Mr. & Mrs. A | Couples Portraits Portland Oregon

couples photography portland oregon

“This is my husband and my 40th wedding anniversary year and I wanted to commemorate it with professional photos.  I spent a lot of time on the internet looking at websites of photographers that I thought would work well with us “oldsters”.  When I found Rayleigh I felt a connection with her work for couples.  ”

couples photography portland oregon

“Rayleigh made us feel comfortable, an amazing feat with my husband who is happiest on his tractor in flannel shirt and dirty jeans.   Rayleigh was able to capture us in a range of moods and poses: from fun, to cuddly, to elegant.  I always blink when a camera goes off, but Rayleigh only shoots in natural light so there were no flashes to trigger my blinking.  ”

couples photography portland oregon

“I felt like a queen for a day!  We were so pleased with Rayleigh’s photographs of us that we treated our daughter and new son-in-law to a photo shoot at her studio to commemorate their marriage (they were married in a simple ceremony at the county courthouse earlier).  We then commissioned Rayleigh to photograph our daughter and son-in-law’s wedding reception in the evening in a majestic barn where she had to contend with low light and colored disco lights from the DJ.  She did a marvelous job of capturing the guests and festivities. ”

couples photography portland oregon

“We can’t thank Rayleigh enough to making us all look good!”

couples photography portland oregon

 

Rayleigh Leavitt : Boudoir and Glamour Photography, Portland, Oregon
503.828.2973 info@byrayleigh.com

Feel Inferior? | Beauty Photography Portland Oregon

Beauty Photography Portland Oregon

I just love this quote! It’s easy to get swept up in the emotions of how we think others are making us feel, but sometimes I have to remind myself that how I feel is my own choice! I have a comical conversation with another local photographer etched in to my memory. It’s only comical because I didn’t let his insults get me down. He asked me a bunch of questions about how I learned photography and about my studio and was completely unimpressed with my answers. Then he went on about how his father was a photographer before him and so was his grandfather. His great grandfather was a painter. So he has generations of artistic ability that he could claim. When I told him that my father was a city bus driver, I could almost see the disdain coming out of his ears like a green colored visible stench in a cartoon.  I could have allowed this converstation to affect how I saw myself as a professional photographer. But instead I took a good look at my gorgeous studio and felt proud of the business I’ve built  and the strides I’ve made in my art, all on my own. I absolutely love what I do and I’m pretty darn good at it, too, if I do say so myself.

Today I challenge you to tell yourself the opposite of any negative thought or emotion you may have. I want to hear about how it goes! I think you may be surprised at the outcome.

 

Rayleigh Leavitt : Boudoir and Glamour Photography, Portland, Oregon
503.828.2973 info@byrayleigh.com

Muffin Top | Boudoir Photography Portland Oregon

boudoir photography portland oregonFrom the minute we pull in to the parking lot of Famous Dave’s BBQ, we are hooked. That amazing smell wafting in to the car, I can hardly get inside fast enough. We order our usual, a split order of chicken tenders with a side of broccoli, a side of mac and cheese, and that oh-so-amazing cornbread muffin. If you’ve ever eaten at Famous Dave’s you know that this is not just any corn bread. This is I’ve-died-and-gone-to-heaven cornbread.

The only problem with splitting a meal, like we usually do, is that we only get one cornbread muffin, which is never enough. I joked with my husband, Nate, that I wouldn’t mind splitting the muffin in half as much, if were were cutting it in such a way that I were getting the top half (cause everyone knows that the muffin top is where it’s at). So my husband, being the sweet guy that he is, gave me the top half of the muffin. Now that is love.

When I pose my clients, I pose them in a way that celebrates the parts of their body that they love and downplay the parts that they don’t love as much. If you have a sweetie, I’m sure he loves you for all your parts and will happily enjoy them all. But I totally get wanting to focus only on your favorite parts. Now that I think about it, though, “muffin tops” aren’t always a good thing. Am I right?

 

Rayleigh Leavitt : Boudoir and Glamour Photography, Portland, Oregon
503.828.2973 info@byrayleigh.com

V Family | Beauty Portraits Portland Oregon

Those of you who have followed my work for even a short time know that family photography isn’t my specialty. Especially when it comes to babies. Hand me a baby and I will look at you like a dear in the headlights. Although, I’ll be getting over that soon since I’m expecting my own “bundle of joy” in April.   But when the V Family asked me if I was interested in doing a glam session that included their baby, that was a lot more up my allie than the typical newborn shoot that involves proping up babies in adorable props and hats. So I accepted and I’m glad I did because the shoot went great and I love the photos.

family and newborn photography portland oregon

family and newborn photography portland oregon

family and newborn photography portland oregon

family and newborn photography portland oregon

family and newborn photography portland oregon

Here is what Mrs. V said about her experience.  “I loved my photo shoot with Rayleigh!!! I did a family session with my husband and our 8-month-old baby, and I also sneaked in a couple boudoir pictures, which I’m saving as a surprise for my husband for St. Valentine! I was impressed by how precisely Rayleigh and her make-up and hair professional captured the style of the session that I wanted. I wanted a family and baby photo shoot, but more on the glam side. My makeup and hair turned out impeccable, and the pictures are amazing! I got lots of compliments from my friends and family, and lots of them were asking where I found this level of photography! I have a lot of friends outside of America who do professional photography themselves, and they also mentioned very high quality of the photo shoot. I also loved the process! Rayleigh made it all so easy and enjoyable! I felt confident and beautiful, my husband (who is not a big fan of photo shoots to begin with) was very comfortable and relaxed, my baby was calm and happy. I definitely attribute all that to the wonderful atmosphere Rayleigh creates for her shoots. It was an amazing experience!”

 

Rayleigh Leavitt : Boudoir and Glamour Photography, Portland, Oregon
503.828.2973 info@byrayleigh.com

Sexy Kimono | Boudoir Photography Portland Oregon

When this Miss M said she wanted to bring kimonos instead of lingerie for her boudoir shoot, it was a new experience for me and I thought it might be a challenge to make a kimono look sexy. But it wasn’t at all. I absolutely love the draped look and how it ties in her culture as well, making the images more unique to her. They also allow for a more modest look, which is what she was going for and we pulled it off beautifuly.boudoir photography portland oregon

 

I asked Miss M some questions about her experience and here is what she said:

Describe your body in 5 words
aged, dull, fat, puffy, dry

What do you love about your body?
taught and functioning

Why did you want to do a photo shoot?
Although I am not happy with myself, I would miss my body in 30s when I become 50s. Thats why I wanted to have it for my memory

 

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Why did you choose Photography by Rayleigh for your shoot?
I saw her work through my clients’. Loved how it turned out.

How did you feel as your were preparing for your shoot?
I was nervous yet I didn’t push myself to get in fit still.

Did this experience change the way you see yourself or the way you think of beauty?
I think it did. She made me feel I look good.

What does “beauty” mean to you?
Confident. Which I was losing a lot lately

 
boudoir photography portland oregon

What did you love about your shoot? Will you come back some day for another shoot?
I felt very comfortable in front of camera. She made me feel good to do so. I will do it again

How did you feel about being nearly naked in front of the camera?
I was so comfortable. Female photographer is one of the reason, but also her concept of this photograph fits my idea of doing this.

What was your favorite moment of the whole experience?
Getting positive feedback from photographer during the shoot 😉

How did you feel after seeing the photos we created?
Amazing.

 

boudoir photography portland oregon

What are you going to do with your photos?
Mostly I want to put in the safe, but I will put couple of them on the wall

Any advice for ladies thinking about doing a photo shoot?
Go for it! Its fun, and make you feel you are special

What’s your go-to item to wear to feel smoking hot?
Anything silk

 

Rayleigh Leavitt : Boudoir and Beauty Photography, Portland, Oregon
503.828.2973 info@byrayleigh.com

Growing old with my dog

I looked down at my dog today while I was making breakfast. She was close by, as she always is, hoping to start her day off with a breakfast treat. There was nothing different about the routine, but for some reason, today I saw her differently. For the first time, I could see her old soul staring back at me.

Rivers and I have been best friends for 14 long years.  Together we’ve lived in about 6 different houses with as many different roommates. Then Nate came along and we became a family. Rivers was even the “Bridesdog” in my wedding and felt right at home in a place of honor, on stage with all my Bridesmaids.

Of course, I’ve been noticing for a while that she gains more and more white fur with each day and her love of running at an insane speed has faded. But I just hadn’t seen her age showing through in her eyes like I did this morning.

wedding flower dog

Watching her grow old is as endearing as it is scary. I can’t even imagine what my life will be like when she’s gone. I don’t like to think about it at all. But I do really enjoy looking back at all of our photos in my stacks of photo albums and reminiscing about the times we’ve spent together. She’s been a part of so many of my experiences and I’m so thankful to have a visual record of our memories.

 

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Take a look at this photo from Rivers when she was just a puppy in 2002 and a photo from Spring of 2016. I could look at pictures of my fur baby all day long. Ha!

If I were to look through your photo albums, what would I see? Leave me a comment and tell me what photos you cherish.

False Eyelashes | Beauty & Boudoir Photography Portland Oregon

TIP TO PREPARE FOR YOUR BOUDOIR PHOTO SHOOT – WEAR FALSE EYELASHES

boudoir photography portland oregon

They make look fake in real life and when you first put them on they feel so heavy and just, well weird! However, in your photos they will make a HUGE difference. You actually don’t really notice them in the pictures, but you will notice their effect. They accentuate your eyes and give them a gorgeous almond shape. These are a must-have!

At the Photography by Rayleigh studio, my hair and makeup artist will provide false lashes for your shoot, so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own. But aside from your shoot, if you want to wear them for an event or just to feel a little extra pretty, check out this site for some great tips on everything false lashes. There are also some tips on making your own lashes appear longer.

Mother’s Day | Beauty Photography Portland Oregon

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Moms out there. I’m looking forward to a fun weekend with my Mom and Mom-in-law.  Before all the fun, I thought I would share some Mother-Daughter portraits with you guys.

 

glamour photos portland oregon

glamour photos portland oregon

glamour photos portland oregon

 

I’m so glad there is a day set aside for us to honor Moms. What are your plans for the weekend?

Rayleigh Leavitt : Boudoir and Glamour Photography, Portland, Oregon
503.828.2973 info@byrayleigh.com

 

Makeup Tips by Dallas | Beauty Portraits Portland Oregon

I have a handful of wonderful hair and makeup artists that are a huge part of my beauty and boudoir shoot experiences. One of them is Dallas Merkley.  I want to share with you some photos from the time Dallas got in front of my lens and I also want to tell you about her awesome YouTube channel. Dallas is way too cute for her britches and her videos are really entertaining while also giving awesome makeup and hair tips.

 

glamour portraits portland oregon

glamour portraits portland oregon

glamour portraits portland oregon

glamour portraits portland oregon

glamour portraits portland oregon

glamour portraits portland oregon

glamour portraits portland oregon

 

Click Here for her first of several videos. In this video, she goes over some basic makeup tips and introduces herself. Enjoy!

 

Rayleigh Leavitt : Boudoir and Glamour Photography, Portland, Oregon
503.828.2973 info@byrayleigh.com