st. charles photographer

St. Charles Photographer/St. Louis Photographer/Jessica & "Bean"

I almost couldn't contain my excitement when Jessica messaged me with her Mommy & Me session idea. How can you NOT love Tutu's & Heels & Cowgirl boots?? 

Jessica is an amazing Mama. She is rocking is single Mama life with a beautiful little girl whom she nicknamed "Bean"! (I love the nickname!)  The joy from the session really filled my heart with so much happiness. I love when clients come up with amazing ideas that bring their personality to the shoot!

St. Charle Senior Photographer/St. Louis Senior Photographer/Jozie at Missouri Botanical Gardens

I was beyond excited when showing up to the Missouri Botanical Gardens to see all of the gorgeous spring colors and flowers. Jozie is getting ready to leave her senior year and head to Ole Miss in the fall. I asked Mom what her plans were after the house was quiet, to which she replied, "Live!" HAHAHAHAHA

Jozie also brought her handsome boyfriend Rob to the session and watching them together was just wonderful. They have been together since Freshman year and plan to stay together while attending schools in separate states. I am totally routing for these two because they are so sweet to each other and the smiles don't lie!

Jozie I hope you have an amazing last few weeks and an outstanding Freshman year in college! 

St. Charles Senior Photographer/St. Louis Senior Photographer/ Cameron Senior

The only thing I remember from high school is cheerleading and being being horribly awkward. The big hair, no idea how to do make-up, and no fashion sense what so ever. Meeting seniors this year has really blown my mind how handsome and runway ready they all are, but I have been having a blast with all of them. 

This time The Landing in St. Louis Missouri provided our back drop to show case Mr. Cameron. Cameron is looking forward to attending SIUE in the fall. He plans to pursue engineering, but until then is rocking the last 19 days of his high school career. Cameron is a handsome, polite young man who I am so lucky I got to meet and work with. I can't wait to hear what he does in this world. 

St. Charles Wedding Photographer/How do I chose a wedding photographer?

Yep, I am doing it. I am going to break down the most important points of choosing a wedding photographer and what to think about for your wedding day regarding pictures! This piece of the wedding day is going to last the longest, yes even the dress ends up yellowing, so really taking the time to chose the right photographer is important. There are so many brides that I have personally spoke with that had no clue what they were getting into when they started this part of wedding planning. Knowledge and confidence is key to not feeling left in the dark and taken advantage of.

Most brides seem uneducated(WHICH IS OK!!!) and a little terrified when it comes to choosing a wedding photographer.

So let's start with the obvious...

1. BUDGET

Before you start to research photographers, think of an ideal budget you have for this aspect of your big day. Photographers usually price their work per hour and then bring in the add ons like albums, canvases, engagement shoot, and second shooter. All of these things will raise the price of your package. $1500-$2500 is a decent budget and can get you a really good photographer with a few package options.

-An entry level photographer - one who is trying to build a portfolio with charge around $150 an hour. This photographer may have only acted as a second shooter with only a few Lead shooter weddings.

-An experienced photographer - one with at least 50 weddings under their belt as a LEAD shooter will charge anywhere from $225-$250 an hour. Usually has a few key second shooter they prefer to work with.

-A senior photographer who has at least 100+ weddings can charge anywhere starting at $300+ per hour. They are going to come with a whole team and offer major package incentives. 

So know your budget and then you can start to look at the right category of photographers. Not sure of the photographers level of knowledge? Ask for their wedding count! This number will tell you how many weddings they have done as the Lead photographer. Which means they can run your wedding day with knowledge and experience.

2. STYLE

What is your ideal style? When you flip through Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram what style get's your attention most? Do you like the sunny open feel or do you before dark with a little bit more emotional feel to it? Make a Pinterest board and share it with your potential photographers! Know that they won't duplicate this board but know where your personal inspiration for you wedding day is coming from. I love seeing bride's boards!

I will put some examples below:

Light & Airy v. Dark & Moody

Can you tell the difference? Jheart Photography uses the Left side look for all images. I am definitely a light and airy photographer!

Can you tell the difference? Jheart Photography uses the Left side look for all images. I am definitely a light and airy photographer!

Also in style, do you like candid portraits or more formal posed? Ask to look through a few potential photographers portfolio to get an idea of their individual style. No style is right or wrong, it's ALL about personal preference.

3. REFERRALS

Now that you have those 2 things narrowed down. Ask around to friends and family photographers that they have worked with. It is ALWAYS comforting to know someone that has had a great wedding day experience with their photographer. Some also offer incentives for being a referral. (I know Jheart does!)

4. What do you WANT?

Photographers will offer more than just day of service hours. Here are a few add on shoots you may want to consider! Outside of these add on shoots some photographer offer albums, canvas, and other prints options. 

Engagement shoots are my favorite way to get to know a client. It really helps me prepare for the big day. Every couple interacts differently so to know what to expect ahead of time is a huge bonus!

Engagement shoots are my favorite way to get to know a client. It really helps me prepare for the big day. Every couple interacts differently so to know what to expect ahead of time is a huge bonus!

Engagement Shoot - A great way to announce you are getting married! It is also a fabulous way to get to know well you & your photographer work together. It also helps add a personal touch to your special day!

 

 

 

 

Bridal shoots are a perfect chance to get to wear that stunning gown one more day!

Bridal shoots are a perfect chance to get to wear that stunning gown one more day!

Bridal Shoot - This is a session prior to the wedding where you just take pictures in your dress! It can be scheduled when you do your hair & makeup trial so it looks like they were all taken on the same day. Plus you can display them at the wedding!

 

 

 

 

Obviously these images are to private to post, but if you are interested I would love to send you a private gallery!

Obviously these images are to private to post, but if you are interested I would love to send you a private gallery!

Bridal Boudoir - I LOVE boudoir sessions. Not only is it the perfect gift for your new hubby, but it's shocking how beautiful, confident, and sexy it will make you feel as a bride!

 

 

 

 

 

5. QUESTIONS TO ASK

Now that there is a budget, preferred style, and  possibly have a few photographer leads to start with, let's talk about great questions to ask potential photographers. No question is a stupid question! Honestly the more questions a Bride asks me the better I feel. 

1. What would you say your style is?

2. Do you always work with the same second shooter? Can we only use a second shooter     for the ceremony or do we have to hire them full day?

3. When should we expect photos back after the wedding day? When do you provide a preview or blog post?

4. How many weddings have you done as LEAD shooter?

5. Do you organize a timeline for our day to best suit your photography needs to get all the shots we are looking for?

6. Do you set up consultations so we can meet and chat?

7. How are the pictures delivered? Digital? USB? Both?

8. Do you make packages special to weddings or do you only offer set packages?

9. Do you have a back up shooter if you are ill and can't shoot the wedding? Do they do the editing too?

10. Do you have a contract?

11. Do you have insurance?

12. Can I contact a previous bride and ask her experience working with you?

I know there is quite a few questions but all of these details are important. You will figure that out when it gets closer to your day and even after the big day. You will be glad you asked these questions! Any great photographer will be able to answer all of these questions for you to help make you feel comfortable with how your day will go, what you are paying for, and what to expect after the day is over. 

6. THINGS TO JUST KNOW

Sometimes it's just easier when someone points out the obvious. So here are some obvious details to remember:

*Having more than one PROFESSIONAL photographer at your wedding is not necessary. Each has their own style and flow to structure a wedding day, so trust me, just using one company is better! Of course family can shoot as long as they do not interfere with the work flow of the professional. 

*No photographer is going to allow Brides to personal edit or filter their images. Yes, this includes Facebook and Instagram filters. We take a lot of pride in our work and when a filter is added it produces an image that is no longer ours. 

*Professional photographers do not give out RAW images. Most clients would not even be able to open and view a RAW image, you have to have special editing software. Also, as a client you probably don't want the RAW image. Personally my back of camera is really dark so that I don't loose details and highlights.....as a client, you wouldn't want to hang that image on your wall. 

*Professional photographers do not offer Copyrights to the images. They will however offer print release. These two things are very different. Print release gives the client privileges to print the images as they see fit. Copyright signs over all right from the photographer to the client over the image. We don't really want to give up the rights to our artwork.

*Photoshopping "Aunt June" into pictures because she wasn't there, isn't an easy task. So unless you want to pay big money to have her added, you might just have to let that go. 

I really hope that this helped some Brides decide the best photographer for their big day! Choosing your photographer in the giant ocean of photographers can be so overwhelming, but going into the process with confidence and knowledge is the best place to start. 

Jenny

St. Charles Family Photographer/St. Charles Photographer/Amber, Travis, Kenz & Landon - Quail Ridge Park

The Irvin Family has always been a great joy to capture. Quail Ridge Park in Wentzville has been amazing this season, I absolutely love shooting there. I honestly can not believe how grown up and beautiful Miss Kenzie is, I think I first took her pictures when she was 7 or 8! Landon is an such a ham. I always know he is going to make me laugh during our session. This family always does amazing things in front of the camera that it makes my job that much more fun. Plus I think Amber needs to become my personal stylist. Her outfit choices are always so so good!

Irvins I hope you have an amazing holiday season & I can't wait to see you next year!

St. Charles Photographer/Columbia maternity Photographer/Chloe at Rock Bridge Memorial Park

Chloe is an amazing lady. I met her on a business trip to Kansas City. She was running the hotel's front desk and we immediately hit it off. Friendship at first sight! We have stayed connected through Facebook and when she messaged me sharing the big news I was over the moon excited for her. We decided to meet half way at the gorgeous Rock Bridge Memorial Park in Columbia Missouri. The fall colors here were STUNNING! Chloe did amazing picking out her outfits too. 

During the session I realized I had not laughed that much in SO long. It really reminded me why I keep the friends I do. I absolutely can not wait to meet Mr. Carter in January. Chloe is going to be a rockstar Mama and I can't wait to meet Dad who unfortunately was on the road when we shot these. 

Thank you Chloe for trusting me to shoot these for you and I really can't wait to meet the new addition!

St. Charles Senior Photographer/St. Louis Senior Photographer/Tyler Senior Session with the adorable Diego

Every so often I have clients ask if they can bring their fur babies for some pictures. I will ALWAYS say yes to that! Tyler brought his boxer Diego and it was magic. Tyler alone was pretty amazing and definitely born to be in front front of the camera. Plus I might start asking Tyler for wardrobe help because his outfit choices were ON.POINT for this session. This "Mom wardrobe" could totally use a make over!

Tyler is loving his senior year at McCluer North. He will use his A+ program for the first two year of college and then hopefully fulfill his dream of joining his friends at the University. Mom is looking forward to having him around close for a few years. Lafayette Park was the perfect setting for this session as the colors were just perfect for this fall day. 

St. Charles Newborn Photographer/St. Charles photographer/MacKenzie Lynn

The Doggett's have been with Jheart since their engagement. Now two sweet little girls later, they are really loving all that life has to offer. Sweet MacKenzie was born after what Mom says was, "half a push and she was here! The doctor didn't even make it in!" Needless to say MacKenzie was very excited to join them and meet her big sister Annie! Ashley did an outstanding job decorating her nursery, so much so I might have her come redo my girls room!

Thank you Doggetts for adding another adorable baby girl for me to hang out with. 

St. Charles Photograper/St. Charles Newborn Photographer/Miss Megan

This is my first shoot with the Maestas' and they were just the most photogenic family. Miss Megan was welcomed by two very excited big sisters. I'm not sure what kind of super powers Kristin has to keep up with three amazing girls, but she is a rockstar at the "mom" thing. 

Even at 4 weeks new Megan was so sweet to photograph. Outside of a small fever scare, she has been an outstanding new addition. 

St. Charles Photographer/St. Louis Photographer/The Maplewood Beauty Bar Salon

The Maplewood Beauty Bar is where I have been getting my hair done for the past two years. Amanda the owner has done my hair for many years before that, just at different salons where she rented her spot. Now, Amanda owns an amazing salon off Manchester Rd in Maplewood, where you can get any number of your beauty needs taken care of. Spray tan, highlights, color, cut, blow out, wedding hair and make-up, and she even hosts Botox nights! 

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Amanda also has an amazing team that conquers weddings with her! Kristin on the left can also be found behind a chair at the salon to help with all your hair needs! Heather on the right, is part of the rockstar wedding team that will glam up your whole wedding party. Want to book your wedding hair team with the salon? Well, Amanda and her team will either travel to you, or let you rent out the whole salon where she will have breakfast & Mimosas waiting for you! You can spend your whole wedding morning there getting ready with your girls. You would have a nice clean place to get ready and spend the morning relaxing with your girl squad! 

Not only is The Maplewood Beauty Bar an adorable decorated and set up salon, it is also kid friendly. You may even get to meet Amanda's son Morgan while you are there! There is nothing better than a family friendly place to get your beauty needs. Sometimes as a Mom, it's just not possible getting away from the kiddos but I never feel uncomfortable about bringing my kids in to the salon. Amanda will greet them and ask them what they want to watch on TV! 

If you are up for a new look, hair do, or just want to try something fun, contact Amanda. If you are looking for that perfect wedding look I know Amanda will conquer it for you. Find her on Facebook to keep up with her fun girls night out events. She has little clothing companies come in all time for pop up events! I also love a good clothing deal with some girlfriends and a drink!

Thanks Amanda for giving me gorgeous hair!