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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!

 

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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.

 

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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?

 

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Informational

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

My Favorite ThingsSinging in Bed

With apologies to Julie Andrews, here is a list of some of my favorite things: vendors, friends I’ve made, stuff you might find useful.

Venues

Oakland House – websiteFacebookInstagram

A Pocket Full of Sunshine – websiteFacebookInstagram

Caterer

Roy-El Catering – websiteFacebookInstagram

Florist

Ahner Florist – websiteFacebookInstagram

Disc Jockey

CJ’s DJ’s – websiteFacebookInstagram

Hair & MakeUp Artist

Jessica Dana Wilmering – websiteFacebook

Videographer

Courtney Cross – Facebook

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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.

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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.

 

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