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We’re Joy & Ben Clifford, Arizona’s trusted husband & wife photography duo.


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Hey, There!

Why have a wedding day first look?

When a couple is contemplating a wedding day first look, we consistently hear two very valid reasons why they would be less inclined to choose the first look option.

The first reason is tradition, and the second is that it takes the wow factor out of the ceremony.

Trust us when we say we have shot over 200+ weddings, and not one of our couples have ever expressed that having a first look detracted from the powerful emotions felt during the ceremony. In fact, they have all said, it added to the moment and calmed their nerves.

We want to show you the benefit of a first look through the photographer’s lens. We have listed 5 very compelling points as to why the first look is a valuable part of any wedding day.

1. Wedding Day First Looks Allow For A Romantic, Quiet Moment Together.

A first look is one of the most intimate experiences you can plan on your wedding day. Our wedding day first looks are specifically designed for our couples to focus on each other, this moment, and nothing else.

Our couples have told us how surprised they were by the overwhelming feeling of love and adoration they experienced from their partner. So much so, Ben and I have felt it ourselves.

The first look allows us to document our couples passion and emotion by remaining in the background, keeping the two of them front and center.

We recommend the first look to all of our couples because it allows for a one of a kind, deep personal connection between the two of you. Brides, remember, you can always touch up your make up before the rest of your portraits and ceremony. Being able to melt into each other’s arms and saying what you need to say to one another before you’re face to face at the alter is an unforgettable and priceless experience.

Go on – this intimate time is yours.

2. Get A Jump On Your Portraits

With that said, during your first look, you’ll hardly notice us; we’ll be in the background capturing all the genuine and emotionally-driven candids you could ever imagine!

A first look not only provides some much-needed quality time but it also free’s up your wedding day timeline allowing for additional portraits!

Once you’ve both composed yourselves (or not; we’re good with joyful tears), we can get some quick posed portraits out of the way, without all the distractions of friends and family on the sidelines.

Your first look photos are powerful; we guarantee that you will forever remember the emotion of that exact moment.

3. Wedding Day First Looks Add Value To Your Wedding Day 

By adding the first look to your wedding day, all but guarantees you’ll get about 40% more images overall!

The first look frees up time to knock out both your wedding party photos and immediate family photos, all BEFORE the ceremony!

After your ceremony and your dreamy Husband and Wife Portraits, it’s time to party! We don’t want you missing out on the fun; everyone’s seeing one another for the first time—possibly in years.
And believe me, we want to spend as much time as possible shooting candids of you with your guests!

The first look adds so much value and excitement to your big day; most of our couples request to do first looks with their Moms, Dads, and Grandparents!

4. Doing A First Look On Your Wedding Day Can Chase Away The Jitters!

It’s normal for you to feel nervous on your wedding day, a big part of it is sheer excitement! 

Sometimes a couple can feel so rattled by simply just being apart from one another. So many of our brides have said, “ I know when I see him, everything will be alright.”

And you know what? That bride is 100% correct.

And she isn’t alone. Imagine for one minute; you’re the groom. All eyes are on you as she walks down the aisle. Everyone is wondering, will he cry? His bride is wondering, why isn’t he crying? Eek…!

Our grooms say,“ Having the first look alleviated that emotional pressure, and helped their emotions come to them naturally.” Phew!

And ultimately, isn’t that what you want on your wedding day, a day filled with peace and genuine raw emotion.

Get Zen. Plan a first look!

5. First Looks On Your Wedding Day Are Sweet And Easy

It’s tempting to call the first look portion of your day a “session”, but in reality, we as photographers are the last thing you’re thinking about as you see one another for the first time.

We set aside 30-60 minutes (or more, if you’d like) when there’s nobody around but you… and us. We select a special spot with the best lighting, prettiest background, and hidden from wandering eyes.

And then, the rest is up to you.

Once again, we would never force our suggestion on a client, and we hope by reading this post, you will see the value and benefits of adding a first look to your big day.

But here’s the thing, we don’t want you to just take OUR word for it, so two of our Grooms graciously agreed to share their first look experience with you with hopes it would help ease your minds.

We encourage you to keep reading; it’s about to get really good…

Wedding Day First Looks | Tales From the Grooms Side

“The first look has so many benefits, and I would highly recommend it to any couple planning their big day. The moment is extraordinary. It’s a staged setting where Joy and Ben can capture the moment with all of the Bride and Groom’s emotions in the same shot. It’s just you and your Bride, so while you are nervous, it’s not as nerve-wracking as standing in front of all of your closest friends and family.”

“It allowed us to take a few minutes after the first look, talk to each other, breathe, and relax. It helped ease some of the stress, emotions, and nerves that were building as we got closer to walking down the aisle. The first look does not take away anything from your Bride’s big moment walking down the aisle. It is an impactful moment and was not tainted in the slightest by having a first look. The first look added more time to our wedding day by allowing us to take most of our family photos before the ceremony. Time gets away from you on your wedding day, so not having to step away from cocktail hour to take more family photos was a huge bonus.” – Andrew

“I knew no matter when I got the first glimpse of my then wife-to-be on our wedding day; I was going to be blown away. What I didn’t realize was how much I was going to cherish the memories and photos from our first look. The first look provided an incredible rush of emotions. Getting to see my stunning bride, but also gave both of us a moment of precious levity. The hustle and bustle of the wedding day was put on hold. We were able to enjoy that time together, gleaming at one another and sharing nervous laughs with each other and our photographers. The feelings you experience for the first look and when your bride walks down the aisle aren’t mutually exclusive. They are but two separate incredible moments you will cherish forever. ” – Bo 

To inquire about having us document your wedding day, visit us over at Joy and Ben Photography!

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