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!

Informational Wedding Photography

Feed Me, Seymour!

 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. 

Feeding your Photographer helps you in the long run

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!

Informational Wedding Photography

Does my Wedding need a Makeup Artist?

A professional Hair and Makeup Artist makes all the differenceYou’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, orA makeup artist takes all the stress out of wedding day beauty. 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.

Do you have a favorite Makeup Artist? Leave them a shoutout in the comments!
My go to? Jessica Dana Wilmering!

Wedding Photography

The Significance of the First Look

Bride and Groom First Look
The moment of truth – just before they see each other for the first 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.

    1. 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.
  1. 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). 
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
  2. 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.

Informational Wedding Photography

Tips for getting ready for your wedding day

Getting Ready for 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.Bride Getting Ready for her weddingWe’re here today to talk about wedding day prep. Here are some tips to help you look and feel your best.

  • Tanning:

    • 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.


  • Accessories:

    • 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.


  • Shoes:

    • 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?


Informational Wedding Photography

The Benefits of having an Unplugged Wedding

Black and White Bride and Groom KissWhat is an unplugged wedding?

An unplugged wedding is where you ask your guests to turn off their phones, cameras, tablets, and other mobile devices during your ceremony. 

What are the benefits?

There are many benefits to having an unplugged wedding. 

  • When guests use their own cameras, there are many ways that this affects the photography that you’re actually paying for. Guests oftentimes are taking photos at the same time we are, and their flashes can interfere with our cameras, leaving you blown out completely (and unsalvageable) or having weird shadows or lighting throughout the photos. 
  • Guest cameras can leave a red or green dot from their focusing mechanisms. These will show up in our images. 
  • If guests don’t turn off the noise on their cameras, they could be very loud when taking the photos. This can be very distracting to you and your guests. 
  • Speaking of distracting – let’s talk about iPads and other tablets used to take photos. They are HUGE and are very distracting. If we are taking a wide photo of your ceremony, your eyes go straight to the tablet and completely ignore the beautiful couple exchanging vows. 
  • Guests will often get in the aisle or stand in front of the professional photographers, blocking our view. Sometimes, it’s too late for us to be able to get them to move, and we certainly don’t want to upset your guests by making them move. 
  • During family formals, guests will often crowd photographers to get photographs of their own. In addition to the flash problem mentioned above, it causes the group to constantly be looking around, leaving wandering eyes. This creates a challenge for the photographer to get a good photo with everyone looking at the camera. Additionally, it slows the process down.
  • Most importantly, if your guests are taking photos, they are not fully able to enjoy the moment. They are absent and distracted by their picture taking and posting. 

I highly recommend having your wedding unplugged, but respect your wishes if you choose not to. If you have any questions concerning this or how to unplug your wedding, feel free to contact me and we can chat.

Informational Wedding Photography

Why Have Additional Photographers at your Wedding

Two Photographers after an event
One of my favorite partners in crime, Will Hahn

The most important choice in wedding planning is your spouse. Only slightly less important, is your wedding photographer. But should you have additional wedding photographers too?

All of my wedding packages include the option for additional photographers – a main photographer, and a “second shooter”. A second shooter is an additional photographer who is there to cover the wedding as well. You may  want additional wedding photographers for many reasons.

  1. The laws of physics say it is impossible to everywhere at one time. If you want photos of the bride and groom both getting ready, I simply can’t be in both locations at once. By having an additional photographer, we can cover more events at one time. If you like candid photographs, you absolutely want additional photographers. They will be able to get all of the little moments that happen behind the scenes. If you only have one photographer and I am with the bride while the groom gets ready, then we have to have the groom mock up and fake these moments to look candid. “Forced candids” are never quite the same.
  2. During the wedding, the main photographer focuses on getting all the traditional photographs that sometimes we miss the candid moments during your ceremony. A second photographer watches out for these moments. By having a second photographer, it ensures that you get more candid photographs.
  3. You will also get more creative photographs for the same reason. Additional photographers know the main photographer is working through the traditional details and photographs. This frees them to be able to be more creative. They can catch different angles and give you a fresh perspective.
  4. With additional photographers being there, we always have a backup on scene in the event the main photographer gets sick or injured. The additional photographer will be able to take over for them without skipping a beat.
  5. It is also good to have multiple cameras at the event. In case of emergency – for example, a camera gets broken or a card gets corrupted – you will still have photos and they won’t all be lost or damaged. You must ask your photographer about this. I personally always bring at least two cameras, and each of my cameras writes simultaneously to multiple cards. Redundancy is my friend.
  6. If time becomes limited, having an additional photographer ensures nothing gets forgotten or missed. For example, one photographs the reception details while the other is in cocktail hour photographing all of those candid moments and details.
  7. One word of caution: talk with your primary photographer about having additional photographers present. Many photographers – myself included – write terms into their contracts specifying they are the only photographer allowed at the event. This ensures that any additional photographers present would be on my team and working cooperatively. It is also a quality control: I know anyone I bring meets my standards.Ready to book your photography package? Let’s talk today and make your dream come true!
Informational Wedding Photography

Why Invest In Wedding Photography?

Why Invest in Wedding Photography?

Wedding Photography of Bride and Groom Hugging
Investing in wedding photography ensures your photographer is ready to capture moments like this.

Weddings are expensive. Wedding Photography can be expensive. But Wedding Photography is a worthwhile investment.

In the world of weddings, it can be easy to get caught up in trends and details. For some couples, that might mean no frills or DIY everything. As a result, other couples feel pressure to keep costs down by forgoing a third photographer and opting for a raw space as their venue. We take all these decisions very seriously, but there’s one wedding question that we don’t often see addressed:

Why is wedding photography so important?

Especially in an age when photo sharing is so convenient and commonplace, why pay thousands of dollars to document this once-in-a-lifetime party when you can just share photos on Instagram?

The Importance of Weddings

First and foremost, weddings are about love. Couples are not only celebrating each other, but all of the love from their guests, families, and friends too. Weddings are about the love that flows through the day that gets captured by the wedding photographer. It’s about the love you feel, the love that inspires you, and the love you want to share with those still with you today. It’s about celebrating love in all its forms with an artistic medium.

Why is wedding photography important?

The instant-gratification culture we live in can sometimes lead to assumptions about wedding photography. People may feel like their wedding photographs don’t need to be high quality or artistic. But the most important thing to remember about wedding photography is that  a wedding is a moment in time that you can never get back. The photographs you choose to document your wedding can be the only physical reminder left of the people, places, and emotions that came together on that day. They are the most concrete and permanent thing that triggers emotions of love, laughter, and nostalgia in decades to come. When you hire a professional wedding photographer, you’re not only hiring a camera and a person behind it, but an artist capturing memories that are truly unique to you.

A Wedding Is a Moment in Time.

Weddings are about so many things, but the most important is the exchange of vows. You’re committing yourself to one person for the rest of your life. You’re promising to love and cherish them as much as you can. Wedding photography documents that moment in time. Wedding photographs not only tell your guests what happened, but also sharing with them how it felt. Good wedding photography shows the love and emotion that was inside you at that moment.

A wedding is also a time to celebrate your past, present, and future. It’s a time to show gratitude to those who have been part of your journey so far and to acknowledge those who join you in the future. A wedding is a time to show your guests who you are, what you’re about, and why you’re committing yourselves to each other. Wedding photography captures all of these things and more.

Wedding Photography is an Investment in Quality and Craftsmanship.

If you’re like many, you might wonder why wedding photography is so important when so often we share photographs instantly. A great wedding photographer is an artist and a craftsman. They capture moments for you to cherish and admire for years to come. They creates art to display on your walls, printed in books, or shared digitally for generations to see.A great wedding photographer is someone who understands light, composition, and how to balance the emotions of a day. They’ll be able to guide you through poses and give you guidance on what you should look for in your photos. They know when to step in and when to step out, and they have an artistic vision that can help your day be as beautiful as possible.

Wedding Photography is an Investment in the Future 

If you love photography, you understand how much it can mean to hold a photograph in your hands. You can see the colours, feel the textures, and remember the moment as if you were there. You can hold a picture of yourself, your parents, or your friends in your hands and suddenly feel transported back in time. Wedding photography preserves those moments in images for generations to come. Wedding photographers document your day in a beautiful and artistic way so that people who are interested will appreciate it too.

With the rise of social media, it’s easy to forget that people who aren’t as present at your wedding are also interested in your photos. Your Instagram feed might be full of your friends and family, but what about your grandparents or coworkers? What about that friend you met at a networking event who would love to see your special day too? A wedding photographer will preserve your memories in photographs that you will easily share with others.

Wedding Photography is an Investment in Your Memories

Above all, wedding photography is so important because it’s such a significant investment in your memories. It’s not just that you hire someone to take pictures, but what you’re hiring them to do. You are investing in someone to document your day in a way that you’ll be able to look back on for years to come and feel like you are there. They will take you back to that space and time. They will take you back to those emotions.

Wedding Photography is an Investment in Art

There are many elements that go into creating incredible wedding photography. Your wedding photographer understands how to balance the light and how to create the perfect poses for you. Your wedding photographer understands how to communicate with your other vendors and how to collaborate creatively with your artistic team. Your wedding photographer has a plan to make sure your day is exactly as you’ve wanted it since you were five.


At the end of the day, an investment in wedding photography is more than just money for photographs. Wedding photography is an investment in capturing real emotion. Wedding photography is an investment in celebrating your love. Wedding Photography is an investment that honors your journey while connecting with those who came before you and those who come after you.

Ready to know more? Let’s chat right now and start your planning today.