MDKauffmann Photography: Blog en-us (C) MDKauffmann Photography (MDKauffmann Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:32:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:32:00 GMT MDKauffmann Photography: Blog 120 110 Quiet Moment 20180602MDK877720180602MDK8777

Just a quiet moment between a bride and her beau during a St. Louis wedding

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A Kiss SampleSampleSample 102108_9

This was one of my very first weddings I photographed. Its still one of my favorite images

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Relaxing SampleSample

Take a moment on your wedding day to just “be”, as this Memphis wedding couple is demonstrating

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Pensive bride SampleSample

What’s on the mind of this bride? Taken at the Cathedral of St Peters in Belleville, Illinois

]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) belleville bride cathedral flowers groom illinois louis lovely of pensive peters photographer southern st st. wedding Wed, 29 Jan 2020 02:10:41 GMT
Happy Birthday SampleSample

Happy Birthday to this Belleville, Illinois musician, Justin Aymer. This image was created during a light rain as an album cover

]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) album belleville branding canon cover dark godox360 headshot illinois louis melancholy musician photographer photography rain singer-songwriter st Tue, 28 Jan 2020 03:42:27 GMT
Sunset Kiss SampleSample

A Lebanon, Illinois couple share a romantic kiss at sunset at Horner Park, Lebanon, Illinois

]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) best bride groom kiss louis photographer photography portrait st st. sunset wedding weddings Thu, 23 Jan 2020 03:29:58 GMT
WTF you lookin at? MDK_8589MDK_8589

Miranda the Muse with her badass squinch

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Bridal Portrait

Stunning bride Jenna poses at The Falls, Columbia, Illinois

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What are you lookin at? 20181027MDK939920181027MDK9399

A St Louis bride with attitude poses at Tower Grove Park

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Father’s Pride 20180602MDK715720180602MDK7157

Dad’s look says it all. You can feel his happiness at this St. Louis wedding

]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) bride father louis mdkauffmann of photographer photography st. the wedding Wed, 15 Jan 2020 04:07:38 GMT
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St Louis Model Paige Bequette poses during a fashion shoot in Belleville, IL

]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) belleville blonde fashion louis model photographer photography portraiture st Tue, 14 Jan 2020 06:53:14 GMT
A Little Urban MDK_6594MDK_6594

Performance artist Nancee took time off her tour while in St Louis to make some art

]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) fashion louis mdkauffmann model modeling portraits st t-shirt underground urban white Mon, 13 Jan 2020 02:02:08 GMT
Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer (part 8) This is part 8 of a series of important questions every bride should ask their wedding photographer, and the answer I would give. If you're interested in knowing more, please feel free to drop me a line, and we can chat more about it.

This might be one of the most important questions on the list...

What is Their style?

I believe wedding photos become your family's first heirloom. Your children & grandchildren will appreciate the work we put into capturing your special day. I have seen fads come & go, and for that reason I shoot in a very timeless & traditional style. I take time to make the important family photos intentionally so everyone is looking their best. In between, I am also documenting the special moments and emotions of the day.

Read last week's question here.

Ready to Know More?

Give me a call today and let's chat about your wedding photography!

618-537-5318 * 314-210-5477

]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) Lebanon Illinois MDKauffmann St. Louis Wedding Photographer Wedding Photography Tue, 06 May 2014 14:00:00 GMT
Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer (part 7) This is part 7 of a series of important questions every bride should ask their wedding photographer, and the answer I would give. If you're interested in knowing more, please feel free to drop me a line, and we can chat more about it.

How Soon Will I See My Photos?

I am not always a patient person. I like to get results quickly, especially with something as exciting as wedding photos. I give myself two weeks after each wedding to have them to the happy couple, but I am usually ready much quicker than that.

Read last week's question here.

Ready to Know More?

Give me a call today and let's chat about your wedding photography!

618-537-5318 * 314-210-5477

]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) Lebanon Illinois MDKauffmann St. Louis Wedding Photographer Wedding Photography Tue, 29 Apr 2014 13:15:00 GMT
Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer (part 6) This is part 6 of a series of important questions every bride should ask their wedding photographer, and the answer I would give. If you're interested in knowing more, please feel free to drop me a line, and we can chat more about it.

Do They Offer an Engagement Session?

There are two main reasons to do an engagement session. The first is to get some fun photos of you & your fiancé for Save the Date cards & newspaper announcements. The more important reason is to get to know your photographer. Your wedding day has the potential to be a stressful day: groups of friends & families mixing together, and a bunch of people you've hired trying to make your day perfect. Of all your vendors, you will spend the most time with your photographer, and they will set the pace and mood of the day. Why not take an opportunity to work with them BEFORE the big day and make sure your personalities mesh and you work well together? As a bonus, your photographer also gets to know you a bit and figure out what makes you smile, what poses work best for you, and how to make magic happen. This is why MDKauffmann Photography includes an engagement experience with all of our wedding packages. 

Read last week's question here.

Ready to Know More?

Give me a call today and let's chat about your wedding photography!

618-537-5318 * 314-210-5477

]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) Engagement Session Lebanon Illinois MDKauffmann St. Louis Wedding Photographer Wedding Photography Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:15:00 GMT
Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer (part 5) This is part 5 of a series of important questions every bride should ask their wedding photographer, and the answer I would give. If you're interested in knowing more, please feel free to drop me a line, and we can chat more about it.

Who Will Be Photographing My Wedding?

Some photographers are part of co-ops or companies that sell the company's service, and then you get the photographer they assign. Other photographers have a team that allows them to cover several weddings each day. At MDKauffmann Photography, I do one wedding per day, and I am at every one of my weddings. I have too much fun with them to pass it off to someone else; besides, it is far too important to me to make sure the job is done right - you're trusting me with some of your life's most important moments, I take that seriously.

Read last week's question here.

Ready to Know More?

Give me a call today and let's chat about your wedding photography!

618-537-5318 * 314-210-5477

]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) Lebanon Illinois MDKauffmann St. Louis Wedding Photographer Wedding Photography Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:00:00 GMT
Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer (part 4) This is part 4 of a series of important questions every bride should ask their wedding photographer, and the answer I would give. If you're interested in knowing more, please feel free to drop me a line, and we can chat more about it.


Do They Have Back-Up?

I have two full sets of equipment with me on every job. I also have a network of photographers I trust if something unfortunate happens on wedding day. I have never missed an event, but I would be covered if I had to be.

Read last week's question here.

Ready to Know More?

Give me a call today and let's chat about your wedding photography!

618-537-5318 * 314-210-5477

]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) Lebanon Illinois MDKauffmann St. Louis Wedding Photographer Wedding Photography backup Tue, 08 Apr 2014 13:45:00 GMT
Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer (part 3) This is part 3 of a series of important questions every bride should ask their wedding photographer, and the answer I would give. If you're interested in knowing more, please feel free to drop me a line, and we can chat more about it.

Here's another important one:

Do They Offer a Finished Product?

There has been an unfortunate trend in wedding photography for a photographer to be satisfied dumping a disc of data on an unsuspecting couple and calling the job done. On the surface, this seems acceptable: the couple has control of the data and can share & print at their leisure. In reality, the disc gets lost or damaged within weeks of delivery and the beautiful photos are never heard from again...all the effort is wasted and the precious memories are lost. I believe in another approach. I work hard to present you with beautiful photos, and then I do the work of helping you sort through them and choosing the prints you'd like for your walls and the memories you'd like preserved in your album. In addition, I create a custom app for your smartphone that makes sharing easy.

Read last week's question here. 

Ready to Know More?

Give me a call today and let's chat about your wedding photography!

618-537-5318 * 314-210-5477

]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) Lebanon Illinois MDKauffmann St. Louis Wedding Photographer Wedding Photography albums app prints smartphone Tue, 25 Mar 2014 13:45:00 GMT
Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer (part 2) This is part 2 of a series of important questions every bride should ask their wedding photographer, and the answer I would give. If you're interested in knowing more, please feel free to drop me a line, and we can chat more about it.

Here are 3, that are short & sweet

Are They Insured?

I am fully insured through State Farm, which allows me to work freely in all wedding venues.

Do They Use a Written Contract?

Robert Frost said "Good fences make good neighbors" For your protection and mine, I use a detailed contract that spells everything out...I wouldn't operate without one.

How Much Experience Do They Have?

I have been shooting weddings professionally for almost 15 years.


Read last week's question here.

Ready to Know More?

Give me a call today and let's chat about your wedding photography!

618-537-5318 * 314-210-5477

]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) Lebanon Illinois MDKauffmann St. Louis Wedding Photographer Wedding Photography contract experience insurance Tue, 18 Mar 2014 13:45:00 GMT
Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer (part 1) In the next few weeks, I'm going to offer a series of important questions every bride should ask their wedding photographer, and the answer I would give. If you're interested in knowing more, please feel free to drop me a line, and we can chat more about it.

Do They Offer a Guarantee?

At MDKauffmann Photography, I guarantee everything I do. If you're not happy with it, I don't get paid. Every print, every session, every time. If you're not happy, I will work until you are. If it's just a reprint, consider it done. If we have to reshoot, we will. As a member of the Professional Photographers of America, I also have access to a fund that will pay to restage an entire wedding if there is no other solution. Bottom line, you will be happy.


Ready to Know More?

Give me a call today and let's chat about your wedding photography!

618-537-5318 * 314-210-5477

]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) Lebanon Illinois MDKauffmann St. Louis Wedding Photographer Wedding Photography guarantee Tue, 11 Mar 2014 14:00:00 GMT
Top 12 in 12 2012 was a great year at MDKauffmann are my favorite photos from this year. In no particular order, and without further ado:

]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) Canon 5DmkII Lebanon Illinois Photography Studio MDKauffmann Mon, 31 Dec 2012 23:35:14 GMT
Who will be this year's cutie? Victorian Holiday-3Victorian Holiday-3


Victorian Holiday comes to Lebanon, Illinois this weekend, November 16, 17, & 18. I'll be taking the studio on the road to Ahner's Florist to doing photos with Father Christmas Friday night, Saturday afternoon & evening, and Sunday afternoon. Photos are $10 for a 5x7, printed while you wait.

I hope to see you there!


]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) Canon 5DmkII Father Christmas Lebanon Illinois Lebanon Illinois Photography Studio MDKauffmann Quantum Qflash Victorian Holiday Wed, 14 Nov 2012 22:38:50 GMT
Jim & Leona We had the joy of photographing Tim & Leona's wedding last weekend. The ceremony was held at Corpus Christi in Shiloh, IL with a casual reception following. Family was one of the themes of the day. The bride's brother performed the ceremony, and the mother of the bride (age 86) and groom (age 92) were both in attendance! It was a beautiful wedding and we are happy to have shared in the day.Groom seeing his bride for the first timeMDK_7850 MothersMDK_7885 MDK_8079 BrideMDK_7803 The ringsMDK_8128 The happy coupleMDK_8074 First danceMDK_8195

]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) Corpus Christi Dr. James Hutchins Leona Hutchins MDKauffmann Mim Phillips Shiloh Wedding Photographer Wedding Photography Wed, 20 Jun 2012 14:28:06 GMT
The Photographer’s Prayer – Lebanon Wedding Photographer I saw this alluded to today, and had to look it up. I couldn’t find an original author, so I’ll leave it anonymous.

The Photographer’s Prayer
Oh God, as I bring my subject into focus and prepare to make each
portrait, never let me forget that I’m creating treasures for some
family, a keepsake for loved ones. Make me sensitive to the qualities
and virtues of others, that I may draw out into the light the beautiful
radiant belongings of their hearts.

Help me
to be an artist, collecting the beauty of every soul, the glow of youth,
the gentleness, the laughter or tears of each life that is precious in
Thy sight. Deeper than a means of livelihood, give me the perspective to
see my photographer’s art as a service to others, making life richer
and more memorable.
And, dear Lord, between the lights and
shadows, the ups and downs and the rolling years, keep me from getting
out of focus or off center, so that my life and work may be framed with
dignity and colored with contentment …



]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) Lebanon Illinois MDKauffmann Pinterest Wedding Photography Wed, 07 Mar 2012 08:30:00 GMT
The Art of Investing In A Wedding Photographer from Wedding Photography 411 by Ryan Phillips The Art of investing In A Wedding Photographer:

There are three important factors to consider when hiring a wedding photographer. Two are unique only to the photgrapher and cannot be copied. The third element fluctuates due to many different variables. Let’s talk about each in the order of importance.
First and most importantly is the personality of the individual who you will hire and invite as a guest to your wedding. These characteristics may not be the first thing you think about when hiring a photographer, however, it will definitely be the most important factor in the decision-making process. The first thing you need to determine is whether or not you like the images that this particular photographer has to show you. You will probably see 20-30 photographers’ work online and narrow it down to 3-5 individuals who you will interview. It is definitely important to be intrigued or excited by the images a photographer shows you but this is not always the deciding factor. What is? Personality. Now that you are meeting with the photographer face to face, the question you have to ask your inner self is: Do I like this person? Do I feel comfortable with this person? Will my friends and family like him or her? Would I invite him or her to my wedding?
Personality and character may not be the first thing you judge when interviewing a potential photographer but it is always a common thread that influences the final decision. You have to really like AND trust the person who will be capturing your wedding images. You could find the Ansel Adams of wedding photographers, but if her or she bugged you in anyway and you are not totally honest with yourself, the only person who is going to suffer is you. The bottom line is, if you don’t like your photographer for any reason your wedding images and your memories or going to be reflected upon as if looking into a tarnished mirror.


The second element and almost as equally important as personality is the photographers eye; the way he or she sees and captures the wedding day. This unique trait separates one photographer from the next. It is “the photographer’s fingerprint” no two are the same.
A photographer can copy another photographer’s style, but the fact is no two photographers see the same way. When looking at different photographer’s work, take notice of how and what they see. Do the images move you? Are they unique or different or do they look like every other photographers work you have looked at. Are they emotional? Do they tell a complete story? Are they artistic and creative? Are they real? Do the people look comfortable? Finally, out of all the photographers you met with, whose images did you gravitate towards the most and why? Usually, the answer to these questions will tell you who the right photographer is for you.
Finally, the last deciding factor is usually Cost. You spend hours if not days of your time interviewing photographer after photographer and now you have found the perfect one for you. Their images are amazing and he/she is the greatest person ever! However, your inner voice picked someone who is more than you budgeted for. What do you do?
Ask yourself a few important questions. After the wedding is over, what am I going to have left? Answer: Your pictures. Everything else is going to be forgotten and only remembered through your photographs. According to a survey run buy, the number one regret married couples had is that they wished they would have invested more money on their wedding photography. Think about this, when the music over, the food is gone, and flowers are dead, your wedding pictures are the only thing left to bring back those memories and the irony is that most people spend more on flowers or food than their wedding photography. Your wedding album will last long past your wedding day and then passed down to your children and grandchildren. If your wedding pictures are important to you, don’t you think wedding photography should be a place in your budget where you give priority too?

Shopping for a wedding photographer is like buying a house; you get what you pay for. In both cases the purchase and decision to buy is based on emotion. Buying a little more than you can afford is always a wise investment that you won’t regret as long as you have put in the time to find the perfect one for you. With that said, it doesn’t mean there are not ways to get the most for your dollar. One way is to buy all albums and products you might want up front as part of a package instead of buying a-la-cart afterwards. Another way is make sure you understand what it will cost before AND after the wedding. Sometimes a photographer’s packages appear to be less expensive at first glance, then after the wedding you get hit with add-ons you did not expect such as over time fees, more expensive re-prints or additional album design charges. Then you end up spending more money than you would have with a photographer who first appeared to have been more expensive but everything was included in his package.
Don’t make the mistake of weeding out photographers because you called or emailed and asked for prices and then crossed them off your list because they exceed a certain dollar amount that you determined photography should cost. Finding a great photographer is much like discovering a great restaurant. Let’s say you were to call around to ten different eateries and ask, “How much are your meals?” If you never take the opportunity to meet the owner, taste the food or experience the service, the ambiance and charm of the restaurant you cannot make an educated decision. All of these things make dining a great experience. Calling on the telephone and price shopping won’t give you the same education as actually meeting the photographer in person or having a face to face conversation via Skype if your not in the same town.
Wouldn’t you feel better knowing you spent a little more on your wedding images because you loved your photographer and your wedding photographs were so amazing that you wanted them all in your album VS. getting less than you imagined and end up spending more than you dreamed.



]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) MDKauffmann Pinterest St. Louis Wedding Photographer Wedding Photography Thu, 01 Mar 2012 08:13:00 GMT
Bottom Dollar Grand Opening – Lebanon Commercial Photographer Earlier this week, we participated in the celebration of the reopening of Lebanon’s Supermarket – Bottom Dollar. Tom Schmutz has a great deal of energy and is excited about the rebranding of his store. He is especially proud of the beer cave – keeping customer’s favorite brews at 28 degrees – and a self-serve wing bar.
Bottom Dollar first of it’s kind in Illinois. The pricing is different than most grocery stores. The price on the shelf is the price the store paid for it. Just 10% is added at the register to cover the store’s overhead and profit. In addition, there are “Dollar Zone” items which sell for $1 each, and buy 10, get one free. Items may be mixed/matched throughout the store.
Overall, the reception to the rebrand has been positive. Many of the shoppers I talked to were excited about the low prices, friendly staff, and good selection.
We are excited to have a grocery store anchor in our thriving little town; especially when there is so much positive energy and excitement flowing out of it. Good luck, Tom!
More photos are available at:


]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) Bottom Dollar Cost Plus Grocery Store Lebanon Commercial Photographer Lebanon Illinois MDKauffmann Pinterest Tom Schmutz Wed, 29 Feb 2012 09:13:00 GMT
Posture Perfect Pictures! from Wedding Photography 411 by Ryan Phillips Posture Perfect Pictures!:
Having good posture will improve most pictures whether you are posing or just caught in a candid shot. First and foremost just watch that you are not slouching. This is the number one thing you should be aware of. Also make sure you are not sitting awkwardly in a chair or with elbows on the table and hands covering part of your face. You don’t need to mug for the camera or even look at it unless directed, you need to remember that you ARE being photographed and should be aware of your posing. ALL DAY!
Here are a few posing tips for different situations. In addition, grab the latest fashion magazine and practice a few poses that you like. You can even bring them along to show your photographer. Not the entire 900 page fall edition of Vogue…just a few pages.
If you remember one pose, this should be it:
First, start by standing with both feet on the ground side-by-side keeping your feet close to shoulder width apart. Next lift your shoulders up and back slightly, then lower them into a relaxed position. Lift your chin up to elongate your neck. Finally, slightly lean forward from your hips this may feel a little awkward, but you will look great. Now take a deep breath and relax!

Break em’ in:

Remember to break in your shoes and practice posing. Many new shoes are slippery at the bottom….scuff the bottoms a bit to make sure you don’t wind up on your arse ;-)icon_wink
If you are on the heavier side, stand contrapposto!
contrapposto |ˌkōntrəˈpästō| noun ( pl. contrapposti |-trəˈpästē| ) Sculpture


an asymmetrical arrangement of the human figure in which the line of the arms and shoulders contrasts with while balancing those of the hips and legs.
Turn mostly sideways towards the camera and then rotate your upper body only towards camera. This will slim you out.Keep those arms away from you!:

DO NOT press your arm against your body it will flatten it out and make it appear larger. In addition it will “lump” together with your body and make the whole structure seem to have more mass. Break it up anyway you can. Even if your are a Size O runway model, DO NOT press your arm against your body.
Get Mermaid with it:

Got Junk in the trunk? Pin your knees together like you are a mermaid with a tail, this will slim you out when facing the camera. You can even extend one knee a little further out to bring everything in a little tighter.
Keep the girls in line:
If you are ”busty” watch how far forward you lean towards the camera you don’t want to give your guests more then they bargained for when they see your photos online ;-)icon_wink Seriously though, just be aware so you don’t look at your pics later and think..”hmmm, maybe I should have shown a little less?”



]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) MDKauffmann St. Louis Wedding Photographer Wedding Photography Tue, 21 Feb 2012 08:14:00 GMT
Learn The Movie Kiss from Wedding Photography 411 by Ryan Phillips Learn The Movie Kiss:
This tip is one of the most important tips you will learn for looking great in your pics. During you engagement and wedding pics you will be doing A LOT of kissing so learn the movie kiss and your images will look great! Most couples go all in and just smash their lips and noses together to become one face. This is great because you are in love and are letting each other know. However, on film it just looks like crap. And then there is the accompanying slurping sound…All of this is no bueno.
Instead, do it the way it’s done in movies. Barely touch your lips together, keep your noses and checks apart and tilt your heads in slightly opposite directions. Now hold it! Your photographer will need some time to get a few shots off. Now release and come up for air. Repeat as needed.


This move will keep the pouty Angelina Jolie look and keep your lipstick fresh and not transfer to his lips. Your eyes, noses and cheecks will remian your own. No harm in lots and lots of practice ;-)icon_wink Guys you can thank me later…





]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) MDKauffmann St. Louis Wedding Photographer Wedding Photography Thu, 16 Feb 2012 07:00:00 GMT
"You Know You’re Jealous" – O’Fallon Baby Photographer MDK_7440 You Know You’re Jealous

I’m usually not one for captioning my work. Giving a name to a photo is tedious to me – I’d rather let the photograph speak for itself. But every once in a while, I capture that one expression that begs for a caption. This is one of those photos. There is a smugness here – “This is my mommy, she’s loving on ME, you know you want it.”

I’d be happy to photograph you’re child(ren)’s special expressions. Drop me a line at and let’s set up a time to chat about preserving those precious memories.



]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) Lebanon Illinois MDKauffmann O'Fallon Baby Photographer Thu, 09 Feb 2012 09:36:00 GMT
Top Ten Reasons Why Brides & Grooms Run Late For Their Wedding Pictures. from Wedding Photograp Top Ten Reasons Why Brides & Grooms Run Late For Their Wedding Pictures.:
10. Hired Transportation: When you hire a limousine or classic car for your wedding day, make sure you allow ample time to get to your destination. Allow for an extra hour just in case there is traffic or other delays. I have witnessed on several different occasions drivers leaving bridal parties and couples behind because they had other commitments because the bride and groom didn’t book their car for long enough. This caused the bride and groom to be late to their own reception in addition to having to find other means of traveling to their destination.


9. Underestimated Travel Times: Depending on where you live, allow plenty of time to get around your city. Check ahead of time for possible road closures due to to other events such as parades, road closures and highway construction. If you live in a lager metropolitan area, it is especially important to allow more time for traffic delays.

8. The Groomsmen: It’s not always the ladies who can be tardy. Guys we are not perfect. Learning how to tie a bow tie on the day of your wedding is not such a good idea; practice your skills before the wedding day. Watching the end of the game isn’t a valid excuse for running late. I love my sports too but today is an exception. Getting great wedding pictures is a team effort. I’m in favor of a cocktail (one) before the wedding but when you’re drunk and unruly it makes taking pictures far more difficult and time-consuming.

7. To Many Family Group Shots: An excessive amount of family pictures or too many smaller group shots as well as unplanned groups can make the pictures taking process exhausting and sometimes stressful. Even if you have bigger families, larger groups that include everyone help to move the process along.


6. Poor Communication With Family: The biggest mistake a bride and groom can make is waiting to inform the family at the rehearsal dinner of the time they need to arrive for family pictures on the wedding day. This needs to be done at least two weeks before, if not a month prior to the wedding. The family members need to be reminded again at the rehearsal dinner. An email with a schedule of when and where to be is also a great tool for getting family members to arrive on time.

5. Family Members Arriving Late: If you have family members who are habitually late it is always a good idea to fib a bit on what time they need to arrive for pictures. We suggest 30-45 minutes depending on their tardiness. I promise, they will forgive you when they realized you fudged on the time a bit!

4. Allow Sufficient Time To Dress: Getting into your dress, attaching your veil and putting on all your jewery may take more time than you think so make sure to allow for plenty of time to get dressed. I have witnessed many times during the dressing processes something needing to be sewn or fixed before pictures can start. Wardrobe malfunctions don’t just happen during Superbowl half-time shows, they can happen to you as well.


3. Bridesmaids at Salon: If you are getting your hair and make-up done at a salon or location other than where you will marry, I suggest driving yourself or traveling with only one other bridesmaid such as your maid of honor. The two of you need to be in a separate car from the rest of your bridesmaids. You two need to be the first ones in the chair and the first ones finished so you can leave. On many occasions I have waited for the bride to arrive at the location she was to dress, but she was stuck at the salon waiting for the one bridesmaid whose hair or make-up wasn’t right. Don’t let one bad maid spoil the party!

2. Hair: Depending on the your hair and your hairstyle on your wedding day, ample time needs to be allowed for the beautification process. The longer your hair the more time you should allow for curling, pining, and styling. Your hair needs to beautiful for your wedding photographs but if your photographer has little or no time to take pictures you are the one who gets cheated.


1. Make-Up: Make-up and hair are the two biggest time draggers on the wedding day and they are the top two reasons why a bride is late to her start time for her wedding pictures. As a photographer this can be very frustrating when you have a beautiful location, a beautiful couple and great light, but as you watch the minutes and hours tick by you realize you’re not going to be able to give your couple your best. Even though you are great at your job, you certainly are not a miracle worker. As your light wanes so can your enthusiasm for your task at hand. The solution to this is to allow plenty of time for your hair and make-up, tell your hair and make-up people you need to be done one full hour before you really do. If your photographer wants you ready at 3:oopm then tell your hair and make-up team 2:00pm. If for some miracle they finish on time, great! Relax, hang out with your girls, have a glass of champagne and enjoy that time with your bridesmaids. Once your photographer arrives you can take your time getting dressed and then you are off to pictures without feeling rushed or stressed.




]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) MDKauffmann Pinterest St. Louis Wedding Photographer Wedding Photography Wed, 08 Feb 2012 07:00:00 GMT
Wedding Albums : The Real 411 from Wedding Photography 411 by Ryan Phillips Wedding Albums : The Real 411:
Having recently discussed this subject with a potential client, I thought it would be apropos for me to share my insights with you. A wedding album is a one-of-a-kind memento that most couples desire, but more and more frequently are opting to postpone having made to save on the bottom line of their wedding budgets. When I hear many couple’s reactions to wedding album prices it’s pure shock! Why does it cost so much?? This article will help answer those questions by elaborating on what goes into the album design and production process.
Wedding albums are no simple task to complete; it’s a process that can take twenty or more hours of labor. To begin with, all of the images to be included in the book must be selected by either the couple or the photographer. This typically involves trimming down the number of images from on average 1500 images to 100-200 give or take. Next, the type of book to use must be determined, as there are many to choices out there. Decisions can range from different cover material and colors, to paper types, but quality wedding albums are expensive for a reason. Just as with wedding photographers, you get what you pay for.
A quality album manufacturer must pass on the expenses of a well-made book to the professional photographer, which he must incur before he offers the album to you. Something you may not know is that most albums are only sold to professional photographers and are not available to the consumer. These album manufactures want to do business with professionals who are well versed in how to design and order their products. This is pretty standard throughout the wedding photography industry.
The next part of the equation, and what you are paying your photographer for, is the album design work. This is a very creative yet tedious and complicated process. Not only are we the photographers, we must also be proficient with many aspects of graphic design. Within most wedding albums there are hundreds of pages, templates and computer software to learn and to keep up-to-date. Telling a story with very specific images, orientations and color palettes is complicated. In addition the images must all fit into a visually limiting format in order to fit into the book you chose. This can take many hours, which usually translates into days and even months depending on the timely cooperation of the bride and groom.
Seldom is the design perfect the first time, as there are almost always changes to be made. Based upon the clients’ change requests, adding or removing images, changing the size of the image or position in the album, the book now needs to be reconfigured so the design is cohesive once again. With that comes several more hours of work. Once finalized, prints and pages may need to be ordered. Then, as long as there are no quality control issues with the prints, the album can now be sent off to the album manufacturer.
Album design and creation is a long and labor-intensive process. So, when you think about the packages and the costs of wedding albums, remember that a basic album can cost a minimum of $2000, some more and some less all depending on the amount of images, pages, and the type of book itself. There are countless hours of design work involved, expensive software, and the actual materials of the album. Most photographers do not make oodles of money on wedding albums, when all is said and done. Frankly, many photographers probably lose money, due to the fact that they are not watching the amount of time they put into the album process.
One final thought: There are many photographers who do not offer wedding albums due to the fact that they do not want to be bothered by this tedious process. I personally think it’s a disservice to the client when a photographer does not to finish the job by telling a couple’s story in the form of a wedding album. In most cases, photographers who do not offer wedding albums probably have little experience doing so, which usually translates to little experience photographing weddings.
Your wedding pictures are the one thing you will have left once your wedding day has passed. If your images are left sitting on a hard drive not only do you run the risk of your hard drive failing but a very small percentage of you will ever get around to actually making yourself a book, let alone knowing how or where to start.
I say if you cared enough to hire a professional wedding photographer in the first place, let them design a wedding album for you; make it part of your wedding budget. A wedding album is an extension of the photographer’s eye and creativity, which will become a treasured family keepsake and visual historical record of the beginning of your family.
I smile every time one of my children pulls out one of our three-volume wedding album, and flips through the pages. I remember the first time my oldest daughter first looked at our wedding albums and asked, “Daddy where am I?” It was a priceless moment in my life.
The Real 411: Albums are expensive to produce and even though it seems like the album packages are high-priced and Photographers are making a ton of money on them, it’s not reality. It is a long labor intensive undertaking that requires skill, software and lots of time. If you are worried about budgets, cut the album for now and get your album for your one year anniversary… Making sure you hire the photographer you want, You will always have the opportunity to design a beautiful wedding album later. I can tell you from shooting hundreds of weddings, that it is VERY RARE for a bride to order her album within a year of her wedding date. Offset the cost now if absolutely necessary, but don’t regret not hiring the photographer of your dreams. You will hear us say this a thousand times…You can’t undo bad wedding photography! And since I can’t resist my other favorite quote….
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” -Benjamin Franklin
-RP & RE




]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) MDKauffmann St. Louis Wedding Photographer Wedding Photography Thu, 02 Feb 2012 07:30:00 GMT
St. Louis Baby Photographer – Look out Ladies!  St. Louis women are in trouble as this little guy grows up. He is the
strong, silent type (for now) – but oh what a charmer. The expressions
he gives while we are photographing him are a tell that he is definitely having fun being a ham for the camera. I am definitely looking forward to photographing this baby as he grows up and continues to charm.

What up?!?
Let’s get this over with.
You know you love me




]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) Baby MDKauffmann Tue, 31 Jan 2012 09:47:00 GMT
How Not To Hire A Photographer – from Wedding Photography 411 by Ryan Phillips How Not To Hire A Photographer:
We normally don’t allow guest writers but this was submitted to us and we just couldn’t resist because this is rampant in our industry and as consumers you should be aware of what you say to a professional photographer. The photographer will of course remain anonymous. All photographers have received this in one form or another so I think it’s important to share with consumers..
I would start by reading the email below…. while this is extreme…Photographers get emails like this every week. I am all for people trying to get the best rate for something but think about the quality of work you are going to get when you whittle someone down to pennies. In addition, what type of relationship you are building and how much is the photographer going to dislike shooting you. At the end of the day most photographers don’t make a whole lot of money, in fact the national average is $24,000 a year. Here is another post along these same lines that I thought I would share as well…
So without further a do here is the short list of nots (read the email below first)

  1. Do not try to break your shoot out into different times of day and think the dead space in the middle doesn’t have to be paid for. If I am out of my studio I should be paid, otherwise I am losing money.
  2. Do not try to think that taking up just a few hours on a few different days just equates to the same thing as hours in a row.
  3. Do not tell the photographer how artistic their work is and then try to pay nothing for it. You called them because you want good work.
  4. Do not think you can get the same style as your photographer by doing the work yourself. We use more than $10,000 of computers and software to get the job done. That is what you are paying for. You called US because you love our work.
  5. Do not think that the work stops when the shooting stops. It is just beginning. It could take us 20+ hours of production time! Breaking my price down into an hourly rate and then reducing the hours of shooting and taking away a photographer means nothing to me! I spend twice as long producing the job!
  6. Do not offer “it’s a party, you will have sooo much fun at our wedding and can have a drink at the end” as an excuse for trying not to pay what we are worth. I am a professional wedding photographer and am at weddings every weekend while my family is at home without me.
  7. Do not think the day of the week matters to me. Shooting on a Wednesday is the same as shooting on a Saturday, I still have to do all the production work.
  8. Do not state that your wedding is”not typical” all weddings are not typical these days. As Professional photographers we have to know how to shoot every type of wedding, that is what you are paying for. I am not going to say “Hey, their wedding isn’t typical…maybe I should just shoot it for 75% off since it’s not typical!”
  9. Do not think your math is correct on my hourly rate, the reality is at $272.00 an hour with 5.5. hours of shooting, 2 hours of travel time, 2 hours of prep time and 20 hours of production is actually $8,024 dollars. The full package is a fucking bargain!
  10. Lastly, add in phone time dealing with clients, meetings times, retouching times, album design and changes, engagement shoot, lab price increases, ordering times, DVD burn times, download times, back up times, back up storage costs plus the $400 dollars a month to run all my computers and RAID systems…hell when I think about it I should probably go flip burgers, I’ll make more money….

The Real 411: Now this may seem like an angry wedding photographer but the fact is that he is a very nice and a very reasonable guy but gets heated when he gets these types of letters. Our job at WP411 is to educate you on how to get the most out of your wedding photography. Starting off a relationship with your photographer like this is not a good thing. Don’t forget, this person will likely shoot your pregnancy, your babies, your family photos and most major milestones in your life. Treat them like a friend and you will be paid back in spades. Bargain them down to pennies and even if they take the job they will not deliver you their “A-Game.” Just because they love their job doesn’t mean they should do it for cheap. Reward them for their passion and they will blow your mind with the images you receive. When it is all said and done the only thing you have left from your wedding will be their images. What is that worth to you?
Email From Perspective Client
Wedding Location: Backyard
Heard about you: Web search
Message: Hello,
I enjoyed your pictures on your site a lot. I thought they were very artistic. We are getting married next month and were looking for one photographer (only) to shoot only our \”getting ready\” shots, ceremony location details, ceremony and shots with bridal party, bride/groom and family/friends shots after the wedding. We do not wish to have professional photos of our reception. We only need about 4 hours of wedding day coverage in one location. We would like to book separately a portrait shoot with us in our wedding clothes in a cool outside locale for about 1.5 hours on a different day, and we could work around your schedule (even mid-week).
We are hoping to get all of the digital images, and preferably the RAW images. My fiance is a Digital Media Designer and color corrects film & photos professionally, and I am a graphic designer and photographer. We would enjoy editing our own photos…but I understand if you want to edit them before giving them to us. We just thought it might save time on your part and cost on our part. Either way, we definitely want all of the high resolution photos.
The total time we would need is 5 hours on two days, ceremony and portrait day. Looks like if you broke down your starting package of $3,800 for 2 photographers for 7 hours, the hourly rate per photographer is about $272. Would you accept $1500 plus tax for 5.5 hours coverage from one photographer? We aren\’t having a typical wedding and therefore don\’t require a typical wedding package. And we don’t need any “extras.” We’re hoping you can work with us.
Please let me know what we might be able to work out. Thanks.



]]> (MDKauffmann Photography) St. Louis Wedding Photographer Wedding Photography Wed, 25 Jan 2012 19:37:00 GMT