The Rules for the New Modern Wedding

I agree so much with this great article! I will give my thoughts on each rule and you can read the original article too. I would love to see your thoughts in the comments!

The old rule: Thou shalt not steal the bride’s thunder by wearing white to a wedding — oh, and black’s out of the question, too.

I didn’t realize wearing black was pretty much frowned upon. But the golden rule is not to one up the bride. Also, don’t dress like a slut…I’ve seen it way too many times.

The old rule: Thou shalt not take photos on your smartphone, because … wait, what’s a smartphone?

I can not emphasize enough on letting the photographer do their job and take the pictures. And not just because I am a photographer. It has always bugged me. Follow the rules of the couple if they have specified them. If they haven’t are least be respectful.

The old rule: Thou shalt send in your RSVP via snail mail.

Yes, always be courteous and RSVP. And do so in the way the couple requested.

The old rule: The bride and groom are expected to create a registry. And thou shalt not stray from the items on the list.

Always always always stick with the registry the couple made. They made it for a reason and to make it easier on you to buy them a wedding gift. You can not go wrong with their registry….or money. Money is always good. Since a lot of couples already live together they more than likely have a lot of the main stuff.

The old rule: Thou shalt respectfully participate in all wedding traditions, including the throwing of the bridal bouquet.

Don’t be a party pooper! The bride is doing a bouquet toss because she wants to which she wants her single girl friends to participate. I know it may be embarrassing but just humor the bride and do it!

The old rule: Thou shalt attend every second of the wedding ceremony, which will most likely be in a religious setting. Then, you can attend the party.

I understand there are reasons you may not be able to make the ceremony since it’s earlier in the day than the reception is but if you can go to the ceremony even if you do find it boring. This has always bothered me when it’s a younger couple and all the friends show up to the reception but are nowhere to be seen at the ceremony. Don’t just come for the party part of the day. You were invited to their day and that includes the ceremony. Just be respectful.

The old rule: Thou shalt consider bringing a plus one if and only if the invitation makes it clear that a person other than you is being invited.

Typically the invitation will be addressed to Ms. Jane Doe or Ms. Jane Doe & Guest. Only bring a friend, meaning boyfriend or girlfriend if it says & guest. Obviously if you are engaged or married and the couple knows this then it’s fine to bring your fiance or spouse. But it’s best to not assume and bring whoever you want unless it’s clear.

The etiquette to weddings is different for each one and typically if you know the couple well enough you will know what to do if there is something you question. Of course you can always ask the bride or groom but try not to bug them.

Here is the original article: Not your parents’ wedding: The new do’s and don’ts for modern wedding guests.

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.

Photography Products

I am now offering more than just prints! I am offering different photography products for you to display your photos! I will list them along with a description of them and some images.

Gallery Wraps

Gallery Wraps are a way to turn any photo into a work of art. If you’re looking for a quality Gallery Wrap, without anything fancy such as a laminate, or hanging options, our Gallery Wraps are the perfect solution. These Gallery Wraps are finished with saw tooth hangers and corner bumpers without any paper backing.

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Barnwood Frames

Add charm by displaying a special image in a genuine Barnwood Frame. From vintage themed weddings, to milestone moments, WHCC’s Barnwood Frames create natural warmth in one’s home.  Reveal your beautiful story with a frame that has a beautiful past. Handcrafted in Minnesota, these frames are built using reclaimed wood from old barns. Our standard Barnwood Frame arrive fully assembled complete with craft paper backing, a wire hanger and a ‘Minnesota Made’ stamp on the back.

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Float Wraps

Float Wraps are built to grab attention. WHCC takes your photographic or canvas print and wrap it around padded masonite, then coat it with a protective laminate for a sleek, elegant look. It’s black paper backing and thick gatorboard block with holes allows the image to hang extended from the wall, giving the appearance that your image is floating.

PicMonkey Collage

Wood Prints

Give your prints a natural look with your image printed on real maple wood. The beauty of the grain comes through on the lighter colors and white areas of your image giving it a soft and warm feel. Clients will love its eco-friendly durability along with the vibrancy of their images. Wood Prints are finished with a protective laminate. These arrive ready to hang with a pre-cut keyhole. Please be aware that the wood printing process is different from WHCC’s photographic printing process. Due to the nature of the maple wood, no two boards will look exactly alike. Each print will be unique and one of a kind. Pair your favorite outdoor, natural light image with the latest trend of printing on wood, from newborn babies to beautiful outdoor weddings. It will make a great addition and conversation piece in your client’s home.

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Metal Prints

The brilliance of WHCC’s Metal Prints is unparalleled! Using an innovative dye sublimation process, your custom images are printed directly onto high quality aluminum for a clean and lasting finish. WHCC’s Metal Prints show off vibrant colors in a way no other medium can. Your most captivating shots take on life-like depth and dimension for an impressive display that stands the test of time. Metal Prints give your home décor an ultra-modern feel. Brighten up any workspace with sleek, stylish, contemporary art. Create breathtaking scenes in a studio or gallery space. No matter where they are displayed, Metal Prints will steal the show!

PicMonkey Collage

Albums

Celebrate the chapters in life that mean the most to your clients with our exquisite and surprisingly affordable Albums. Each client has their own story to tell, and every Album can be customized to tell it. WHCC’s Albums beautifully chronicle your client’s wedding day so they can remember every detail for years to come. Baby’s first year goes by fast. An Album makes a cherished keepsake for all the precious moments and milestones along the way. Clients love our high-end Albums for commemorating Graduations, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Anniversaries, and all of life’s big events. With our attractive price-points and so many sizes and styles to choose from, you can make any photo shoot into an Album-worthy event! Our Albums provide an upscale and creative way to compile photos in one place and enhance the imagery with your own layout and design. WHCC’s full-page Album spreads are mounted to substantial cardstock for thick pages that lay flat. Each turn of the page is a new opportunity to create a storyboard or collage. Or fill an entire spread with that one image that is worth a thousand words! Our Albums provide a durable and stylish keepsake that will stand the test of time and keep your clients’ special memories vivid.

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

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!

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.

 

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