Everyone’s a Photographer These Days…

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Well at least it seems like it. I don’t know how many “photographers” there are in my surrounding area.

Fauxtographers.

When I put the word photographer in quotes I’m including the fauxtographer’s. There are quite a few definitions of the word fauxtographer. The best one I found is from Techopedia. Techopedia’s website defines it as fraudulent photography, where photographs are manipulated through Photoshop or manipulated by other means to change the information they convey. Fauxtography is often used to manipulate the viewer and promote a particular agenda.

Fauxtography is also occasionally used to refer to low-quality or humorous photographs taken by amateur photographers who have started photography businesses or blogs despite their limited experience and skill. In this sense, fauxtography is an Internet meme.

The first definition I don’t totally agree with because it says that photos are manipulated with Photoshop. I don’t know any photographers that don’t use Photoshop or another photo editor program to edit their images. Now the second definition I do agree with. I mean there is even a website dedicated to all of the fake photographers which is You are not a Photographer. It has some pretty comical photos. You have to wonder what these people are thinking! Do they really think the photo is good?! It just blows my mind.

Why Are There So Many “Photographers?

There are several reasons these days that everyone thinks they are photographers and turn it into a job. Technology is the biggest reasoning. You will read it in every blog post or article that it seems like as soon as someone gets a nice camera they can start charging people to take their photos. The gear you have does NOT make you a photographer! You can have the best, top of the line camera and lenses and still take horrible pictures. It does help to have good equipment but it sure doesn’t MAKE you a legit photographer. Another reason the rise of “photographers” has sky rocketed over the past few years is because every smartphone has a camera. Yes, sometimes you can take an awesome picture or two but still, you’re not a photography. And yep, phone photography is a thing. There are photographers that use only their phone for to do sessions in place of a DSLR camera. But again just because that new Iphone can take a good photo and you can edit it on 1 of the thousands of picture editing apps does not make you a photographer. FYI, some of those picture editing apps make the pictures look like crap.

Does it Bother Me? Well Yes…

I am not complaining about these people, don’t get me wrong. Yes, it drives me crazy that people can do the above, make a FB page, and become a photographer overnight. And yes it does bother me some. Why does it drive me crazy and bother me? Well typically these people are charging $15-$20 to do photos and “edit” the photos and hand them all over to the person they took pictures of. Who wouldn’t love to pay that amount and get EVERY photo taken! Well, the only people I can think of are those that don’t respect true photographers and the photographers behind the scenes work. It’s kind of like going to a hair stylist who ordered some scissors, combs, brushes, etc. off of Amazon and titled themselves as a hair stylist because they have the right equipment. Would you honestly go to them for your hair care? I highly doubt it. In the photography world of social media see these fauxtographers as hurting professional photographers business. I guess that can be true but then again a client who wants to pay $20 to get their pictures taken and are happy with being handed over all of the images aren’t my ideal client. I understand not everyone can afford professional photographers and that’s fine but that’s also why I offer payment plans. And I myself am not that expensive. Art is expensive, good art is really expensive. I know a lot of people would be surprised to hear that most people who are looking to have great photos of their family displayed in their home will spend between $500-$3,000 for photography products.

Educate Yourself. I Have.

From seeing these fauxtographers pictures I can only assume that they have not been to any photography workshops, taken any classes or e-courses, studied any aspect of photography, or have watched any of the many tutorials or e-course YouTube videos. This is another reason it bothers me that fauxtographers are getting business when I may not be. I have done tons of reading, studying, watching hours upon hours of videos on things from the basics to editing tutorial videos to ways to better my photography.  I spend so much time to better myself as a photographer and will work with you to get what you are envisioning in your photos so that I am giving your images 110%! I don’t cut corners and I don’t rush with my editing because I truly care about the work I am putting out there and what you are getting.

We All Had To Start Somewhere.

We all started somewhere and nobody starts out of the gate doing perfect work. I was there, I wasn’t great in the beginning. I’ve learned over time and I still am learning. And there are even times now that some sessions just don’t make the top of my list of favorites. There are lots of reason for this. The lighting may have been bad that day (amazingly enough sometimes Photoshop can’t even fix some of these cases), the client may be uncomfortable and that will definitely show in their images (even though I try to talk with them prior to their session and when we meet up for their session I’ll make small talk with them.). So if you are just starting just do some studying, watch some videos, ask to intern with a photographer you admire in your area or contact them to ask questions. I will warn you their are some photographers who are secretive about their craft but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

There is so much more I could say so I may do a follow up or a part 2 on this subject.

Below are a few photos from You are not a Photographer for you viewing pleasure, =). Would you really hire these people??

floating-headWhy is there a head in the sky…just why?!?!

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There is too much going on in this image. And her eyes!

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This is when you should NOT be using Photoshop. Again, too much going on and why?!

Be sure to check out the entire website for some laughs! Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment your thoughts.

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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.