First Look: To Do or Not To Do, That is The Question

Let’s just acknowledge my nod in the title to my English brother, Shakespeare, and we can move right along.  I do have some strong English pride that can’t be ignored!

It would be absolutely impossible for me to choose a moment of the wedding day that is my favorite.  Each wedding has its own ebb and flow, moving to a unique rhythm that is based solely on the people and the feelings that surround each individual day.  At one wedding, an emotional first dance may be my favorite part, and at another it might be the enthusiastic and fun portraits with the groom and his groomsmen. I can say, however, that I ALWAYS love when a couple does a first look.  Here are some of the reasons why:

First Look Blog Post Photos By Chaim Schvarcz Bride Groom Wedding Day


I love the excitement of a bride and groom seeing each other for the first time on the wedding day surrounded by family and friends. The first look, though, is normally done with just the two of them, and the closeness of that moment is always beautiful and striking. With no one around, the two can be intimate with each other in a way that is not usually done with everyone else around.

First Look Blog Post Photos By Chaim Schvarcz Bride Groom Wedding Day Snow


One of the toughest parts of photographing a wedding is the time restraints.  If I could, I would spend all day with the bride, groom and their family and friends, having fun and capturing their interactions and emotions together.  In fact, I think we should start having two separate days; The Wedding Day and The Wedding Portraits Day! Who’s with me?

When a couple chooses to do a first look, it usually happens early on in the day, leaving plenty of time for them to enjoy the moment, have portraits taken, loosen up and have fun! I have photographed couples in totally different locations than where the wedding is, all on the wedding day, because an early start allows us the opportunity to take couple portraits without the stress of time running out.

First Look Blog Post Photos By Chaim Schvarcz Bride Groom Wedding Day Park


If you’ve read some of my other blog posts, you’ll notice a theme. Lighting. Is. EVERYTHING!  As I mentioned above, the first look usually takes place early on the wedding day. The earlier the photos, the more of a chance we have of utilizing natural light! A lot of weddings go late into the night, and if couple portraits are left until halfway through the wedding, it is often at the tail end of daylight.  I have chased the light for photos before, and would do it again, yet all of that can be avoided when the bride and groom choose to do their portraits before all of the craziness of the day sets in.


So, to sum all of this up, my feelings are very clear- what is the question?! If circumstances allow the bride and groom to do a first look on their wedding day, then they should DO IT! For ideas for some awesome first look photos for your wedding, reach out and let’s chat!

4 Tips to Help You Get the Best Couple Photos

What couple doesn't want great photos of themselves? It isn't self-centered or vain, it is our way of capturing a memory of a great time.  Of course, it helps that we spent hours getting ready for said great time, and that we look awesome. Maybe you’re at a friends wedding at The Pierre in Manhattan, hanging out at a hipster bar in Dumbo or just having a game night with family.  How can you get the best photo of you and your partner, the one that will be perfect to be hung on the fridge, on a wall, or just posted on Instagram and Facebook?

Act Natural

Posed photos are great, but don’t you love seeing photos of couples who are a little more relaxed?  Instead of standing next to your partner and smiling at the camera head on, let loose a bit!  Adjust your tie or piece of jewelry (or do it for your partner!), glance at your loved one, or whisper a compliment in their ear. There are so many ways to change it up without needing to fake a smile or laugh!

Couple Portraits, Central Park, New York, NYC
Couple Portraits, Central Park, New York, NYC

Dance like no one is watching! Its a great way to get close, and not in a way that makes other uncomfortable.

Above, Not Below

This one is pretty straight forward.  Request that the person taking your photo take it from higher then your shoulder height.  Anything lower than that will likely not be as flattering (unless you’re a professional model!).  Nothing wrong with searching out the tallest person in the room to get that perfect shot.  And on that note-

NYC, Couple portraits, Dumbo, Brooklyn

The More the Merrier

Don't be embarrassed to ask the person who is taking your photo to take a few more, with a few more ‘poses’ in mind.  If they are a professional photographer, it is their job, and they would certainly be happy to do so.  If it is a friend who offered, then they likely don't mind anyway!  The more photos you have of yourselves, the more choice, and the higher chance of finding one you love!


Shadows follow us everywhere we go (literally).  You can take the absolute sweetest photo with your partner, but if there is a shadow across half of your face, its a lost cause, no matter how many filters you put on it.  For the best outdoor photo, try and stand in the shade and make sure the background is not much brighter than where you are standing.  If you cant, place the sun behind you, no one wants a squinty photo staring at the sun!  If you are indoors, try and take a photo in a brightly lit area.  If there is dim or mood lighting, you can use flash, but don’t stand too close to the camera so you can avoid a super bright face and a dim background.

This session took place in Phoenix, Arizona.  I will be back in Phoenix in April, and I still have a few slots available for photo sessions!  Let's chat  about booking your session!

This session took place in Phoenix, Arizona.  I will be back in Phoenix in April, and I still have a few slots available for photo sessions! Let's chat about booking your session!

I hope you enjoyed these 4 simple tips, let me know if you try any, and send me the result!