Welcome to the Nulyweds blog! Here you'll find informative articles, videos from my YouTube channel, full wedding galleries and behind the scenes loveliness. For more about weddings and Portugal, follow meon the social links below.

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  • Olivia De Santos

How to Plan the Perfect First Look

The first look shot has grown in popularity exponentially over the past few years. I am a huge fan of them personally as I think it cuts down on a lot of anxiety you can have on the day whilst also providing you with truly beautiful wedding photos before your ceremony! I asked professional wedding photographer Célie from Oydin + Mei Photography to help you plan and execute the perfect first look!

What is a first look?

A first look is the moment when the couple sees each other for the first time before the wedding ceremony. It’s a modern tradition and typically a very private moment, shared with just the couple – and their photographer. The bride or groom is asked to stand in a set location, while the other bride or groom walks up behind them and taps them on the shoulder. Then when they turn around, they get to set their eyes on their soon to be spouse for the first time.

Why should you have a first look?

Because it's all about the two of you, it’s your personal moment. During the first look here is no ceremony, no family, no script and no pressure. The gorgeous wedding dress, the new tuxedo and that love in your spouse's eyes. It's just you and your favourite other person that get to see each other looking rad for the first time. It's one of the few silent moments where you get to enjoy each other before the party kicks off with all your friends and family. The photographs of the first look are amongst the most intimate ones we usually take throughout a day. And there is a big bonus! - you get to spend more time with your guests as with all of your photos done you can actually enjoy the cocktail hour with the rest of the guests!

Sounds tricky! How do you plan a shot like this?

It’s actually a lot of fun and it doesn’t have to be complicated! Have a chat with your photographer to see what quiet, beautiful spots there are close to where your wedding day preparations will take place. Choose a location where you both feel comfortable. And a small side note; try to avoid direct sunlight. Because the first look is planned before the ceremony it often takes place between 12:00 and 15:00 which is known for harsh light and it can create the much feared panda-eye effect. If it's an overcast day it won't be as much of an issue but try to look for an area with indirect light or shade.

What are your top tips for combating camera-shyness during your first look?

The first look is all about enjoying enjoying each other. My tip for combating camera-shyness would be to just be you and have fun. There is absolute nothing you could do wrong because it's all about what you feel and your love for each other will always show. Nervous giggles, full blown laughter, tears, whatever you're feeling in that moment you first set eyes on your spouse to be - it's the right thing.

Great, so tell us about yourself!

I'm Célie and I'm originally from The Netherlands. Being an outdoorsy-type, I am most inspired when I'm photographing in the fresh air with couples who share the same appreciation for a relaxed informal atmosphere, nature and all-around good vibes. Your happy tears, your crazy friends, the unprompted laughter, feeling all those big human feelings - my work is contextual and photojournalistic in approach, and my hope is that it is nothing but true. I work with a mix of medium format film and digital photography because I feel it creates the visual quality of longevity that will make your wedding day look like a classic in 30 years.

Thanks so much to Célie for gracing the Nulyweds blog today. You can check out her portfolio in the links below!

Ta ta for now,