web analytics
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

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.

Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography Terminology 101

Wedding Photography: Romantic Sunset KissAs wedding photographers, we use a lot of terminology that you may not understand. This article is to help you get to know some of our terms in regard to your wedding photography.

  • Traditional – Traditional wedding photography is the standard portraits, poses, and events taken at weddings. These are the images that we get at every wedding, no matter what. For example, bride and groom standing side by side looking at the camera, or the exchanging of rings and kiss during the ceremony.
  • CandidCandid images are photographs that are not planned, but are taken as they happen. They are very much in the moment and are different for every single wedding. 
  • PinterestThis is when a photo is inspired by something the client found on Pinterest. We often have clients show us Pinterest boards they’ve created of different images they like. 
  • Romantic – These are images that are based on the couple and shows them interacting with one another and being lovey toward each other. They are sweet and more natural poses.
  • Fun – Fun photos are spontaneous, in the moment photos where the couple or bridal party acts silly and loosens up as opposed to the sometimes stiff feeling of formal photos.
  • Details – Detail shots are just that: pictures of details, like the flowers, your rings, place settings, shoes, jewelry, etc.
  • Bridal Portraits – These are photographs done of just the bride. They are often very intentional and artisticr.
  • Formals – Formal photographs are typically done after the ceremony (sometimes before) where the family and bridal party gets together with the bride and groom and takes photos where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling. There are a variety of photo groups here depending on the family bridal party sizes and with whom you want photos. This is often what people think of as the tedious wedding photography (and the part that I’ve worked hardest to make efficient and fun).
  • RAW – RAW data is straight out of the camera in the computer language the camera uses. Technically, they are not even photos and require specific software to view them. Couples sometimes ask for these, RAW data is useless to a client.
  • JPEG – A JPEG is a common file type for photographs. JPEG’s is RAW data, written into a usable form. Almost every device and software can use JPEG’s.
  • Editing – This is where we adjust your photos. If we need to make them brighter or darker or enhance the colors. This is our editing process. We can also take the color out and make the image a black and white photo. 
  • Proof – Your proofs will be an album of the best images from your wedding, but not necessarily the final version. 
  • Retouching – During our editing process, retouching is where we can remove blemishes and smooth out skin, and make other minor adjustments. 
  • Cull – This is the process where we eliminate ‘bad’ or duplicate images before you get your proofs. A bad image would be one that is way too dark, bright, blurry, someone blinked, etc. We also take out similar images so you don’t have to look through a million of the same photo over and over again, leaving you only with the best photographs. 
  • Digital Images – We are digital photographers, meaning that we use memory cards instead of film. The digital image is akin to the negatives of ancient history. They are an unfinished product of limited value.
  • High Res – This term is short for High Resolution and means that the image is good for printing.
  • Low Res/Web Res – This is short for Low Resolution and is not good for printing. Low Res images are ideal for online purposes and sharing on social media.
  • Bridal Party – This includes your maid (or matron) of honor, best man, bridesmaids, groomsmen, ring bearer, flower girl, and ushers.
  • Photojournalistic (PJ) – This is a style of wedding photography that is based on candid images. There is no real posing to it, but rather capturing events as they happen.
  • First Look – A first look is when the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony in a private meeting. This allows more time for photography, as we can work with the whole party and family before the ceremony. It also gives the couple a special, private moment to share.
  • A La Carte Images – This is when you purchase images individually and not as part of a package.
  • Same Plane – When we are taking photos and we tell you to ‘Get on the same plane’ that means that we want all of your faces/bodies to be on the same level so that everyone can remain in focus.


Informational Wedding Photography

How to Choose a St. Louis Wedding Photographer

How to Choose a St. Louis Wedding Photographer: 3 Tips to Help You Choose

Bridal Party Bouquet Toss at St. Louis' Municipal Theatre

There’s no doubt about it, hiring a photographer for your wedding is an important decision. So many details need to photograph, and the photographs are what you look back on for years to come. We all know that choosing the right photographer can set the tone of your big day in a major way. After all, these images are the only records you have left after the big day is done. But with so many different photographers out there, how do you choose? With so many options available, it may seem like an overwhelming task to find the perfect St. Louis wedding photographer for your special day. However, with careful research and consideration of a few key points, you can hire the perfect one for your wedding without much difficulty at all!

Check Out The Wedding Photographer’s Work Ethics

This is one of the most important factors that you should look out for when hiring a photographer. This can determine whether a photographer will be professional and skillful enough to handle your special day. It can also help you determine if a photographer is right for your special day in other ways as well.

One quick way to determine a photographer’s work ethics is to see if they have any reviews or testimonials from past clients. An established photographer will likely have reviews from past clients. Make sure you check out the reviews and take them into account when making your decision.

A photographer’s communication style also illustrates their work ethic. Make sure to check out how responsive the photographer is after you are in touch with them. If they take a long time to respond to your emails or phone calls this may illustrate their organization, or lack thereof. An organized photographer will respond to you in a prompt manner. Side tip: get all your questions answered and make sure you are on track for the big day.

Check the Wedding Photography Package Included Services

This is an important factor to look out for as well, especially if you have a specific theme or style in mind. You need to make sure that all the included services your photographer offers will suit your wedding needs. A good photographer will provide a list of included services that you can look over when deciding which photographer to hire. This list will help you figure out which services the photographers offer, so you can compare them to your needs and expectations. A good photographer will know what services are needed for your special day and list them accordingly. This will make it super easy for you to determine if a photographer is right for you. Once you have narrowed down your options based on the package included services, you can then select the photographer whose services fit your needs and expectations the most.

Ask for References

Another thing you should do when narrowing down your options is ask for references. A photographer that has references available to give you is likely trustworthy, so this can be another sign of professionalism and skill. A photographer should be able to provide you with references and contact information for previous clients that you can reach out to. You should definitely take the time to reach out to references to see if the photographer provided them with excellent service in the past.

3 More Tips to Help Find the Right St. Louis Wedding Photographer!

All in all, hiring a photographer for your special day is an important decision. Make sure to consider these factors when narrowing down your options and selecting the perfect photographer for your wedding.

Now that you know what to look out for when hiring a photographer, you can be sure to select the right one for your special day! Finding the right photographer for your wedding is definitely doable. With careful consideration of these factors, you can find a photographer that will provide you with the perfect service for your wedding day. Now all that’s left is to sit back, relax, and enjoy the planning process!

For more information, please click on the link below. ## Click Here book one of St. Louis’ Best Wedding Photographers

Informational Wedding Photography

Wedding Photos: How Much Time Do I Need?

Bridal Party at Forest Park's Grand Basin
Wedding photos are often done at the Grand Basin in Forest Park.

People love wedding photos, but  not sure how long they should take. Many people consider wedding photos to be a necessary evil of a wedding day. Brides recognize that they are necessary, but are not sure how long to build into the schedule for them.

As an aside, let me point out here that much depends on your wedding photographer. An organized and charismatic photographer makes all the difference. An organized photographer helps wedding photos go smoothly and efficiently. I put hours of planning into doing them and try to make the process as fun as possible. I have been able to photograph two large families and a bridal party in as little as 30 minutes. This was a challenge: planning for more time is always better.


For family formals I recommend 30 to 45 minutes depending on your family size. 

Bridal Party:

You should plan a half hour for bride and groom portraits. Additionally, you should plan an 30-45 minutes for bridal party photos. This, of course, varies by how large and cooperative your bridal party is.


If we travel to additional locations for wedding photos, you will have to gather everything – and everyone – together for transport. It is a good idea to designate a friend who is not in wedding photos to do this for you. Many times we will do the family photos at the ceremony location. The bridal party often travels via party bus to other locations.

Popular Locations:

St. Louis has some BEAUTIFUL places for wedding photos, including Forest Park, Lafayette Square, Tower Grove Park, the Arch, and Carondelet Park, to name a few. BUT: popular wedding days make these locations crowded. I know of some others that are not as busy, but prettier. I could share these here, but I have to save something for those who book me!

Bubble Time:

Long lost family and friends love to visit after weddings. Often it is a challenge to keep everyone together. For that reason, so you need to allow some extra bubble time in case someone goes missing. 

These are my recommended minimum times. Obviously, bigger groups require more time. Worst case scenario is that we finish early and you have some moments to relax.

error: Content is protected !!