The Pros & Cons of Filming your First Look

By Luke Ellery

As the clever Dr Seuss wrote: '"Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory." What better way to capture a memory than by filming it on camera in high definition. The bonus of capturing special moments on film is that you can see and hear things exactly as they were. It makes the memory easier to access and ensures that you never forget the slightest details. Every wedding, and every moment of your wedding is unique and worth remembering which is why it is such a great idea to consider hiring a videographer. We joined forces with one of our videographers, InTheFrame, to give us the inside scoop on filming the "first look" as well as the pro's and cons of having a "first look" at all.

First Look: Behind the Scenes

A first look from the perspective of a videographer is about being as unobtrusive as possible, keeping distance but also getting close enough to capture the emotions of the couple. The best way to achieve this is by ensuring your videographer uses a longer lens to create a great balance of physical distance and visual intimacy.

First looks work best in a really quiet environment, far away from the guests. So look around your venue for the perfect spot, consider for example; a jetty or a forest. Lots of runway space allows the bride to do some walking, which builds anticipation for the big reveal. She wants to see the look on his face... and so do we!

A vital part of the first look in many cases is catching the groom's reaction! Ensure he is standing with his back turned away, as you get closer call his name - then the rest is just pure romantic emotion. A neat little extra is putting a lapel mic under his jacket on his left side and put the mic as close to the heart as possible, they are powerful little microphones that can even pick up his heart beat! *POUND POUND POUND*. Put that together with your quiet surroundings and it adds magic to the final cut of the video.

The series below is from a first look video shot at Lake Karapiro. 4 different cameras angles were used, all from a distance, capturing everything as it happened. Wide mid to side shot to set the scene, wide angle shot from the back of the bride as she walks towards him and a camera was placed on the ground at 3/4 angle to his face in order to capture the details of his expressions.

bride, first look

first look, wedding, bride, groom,

romance, first look, wedding, bride, groom

The Pros and Cons of a First Look 


  • Couples get to spend more time with their guests, rather than seeing them for an hour and a half and then disappearing for creative photos! With everyone you know in one place, you don't want to miss out on quality socialising time.
  • You get to enjoy having the special moment of seeing each other for the first time alone.
  • Videographers and photographers can get really crafty on making that moment absolutely beautiful. Also, there is more time to let you be you and capture some bliss.
  • The bride's makeup looks fresh and the grooms hair is perfectly held in place. It's a great idea to get that on camera straight away before the wear of the day takes its toll.


  • First looks take away from the tradition of seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony in front of everyone.
  • Regarding the above, the chances of your groom losing the plot when he sees you for the first time has lessened because he's already seen you. He will still be happy to see you, but there might not be as many tears.
  • It affects the other traditions i.e. the father giving away the bride doesn't have the same power to it since everything isn't happening for the first time in front of your guests.

The wedding is a celebration and a display of love and commitment with all your family and friends as witnesses. Either way, when it comes to first looks, sticking with tradition or going against the grain has its perks!

First look wedding blindfold groom

first look, wedding, bride, groom

Above Images by Claire Huntsberger 

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