WHY DO A FIRST LOOK?
One of the biggest questions that our couples battle over when planning their wedding day is whether or not to do the first look. (Where the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony). Many of us grew up with the picture of the groom seeing the bride for the first time walking down the aisle – and weeping tears of joy, of course 🙂 With this in mind, it is hard to imagine the moment not being ruined by having already hung out with each other all day. However, the new standard that today’s little girls are growing up with is the groom patiently waiting for his bride in a private location until the tap on the shoulder and then, still, the tear of joy. Both fantasies work and as long as you plan plenty of time for photos the most important thing to do is stick with your heart and make sure you are happy with whatever choice you make. We will never force our couples to do a first look, but here are some reasons why it might be a good option for you.
- You tend to get more of the photos you want. Having a first look allows you to have a lot more time before the ceremony to go to multiple locations for photos. It can be a really fun time with your wedding party without the pressure of feeling like you are missing out on your party to take pictures. Having more time will also allow you to get more of the poses and combinations that you wanted.
- Your day will feel less rushed. A first look helps a TON with making your timeline a lot less intense. There are already so many activities packed into the wedding day, and once the ceremony starts it will seem like everything is moving really fast. If you have already done all of your wedding party photos and most of the portraits of just the two of you, all that will be left after the ceremony will be the family portraits.
- It calms your nerves. We get the feedback all the time that the first look really helped to calm our couples down and that they were able to enjoy the rest of the day more. We find this is especially true with the grooms who feel like they are under pressure to react a certain way in front of everyone when his bride comes down the aisle.
- It will most likely be the only time that you two will actually be (nearly) completely alone all day. Your wedding day is about the two of you, so doesn’t it make sense that you would take even just a few minutes to really be alone together in that moment? Having this time before the ceremony really allows you to be together and breathe before it all unfolds.
- It doesn’t ruin the moment – it enhances it. All of our couples who do a first look tell us that they still got nervous/excited/teared-up/emotional when the actual aisle moment happened. Seeing each other before just allowed them to get to do it twice as well as allowed them to focus on their vows and remember the ceremony better.
WHAT’S NEW AT ELEVATE
Where can you view Elevate’s favorite “getting ready” photos, swoon over an adorable baby in a knit pilot’s cap and find out which of our photographers loves tacos? The answer is Elevate’s new and improved blog. Check it out today!
Ali Miller wowed us with her diligence and great attitude as an assistant so when the time came to hire a Studio Manager, we knew Ali was the right person for the job. As studio manager, Ali will be hosting our Premier Parties in addition to making all the behind-the-scenes studio operations function smoothly. We are heading into our biggest wedding season yet and we are so thankful to have Ali along to keep us on track doing what we do best – taking pictures!
McCory has spent countless hours updating Elevate’s Location Gallery this winter so you can view the most recent photos from more than 200 of Colorado’s top wedding venues. You can access the portfolio by clicking here or by visiting Elevate’s website. The portfolio shows venues in different seasons and with layout and decor ideas, allowing brides to get a true sense of each location.
HOW TO USE PINTEREST THE RIGHT WAY
We love Pinterest. We really do. We pin nearly every day and use it for inspiration on a regular basis. But the same way that obsessing over a beauty magazine and hoping and praying to look exactly like the photoshopped cover model is unrealistic, so is creating a board for your engagement or wedding photos and turning it into a shot list for your photographer. As
adorable as that shot on the beach with the heart in the sand is, and the fun mountainy snow-ball fight is – it is impossible to take every photo that you have ever loved and to reproduce it in one photoshoot. But here’s the good news: your shoot will be even better than the photos in your ‘omg-I-HAVE-to-get-THIS-pic” during my engagement session because they will have you and your sweetheart in them and they will represent what makes your love so special. So how should you use Pinterest the right way when planning your wedding photos? Here are a few tips to combine the overwhelming bank of photo possibilities with the real world, and how to end up loving your photos even more than the ones you pinned.
- Use your inspirations as inspirations, not blueprints. You might have seen the hilarious “nailed it” pictures of someone attempting to re-create a Pinterest photo next to the failed image. Yeah – exactly like that. Here’s the deal – any time you are trying too hard to mimic a pose, your expressions will be forced and you won’t be giving room for the authentic moments to just happen. So instead, pin that adorable coffee shop photo for the concept, but then allow yourself to be present in your local coffee shop and let yourself laugh, relax and be YOU. I promise you’ll like your photos better:).
- Trust your photographer. You hired a professional for a reason – because you trust their vision and love the way that they have captured other couples. If you are giving your photographer a Pinterest grocery-list of what they must get, you are limiting their creativity as well. I love seeing my couple’s boards so that I can get more of a sense of what they are attracted to and find to be beautiful, but for me I take that as an essence of inspiration instead of a shot list. For example, if my couple is inspired by a lot of super sweet romantic close-ups, I will make a point to get more of those than usual. And if my client’s board is full of lots of laughter and silly moments, that tells me that I shouldn’t spend as much time setting up dramatic poses. If you are super into the specific poses like making hearts with your hands or holding a DIY sign, try to limit those ideas to maybe two or three.
- Remember that many of the photos you love are candids. Candids are genuine moments that we work so hard to capture and they cannot be faked. I mean, you can try, but it’s never quite the same. Instead of trying to re-create a specific type of candid, focus on actually being extremely happy and crying freely when your are led to and allowing your photographer to capture the stunning candids that other future brides will covet.
- Spark NEW ideas! Come on, I know you are capable of thinking outside of what has already been done. Pinterest can be great for getting a starting point, but your imagination is also a good place for that. Don’t be trapped by what you have seen before and likewise don’t be embarrassed by an idea that has never been done. I guarantee an out-of-the-box concept that you think will be so fun will create awesome photos. Talk your ideas over with your photographer and they will help you balance that with what is possible and turn it into the next coolest idea.
- Don’t get overwhelmed! It’s OK to do something that has already been done. There are so many ideas out there for wedding portrait poses and fun things to do with the wedding party that it can begin to feel intense. So relax, and don’t feel like it is your responsibility to figure all of that out. Your photos will be different because YOU are different. If you like an idea that has been done a million times, still go with it. Don’t feel like you have to reinvent wedding photography. Plan a fun day and let your photographer worry about that!
FEATURED VENUE: SANCTUARY
Breathtaking views and impeccable service are the key ingredients to incredible weddings at the Sanctuary Golf Course in Sedalia. The venue has beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces featuring iron chandeliers, stone fireplaces and waterfalls. Ceremonies at the Sanctuary take place in a covered pavilion that opens to stunning mountain view allowing for year-round weddings. Sanctuary has its own in-house catering team that create yummy entrees such as pistachio crusted lamb chops to Maryland style crab cakes. The Sanctuary includes tables between the greens, waterfalls, indoor stonework and more than 90 varieties of flowers and amazing scenery there are no shortage of places for photography. Couples also have exclusive rights to the venue on their wedding day so couples are not competing with golfers or other wedding parties. Click here to visit their web site and learn more about this amazing location..
COFFEE WITH JO
Jo is the newest addition to the photography team at Elevate, but that in no way means that she is a newbie. She has been working with us for more than two years now and went full time in 2013. She will tell you she has been taking pictures as long as she can remember and it shows. Jo originally came to us to second shoot on the side and we loved her so much we had to snatch her up. She is an artist from her nose to her toes and takes that creativity into each and every wedding she photographs. But beyond her creative eye and extensive knowledge of photography her passion for making memories for people and reflecting the beauty that she sees in each couple back on them makes her soar. Check out her interview to understand more of why we couldn’t live without her.
Describe yourself in five words.
Why did you choose this location? What does it say about you?
Because this would be my dream neighborhood to live in. I love every single detail about this place, it’s what I wish my house looked like. It’s that perfect balance of being urban but still feeling small town almost. It has all the things that I love a lot like coffee. Coffee and art. Coffee and funky art. Coffee and funky art and wood. And couch material on the ceiling. But really why I chose a coffee place is because I believe that the devil invented mornings and so God created coffee. Without coffee I can’t survive or be nice or be human.
What inspired you to be a photographer? What do you love the most about being a wedding photographer?
I just love documenting the world around me. I’ve always done it naturally but I never thought you could do it as a career. Ask anyone who has ever known me since before middle school – I was always taking pictures. Back then it was with a disposable film camera mostly. Now my camera is just a little fancier than that. And now I get to do my dream job! It is like being an astronaut or something cool and almost fictional like that. I feel like I won the lottery. As far as why I love weddings particularly, I really think that they are a metaphor for our society. It is SO cool that people still believe in marriage and it is still happening. It is such a beautiful representation of who people are and how their lives really are. I mean, I get to go be a part of people’s most important day. And I get to make their memories for them. Forever solidify their memories. That’s kind of a big deal.
How would you describe your style of photography?
So what’s going through my head to answer that sounds like I am trying to be too cool, or artsy, BUT what I strive to do is to capture a version of people that is very real yet better than reality. So they see themselves in a way that they might not even know they could look, but when they see it they still say “that is SO us”. I want to make people feel more confident about themselves when they see their pictures and also give them options that are beyond what they would’ve thought they wanted. I guess my style is a little “indie”, but mostly candid and fun.
Where do you get your ideas and inspiration for your work?
I am very involved in the social media world. People say it’s bad to look at what other photographers are doing all the time, but I think it’s good to know what’s happening out there. I have no problem with trends and what people like now and I like to be at the forefront of that, and it actually inspires me to be more creative and to think of what is next.
If you could shoot any celebrity or famous person’s wedding, who would it be and why? (Even if they are already married – past or present)
Conan O’Brien. Because it would just be fun. Everything would be hilarious and fun. And we would high five a lot.