You can see the difference when you hire a professional photographer.
I am proud to be not only a member of the Professional Photographers of America, but Certified by them as a Professional – a distinction they reserve for only the top 3% of photographers world wide. I know my craft as a photographer, and I follow a code of ethics to be a fair businessperson. You can trust that when you hire me, you are going to be overjoyed with the resulting artwork that we display in your home.
Ready to know more and hire a professional? Let’s chat
Originally I wrote this with family sessions in mind. As I edited it, I realized that it really pertains to all photography. If you’re having any picture day stress – whether that’s family portraits, engagement portraits, senior portraits, boudoir portraits, or even a simple head-shot, read on to take away the picture day stress.
When it comes to family picture day, a lot of stress can be associated with the session. That doesn’t have to happen. I’m here to help you relax and be prepared all at the same time. Here are some tips:
Find the outfits you want everyone to wear a month in advance and set them aside somewhere safe. Then try them on a week ahead of time to ensure everything still fits comfortably and that you didn’t miss any stains or holes that you couldn’t see before they were worn.
As soon as your family changes out of their photo attire, make sure it is clean and pressed to be ready for the big day. Set the clothes together (sorted by person) and place them somewhere free from harm and dirt. Be sure to tell everyone that these are picture clothes and not worn until picture day. This will help to be sure that no articles of clothing go missing. Don’t forget about shoes, jewelry, belts, and other accessories.
About three to four days prior to the session, start talking with your husband and kids about the session and what happens and how they should behave. If you plan to use a bribe, now is a good time to set that in place. Continue to talk to your children daily to prepare them for the session.
Two days prior to the session, pack a bag of everything you need on picture day – snacks, props, bribery, etc. and put it somewhere you can grab it and go. Include wipes in case things get messy, an extra hairbrush, and other “emergency” items, such as bobby pins and a backup lipstick. If you forget something, don’t stress it. I carry an infamous Mary Poppins box of everything possible for a photo session. I do not carry make-up or food though.
On the day of the session, make sure everyone eats a light snack. No one wants sick little tummies from overeating, but we even worse is “hangry” (angry because they are so hungry). Do not dress in photo clothes until after eating and brushing of teeth. This prevents spills and other messy accidents.
If you have young children, avoid any colored drinks the day of the session until after the session. Also, get them to wear a bib or drop cloth if they drink anything on the way to the session. This prevents wet spots or stains.
Once you get to the session, try to relax. If you have set a bribe, please let your photographer know so they can use that throughout the session if the children is restless. Trust your photographer – know that:
I don’t stress.
I take care of things
I create amazing photos of your family.
BONUS TIP – choose a photographer that knows how to interact with you and your family to draw out the best results. May I suggest one of St. Louis’ best photographers? MDKauffmann Photography – check ’em out!
Your wedding photographer spends more time with you than any other vendor on wedding day. Having a working relationship with that person is of paramount importance. Even more important is that they understand the vision you have for your wedding that you’ve been dreaming about since you were five. How do we do that? A pre-event consult.
A pre-event consult is set in place so that we get an opportunity to meet and talk. This is the best opportunity to set expectations before the big day arrives. Your photographer will talk about your timeline and how your schedule flows. You will work out details, like when to do the family formals and if you are having a first look. They also finalize what time we need to arrive, when to leaving, where to meet, and all of the other important details they need to know.
If you have any questions for me, the pre-consult would be the perfect time to ask. This consult is also a good time to chat and get to know one another, especially if you don’t have an engagement session planned.
Ultimately, this is important so you will feel more comfortable with me on your wedding day.
At MDKauffmann Photography, I would not think of photographing an event as important as a wedding without doing a pre-event consult. Wanna know more about my flow? Drop me a line, and let’s chat!
How many hours do I need a wedding photographer for?
One of our most frequently asked questions is: How long should I book my wedding photographer for? This is a great question, and I’m here to help you find the answer.
What do you want your wedding photographer to cover?
First, you need to decide what important details you want your wedding photographer to cover. Do you want a lot of getting ready photographs prior to the ceremony? Do you want me to stay for the entire reception? These details will affect the length of time you need me there. If you want me to stay until your reception exit, and you want a lot of candid, getting ready photographs, you need full day coverage. On the other hand, if you just want a few getting ready photographs, that will knock off some time. If you want me to stay for just the main events in the reception and not until the last guest leaves, then this shortens the day. When you decide on a start and/or end time, this is the first step to booking your package.
Next, you need to consider the ceremony length. For a Catholic wedding, the ceremonies tend to be longer, so you need to allow more time. If you want me to cover you getting ready, the ceremony, and the reception, I suggest 10 hours for Catholic weddings. If you have a shorter ceremony, you won’t need to take out as much time from your schedule.
Now let’s talk about location. If you have a shorter ceremony and your reception is at the same venue as your ceremony, then you won’t need as much time because you can take out travel time. I estimate something like this would be good for six to eight hours, depending on the formal photos.
On that same note, if your reception is at a different venue, you need to include travel time into your schedule. Also incorporate the amount of time it takes to pack up all of your stuff to take to the reception. If you are going to take photos along the drive to the reception, should add more time for that as well.
How efficient is my wedding photographer at formal photographs?
For formal photos, you have to consider how many people are in your bridal party, and how many people are in your family photos. If you have a small bridal party and a small number of family members having photos done, (and you’re at the same location the whole time), then six hours will suffice. If you have a larger family or bridal party, you may need closer to eight hours.
Do I want my wedding photographer for a special exit?
If you’re doing a special exit from the reception, like a sparkler exit, you want full day coverage.
Some weddings can be covered in just four hours. If you’re having a backyard wedding or a courthouse wedding where your reception is short (for example, no dancing, etc.) and maybe just like a sit down dinner at a restaurant, then this could all be covered in four hours time.
Doing a first look is an increasingly popular part of a wedding day, but they aren’t for everyone. Without a first look, we usually do most of the photographs after the wedding ceremony.
If you want to go the more traditional route and forego the first look, here are the minimum times you will need to schedule out for photos after the ceremony.
For family formals, you will need 30 to 45 minutes depending on your family size.
You should plan a half hour for bride and groom portraits and 30 to 45 minutes for your bridal party pictures, depending on the number of people in your party.
If you travel to multiple locations, you will have to gather everything together and transport it. It is a good idea to designate a friend or someone to do this for you to save time. Ideally that person is not in photos.
Keep in mind that it can be difficult to keep family, friends, and bridal party members together and all in one place after the ceremony, especially if it is a large party. For that reason, you need to plan some extra bubble time in case someone goes missing.
These are the minimum times. If you have more people in your family and bridal party photos, you may want to add some more time.
Sometimes people ask me if they should count their photographer as part of the meal plan. ABSOLUTELY! A fed photographer is a happy photographer, and feeding your photographer will make your wedding day smoother.
A wedding typically lasts 10 to 12 hours. If we take getting ready photos and are there all day, we try to eat a big breakfast before we get there, but that only lasts so long. Wedding photographers are often running around like crazy all day trying to cover the whole wedding, and don’t have time to snack or take a break. We’ve literally been known to run to the bathroom to cram down a sandwich or pretzels that we packed in three minutes and then get back to it.
All that said, it is important that your photographer gets a small break to eat during the day. This is preferably done during the reception when everyone else is eating. This works out better for everyone, because no one wants to have photos of themselves eating.
We do prefer if you provide a meal for us so we don’t have to leave and find a local food place, or worry about spoiled food that’s been sitting in the car all day. Most weddings arrange for the photographer to eat what everyone else is eating. This is ideal because it also gives us a plate to photograph for your album. Some wedding venues provide vendor meals, so it may be worth asking about those.
Finally, it is important to feed your photographer because it is hard to stay creative on an empty stomach. Think about if you didn’t get a lunch break at work – it makes it hard to focus the rest of the day because you’re so hungry. It is also very embarrassing for the photographer when they pass out during a reception. Feeding your photographer is an investment in better wedding photographs.
Please let us know arrangements ahead of time so we know the plan. Thank you!
Ready to plan your big day? I’m with you every step of the way, but I need to know you’re looking. Drop me a line today and let’s chat!
You’ve made a big investment in photography (and possibly videography as well) to help capture your wedding day. You want to make sure you absolutely look your best. Although I’m sure you do a very nice job on your everyday makeup, I strongly recommend hiring a makeup artist for your wedding.
Even though you’re great at doing your own makeup, a make-up artist (MUA) can do it so much better. I mean, after all, that is their job. I especially recommend hiring a good Makeup Artist if you don’t normally do your own makeup. They know what will look good on you and can make it look natural and flawless.
Makeup artists use high-grade makeup. This means it’s less likely that anything runs, shines, or smudges, which ensures that you don’t have any makeup malfunctions during your big day. They also know what works well with the flash, the lighting at different times of the day, etc.
On your wedding day, you’re going to be moving around all day and you want your makeup to last. You’ll need to be wearing about 30% more makeup than normal. It may seem like a lot because you’re not used to it, but it won’t look like as much on camera. Makeup artists know exactly how much to put on.
A makeup artist knows how to accentuate your features. Photographers love to make portraits and close ups, and your makeup makes all the difference. They know that cameras alter lighting and colors and how to avoid common makeup issues with photography. Everyday makeups can make you look oily or shiny on camera – make up artists make sure the makeup they use will photograph perfectly. Also, on your wedding day, you’ll be wearing a lot of white. You don’t want to look washed out in your photos; a makeup artist knows how to make sure that doesn’t happen.
And lastly, they know your schedule and can keep you on track by having you ready in time.
Many of my couples ask me whether or not they should have a first look. If you are reading this, you are probably wondering the same thing. In my professional opinion, I think first looks are an excellent idea. I love first looks. I know that they are a tad bit ‘untraditional,’ but let me take a minute to explain the benefits of a first look.
Your wedding day will be crazy busy. There is no getting around it. You have so much to do and so little time to do it in. If you have a first look, it helps to calm down the day a bit. Instead of trying to rush around to get everyone together and taking photos between the wedding ceremony and reception while your guests are waiting, you will have that time to relax and enjoy your guests. We can do all of the main portraits before the ceremony even begins – at the very least, the bride and groom and bridal party photos. This way, your hair and makeup are still perfect, as they were just finished. Additionally, we can do your family photos beforehand, or then only have a few of them to arrange after the ceremony.
A first look also gives you a very special, intimate moment with your new spouse. It is a chance to pause and breathe in the middle of a hectic day. If you are nervous or stressed out this will especially help to relax you. Your spouse can comfort you and let you know it will all be OK. With a first look, that moment is just between you and your spouse (and your photographers, of course).
BONUS TIP – you can also do a first look with your bridesmaids. It is amazing to listen to them squeal with delight about how radiant you look in your dress.
ABSOLUTE MUST – do a first look with your dad! Most dads melt into a puddle of emotion when he sees his baby girl all dolled up for the first time.
Even if you have a first look, your partner will be just as happy to see you walking down the aisle. You will still take their breath away. Don’t worry that you’ll be spoiling the moment by seeing them prior to the ceremony. If anything, it creates an additional moment because there is a whole new set of emotions when they see you in the aisle.
Ready to plan your first look as part of your wedding day? Shoot me a message now and let’s chat about your wedding day.
Getting anxious about being ready for your wedding day? Here are a few tips that can help you look your best on your big day.We’re here today to talk about wedding day prep. Here are some tips to help you look and feel your best.
If you’re going to tan before the wedding, be sure to avoid tan lines – especially if you have a strapless dress. If you’re getting married in the summer, make sure that in the two to three months leading up to your wedding you’re tanning evenly to avoid tan lines.
Hair & Makeup:
Get your hair and makeup professionally done. Be sure to do a trial run beforehand to ensure you like the look before your big day.
Try on your dress with different accessories you think you want to wear on your wedding day. This way, you know what it looks like with the dress so you know for sure what you want to wear, and are not trying to decide on a necklace, etc. on the day of your wedding. This takes away getting ready time and causes unnecessary stress.
Walk around in your wedding shoes prior to the big day to get them worn in. Also, take some sandpaper to the bottoms to scuff them up a bit so you don’t slip down the aisle or on the dance floor. If you are going to walk around in grass, you’ll want to get some high heel protector caps so you don’t sink in the grass. Also be conscious of walking on uneven grass so you don’t face plant in your pretty white dress.
Eat & Drink:
The best way for you to look your best is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water the days leading up to, and the day of, your wedding. Also, be sure to eat on your wedding day throughout the day so you don’t pass out or get a headache. And if you’re going to drink alcohol, don’t get drunk before photos – especially if it’s red wine that can stain everything (including your mouth). Save it for after all the big events at your reception.
Want to know more?
Snag either of these resources I’ve put together that will help take more of the guesswork out of wedding planning.