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St. Louis' Best Photographer

Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing a wedding vendor can be a challenge. 

Before signing on the dotted line, interview potential wedding vendors to ensure you like them. Choosing a photographer is especially crucial, because you'll be with your photographer for practically the entire day, you'll want to feel comfortable having them around. Additionally, these are this is the only investment you'll make in your wedding day that will last for the rest of your life.

 Ask these questions to help you select the right photographer.

I've answered each question; the text in italics.

Availability


Is my wedding date available?

I book dates up to three years in advance, there's only one way to know: ask me!


Will you be the one shooting my wedding? If not, can I meet the photographer who will be on-site?

*I* will be at your wedding. 


How many other weddings will you photograph that weekend?

I only book one event per day. You will have my full attention for the day of your wedding.


Will you have any assistants with you on our wedding day?

I generally work alone or with a second photographer (depending on your wishes). I am more than comfortable handling any size event by myself, but a second photographer can be invaluable for the additional perspectives they can bring.


Background Check


How long have you been shooting weddings? How many weddings have you photographed?

I've been perfecting the craft of wedding photography for over 20 years. 

Unfortunately, I've lost count of the number of weddings I've photographed.


Do you often shoot weddings that have a similar size and style to the one we are planning?

I've done events that have had a few dozen close family members, and I've done events of several hundred guests. 

I am most comfortable with Christian or non-religious weddings, though I have done Jewish ceremonies. 


Can we see the full galleries of a few of your recent weddings?

I am happy to facilitate that when we meet.


Have you ever shot a wedding at our ceremony and reception venues? If not, do you plan to check the venues out in advance?

There is a good possibility I've worked at your venue. That said, I will ask what makes it special to you. I will see things that I like, but I want to capture what you like about it.


Have you ever worked with our planner? Videographer? FloristDJ?

Quite possibly. I communicate well with all the vendors on wedding day so we can function as one big team to make your event magical.


Style


How would you describe your photography style? What would you compare your work to?

I would describe my style as timeless and influenced by the fine art of the Old Masters like Carvaggio. I stay abreast of the current trends, but my work stays consistent so that it can be appreciated for generations to come.


How would you describe your working style? Do you prefer to blend into the background to capture candid moments, or do you like to be more visible and take charge to choreograph images?

Clients hire me for my professional experience. They trust - and expect - my input on how to make their day match their dream.
There are moments I will hang back and create candid and relaxed images of the events. There are others that require me to take charge and make things happen. I have a reputation amongst former clients and event staff for being able to move through formal portraits very efficiently, making a normally sluggish part of the day move quickly and create time for more relaxation.


Do you shoot digitally? With film? Or both?

I work digitally.


Pricing and Packages


What is included in your standard package? What add-ons do the more expensive packages include?

All of my packages include the MDKauffmann experience, an engagement session, and a tangible book of the day. Variables for larger packages include adding a second photographer, additional time, larger albums, and additional artwork.
Every printed image includes an accompanying digital file for online sharing.


Can I customize a package to fit my needs?

Absolutely. Most of my clients customize their package to get it Goldilocks "just right."


Do you include engagement photos in your packages? What about pre-wedding events like rehearsal dinners?

All of my packages include engagement photos. I don't often attend rehearsals, but it could be added to any package.


How many hours are included in each package?

The number of hours is determined in the package. The price of extra hours depends on the number of staff present. I've built my packages to ensure enough coverage for most events.


Do you offer a photo booth?

I have the capacity to offer a few options of photo booths as additions to other packages.


Do you offer retouching, color adjustment, or other corrective services? Are those included or an additional charge?

Most common retouching, color adjustment, and correction is included. 

Complicated requests may incur additional charges, determined on a case by case basis.


Do you charge a travel fee? For what distance? What does that cover?

Travel fees would be discussed on a case by case basis. I don't have a specific distance where I would expect it, and I would rather leave that to a "common sense" discussion with the individual client.



Prints and Albums


Can we order prints or albums directly from you?

I prefer that you do. I work with professional printers that I have built a solid relationship with. I know their work; they stand behind it and I know I can as well. When other services print my work there is the possibility that it will not render as intended.


What type of album do you offer? Do you provide assistance selecting images and designing the album?

I have a variety of albums across most price points. 
I will have an album pre-designed when we meet to view your images (which can, of course, be customized).


Are albums or prints included in your packages?

All packages come with an album; my top packages also include wall art.


How long after the wedding will we receive the images? How will they be delivered?

I ask for 4-6 weeks to prepare your images. 

I have found that with my style of photography, I could have them ready sooner than that if necessary, but I would much rather under-promise and over-deliver than run late.
The first reveal of your images is in person. I make a production of it, ensuring that they are viewed as the artwork they will become. Everything looks good on a cell phone screen, but your wedding artwork deserves to be experienced.


Will we receive the negatives and/or high resolution digital images? Is there a fee for that? Will we have the rights to the images?

I include a web-sized file of each purchased image. These are fully retouched.

High resolution files with printing rights are available for an additional fee, and a caveat.
Digital lowered the cost of entry to become a photographer. This flooded the market with inexperienced camera owners looking to make a quick buck. Their gimmick became offering "all of the digital files" to the client and it unfortunately became the standard. In talking with clients since then, the universal response has been a decrease in customer satisfaction when digital files are the primary deliverable. The reason is that digital files are an unfinished product; they require the client to do the work to finish the process to obtain an album or artwork for their walls. This becomes a daunting task and gets put off until it is forgotten. Five years later, the client spent money on a photographer but has nothing to show for it. I would much rather present you with finished artwork. You've paid me to do the work and to stand behind it; I'm happy to finish my job.


Will the images be accessible online? For how long?
Yes, images are available to view and share from an online gallery. As of this writing, there is no time limit to that gallery...I will only create one if it is mandated by my web host.


Logistics


When will we receive the contract?

As soon as we know the dates, locations, and what your package will include.


How much of a deposit do you require? When is it due?

Unless otherwise discussed, the retainer is 50% of the total package and is due with the contract.


Do you accept payments in installations?

Certainly!


What is your refund or cancellation policy?

Life happens. Sometimes plans change, and I try to be as accommodating as possible.

A refund or cancellation depends on the exact circumstances, but ultimately the retainer is non-refundable.


Do you have liability insurance? Does it cover your assistants, as well?

I am covered by a $3million dollar policy that covers me and anyone working with or for me.


Do you carry backup equipment?

I always work with at least two cameras and carry several lights. I travel with much more equipment than I should.


What is the backup plan if you are unable to shoot my wedding for an unexpected reason?

I have several networks of trusted friends and associates I could call. Knock on wood, it has never come to that.


How will you and your assistants be dressed?

This is a point up for discussion if you have a specific request. I generally wear a black suit and hat.


Can we request a list of specific shots we would like?

Certainly.


Will you be posting about our wedding on your website and social media? Will you be submitting our photos to magazines or blogs?

The short answer is yes, with your permission.
I try to get sneak-peeks out to you within 24 hours of your wedding so you have something to share with friends and brag about your day. I usually do these on Facebook. I have started pushing myself to publish more and to submit work to reputable contests and magazines. If you would rather not have your wedding publicized, I would certainly respect that request.

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