 1/500 for a sharp picture. ISO is whatever to keep the shutter high.
I will wait until the father kisses his daughter for the last time and hands her off to the groom. Then I retire to the back of the church to quietly cheer my work!!
It used to be a seriously nerve-wracking moment of the wedding day for me- a lot of what ifs…
Now I love it- it is a technically challenging moment to capture and the reactions are usually incredible- pure raw emotions.
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