There are so many social media platforms these days. It really is hard to keep up with them all. It's hard to choose which one's are the best to be apart of. You can find them on my Facebook page and my website but I thought it may be a good idea to write a blog that has all my social media accounts. Feel free to follow me on my social media accounts. I occasionally do specials or giveaways that are available to only followers on those social media accounts. You can subscribe to my website and my blog. All you have to do is click on them below and it will take you to the website or social media account.
Websites, Facebook Pages, & Groups
Kirsten Alana Photography
Boudoir by Kirsten
Kirsten Alana Photography - VIP Group
Kirsten Alana Photography Model Casting
Kirsten Alana Photography Website
Living Life & Being a Photographer Blog
Social Media Accounts
A lot of bloggers have guest bloggers featured in one of their blogs. Usually the questions are related to the niche the person blogs about. But what about random things that you want to know. The kind of questions that don't focus on their niche.
I did some research (aka googled) questions and all I was coming up with was interview questions. Then I thought about MySpace and those surveys that I used to love to do. Those are the most random questions you can possibly get! So here are things about me you probably didn't even know that you wanted to know about me!
A: Attached or Single? Attached
B: Best Friend? Erika
C: Cake or pie? Cake or Apple Pie
D: Day of choice? Saturday
E: Essential item? Cell Phone
F: Favorite color? Pink!
G: Gummy bears or worms? Sour Gummy Worms
H: Hometown? Montgomery, IN
I: Favorite indulgence? Chocolate
J: January or July? July because I hate cold weather.
K: Kids? I have a 12 year old son.
L: Life isn’t complete without? Being with those I love.
M: Marriage date? Not married yet.
N: Number of brothers/sisters? One sister.
O: Oranges or Apples? I like both but if I had to choose it would be oranges.
P: Phobias/Fears? Throwing up
Q: Quotes? Everything happens for a reason.
R: Reasons to smile? My fiance
S: Season of choice? All but winter
T: Talent? I like to think that me being a photographer is a talent.
U: Unknown fact about me? There are so many! ;)
V: Vegetable? I love all forms of potatoes!
W: Worst habit? Smoking
X: X-ray or Ultrasound? How is this a question???
Y: Your favorite food? Chicken
Z: Zodiac sign? Gemini
Do you like blue cheese? Definitely NO!
Do you own a gun? Yes
What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? I’ve been to Sonic once and I didn’t get a drink. I don’t know that I would add a flavor but if I had to it would be cherry.
Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Not typically.
Do you like hot-dogs? Yep!
What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Mt. Dew
What’s your favorite meal? My Mom’s homemade mashed potatoes, Dad’s dumplings, corn, Hawaiian rolls, and chicken.
What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? My ring.
Favorite hobby? Photography, when I can drive with no destination planned and find random things in nature or skylines to photograph.
Name a trait that you hate about yourself? I procrastinate A LOT!
Middle name? Alana
Name 3 drinks you regularly drink. Mt. Dew is ALL I drink.
Current worry right now? Money
How did you bring in New Years? With my fiance, best friend, and her husband.
Introvert or extrovert? A little of both!
Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Not really
Can you whistle? Kinda
What songs do you sing in the shower? I don’t.
What’s in your pocket right now? Nothing
Bed sheets as a child? I remember pink with blue lace bows and some striped ones.
Worst injury you’ve ever had? I’ve never been badly injured.
How many TVs are in your house? 4
How many dogs do you have? None
Do you own slippers? No
What is your favorite book? I couldn’t pick just one.
What is your favorite candy? Milky Way, M&M’s, most chocolate.
What is your favorite sports team? IU Hoosiers College Basketball.
So here in Southern Indiana we totally skipped Spring. We went from the coldest April on record to the hottest May. But it does mean that those cold winter months are over where I can't do the sessions that I love! And those are the themed ones and the ones that are a bit different from your typical session. Yes, I love doing regular family sessions, seniors, and weddings but the ones that are different are some of my favorite! I have a group that is specially for these type of sessions. It is called Kirsten Alana Photography Model Casting. In years before I had 2 separate groups, one for my regular photography business and one for my boudoir photography. This year I have combined them to make it easier on myself and hopefully everyone else. If the shoot falls under the boudoir category you have to be 18. A guardian signed contract will not get you through. Don't let the name of the group throw you off. You don't have to have any modeling experience at all. It's the just the name of the group that I came up with. In order to participate you must be 18 and have a signed contract on file. If you are under 18, you must have a guardian sign a contract for you. These shoots are not priced liked your typical regular photography sessions. They do run between $40 and $50 depending on the shoot and can be more than $50. As always you are able to view your pictures on an online password protected gallery. With the cost you pay, you will get 5 free digital images. If you want more you are more than welcome to purchase them. The two purposes of this group is for when I need ad images for upcoming sessions and to widen my portfolio and step out of my "safe zone" as I typically shoot weddings, seniors, families, etc. You will be required to sign a model release so that I can put some of the photos on certain sites or possibly enter contests.
What makes this group unique is it's not your typical photo shoot sessions. Sessions include water sessions where you will get in some type of water for your shoot. You may be wearing a bathing suit, lingerie, or something else we come up with. Other shoots are themed shoots such as cosplay, Disney punk characters, scary themed, pin-up, and so many more I have planned but have not done yet. In the group I ask what everyone wants to do. I want the girls in the group to feel like they have a say in what they are doing or for them to carry out something they have had in their mind but either never had the chance to do or felt too awkward asking another photographer to do the shoot. I want to be the photographer that people can come to when they have what others may think is a crazy idea and allow them to carry it out. These give you a chance to be creative too and not just the photographer. At the shoots I let you pose yourself. I do eventually let you know how to pose in case you feel you need guidance.
If you are interested in joining Kirsten Alana Photography & Boudoir Model Casting Group just click on it and I should approve you fairly soon. There is no pressure put on you in the group. Like I said it's just a way to have fun and express yourself through photography that you may not be able to do with other photographers. I hope to see you there!
The wedding is over. And it's time to write the thank you notes. It's not the most fun thing in the world to do. You want to be personable but they all start to sound the same after you've written a few. If guests can't attend and they send a gift prior to the wedding, you can go ahead and write their thank you card and send it out to get those out of the way. The suggested timeline to send a thank you cards is 2 weeks after you received the gift. For gifts received on or after the wedding, you have 3 months to write a thank you note. I will go over how to write thank you notes, what to write for certain types of gifts, how to address them, and a few other tips.
Who Gets a Thank You Card?
Purchase Thank You Cards Early
You may be able to get a discount if you order thank you cards when ordering your wedding invitations. Be sure to make several copies of the guest lists your parents and future in laws give you. Or you can use a website to keep track of guests and their addresses. On either your list or website keep track of what each guest gifts you. Be sure to get extra thank you cards in case of mess ups or for unexpected gifts. Use only blue or black ink and ink that will not smear or bleed. Also purchase the Forever stamps.
You can save money for opting out of getting the most fancy, over the top thank you cards. You can dress up plain cards or use a photo from your wedding day as a postcard. Your photographer may offer this as a product you can purchase. Don't forget the turn around time it will take for your photographer to get these. You could also make these yourself but be sure to get your photographers permission so you are not breaking your contract.
Who Writes Them and What to Write
Typically just one person writes them and mentions the other spouse. You can both sign the thank you card, but still only one person should write them. Don't think too hard about what to say. Don't make it harder than what it is. The wedding planning was the hard part and that is over. You don't have to be a great writer to write a thank you note. As long as it comes from the heart it will be appreciated. Thank them for the gift(state what they got you), why you appreciate it, and if you want, how it will be used. You will want to thank them for more than just gifts. If the guest drove a long distance, thank them for making the trip for your special day.
What to Write in Thank You Cards
Depending on how well you know the guest that gave you the gift will determine how you write your thank you card. Another factor is what you were gifted. If someone gave you money as a gift, you do not need to mention the amount that was gifted. You can use the word "generous" in place of the amount. So it would say, "thank you for the generous gift. We plan to put it towards the remodeling of our kitchen." If a group of people purchased a wedding gift such as employees at your work you will want to send each person an individual thank you card. If you don't know the person very well, address them in a formal manner. When writing a thank you card for someone who sent a gift but was was not able to attend the wedding thank them for the gift, mention why you appreciate it and add that you wish they could have attended and/or that you missed them.
How to Sign Off
How you sign off on your thank you card should reflect your relationship with the recipient. If it is family or close friends you can sign off with "love". For those you work with, don't know well, or friends that you aren't very close with you should use "sincerely". You can sign off with your first name on thank you cards for family or close friends. If it is someone you don't know well or business associates you should use your first and last name.
Additional Do's & Don'ts
Was there any special things you did to thank your guests? Are there any tips you would have for future couples that will be writing thank you cards?
I have always found wedding coordinators to have interesting jobs. I found the part they play of the wedding even more interesting once I photographed several weddings. As a wedding photographer I think it helps to learn about the other team players that it takes to have a successful wedding from the vendors point of view. While mentioning the job title, I would like to add that I have also heard them called wedding planners. After reading up on the lovely lady that I interviewed for this blog post, I found that on her site she calls herself a Wedding Day Management Specialist. Now while it is a mouthful it also sounds so much more intriguing AND is so much more fitting after learning about her career. So as a blogger I reached out to a few wedding coordinators to find out a little bit more in depth of what their job entails.
One of the Wedding Day Management Specialist I had the pleasure of learning about is Brandy Blackford of Sweet I Do's located in Suprise, Arizona. Here is her very eye opening interview!
KAP: What made you want to be a wedding planner?
BB: My venue. Short story, we got married there on a Friday and the Monday after I got a phone call from the venue coordinators telling me they had never had a wedding come together quite like mine. They said I needed to come up with a business name because they were going to start referring me. Two weeks later my business was born!
KAP: What education, schooling, or skills are needed to become a Wedding Planner?
BB: All the skills to run a business - marketing, accounting, English. It helps to have a degree in business and definitely shadow an existing planner before jumping in.
KAP: What do you like about your job?
BB: I love being around people that are in love, that want all their wedding dreams to come true.
KAP: What do you dislike about your job?
BB: This can be a very cut throat, unkind business. It isn't for the faint of heart.
KAP: How do you charge for your services(flat fee, hourly fee, packages)? And if not too intrusive can you say what you charge?
BB: I have packages that are customized to specific needs. They start at $750.00 and go up.
KAP: What is most challenging about what you do?
BB: Getting all the vendors and clients on the same page communication wise.
KAP: Is there something that brides think you should do but it's not actually in your job title?
BB: They think we should do it all, including being security. While I'll do a lot, I won't be a bouncer.
KAP: What is a common misconception people have about what you do?
BB: That we can just come in the day of with no prior prep and coordinate their wedding (day of coordination).
KAP: Do you work with any other wedding vendors(as in package deals)?
BB: I have pass through pricing that is sold by some venues under their name and they pay me directly versus the client.
KAP: What is the most amount of money a couple has paid for their wedding?
BB: Just under $80K.
KAP: What is the largest number of guests a couple has invited?
KAP: Have you ever kept a secret from the bride or groom on the day of the wedding?
BB: Yes, almost every wedding has some secret that they don't know about that day.
KAP: How can you tell when the couple is going to be difficult to work with and/or please?
BB: In their initial communication. If they are either completely disinterested in communicating any details or if they have way to many details and their date is 12 months away they are probably not a great couple for me.
KAP: What is one thing you wish people knew about you and your job?
BB: That is isn't easy, that not everyone can do it and that just because you (or your friend, mom, aunt, etc) plan amazing parties, you probably still need a coordinator so you don't have to work on your wedding day.
KAP: What is the worst experience you have had while doing your job(something going wrong, bride or couple walking out, a complete bridezilla, etc)?
BB: I had a backyard wedding a few years ago. The weather indicated that it was more likely than not going to rain at some point during the wedding. It was like pulling teeth to get the couple to agree to a tent (and it ended up being dad making the call, couple was convinced it would be fine). Because it was a last minute addition, the entire wedding reception set up had to be adjusted on the fly. And the bride was unable to say no to anyone, so I had many "helpers" that really weren't helping. At one point one of the helpers moved some extremely expensive rental furniture to the very edge of the pool, after I had moved it away. We had some words, and there was a level of verbal abuse happening that caused me to go to the FOG and tell him my team and I would be leaving if it continued. He removed the "helpers" and my team and I managed to complete set up (redoing many many things) in the nick of time. Ceremony went off with only a few small hiccups. Cocktail hour was great. The reception started and so, so many people were complaining about their inability to see the couple. See the emergency weather and tent reset caused an "L" shaped reception space versus a rectangle. So half the guests couldn't see anything that was going on. Just as the first dance began, the sky's opened up and the rain came pouring down. My team and I are scattering trying to save all the rental furniture. The wind kicks up and because the tents were a last minute add, the gutters and sides weren't added (too much of an expense), so we are pulling tables and chairs out of the wind and water swept area and forcing people up under the very small covered patio. I'm squeezing water off the dance floor so people don't slip and fall. The DJ was in an area that needed to be pumped out and my extremely drunk guests were using the trash can the pump was in as an actual trash can, clogging the pump. So in my formal business clothes, my hair plastered to my head, my makeup running down my face I am grabbing handfuls of trash out of the can to unblock the pump so the DJ doesn't get electrocuted. The dad was amazed, the mom was mad that I didn't stay until everyone left (they refused to establish an actual end time, so I contracted until midnight). The bride and her mom actually trashed me to the DJ claiming that I was the worst money they had ever spent. This one wedding added so many clauses to my contract and caused me to raise my pricing for backyard weddings.
Sweet I Do's is a wedding planning company located in Surprise, AZ (a suburb of Phoenix). They specialize in wedding day management (also known as day of coordination). They help you create an amazing, unique and totally "you" wedding that allows you to be in the moments making the memories, not worrying about the details. From contract review and timeline creation to day of management, set up and tear down, they are focused on ensuring their couples, their families and friends experience a stress and worry free night to remember.
Be sure to follow Brandy on her social media accounts!
Thank you Brandy for taking the time to answer my questions! I know I learned a little more about just what it is you do and that it's not always as fun as it may seem. Props to you for doing what you do!