Engagement Photography

HAWT St. Louis Engagement Photos: 5 Quick Tips

Congratulations on your engagement! Now you are ready for an engagement session, and if you are like most brides-to-be, you want some images that sizzle! Check out these tips to make some HAWT St. Louis engagement photos!Romantic Couple pausing makes for a HAWT St. Louis Engagement Photo

  1. Dress for the season. Think about the season as you prepare for your e-session. If it’s summer, make sure to dress appropriately so you and your fiancé aren’t getting sweat stains and red faces during the session. If it’s in winter, wear bright colors so you don’t blend into the snow. Just be aware of these things so you are comfortable and your photos will look the best they can be. Also remember that St. Louis weather changes frequently, so plan ahead.
  2. Choosing the best session time. In the morning and later in the evening are the best times for a session because of the amazing ‘golden hour’ lighting. If you have a session at noon, the lighting is harsh and your photos will ultimately suffer. 
  3. Prepare yourself. Make a list of everything you need for your session – brush, lipstick, extra clothes, accessories, etc. Put them in the car and be ready to go. Along with that, get directions and a GPS, or your handy dandy smart phone, and program in the address of the session. You don’t want to get lost and cause unnecessary stress. Leave with plenty of time to spare.
  4. Get hyped!. This is also part of preparing yourself. If you’re excited, it can’t help but rub off on your fiancé. He or she loves you and gets excited when you’re excited. Your significant other can’t help but get excited, too. So build up the hype and let him or her know how important this is to you and how fun it will be.
  5. Relax. Do not, I repeat, do not, stress out about this. This is fun! It is easy to worry about what you’re going to look like, if the weather cooperates, etc., but the more you stress, the more likely you’ll read stiff or uncomfortable on camera. The more relaxed you are, the better your photos will be. Do what you can to prepare for the session and leave the rest up to me. That’s what I’m here for, so just take a breath and relax. Hey, maybe this is a prime excuse to spring for that massage?

Are you ready for an amazing engagement session? Contact me today and let’s make you some HAWT St. Louis engagement photos.

Trying to decide what to wear? I gotchu.

After your HAWT St. Louis engagement photos, you’ll be looking for a wedding photographer. I knowaguy…check out what I offer here.


The Best Ways to Show Off Artwork

Now that your session is over, it’s time to decide where you should put your photos. How do you know what will look best in your home? Here are a few of the best ways to show off your artwork.

  • Canvas – We offer beautiful canvases stretched over varying thicknesses of wood to make it stand out more or less depending on your preference. These photos free-float and do not require a frame.
  • Framed on Wall – Dress your photos up with stylish frames toWall Art Gallery match your home décor. We offer a variety of print sizes for you to choose from. Contact us for more details.

*When hanging photos on your wall you can choose to hang a single photo or a group in a collage. 

  • Framed on Shelves, Desks, Tables – If you rent your home or don’t want to put holes in your walls from prints or canvases, you can also frame your prints and place them on shelves, desks, or tables around your home. You can also do this in addition to the wall hangings if you’d like.
  • Photo Boxes – Customized photo boxes are popular. They are a great way to display your photos. As a bonus, you can keep more prints inside. Also, you can use them as a keepsake box to house your precious memories.
  • Albums/Coffee Table Books – If you just can’t pick out a few photos to display in your home and you need more space, you can always get an album printed up and place it on your coffee table or bookshelf. Albums are great ways of telling the story of your love. These are the most popular (and efficient) products I offer, making it the best way for showing off your artwork.
  • Computer Screensaver – We also create slideshows to use as screensavers so you can enjoy your photos while your computer gets some rest.Ready to book your session? Contact me today and we will fill those walls!
Informational Portrait Photography

How long of a session do I need?

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. 

  • Beautiful woman in an urban fashion photograph30 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.

If you have any questions about which session you should choose, feel free to contact me at m[email protected].

Informational Instructional

5 tips on how to relax in front of the camera

Relaxed HeadshotAre you nervous about your photography? Here are some of my favorite tips to help you relax in front of the camera:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Drink – Not enough to get drunk, but just enough to help you cut loose. If you feel slightly buzzed, it may help tremendously. 
  5. 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.

Are you ready for your photo session? Contact one of St. Louis’ best photographers today and make it happen.


See the Difference?

You can see the difference when you hire a professional photographer.

I am proud to be not only a member of the ProfessionalProfessional Photographers of America Logo 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

Instructional Portrait Photography

Dressing for a St. Louis Fall Family Portraits

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: St Louis Family Fall Portrait

  • 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.


Informational Portrait Photography

7 Tips to take the stress out of picture day

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.

Well Prepared Family Portrait in StudioWhen 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:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. 
  7. 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:
    1. I don’t stress.
    2. I take care of things
    3. I create amazing photos of your family.
  8. 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 Photographycheck ’em out!
Informational Wedding Photography

What is a pre-event consult?

Meeting with Clients before their weddingYour 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!


Informational Wedding Photography

How Many Hours Should I Book My Wedding Photographer For?

How many hours do I need a wedding photographer for?

Fireworks - Wedding
A wedding photographer discreetly captures a couple enjoying fireworks at their wedding.

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.

Ceremony Length

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. 

Location Transfer

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.

Ready for more information? Contact one of St. Louis’ best wedding photographers.


Informational Wedding Photography

Not having a first look? How much time do you need after the ceremony for photos?

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.

Excited Groom First Look
Groom excitedly sees his bride for the first time as she enters the church.

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.

  1. For family formals, you will need 30 to 45 minutes depending on your family size. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Ready to plan your day? Let’s Chat!