Sangria After Dark Series (Copyright)

SO…. there I was, lying in the bathtub with a nice glass of Riesling near at hand and it comes to me (as things always do when one is having a nice relaxing bubble bath, right?) that I really need to have a series for my readers.  All 32 of you now!  So here is the new Sangria After Dark series.  It will be full of sarcasm, maybe some NSFW material and lots of wine.

SDRandCo (6)
It’s getting so crowded in here!    Image via morguefile

Do you have a job and some people seem to have no idea of all the things that you do or how any of it works?

That’s probably everyone right?

SAHM’s seem to have that problem a lot.  You’re just a housewife. You lie around, watch All My Children every day and feed the kids some Benadryl in cheese so they nap well.

They do that right? …..

How else can one watch their stories in peace?  …..


Clearly they don’t do that AND I would make a horrible SAHM. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that I am raising little assholes that act like….. their father….

I said “Look at me” not “look like the spawn of Satan”

So what’s something no one understands about my job and how it works?


Why do I need a print release?

Why can’t I scan these and then have Walgreens print them?

Why does it say I can’t alter the image?

There’s this REALLY AWESOME filter I’d like to put on my image on Instagram and I like it more than I like your filters. GAHHHHH

My frustrated look… also the look when someone tries to talk to me before I’ve had my coffee in the morning.  It’s a versatile look.

Then I realized that none of my clients are photographers and very few are artists in general (and I love the clients I have) so HOW WOULD THEY KNOW?

Copyright is really Property Law

  • A photographer owns any photograph, or other work of art, they create the moment they click the shutter on the camera (paint it on a canvas, etc).
  • FROM HERE ON OUT WE WILL SAY HOUSE because it’s property, just like my house.
  • Even though you are in the house (photograph), I still own the house
  • You cannot paint, move walls, or share the house (even online) with other people without my permission
  • You may pay me to share my house (photographs) with you but you still do not own the house.
  • If you would like to do any of the above, I have to sell or lease partial or full ownership (ie: print release) of my house (photographs).
  • It is cheaper to rent the house than to own the house. (although I WILL totally sell it to you if you want!)
  • If I want to make more money on the house with you in it, I have to have your permission. If you want to make money on the house, you have to have my permission! (selling the image of you to an advertising agency for example)

Here’s a link to the FULL US Copyright law.

morguefile /verbaska

What CAN you do with the images? (Please read your contract, every artist is different.)

  • If you received digital images from me, you will receive permission to print them at any consumer printer of your choice up to 11X14 in size (anything larger has to come through me & that’s a whole different post). You may also share them online with family and friends provided they are not altered in anyway and you tag PRA in them.
  • If you received wall art or albums you may decorate your home, or your loved one’s home with them!
  • If you see your image on my social media TAG, SHARE, COMMENT, SAVE!  Please do not alter the images in any way (like cropping out my logo) or attempt to print them.  Online images are very small and would look distorted if printed.

So remember, in most instances, photographs belong to the individual who took the image and not to the person(s) in the image.

What’s the one thing that people don’t realize about your job?  Tell me down in the comments!


Follow below to get notified when the next Sangria After Dark is posted!

About the Author: Criss is a full time mother, public servant and artist. She has 2 kids, four rescue dogs, a rescue fiance, a rescue horse that she can’t ride and 49 and counting chickens.  She has a passion and love for preserving history and storytelling.  Follow her antics on Facebook & Instagram!


Time & Wedding Timelines


As I sit here drinking my glass of wine trying to use my time that I think I have to sit and type this, I’m being glared at by two teenagers who seem to think that staring at me will make me use my time to cook them dinner, like I feel like parenting tonight or something! Surely there’s some kind of law that says teenagers should be able to cook their own meals at this age? So they’ll keep staring and I’ll keep typing and making pointed looks at the cabinet that contains the ingredients for a healthy, filling, PB&J sandwich.

Stay tuned for my Mother of the Year award acceptance speech! – Image via Morguefile

When I think about time (not in philosophical ways, that’s waaaay to deep of a subject for this blog) I think back to one of my first weddings many moons ago. The bride wanted to pay me for 2 hours of services and of course she assured me that we would be able to fit the getting ready, wedding, bride & groom portraits, bride with family portraits, bride with groom and family, bride with bridesmaids, groom with bridesmaids……. etc. etc.. portraits in that two hours. It was only pictures for goodness sake and all I was doing was clicking the shutter. Oh HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA……I was so dumb….. Do you know how long it takes to wrangle drunk uncle Bob into portraits and get him to stop making those stupid faces (or grabbing a bridesmaid’s ass)?

So now, during consultations, brides & grooms and I go over a sample timeline of mine so we can decide which moments they truly need time for and which moments are not important for me to capture for them and I would like to share this with everyone! (Because I’m just super awesome like that.)

^^^ Important Moment ^^^

1:00 – 3:00 Bridal Party Hair & Makeup – two hours or longer depending on how many in the party and how many professionals you have working on you! I will use this time to also photograph the rings, the dress by itself, and some detail shots of the venue.

3:00 – 4:00 Bride & Groom getting dressed (and everyone else getting dressed) there WILL be a last minute emergency that has to be addressed (such as a bride needing duct tape to get her dress on, or when someone has to run to get the rings out of the groom’s house! )

In her defense, she became pregnant AFTER the beautiful wedding gown was purchased!

4:00 – 4:30 B&G First look – One day I will write a blog post about why I love the first look (when I have time) but ultimately this part is completely up to the bride and groom and their wants.

5:00 – 6:00 Wedding – Yes, you told the minister that you wanted to keep it short and sweet but trust me, some of them think short and sweet equals 45 minutes instead of the 15 minutes you were thinking. Also everyone getting into their places (and the likelihood that you will be running behind) will take longer than you think.

6:00 – 6:30 Hugs and Greetings – Some enthusiastic wedding planner will insist that everyone wait for you two at the reception. There might even be an announcement. Plan for half of the people to think that this will not apply to them.

6:30 – 7:00 Herding – If you hired a planner (even a day of planner will do) then congrats, most likely you and your party will not be doing the herding of people for family portraits!

7:00 – 8:00 (ish) Family & B&G Portraits – Now part of these can be moved to a different time. Such as during the time we allotted for the first look or if there’s time after getting ready. Bride with family and groom with family can be done at the same time if you have purchased a package with two photographers present so the B&G don’t see each other before the wedding. If you do a bunch of separate poses for each family member. Such as Bride with mom/dad/sibling and groom with mom/dad/sibling. These formal images can take much longer. And generally, besides the wedding, these are some of the most cherished images! So allot yourself plenty of time for these images. I say 10 minutes for a single photographer per group and another 30 minutes just for the bride and groom alone if this wasn’t done at the first look (generally everyone else will be asked to make their way to the reception area during this time).

8:00 – 10:00 Reception – Food, cake cutting, bouquet tossing, first dances, speeches, photographs with all the tables, any formal photographs not taken after the wedding, present opening and the exit can be completed in two hours or less. We can even fake the final exit early so there’s absolutely no reason for me to bother you again!

As you can see for your average to large wedding, you will need at least 6 – 8 hours of time.

So when you meet with your planner, photographer, catering company etc. with a guest list 300 people long and you look them dead in the eye and say “This is only going to take 2 hours.” That look on their face, is the look of disbelief from experts in the field who have many weddings under their belt.

Do us all and yourself a favor and pad your schedule with plenty of time so you don’t feel stressed out and rushed to get through one of the most important days in your life.



“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” –Jim Rohn

About the Author: Criss is a full time mother, public servant and artist. She has 2 kids, four rescue dogs, a rescue fiance, a rescue horse that she can’t ride, two geese, 8 ducks and 38 and counting chickens.  She has a passion and love for preserving history and storytelling.1acropped-phoenix-rhys-logopinkgreywatermark.png


Make My (xxxx) Smaller – Larger – Firmer – Taller – Prettier -Uglier in Photoshop (the not so fugly truth)

Before you ask down in the comment section, YES, it has been requested that I make someone uglier.  Specifically a bridesmaid that (to the bride) looked better than her.  I think she was joking……

Why You Hate Photos of Yourself

Your mirror is F***ing You

Seriously, you’re not fugly (probably). It’s just science that makes you think you are. I mean, I’m a photographer for goodness sake.  I have been for over 15 years and I still absolutely despise most images of myself and I KNOW how to pose my body to my advantage. Also, I am confident person, I don’t have body image issues. I can stand in the mirror prepping for a session, think heck yeah I look good, Look at that sexy bitch! (You do it too, don’t lie) then a client or my assistant will take a BTS (behind the scenes) photo and I’m like…. NOOOOO… how can I post that? I look hideous! OMG why didn’t someone tell me the top of my crack (love handles, bra bulge, bra strap, double/quadruple chin) was showing when I knelt down? (Seriously people, let a girl know if her crack is showing)


Check out the cartoon artist HERE


So who do I blame?

Because of an effect called “mere-exposure,” people react more favorably to things they see more often. Like their mug in the mirror everyday! A psychologist named Robert Zajonc, who formulated mere-exposure, tested this with everything from shapes, to facial expressions, even nonsense words. Since we see ourselves most frequently in the mirror, this is our preferred self-image. According to the mere-exposure effect, when your slight facial asymmetries are left unflipped by the camera, you see an unappealing, alien version of yourself.  In case you didn’t know, the more symmetrical your face is the prettier/handsomer you are (supposedly).  But very few people have perfectly symmetrical faces. So when you see your face swapped, and others telling you how awesome your photographs are but you think they’re hideous, remember that you’re not seeing the everyday face in the mirror but this is how your friends and family see you! (Don’t cry)


On the left is how I see myself (my preferred image)- The right is how other people see me :Photo Credit: Bree (my 11 y/o daughter)


The camera’s “eye” is better than yours – Your brain is better than the camera

Our eyes see color differently at different light levels than a camera.  Typically, if you saw an image of mine prior to processing, it would appear darker than the final edited images but the color would look  a lot brighter than it appeared to your eyes in person. Also, cameras freeze motion and allow us to see details that are typically not noticeable while a person is in motion. Those two sun spots on your face, no one really notices them when you’re standing around talking to them or walking by. The camera however latches on to every little detail and captures them forever (and ever and ever) and in a sharp focus.

Why can / can’t you Photoshop me (more) beautiful?

Different photographers and editors do things differently based on their personal style and tastes. Some think PS is a no no – (besides basic light & color adjustments) you should never change how a person appears, it’s insulting. Some like to  make their clients look like a plastic doll.

Personally, when I edit client images, I like to edit out things that were either my fault (that belly lump because I didn’t pose the client well or notice that DANG HAIR BAND on their arm), or things that aren’t permanent on their body (acne, stray hair, redness, bruises, those weird marks your skin makes when you’re cold, minor tan lines etc.) If I know prior to editing, that a client has a special request (like removing a scar) I will take care of those as well. Most clients never realize I’ve even done so much work. I just want people to feel good about themselves, so I’m going to present them with the best (realistic) them possible!

This is a typical client edit with minor changes made all because of Photographer error (and the redness because she was chasing her child around in previous shots)



This is an example of the amount of PS work I will not do for a client without them paying a per hour PS creative fee.  It’s not you, and unless it’s for some special project why would you want an image that didn’t represent you at all? Also, if this wasn’t a silhouette it would take hours to do and look realistic.


“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.” Amy Bloom



What to Paint on your Face (How to apply makeup for your photo session)

As I sit here sipping my Real Sangria (YES it says REAL and it’s $7.00 a bottle and I’m not ashamed to be seen with the bottle because it’s not that pansy ass Arbor Mist stuff), I reminisce about my mother teaching me how to put on makeup.

There has to be some crazy trick to lip paint because I still don't understand how this stuff is supposed to work!
There has to be some crazy trick to lip paint because I still don’t understand how this stuff is supposed to work!

Actually, that was probably a sangria induced hallucination because my mother was and is a tomboy (She taught me how to change the oil on my car not how to curl my hair) Mom’s idea of getting dressed was slapping on a size 00 pair of cut off wrangler jeans, Daisy Duke style (that’s two zeros people, they do make clothes in those sizes in case you’re wondering because I sure as hell never bought a pair in that size) and whatever random t-shirt she could find that came about mid-thigh. (Which is actually in style now?) If she was really in a dressy mood she put on some eyeliner, mascara and a pair of whole wrangler jeans and maybe a dressy button up shirt, oh, and curled her bangs.  There’s nothing wrong with that and my mother is beautiful.  We just have to do some clothing and makeup adjustments before a photo shoot.

This is what my makeup looked like in middle school!
This is what my makeup looked like in middle school

Needless to say my foray into makeup was interesting.  I went from middle school with WAAAYYY too much make up because that’s what you do when you’re 13  to a grown up tomboy myself saying, “Screw it I look great without it.”  And I did but then I turned 30….. It hurt a little to type that….

At 30, this strange thing happens overnight.  All of those days in the sun start to take a toll on your face.  So does the smoking, drinking, late nights doing those two things and the 4 hours of sleep you tell yourself you can live with, while sleeping those 4 hours in your party hard makeup. (This was the only time I put on makeup). You see these little lines appearing around your eyes, and strange dark marks and weird hairs sprout. Also, acne does not go away when you turn 20 or 30, I’m hoping on 40.

This stuff became my new best friend!
This stuff became my new best friend!

Anyway, so GOOGLE….  I had to GOOGLE how to put on eyeliner, curl my hair, what type of face regimen to use etc.  Then I started doing more studio portraits and hello …. I had to hire a makeup artist because yep I didn’t know what to do for my clients.

SO without further ado…here are tips for how to paint that crud on your face for your portrait session…. YES it’s different than every day makeup!


Primer… If you don’t have it, get it.  Primer not only gives you a smooth even complexion but leaves your make up flawless for an extended period of time.  Any primer will work!


Ya’ll know I’m a color kind of gal BUT unless we are doing some type of stylized fashion shoot OR you regularly wear hot pink eyeliner, then DON’T get too crazy about trying something new for your photo-shoot. Even if you look fabulous, if it’s not you, then you may look at your portraits and think “What was I thinking.”


Do you regularly wear shimmery, gold dusted, glittery make up? If you do and you’re over the age of 18, DON’T.  If you don’t, sure as heck don’t start now!  Shimmery make up reflects light and that can make your face appear oily in photographs.  If you’re using these to “highlight” your face see contouring below for a better, more natural appearing option.


Oh how I love contouring!  This right here can totally change your whole face!  I am so going to link you to My Pinterest because yea there’s a good tutorial HERE for contouring but the basics are this.  You have three foundations.  Your regularly tinted foundation, one lighter and one darker. You use a lighter for the highlight areas and a darker for your shadow areas to bring out the angles in your face. I suggest sticking with the same brands OR you can buy a contouring kit or stick.  I like NYX Cosmetics Wonder Stick because it takes the guess work out of what shade you should buy.  Plus, I’m a cheap ass and it’s $11.99 at


Don’t be too light handed with your make up when preparing for your photo-shoot.  Sunlight and a camera flash can wash out the color on your face.  Do your make up and then step out into the sunlight with a hand mirror. Make sure the light is actually on your face when you do this to see how your make up will look in light. Go heavier on the blush and contouring than on the eyes. The eyelids do not wash out as easily because light hits your cheeks first.  DO NOT RIM YOUR WATERLINE IN ALL BLACK!  This makes your eyes appear smaller.  Use a white or nude pencil on your waterline and then use brown (lightly) under that to make your eyes appear larger!

Does anyone else take selfies to see what your makeup looks like? That’s so what I was doing in these! Anyway….purple eyeliner doesn’t make eyes look as small as a all black eyeliner.
Without black waterline...I really need to work on my happy face in my selfies
Without black waterline…I really need to work on my happy face in my selfies
With a all black waterline (See I was trying to hold my eyes open further)
With a all black waterline (See I was trying to hold my eyes open further)

Professional Makeup

If you have your makeup done by a professional prior to your session, be sure to inform them that you are getting it done for a photo session & that they understand that there is a difference.

SO what have we learned today?

FIRST Arbor Mist Sangria is a wussy girly drink.

SECOND you have learned that there is more to learn on my Pinterest board here.

C : Don’t be scared to use your makeup, learn to contour, you’re not 12….get rid of the glitter, and don’t get too adventurous with makeup color.  OH and primer…..just like painting a wall use this before your paint your face.


Fourth- D- whatever:  Cameras are not magical.  It spits out a 2D image of a 3D person.  Even if you don’t wear makeup regularly, wearing it for your photo shoot will enhance your already beautiful face.

HOW TO CHANGE YOUR OIL – Go to your Husband/Boyfriend/Friend with Benefits and say, “If I have to change this oil myself then what do I need a man for? I own a vibrator.”  Go back in the house, practice putting on makeup….watch your oil get changed.  For better instructions, ask my mom…..

GUYS…..why are you reading this? You know you don’t care what your face looks like. You just want to know how much you have to spend on this to make your wife/girlfriend happy.  Muahaaaaaa!!