kara evans


The First Look from a Photographer’s Perspective | Wedding Wednesday

June 23, 2016

Hey, I’m Kara!
Hey, I’m Kara! A wedding and family photographer based in Kankakee, Illinois! Whether I’m photographing your wedding day or everyday milestones and memories as a family, this job is my joy.

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It’s true, first looks are non-traditional when it comes to wedding days, but why not make them become traditional if you want to?

Looking back on my own wedding day, Kyle and I chose to forego a first look with ties to tradition. Our wedding day was perfect for us, timing worked out, and most importantly, we were united in marriage. Would our day have been different if we did a first look? Yes, it would have been on a completely different timeline, but all of the emotions and love and celebration would have still taken place. Would I have chosen to do a first look with what I know now? Yes, I think we would have strongly considered a first look after all of the weddings we have experienced and photographed together. We would have loved a few extra moments to soak in the day together!

Before I go any further though… I’m not writing this to encourage, or discourage, a first look. I’m also not writing this to encourage, or discourage, a more traditional non-first look wedding day. I’m writing this post to show that this part of your day is up to you, as a couple together. 

I think one common misconception about first looks is that it “ruins” the first moment a groom sees his bride walking down the aisle. In my opinion, this is not true. 

No matter what (traditional or non-traditional route), I firmly believe that the moment the bride walks down the aisle is like no other moment on the wedding day or in your life together. It doesn’t matter if the groom already saw the bride earlier that day in an intimate and emotional first look followed by photos of the day. What matters is that special moment of seeing one another for the first time during the wedding ceremony… It is a distinct moment in time like no other.

First looks are also a beautiful opportunity for the bride and groom to have a few minutes alone – talking, hugging, kissing, and taking the day in together – before the hustle and bustle of the day officially “starts”. Wedding days are full with many people to see and celebrate with, so a first look gives the bride and groom a few extra minutes of time together… A few minutes of undivided attention. 

On the other hand – the more traditional side – a common misconception I am faced with as a wedding photographer is that “if we don’t do a first look, will we have enough time for photos?” 

Please, please, please, do not worry! This is why we talk so much about your wedding day, all of your plans, and create a timeline that works specifically for your day. Regardless of a first look or not, we will have “enough” time for photos. Planning a timeline is simply key in this process.

From a photographer’s perspective (and a 100% honest one), first looks set a more slow and relaxed pace for the wedding day, while a more traditional timeline often offers comfort and little less wiggle room with the timeline overall. Regardless, do what works for YOU as a couple. Whatever you choose will be perfectly fitting for your day. The timeline will work out, and best of all? You will be MARRIED!

So, are you planning a first look?


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Chicagoland wedding & family photographer based in Kankakee, Illinois