3 Ways to Get that Emotional First Look You Crave

Ever see photos of really adorable and emotional first looks and think “oh man, I hope my fiance has that reaction.” I think it’s safe to say, you’re not the only one thinking that. I know, because I wanted that reaction, too!

Although I can’t promise that either you or your fiance will have this kind of first look on your wedding day, I have picked up a few tips along the way.

Ready for a quick read?

Emotional First Look at Sapphire Point in Breckendridge Colorado with Wedding Photographer Diana Coulter-15.jpg

Emotional First Look at Sapphire Point in Breckendridge Colorado with Wedding Photographer Diana Coulter-17.jpg

Emotional First Look at Sapphire Point in Breckendridge Colorado with Wedding Photographer Diana Coulter-14.jpg

  1. USE THE ELEMENT OF SURPRISE. Before this cutie little bride, Mary Kate, went to surprise her future husband, I asked her how she wanted to approach him. Since she didn’t know, and because I happen to be a perverse individual I suggested a bitt grab. Indeed it got his attention and added a little comical relief. Use this to your advantage!

  2. READ YOUR VOWS IN PRIVATE. Being the center of attention is overwhelming for a lot of people, and I’ve found that the reason people hesitate to write their own vows is because they have an audience. If you’re getting married in front of more than just each other (and your photographer), I would suggest a private vow reading before your ceremony, and then using traditional vows during the ceremony to relieve the anxiety of this vulnerable act in front of your closest friends and fam.

  3. USE YOUR PRE-WEDDING JITTERS FOR GOOD! I’ve never met a couple who was minutes away from seeing their bride that didn’t experience this feeling. Not one. Even if people have been together for 10+ years. And these jitters? Literally the cutest nerves I’ve ever experience because it’s innocent, sweet, and oh-so-vulnerable. Take this time to relax into the present moment, feel those feels and let them flow. Feel the physical sensation— heart pounding, palms sweating, legs jittering, and channel that into your response to you partner when you see them for the first time.



First looks don’t have to be corny. In fact, they shouldn’t be. First looks are a sacred time on your wedding day to enjoy each other vulnerably and emotionally without the pressure of anyone else’s presence. Adding in a little surprise, private vow reading and presence to your first look can truly give the authentic emotion you’re craving without it feeling contrived.

Past couples, what would you say about this?


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The intersection of aesthetic and personality. Fueled by good light, wanderlust, and cookies. Chasing magic like I chase my kids; laughing always.

Whether I'm building legos or putting the final touches on your album design, it's always with intention and love. I believe life is too short not to live for today. My goal? To offer you the perspective of presence with my camera so you can sink into the moment.


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