we are Mike and Nat,

husband and wife wedding photographers in the SF Bay Area. We are passionate about authentic moments and developing a great connection with each couple.

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The First Look


This is the 2nd of our 4-part mini series: “Your Stress-Free Wedding”. We’ve put together our best planning tips from 11 years of experience.
These ideas will help you to enjoy the day and be in the moment as much as possible. Read the rest of the series here!


If at all possible, we highly recommend seeing each other before the ceremony and setting up a private First Look. The First Look is always about the two of you and we recommend for it to be private and intimate. This is not the time for your bridal party or anyone else to be cheering you on.

The First Look is a great idea for many reasons:

  • Seeing each other fully dressed in your wedding clothes is an emotional moment and it feels great to be able to hold each other, savor the moment, and release your emotions at that moment without hundreds of eyes looking at you.
  • Couples are often overloaded with adrenaline during the ceremony because of all the pressure and anticipation. Often their ceremony feels like a blur as they barely heard anything that was said. A First Look allows you to get some of that energy out in advance. You’ll be more present and engaged in your ceremony.
  • Taking care of your portraits before the ceremony frees up your cocktail hour and allows you to actually enjoy it together with your guests. Remember, the guests haven’t even said hello or congratulations to you yet! By attending your cocktail hour you can greet a lot of them right away instead of spending half of your reception circling the room when you should be enjoying yourselves.
  • The First Look provides you with more time for portraits and the opportunity to go to different locations.
  • If we do all or most of the portraits before the ceremony, once the wedding day officially starts you’ll never have to interrupt your celebration to think about photography.

Any or all of the following photos can be taken prior to the ceremony: bride/groom portraits,  bridal party photos, as well as your family pictures.

Favorite First Look Moments


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0 Comments January 19, 2017

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Mike and Nat are a husband and wife photography team based in San Francisco Bay Area. Their relaxed style allows them to capture authentic moments while creating a stress-free experience. Choco Studio photographs weddings throughout the San Francisco Bay Area including Napa, Sonoma, Carmel, and Monterey.