Not sure how much time you need for your custom portrait session? You’ve come to the right place! I’m here to help you figure out the perfect length for your photo shoot. I currently offer three slots: 30 minutes, one hour, and two hours.
30 minutes: A half hour session is great if you just need some basic photos to document where you are now, such as a headshot. You will be allowed one outfit and one location.
1 hour: This session will allow us some more time to get creative. Most people add an additional outfit, and we can add a second location. This is my most popular option. An hour gives us an opportunity to find a rhythm without wearing you as a model out.
2 hours: This is the ultimate portrait session. Four hours allows for maximum creativity. You are free to change multiple wardrobes and visit multiple locations. Two hours sounds like a long time, but it passes quickly when we have a rhythm and rapport.
Are you nervous about your photography? Here are some of my favorite tips to help you relax in front of the camera:
Play Music – Bring your favorite music to play during your session. Jamming to a sick beat will help you to calm down and feel comfortable.
Deep Breathing – Practice deep breathing, which is a proven relaxation method. Breathe in deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Then repeat until you feel better.
Take a Break – If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can always take a break from photography and talk to relax before resuming the session. Often it is more efficient to work in bits rather than push through.
Drink – Not enough to get drunk, but just enough to help you cut loose. If you feel slightly buzzed, it may help tremendously.
Laugh It Off – If you’re feeling silly in front of the camera, laugh at yourself. Laughter is a great relaxation technique. Even if it starts faked, it will help you loosen up.
BONUS TIP – Work with a talented photographer! A good photographer will be able to quickly build a rapport with you and help you relax in front of the camera. They will have the experience to make their adjustments efficiently and not have to trouble you with technical glitches.
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
Fall in St. Louis is the perfect time for Family Portraits. The colors are vibrant and the temperatures are mild. All that’s missing is your family.
Fall is all about bundling up in lots of layers, enjoying the shift from hot to cool, and soaking up the sun and autumn foliage. With this in mind, here are a few tips for choosing outfits for your St. Louis fall family portraits:
Choose colors that won’t clash too much with the fall leaves. Instead, stick with a neutral palette with colors that blend seamlessly into autumn’s spectrum. For example, wear earthy reds, burnt oranges, creamy nude, etc.
Layer up! Don’t hesitate to throw on those scarves, cardigans, blazers or hats lest a falling temp catch you unprepared.
Wear shoes that fit the season. Think not only about riding boots or comfy, fur-lined boots but also loafers and flats.
Want a few more ideas? Here‘s what I’ve put together from my years of experience.When you’re ready for more information. Here is everything you need to know about booking family portraits.
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.