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:


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.


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


FAQ for Weddings

These are some frequently asked questions that clients will ask me. I put together some of the questions and answered them. If there is a question that I didn’t answer please feel free to ask me. I may just get enough to do a part 2 of this.

Do you offer engagement sessions? Yes. Depending on which wedding package you purchase will determine the cost.

Do you come to the rehearsal? I typically do not but if you would feel better with me coming to the rehearsal all you have to do is ask and as long as I don’t have any other prior engagements I will be there.

How do you describe your shooting style? Are you laid back or aggressive? My shooting style is getting the posed pictures, the small details, raw emotions, and candid photos. I am definitely laid back. I try to be just another person at the wedding but the one with camera capturing all the moments. I’m not uptight and I like to connect with the bride, groom, and bridal party so that we all feel comfortable with each other. I honestly like to connect with the bride the most because she has all the details in her mind and I come to her the most when I have questions. There are times that getting everyone to listen is difficult (there are even times when the bridal party has been drinking and it is even more difficult) and I try not to be rude about anything but in the nicest way possible I will slightly raise my voice and say what I am needing from everyone. An example would be if I need the whole bridal party in a certain spot for a group photo and they are talking with guests. I will say something like, “okay if you’re in the wedding I need you at x spot, we are a on schedule.” Most of the time I don’t have to say anything because either the bride, groom, a member of the bridal party, or family member will yell these things for me. Which I feel a lot better having them do it. =)

How many images can I expect from my wedding? Between 400-600 images.

Do you work from a shot list? I do not have a shot list. I have the traditional poses memorized along with the popular shots such as the ring shots and dress shots, etc.

What if my wedding is not local? Depending on how far it is I will be more than happy to be your photographer. If you live in town and your wedding is an hour away you will get charged for 30 miles because I cover anything 30 miles from my home and then I charge travel fees. Now if you are talking destination weddings that is something we would have to talk about.

What do you wear to weddings? I usually wear a long dress to weddings. Sometimes I will wear leggings or dress pants.

How long will it take to get my images? This really all depends on how many other weddings and sessions I have to edit. To be safe I say it can take up to 3 months. I like to take my time going through all of the images and looking at every one of them. I also like to take my time editing, color correcting, and retouching them because I am picky and I want you to have the best pictures possible. I work on albums in the order they were booked. If your wedding was in June and a family session was in May, the family will receive their images first. I do go back and forth editing so I don’t get burnt out on one session or wedding. I do always try to look through my sessions and pick out some of my favorites and edit them first so that I can put up a sneak peek.

Do you allow others to take photos while you are? This is a touchy subject to be honest. I can not force people to not take pictures while I am taking them but do remember that if you do not let your guests know in some way (such as in the invitation) that you hired a photographer to take pictures then I can not help if some of the pictures do not turn out because there is someone who stepped out in front of me to get a picture. If I am taking a group shot and then guests want to get a picture that is fine, but if we are on a schedule and we have to wait on 15 people to get a picture when what really matters is if I got the shot then that time adds up. I do suggest to brides to put that there is a photographer going to be at the wedding and reception and that they can just enjoy the day in a funny yet informative way on the invites or on a sign that guests can not miss when they arrive at the venue. (You can see some ideas on my Pinterest)

When do you eat? I may snack at lunch because typically the bridesmaids will have lunch brought in and I will snack then. I eat dinner when the bride, groom, and bridal party does. When they get in line I get in line right behind them. I have actually gotten looks that scream, “what do you think you’re doing”. Well what I’m doing is eating and getting that over with so that as soon as the bride and groom are done eating I can continue with the pictures because then is when they sometimes interact with their guests. I’m not going to stand there and photograph the bride and groom eating. Yes I will snap some pictures of them and the bridal party eating but I just get a few pictures and I’m not in their face.

How much does an additional hour cost? An additional hour costs $50.

Can I request certain images to be photographed? Absolutely! This is your day! On the questionnaire I send every couple there is a question asking for your must take shots and if there are any special shots you want taken. I also recommend you make a board on Pinterest if you have it of images you like so I can get a feel for your style.

Is an album included? It is not included in my pricing but you are more than welcome to purchase one through me.

Do you have any recommendations for hair or makeup artists? Yes, I have several hair and makeup artists that I work with that I can give you their information.

Can we keep every image you take including the out-takes? The simple answer is no. I will explain. I want the best of my work out there. So if there is a picture where the camera did something weird or someone was in the way, there is no reason for you to have that picture. I select the best ones to give you.

What is a copyright release and do you allow it?
A copyright release is the copyright from the photographer to the client. At the moment of transfer the copyright no longer belongs to the Photographer, he/she no longer owns the photograph. In fact, in these cases the photographer can technically never use the photographs without permission of client. And no, I absolutely do NOT EVER do a copyright release.

What is a copyright? A copyright means that I own the photo as soon as I take the picture. It gives me exclusive rights to decide how it is displayed and distributed. I am the only one that can make any alterations to the photo. So when you take my photo and put a filter on it that is illegal. I shot the image and edited it so it is my work and I want my name associated with the image exactly how I created it and not with some filter.

What is a print release and do you allow it?
It allows the client to print the images (though I cannot guarantee results if you use a consumer photo lab such as CVS, Walgreens, etc) for personal use (such as display in your home, scrapbooking, etc) and even share online in places such as Facebook. A print release does NOT allow you to edit the picture in anyway (this includes cropping), selling of the image, entering the image in a contest without the permission from the photographer. It is very important to me that my work does not get altered as it is my work, just like painting a picture or a song. Yes, I do allow a print release but this does not give you the right to alter the images in ANY way.


Henson Baby Birth Questionnaire

I was ecstatic when I was asked to photography the birth of a baby! Especially this baby because I had taken this couples maternity pictures and had gotten to know the couple. Unfortunately Mom had to have an emergency C-Section so I wasn’t able to photograph it. I was there for when Mom and Baby got out and was able to capture the newest moments with Baby and the family. And more importantly Mom, Dad, and Baby bonding time.

  1. What was your after birth photography session like? Wonderful! Kirsten was very professional and was amazing! She somehow managed to get beautiful pictures while remaining “out of the way” so my family could meet my daughter. It is so great to have pictures of me with my daughter and family that I can cherish and look back on years from now.
  2. Did you have any fears about me being in the room? Absolutely none! You worked so smoothly “behind the scenes” that until my family left and it was just you in the room, there were times I honestly forgot you were there, which gave you the opportunity to get wonderful and genuine reactions.
  3. How do you feel about your photos? They are beautiful and stunning. These are memories that captured a very special moment in my life that I and my daughter can forever cherish.
  4. How was your overall photo session experience? Even though this was my first time getting a session like this, it was a lovely experience and I can’t wait to do it again.
  5. If you were to have another baby would you want it documented also? Yes! The moments during the birth and after are moments you cannot get back. I had such a wonderful experience getting this session and capturing these beautiful moments in my life. I will definitely be doing this again for my next child.


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/






Woolsey Wedding/Questionnaire

This couple had an outdoor wedding and boy was it hot! They did a tie dye themed wedding which I had never seen and thought was really cool! I love when people think outside of the box. They were so easy to work with. Thanks for letting me capture your day!

  1. What was your wedding day like w/ Kirsten Ray Photography? It was amazing!
  2. Did you have any fear before hiring me? Did it come true, and if not, what happened instead? There were no fears. Kirsten caught all the memories perfectly!
  3. How do you feel about your photos? We loved every picture. I got so many compliments on the pictures.
  4. How was your overall wedding day experience w/ Kirsten Ray Photography? Great! I wouldn’t change a thing!
  5. If you were to recommend me to your best friend, what would you say? Kirsten is amazing and you will not be disappointed!

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!


Stevens Family Session/Questionnaire

I really enjoyed working with this family. I’ve know the couple separately and together and they have that true love. They are so much in love! We spend most of the session talking and laughing. I’ve know their son since he was a newborn. It’s amazing how fast he’s grown!

  1. What was your session like? It was fun, and comfortable. My whole family enjoyed themselves and let me tell you they hate taking pictures. Kirsten made it fun and relaxing for them.
  2. Did you have any fear before hiring me? Did it come true, and if not, what happened instead? There is always fear that your pictures are not going to turn out the way you want them to. However, Kirsten did a good job of asking what we wanted and if there was any ideas we had so it really helped to get our ideas out there for what we wanted. So we left feeling like we got what we wanted.
  3. How do you feel about your photos? They turned out fun and playful, and captured us as a family.
  4. How was your overall photo session experience? It was laid back and easy going. Kirsten had good ideas and a plan ahead of time so that helped as well.
  5. If you were to recommend us to your best friend, what would you say? Kirsten is great at trying to work with you on the type of pictures and ideas you have and helping you capture all the beauty and love in your pictures. Don’t be afraid to interact with her to get the best of what you want.