Who Remembers the MySpace Surveys?!

I sure do! I loved doing them! I still do them on Facebook on occasion. I figured I would look through some old ones and reminisce. Maybe you will find out some things about me you didn’t know! It’s always fun to learn about your photographer…;)

 

Are you craving something?
No

What do you hear right now?
Listening to Periscope.

Is your bed against more than one of your walls?
No, just the head of the bed is against the wall.

What do you do when you get nervous?
I usually can’t sit still.

How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
4-6. My sleeping pattern is so messed up.

Do you start the water before you get in the shower or when you get in?
Before I get in.

Do you like the rain?
Yes. I like storms too, as long as there are no tornadoes.

Who were you last in the car with, besides family?
A photography client, Ashley S.

Have you bought any clothing items in the last week?
No, but that sounds like a good idea!

Do you like cotton candy?
Yes! And really like the cotton candy ice cream.

Do you have siblings?
Yes, I have 1 sister.

This morning, did you have any unread text messages?
No.

Does anyone completely understand you?
I doubt it, lol.

Did you wake up in the middle of the night last night?
Yes, I don’t know the last time I slept through the night without waking up at least once.

Where is your phone?
In front of me.

When will be the next time you fly on an airplane?
No idea.

Did you have plans today?
Yes. I had a photo shoot.

Would you rather go a month back in time, or a month forward?
A month forward, hands down!

How many piercings do you have?
8

 

That survey wasn’t too long. I might just do one of these every month or so.

Do you miss those surveys? What was the craziest one you filled out?

Have a great evening!

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My Etsy Shop! Let’s Get Things Rolling!

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Hello everyone! I have been very busy starting an Etsy shop, reading all the tips and tricks I can find, and learning all the stuff I need to know to get a bigger reach and become better. I sold my first print in February and that sale kick started my Etsy obsession of getting everything in place and learning all I possibly can. I am selling my photography prints, mostly the nature and abstract photos. As of now I am offering six different print sizes: 8×10, 11×14, 16×20, 16×24, 20×30, and 30×40. I also offer custom orders which means that if you want a picture of something within reason that you would like to have as wall art in your home or you would think would fit a theme you have going in either a room in your home or your home in general you can contact me and I can try my hardest to get a picture of your vision and create something. I plan to offer digital downloads for all pictures so that customers can print the photo and use it for whatever reason they need. Some of the reasons I have seen customers purchase from other Etsy shops digital downloads is to use them for invitations, cards, etc. I also plan to offer framing for the photos in the near future. I am thinking of offering different types of wood since my Dad makes custom handmade clocks, jewelry boxes, and other items and has knowledge of that type of thing. His Facebook business page is called “The Time is Now”. You should definitely go check it out! He has some items in stock and you can contact him with an idea or even work with him on what you are looking for. If you are good at sketching you can sketch your idea and he can go off of your sketch and sketch something and more than likely bring whatever you are imagining to life. You can also contact him and tell him what you are wanting and he can sketch what you describe to him and try to bring it to life.

Okay so back to what I am doing! Other than offering digital downloads and framing options I will offer other photography products such as gallery wraps, floating wraps, metal prints, etc. The products are endless! It just takes a lot of time to get ALL of that listed on the store.

Just like with my photography businesses there are times that I feel like I won’t ever get anywhere and the one sale I made back in February will the only one I ever make. I seem to be the type of person that wants instant gratification and I just have to remind myself that with my photography businesses I did not book up a month over night. It took a good year and a half to REALLY start booking.

I plan to do more advertising on social media sites once I have gotten my Etsy shop a little more “stocked”. But as always the biggest and best advertising method is word of mouth and when people share my work and help get my Etsy store name and link out there. So now to me asking for your help! =) If you would please share my Etsy store I would greatly appreciate it. I plan to do a contest or giveaway on a social media site I use for my photography businesses (so make sure you are following my photography social media accounts!) to get some more traffic on my Etsy shop. I am also posting all of my photos for purchase or that will be available on my Etsy Shop on a Pinterest Board. The Pinterest Board is Kirsten Ray Photos. Make sure you follow it as I’m still adding photos because it’s going to take me quite a bit of time to upload all I have available. So be sure to share the Pinterest Board or re-pin pins from the board to help me gain some new followers and hopefully soon to be customers as I get it running a bit more. And as always I will give an incentive for helping me out!

You can visit my Etsy Shop, Kirsten Ray Photos . Of course sharing my Etsy shop is encouraged! I will be able to see my followers so again incentives will be given as a thank you!

 

Kirsten Ray

10 Things Photographers Hate to Hear

I read a really good article about things photographers hate to hear and I’m going to put my 2 cents in on each one. I’ll link the original post at the bottom of the page. I’m going to list them as they are on the article and follow up with my opinion, because I just LOVE giving my opinion! So here we go….

1. “Let’s Do This Thing I Saw On Pinterest!”

I actually don’t hate this. I advise boudoir clients, wedding clients, and seniors to make a board on Pinterest and pin things they like. The main reason is so I can get an understanding for their style. There are times that I go completely blank because I feel like I’ve done every pose and I’ll look at Pinterest and show the client something that’s been pinned and do something along those lines. Just don’t ask me to do every photo you have pinned. Now what I don’t like, is when they say, “but it looks so much better on Pinterest.” I’ve never been told that, which if I did I would be completely offended. I’m not trying to do EXACTLY what was on Pinterest. That photographer is completely different than myself (all photographers are different, there isn’t a single one that is the same). And there are no 2 clients that are exactly the same. Maybe the picture of the client in the picture was more photogenic or their expression was on point at that exact time. I don’t feel like Pinterest is a way of stealing someones idea. I personally think that if you don’t want your ideas used then don’t put them on Pinterest. To me, that’s what Pinterest is for, to share ideas so others can use them.

2. Being Treated Like a Terrorist In Public Places

I can’t personally speak on this because I’ve never felt that way.

3. Competing For Attention With Cell Phone Photographers

I love what the author has to say about this in the article. The perfect example is at weddings. It’s so damn annoying having guests step out in front of you when the bride is walking down the aisle. I’ve had other instances where I’m doing a group shot and there is one or a few people in the group not looking at me but looking off somewhere else which I know is at a cell phone. I just want to say, “Hello?!, I’m the one with the camera, I was hired to shoot this wedding!”. This an example of your photos not looking how I want because not everyone is looking at me and that drives me crazy when the photo is perfect but eyes aren’t on me. Just like the author says in the article if you’re ever a client or part of the bridal party you should just know that you should probably be looking at the actual photographer. It may sound like I’m saying look at me, look at me, I’m the big bad photographer but I am indeed the photographer. Here is the link for my Wedding FAQ’s.

4. “Gorgeous photo! You must have a great camera!”

This one is so annoying and just plain stupid!  What if you’re a baker and I said, “that was a great cake, you must have a great oven!” What?! No! It’s not the camera that makes the photo. The photographer takes the photo and then MAKES the photo. I’ve seen some amazing photos from cheap point and shoots. It’s just a complete insult to the photographer and obviously to your intelligence.

5. “Let’s Put The Baby In This!”

I will be the first to admit that I am not an expert or even close to photographing newborns. Being a newborn photography is like a whole different world. I give HUGE props to newborn photographers or photographers that photograph newborns. Most of the time the baby is never in or on what you see. It’s all the magic of editing. Like the baby hanging from the tree branch…nope. Even the baby propped up on it’s elbows, that’s not real. Below is a video of the editing process of editing a newborn picture. Click here to see the video. Video courtesy of Kindred Moments Photography .

6. “Can I Get All The Original RAW Photos From The Shoot?”

No, absolutely not! No chance! Not happening! No! That was the best answer I have, lol. I want my best work to be out there, not the unedited, straight off the camera images. My touch and style comes mostly when I’m retouching and editing the photos. Daniela Bowker says is best:

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7. When You Edit Our Photos And Put Them On Facebook

I’m sorry but they tend to look like hell! And it’s a violation of the contract you signed. It’s also against the law because going against a contract is illegal. Remember, it’s our work and you are not to edit or alter them.

8. Never Having Good Photos of Ourselves

I usually hate every photo of myself that was not taken by an actual photographer.  That’s all….

9. When You Make Us Miss The Good Light

Photographers tend to schedule when the lighting is good outside if the shoot is outside. There is that time in the day where the sun is perfect and the photos turn out just amazing if you can catch it at the right time. So just don’t show up late, no matter when you’re scheduled. The photo below is a perfect example of a photo taken at the golden hour. Photo courtesy of Amy Clemons.

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10. Terrible Photography Clichés

There are trends in photography that just need to go away. Sometimes they may look cool but don’t do it in every photo! I’ll give the examples the author of the article talks about. When the photo is black and white but there is one thing left in color. Yes, I’ve done it before. But it was when I first started. I’ve learned a lot since then. Thinking that crooked photos look good. Crooked photos drive me crazy! There are a few times when you can pull this off but most of the time I’m in Photoshop and I’m straightening EVERY photo the best I can.

Here is the original article: 10 Things Photographers Freaking Hate With a Passion

Another Pearl Girl!

So the addiction of watching people open pearls on Facebook Live is still going strong! I found a new one last night and I just would not stop watching! Her name is Janelle and her  pearl business is called Drunken Mermaid Pearls. Now if you’re really judgemental at first you are going to think something negative because of the word “Drunken”. Well here’s the thing, she’s not drunk, she drinks. And what great marketing! If you see that on Facebook and aren’t enticed to click on it then you must be crazy. Does she get a bit tipsy, well yeah by the end of the show which is about 3-3.5 hours she is feeling pretty good, but there isn’t a thing wrong with that. As she puts it it’s adult time. Her show starts later in the evening when kids should be in bed or heading to bed. Oh no, she curses! During adult time or any other time for that matter I’m pretty sure a woman over the age of 18 can do whatever the hell she wants. But she smokes! Again, over the age of 18, of age…she’s fine. I’m sorry but this is my kind of girl! She doesn’t take shit from people and she does what she wants. I can totally relate! And she does all of this while having fun and all of her viewers or at least true followers/fans also having fun. And hell, she’s making money too! The people ordering are getting some great stuff too! She custom makes the jewelry, drills and sets the jewelry herself. She also makes candles and bath bombs that typically have a pearl ring in it. Oh and by the way she is a Mom, Military Wife(Thank you!), Nurse, and has this business. There is so much information about her business that you will have to check her out on Facebook or her website. If you like to let loose and you love pearls you definitely need to check this girl out! I love supporting small businesses and their owners so I reached out to her and asked her a few questions about her business and life. Below is the questions I asked her(that I came up with, they aren’t anything fantastic) and her answers.

What made you start your pearl business? I watched my girl T do her show and ordered from her. From that point on I was hooked!!!

Can you tell us about your business? My pearl show is a lot different from most, when I first started I was the only one that was cursing, drinking and smoking lol. A lot of my oyster product comes from Japan or China. I do buy locally also. All of my jewelry, candles, and bath bombs are made or set by myself. I have help during the shows, other than that; I am a one-man army.

Did you have any fears in starting your business? That I wouldn’t get any viewers, or it wouldn’t work out. Or how I handled my shows would not work out whatsoever. I decide I was just going to “go for it”, and dropped a lot of cash on product then gave it my all.

What is the best thing about being a small business owner? Best thing is that I am my own boss. I don’t have to listen to anyone, and I can do as I please. Because of that I can run any promotions and sell whatever I want to.

Is there anything you would change about your business? Yes, I would hire more people to help. I can’t at the moment because I am moving to Texas.

Can you tell everyone a little bit or a lot about you? I am a mother of two amazing kiddo’s. My daughter is 18 months, and my son is 12 years old. They drive me nuts, but they are mine, and as wild as their mom. I am a proud wife of a military man, which technically he is my third kid. I have to remind him his age sometimes. My family comes first before anything. I am also a nurse, even though I don’t have to technically work anymore with the growing business, but I love helping people. I plan on continuing my education when I get to Texas. I also do tons of charity work, and donating big portions to charities. I have a big heart, and a big mouth, but it works.

Her Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/DrunkenMermaidPearls/

Her website is: http://www.firstbadgirlofpearls.com/

 

 

 

 

 

I think I’m in Love!!

I was never a big fan of pearls but I think it was when I started my photography business and seen pearl necklaces and earrings on brides I fell in love. Lately it seems like you can’t be on Facebook without seeing a Pearl Party. A better description is live videos of people opening oysters and see what kind of pearl is inside. It may sound boring and when I first heard about it I did think, “Wow, how boring!” But now every chance I get to watch one I watch it and I’m hooked! I’ve yet to purchase one or have a party but once money issues are all sorted out I’m definitely going to! Sometimes there are twins(2 pearls in one oyster) but typically there is just one. The colors vary. The typical colors are white, rose gold, dark, silver, pink tone, and the rare ones and the ones that the host gets so excited about are the cranberry colored ones and the blue ones, and they are gorgeous! The picture below shows the different color pearls that can be found in the oysters. There are a few that I watch on Facebook and just love the girls that run it!

One that I watch is Pearls with Carey. I love watching her because she has so much energy and is so fun to watch. She has overcome a lot of obstacles in her life but still always has a smile on her face. She told her story one night and I truly think that God lead her to do what she does.
Her Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/PearlswithCarey/ and her website is: http://pearlswithcarey.com/.

Another girl I follow is Amy and her FB page is called Paws for Pearls. She is actually an hour away from me. 10% of their profit goes to an animal related organization such as a humane society. The most recent organization she donated to was The Wolf Park located in Northern Indiana. She is such a sweet lady.Her Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/PearlsForThePaws.

Both of these ladies have Akoya Oysters with Grade AAA Pearls. They also have jewelry that your pearl(s) can be put in. The possibilities are endless and they all go the extra mile to make sure you love what you have! They are super sweet, kind, and caring. You definitely need to check both of these lovely ladies out!

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The All About Me Post!

***Every family deserves to have family pictures. Every bride should be able to look back on  her wedding. Every new Mommy and Daddy should have the chance to have their child’s birth photographed because it’s all a blur in that moment. Ever couple should have their engagement pictures to remember that fresh love. Every parent should have their kid(s) pictures taken every few years to watch them grow.***

Do you want to know more about your photographer? Well here you are so that’s a good assumption the answer is yes and here you will learn! I’m pretty much an open book so feel free to ask me anything, within reason that is!

Why should you read my blogs you may ask. My answer to that is you will find out more about my workflow, what past clients have to say, you’ll see some photos from sessions, you know…all the good stuff! I plan to post soon after my sessions along w/ a sneak peek. And then soon after that you’ll get to read what my clients from that session have to say, and dear Lord I hope it’s good, lol. I also think you should read my blogs because sometimes I like to get your response just like it were a Facebook status.

My personality is pretty laid back. I’m a professional when it comes to business but once I get to know you I’m a fun professional. I like to joke around, I’m not up tight, and I’m definitely not all serious all the time.

Now…why should you hire me? This is kind of a toot your own horn part but if you read what my clients have to say(which at this point I’ve not gotten all of my clients interviews/testimonials posted yet). My prices aren’t ridiculous. That is a big thing that I’m adamant about. I know that pictures are memories that are important and sometimes can be hard to afford, I’ve been there. I think everyone deserves pictures for many reasons as you read at the beginning. I go the extra mile in many different ways. Now, just because you are reading these doesn’t mean you should expect every single one if you book w/ me =). I had a tendency to give my clients more digital images(when I only gave digital images) than what we discussed when they booked  when they are a pleasant client and don’t rush me, lol. I don’t exactly time my sessions. I mean I keep track of time and go over the time allotted by a half an hour or 45 minutes sometimes. I am at that session as a photographer to make you happy, not just to make money. I enjoy being a photographer and creating memories way too much JUST to make money. But remember I do have to make money. I will know when I’ve got all the pictures that I need but if there are a few more poses or pictures you want me to get we will do them(just don’t tell me how to do my job). I’m all for your input and ideas but again when it comes down to it, I do run the show, I mean my name is in the business name for a reason. But in all seriousness I do love when clients suggest ideas w/ poses because my mind tends to go blank at the beginning and then once I get in the flow all my ideas come back to me. I don’t make clients pay in full when they book. However, I do require a deposit. I will allow for payment plans to be arranged. That’s all I can think of right now. I’m not saying those are exceptional reasons and that I’m the only one that does these things.

Now on to the typical about me stuff. I’m 31, I have a 11 year old son who is in the 5th grade at Barr-Reeve. I’ve been married to my awesome husband since September 10, 2011. I graduated from Barr-Reeve in 2003. I didn’t play any sports or anything like that. My Junior and Senior year of High School I attended Twin Rivers Health Careers and became a CNA(certified nursing assistant) in 2002, when I was Junior. I started working in a nursing home at the age of 16. I just left the medical field at the end of 2016. I have worked in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health care for 17 years. I truly enjoy helping people and taking care of them.

My parents have been together for 37 years. I have a sister who is 24. She is engaged to the love of her life and has been w/ him for 5 or 6 years, I can’t keep up. I’ve had many experiences in my life and I thank God that I have family who is always there for me. Life should never be taken for granted! I have been taught that lesson many times over my lifetime.

I’ve loved photography since I was little and had a toy camera. When I actually started doing real photography I was in the 4th grade and I was in 4-H and did photography. I entered my project and won honorable mention and 1st place. I started my own photography business in 2014. I had been a second shooter/assistant for nearly 3 years prior to starting my own business. Even before I was a second shooter I did photography as a hobby and photographed just nature and landscape scenery.

So that’s mostly all there is to tell. You can sign up for my newsletter where you will find out about deals, specials, contests, and exclusive discounts only available for newsletter subscribers go to: Newsletter Sign Up. Become a fan of my Facebook page at Kirsten Ray Photography – Facebook.

Our Anniversary Vacation

I really am horrible at keeping up w/ blogging! I love doing it so you think I would be on top of it and blog more often. Oh well, life gets busy. My husband I had our 4 year anniversary last week, September 10th. We rented a cabin in Pigeon Forge, TN from September 10th-13th. There was a car show called the “Rod Run” going on this weekend so the traffic was absolutely horrible! We knew before going there was a car show but we had no idea how crazy the town would be. I guess that’s what you get for living in a small town and not being used to such big events. We visited Gatlinburg and mainly walked the strip and just browsed the shops. We did go to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium and I wasn’t as impressed as I thought I was going to be. It is 3 stories filled with more than 500 exhibits, artifacts, and oddities from around the world. Some of the exhibits were interesting but not worth the $34 it cost for us. Our last day we went to The Island in Pigeon Forge. It was pretty interesting. The Island Fountain Show was pretty neat, we would have loved to see it during the night because there are also lights that would have added to the coolness effect. We rode on The Great Smoky Wheel, which is just the big Ferris Wheel they have. It is 200 feet tall and was really neat when you reached the very top. It cost us $28 to go on it and make 3 rotations. I feel like 5 rotations would have been a little better for the price. Or maybe I’m just cheap. =) Before you get on the wheel they take your picture in front of a green screen so that when you get off they have the souvenir pictures with the wheel in the background and a background where it looks like you’re in the gondola. You get 1 8×10 of each background and also 1 4×6 of each. The souvenir pictures were $20. I only bought them because of the memory. And again, a bit steep in cost. The really nice thing about the gondola was that it was all glass and had air conditioning.

We also went to the Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine store where we tasted several different flavors of Moonshine. I really wanted to buy the moonshine that is full of cherries but they said that they had recently had a bad batch of cherries and didn’t have any available, it was also too expensive, $30. Again, I’m just too cheap!

When we weren’t out and about we were either playing air hockey in the cabin or relaxing in the hot tub. We also had an adorable raccoon come visit us.

Here are the full reviews for some of the places I mentioned and others that I did not mention.

The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel

Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine

Pepper Palace

Goats on the Roof

Alamo Steakhouse

Poynor’s Pommes Frites

Moose Creek Crossing – Our Cabin

Hope everyone has a great rest of the whatever time of day it may be! =)