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.

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

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.

 

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!

Burgess Wedding/Questionnaire

Elizabeth had entered a contest I held in I believe it was early 2015 for free wedding coverage. She was VERY lucky to win and I was able to capture their beautiful day!

1. What was your wedding day like w/ Kirsten Ray Photography? It was very relaxed. If I wanted something done I just asked Kirsten and she did everything she could to make me happy.

2. Did you have any fear before hiring me? Did it come true, and if not, what happened instead? I had no fears. I actually got everything I wanted.

3. How do you feel about your photos? I loved all of my photos! I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on them too.

4. How was your overall wedding day experience w/ Kirsten Ray Photography? My wedding day experience with Kirsten was great! I definitely would hire her again.

5. If you were to recommend me to your best friend, what would you say? I already recommend Kirsten to friends if they have any photo needs. I think Kirsten would thrive in any photo situation.

Brit+Co wants to see these wedding trends go away in 2017.

  1. I love the Rustic themed weddings! There have been a lot of them done in the past few years but I still love them!
  2. I’ve never seen Farm tables used but what a great & beautiful idea!
  3. Oh, the Candy Bar…a kids most loved table. What are the newlyweds trying to do to us parents?! We already leave the wedding past their bedtime and then we jack them up with candy! Not cool newlyweds, not cool!
  4. As long as I can get some fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and mac n’ cheese then I’m a happy camper!
  5. I say when all else fails and you can NOT figure out what to use in that one spot that is missing something use garland!
  6. Again, with the rustic/boho look, I really like the flower crowns. I do love a beautiful traditional veil though too.
  7. If you ask me, and you didn’t but I’m telling you anyway, chalkboards aren’t used enough. It’s a great way to get a message or point across. For example the couple hired a photographer and/or videographer for their day so get out of aisle and stop taking pictures. And lots of other times…
  8. Choreographed any dance at a wedding is priceless and so fun to watch, well as long as it’s good.
  9. Blush and Gold Color palette isn’t exactly what I’d choose for my wedding but it’s not my wedding it’s the bride and groom and I’m just there to photograph it.

Here’s the article that goes along with my blog: 9 Wedding Trends that Need to Stop.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading my opinion on this article. I know I loved my opinion, but who doesn’t love to put their 2 cents in?! So now it’s your turn, what do you think is overdone and just needs to stop?