First Look Wedding Advice

The First Look is becoming more and more popular. Seeing your fiance for the first time before you walk down the aisle gives you both a quiet moment to yourselves, and from a photographer’s point of view, it helps with the overall wedding day timeline while allowing for beautiful intimate moments. But it also breaks the traditional rule of the groom not seeing the bride before the wedding, and takes away the initial surprise of the bride coming down the aisle. Take some time and talk to your fiance about what you are comfortable with to decide if a first look is right for you and review our advice.


Having a private first look is a great way to ease some of those wedding day jitters and remind you both of your love for each other and why you are getting married. A wedding day is long and can go by in a blur, so taking a few moments alone with your fiance will allow you to be in the moment and enjoy being together before the rest of the day begins and you are surrounded by family and friends.


A first look gives your photographer the opportunity to capture the love between the bride and groom. A first look is more intimate than the traditional route of seeing each other coming down the aisle for the first time surrounded by your guests. A first look is often a more emotional moment when done in private and allows your photographer a unique chance to capture real emotion and we’ve seen it all, from tears to laughter, dips and passionate kisses!


A first look will allow you to get bridal portraits and maybe even some bridal party photos or family photos done before the ceremony. This could give you more time to travel to another location you may want to have bridal portraits done, either after the ceremony or plan to do your first look at a separate location that may have special meaning to you as a couple. Having photos done before the ceremony might also allow you to get to your cocktail hour earlier, allowing you to have more time with your guests and more time to enjoy everything you spent months planning.




Office Studio Update – Gilroy Photography

Office Studio Update – At Home with Donna Gilroy

In the past month, I began redesigning my office studio space! Today, I am excited to share some updates to the space including a more stylish grey & blue color theme with touches of cream. This is such a comfortable studio space to work and share with my clients.

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This modern geometric patterned grey and cream rug was a great find, which sets the tone of the room. The deep blue wall paint created a great bold background. The glass front cream cabinet furniture is just perfect to store supplies. I found the cabinet on one of my many trips to Georgetown at the wonderful Nadeau furniture boutique. Using storage boxes with lids really helps to maximize the cabinet shelves to hold a multitude of supplies.


My career as an artist, lead me naturally into the genre of wedding photography. I started as a landscape painter of Virginia countryside and later portrait painting. I studied fine art, art history, graphics design, printmaking and photography at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia and George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia where I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. It was while I was working as a Graphics Designer for several major corporations I continued my love of photography and found it was my true passion.

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The famous French film photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson, inspired me to find my true calling. While studying art history one of his photographs had a lasting impact on my artistic expression. He coined the term, “the decisive moment”. I am always looking for those decisive moments that are so full of magic throughout a Wedding Day. It is so satisfying to capture and hold those moments in time. I take photographs to give those moments to couples.

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Over the years I have photographed such beautiful events in the lives of my clients. I have captured magical moments during a first dance and the father of the bride dance, intimate moments during a first look before the ceremony, and stolen moments throughout the day. I keep observing and always looking to capture the authentic moments. The tears of joy, the momentary glances, the touch of a hand, the sheer joy of surprise or delight of laughter all culminate into the story of your day. Each couples’ wedding day is unique and I am passionate about telling their story with authenticity.

Hair and Makeup: Allure Salon
Linen Mr. & Mrs. Pillow: Newport, La Bella Luce Antiques
Furniture Cabinet: Nadeau of Georgetown
Tray: Nicole Miller
Rug: Dakota
End Table: Greenfront
Grey Throw: Homegoods
Basket: Natural Origins RGI, eco-friendly materials