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I'm Elizabeth! An elopement and portrait photographer based out Lewis Run, PA and the surrounding areas. If you're located outside of those areas, I am available for travel!

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Hi there, I'm Elizabeth! An elopement & portrait photographer based in Lewis Run and Bradford Pennsylvania, but I'm up for traveling worldwide to help make your wedding day dreams come true! I have a passion for capturing not only love stories, but any portraits! Want to be one of them?

First Look | Yes or No?


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July 5, 2022

Wedding Wednesday

You may be thinking to yourself, “What in the world is a first look?!”… Well, grab a cup of coffee (or wine) and sit back because this entire post will explain what a first look is and why it may or may not be for you and your other half. I will admit that I have a really deep love for first looks. But, truthfully, show me a Photographer that doesn’t! There is a reason for this. They’re INCREDIBLE.  However, not everyone is aware of how incredible they are because of how “non-traditional” they appear to some and a lot of couples will automatically write them off for their big day.

To sum it up, a first look is when your soon-to-be other half sees you before the Ceremony. BUT, a first look is SO MUCH more than that! After shooting a TON of weddings, I’ve come to a conclusion. Some brides love being traditional, but what a bride REALLY wants is a REACTION.  Those that are not interested in a first look usually think that by seeing each other beforehand, they will lose part of that reaction. They also assume that it will not be as emotional or as intimate as it would be if they were coming down the aisle. What I have found, is that’s not the case at all!

Since first looks happen before the ceremony, before the “pressure” of it all, BOTH the bride and groom get the chance to take the pressure off and just BE with one another. I usually set them up in a private location where absolutely no one is around other than the two of them, myself and my second shooter (and of course if a videographer is there). They get to laugh, cry, kiss, hold hands, hug, do whatever they would like for however long they would like before we start portraits! Right when the first look is done, we continue on and move into portraits of the soon-to-be newlyweds, then bridal party.

My couples are absolutely NEVER required to do a first look. A first look is completely up to the bride and groom that are getting married. I honestly used to feel bad for sharing this option to my future and potential couples for their special day. But you know what, I’ve seen the benefits of a first look over and over again and so I decided to share this because I want the BEST for my couples!! It’s completely fine if couples choose not to share a first look! It’s just my preference to do one! However, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t share all of the benefits with my couples!

Couple who decide to DO a first look often receive:

  • Wedding photography is a HUGE investment and with a first look, you actually end up getting around 30% MORE portraits of the two of you!! Trust me, you’re going to want to hang these images ALL around your home! Your Wedding Photography is a big deal for your day, I completely get that. With a first look, you make the most out of this investment.
  • You actually get intimate time on your wedding day with your soon-to-be spouse. Normally, most people think walking down the aisle is the BIGGEST, most emotional moment of the whole day. But something that people DON’T tell you (or often don’t realize) is that when you meet one another at the end of the aisle (looking absolutely STUNNING), they can’t even tell you how gorgeous you are, hug you, nothing. You both will have to wait until your Ceremony is over before you’re able to even hug one another.

  • A first look allows you to actually extend your wedding day time. Normally, your wedding day would “start” when you’re walking down the aisle, have your Ceremony, portraits, Reception. However, with a first look, your wedding day has begun well ahead of that time! You’re not rushed for portraits – you actually get to enjoy your day and hang out with your bridal party.
  • A first look also allows you TWO to be TOGETHER and ALONE on your wedding day. First looks allow that time to be intimate and private. Allowing just you two to connect, talk, hug and more. Then, we are ready for you guys to go into portraits, so you can continue that romantic time with one another.
  • ALL OF THE NERVES ARE GONE. Okay, well not all of them, but most. I would say about half of my couples who have done a first look, the grooms were not fans of it at first. However, it’s because they have never experienced their wedding day before, they didn’t know how nerve racking it can be. I have “review” from some of my past grooms that initially weren’t a fan of the first look, but afterwards admitted to being SO much more relaxed and ready for the ceremony!

Straight from the Groom:

When Afton told me about a “first look,” I was unsure what she was referring to. She explained it to me by say- ing that it would be a private moment where she and I could see each other before any of our guests. I agreed to do it and I’m glad I did. Leading up to the moment when I saw her, I was anxious and excited all at the same time, but turning around to see her made my anxiousness subside. She looked beautiful in her dress and I was so excited to marry this woman. We decided to use this time to also say our vows to each other because neither of us enjoy being up in front of a lot of people. I think having a “first look” allows the bride and groom to set aside some alone time before the crazy of the day begins and ends. We are both happy with our decision to do this nontraditional meeting and would recommend it to any other couple.” – Nick

“I wasn’t sure about the First Look when Elizabeth first brought it up. But then, she explained more about it and we decided it was a great idea. I was happy we did it because the wedding day is so busy and so much time is spent with other people rather than your significant other. Having that time to ourselves before the ceremony was special. It was also great to have most of our pictures done before the ceremony. This way, we didn’t keep our guests waiting at the reception for long.” – Shawn

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