Author Archives: Rayleigh

Teach your daughter what true beauty is

Ever wonder what your daughter thinks about beauty when she looks at her mother who is her definition of love, warmth, and beauty? Does her opinion of beauty change as she sees you talk badly about your own looks? How will she learn if you don’t teach your daughter what true beauty is?

Teach your daughter what true beauty is. This mother-daughter image is of a young child, smiling at her mother while hugging on a chase in my photography studio. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byRayleigh.com

It’s not just your looks that make you beautiful

I came across a great article on Offbeat Mama that I would love for you to read. It talks about how it’s not just your looks that make you beautiful. It’s your actions. The things you do. The efforts you make.

Redefine beauty

It’s helpful to look at our definition of beauty. It’s not just the reflection we see looking back at us in the mirror. That’s a small part of it. In fact, that beauty is fleeting. The beauty that your daughter sees in you is beauty that comes from the heart. How do you treat people? How do you show love? At a glance it might seem like this post is about self love. But it’s actually more about how you love other people that makes you beautiful.

It’s so easy to focus on our flaws or other negative things in our lives. One of my favorite verses in the Bible talks about, instead, focusing on lovely things.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is purewhatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8
Teach your daughter what true beauty is. This mother-daughter image is of a young child, smiling at her mother while lying on the bed in my photography studio. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byRayleigh.com

Teach your daughter what true beauty is

Teach your daughter what true beauty is. Start telling your daughter that you are beautiful so she will learn to recognize beauty in herself. I know this is such a hard thing to do as you look in the mirror and count all your flaws. I want my two daughters to believe that they are beautiful. Not in a prideful way. Just in quiet confidence, knowing that they were created by the maker of the universe and they are lovely.

How can I convince them of that if they know that I don’t believe that I am beautiful, too?

Yesterday my 4 year old daughter said to me, “When I grow up, I want to look just like you.” My insides wrestled with that statement because, like so many women, I struggle to look past my physical flaws. I had to resist the urge to start listing off all my physical flaws to her, discrediting her comment, and convincing her that she shouldn’t want to look like me. Instead, I gave her a the most beautiful smile I could muster and told her what a sweet thing that was for her to say.

Teach your daughter what true beauty is. This image is of a young girl, lying on her tummy on a chase in my photography studio. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byRayleigh.com

Want to see more?

I invite you to see more of my beauty portrait photography by visiting my website galleries. If you’d like to chat about booking a family or beauty photography shoot near Portland, OR, I’d love for you to contact me!

Why you shouldn’t do a photo shoot

Trust me, I get it.

You’re considering a portrait session but there are so many reasons why you shouldn’t do a photo shoot. You are thinking one or more of the following thoughts…
– I need to lose 10 pounds first
– I’m nervous to be in front of the camera
– I can’t afford this
– I’m not photogenic
– I’ll never look as good as the ladies on your website

STOP.

Just reading the above thoughts is some tiring stuff.

I want you to repeat after me, “I’m perfectly imperfect.”

Why you shouldn't do a photo shoot. Addressing common concerns. A before and after collage of a woman doing a beauty portrait shoot. She is wearing a blue sparkly formal dress and an intense gaze and serious expression. Her hand with red nail polish is in her hair. It's a close up head shot with a white background. These images are taken by Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com
Before After

Why you shouldn’t do a photo shoot

It sounds like you have a lot of reasons NOT to do a photo shoot. But it’s time to start thinking positive thoughts and start living your life now. Don’t wait until you become the person you think you should be. These concerns are so common, though, so let’s take a minute to address those.

I need to lose 10 pounds first

Wow, I REALLY get this. I think this thought often (except it’s usually more than 10 pounds, let’s be honest). But I want you to know that you don’t have to have a “perfect” body to feel beautiful. You can enjoy a photo shoot and feel amazing right now. Besides, I can do more with posing and lighting than you can do in 6 months in the gym. So there is always that! Perfect posing is my strength and that means helping women of all shapes and sizes look their best. Accentuating the curves you love and downplaying the curves you don’t love.

I’m nervous to be in front of the camera

Pretty much every client that comes in to my studio is nervous at first. But try not to worry because my past clients will attest that the nervousness goes away so quickly. My hair and makeup artist will have you feeling confident and gorgeous. You’ll feel comfortable, you’ll have a blast, and you’ll leave wondering what there ever was to be nervous about. If you haven’t already had a chance to read my blog about what to expect when you do a photo shoot, you should definitely check that out.

I can’t afford this

It’s true that I provide a luxury service and it may not be a priority over something like, say, paying the rent. But I do believe that every woman should experience what it’s like to look and feel beautiful. I offer easy payment plans for this reason. I read a great article about the importance of investing in yourself that included marking things off your bucket list. So let’s chat about how we can make this happen. It’s worth the investment! I promise!

Why you shouldn't do a photo shoot. Addressing common concerns. A before and after collage of a woman doing a maternity portrait shoot. She is wearing a lace dress and holding her belly bump and looking down while standing against a white wall. These images are taken by Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com
Before After

I’m not photogenic

“Not photogenic” women are some of my most favorite clients because I LOVE the reaction I get from them when I prove them wrong and they see their wonderful photos. If you think you aren’t photogenic, you probably just haven’t experienced a shoot with the right photographer, yet. 

I’ll never look as good as the ladies on your website

The ladies on my website are not models. They are just regular women who treated themselves to a day of pampering. The thing I love about beauty and boudoir photography is that it levels the playing field between magazine models and regular women. You will still look like you in the photos. But a more famous version of you. 

Why you shouldn't do a photo shoot. Addressing common concerns. A before and after collage of a woman doing a boudoir photo shoot. She's wearing black lingerie and red lipstick while while standing against a black wall. These images are taken by Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com
Before After

Are you ready to do this?

What do you say? Are you ready to take the plunge and have the experience of a lifetime? Or do you have any other concerns? I’m here for you and I’m happy to answer any questions you have. Let’s chat about your shoot!  I can’t wait to hear from you.

Father’s Day Gift Idea in Portland, OR

Father's Day gift ideas. This family photo was taken with natural light in a studio with a father and his daughter embracing and smiling in front of a white background. He is wearing a black polo shirt and she is wearing a yellow polka dot long sleeve t-shirt with overalls and a yellow flower in her hair. This photo was taken by Photography by Rayleigh in Portland, OR. See more at byrayleigh.com.

Why are men so hard to buy gifts for? It almost that time of year when we get to show the fathers in our life how much we appreciate them. But, if you are like me, you often feel stumped about what kind of gift to get them. Allow me to share with you an idea that I believe makes a fantastic Father’s Day gift idea.

Does he really need another tie?

The tried and true Father’s Day gift ideas like a new necktie might work sometimes. I like a “Best Dad” mug as much as the next girl. Actually I was really considering this funny mug that I saw on Amazon for my Dad this year. It says, “Dad, since having a favorite child like me is the only gift you need… consider this mug a bonus.” Haha! But really, how many mugs does a person need?

The guy who has everything.

Both my husband and my dad are hard to shop for. If they want something that is inexpensive, they just buy it for themselves. On the other hand, if they want something that is expensive and specific to their hobby, I likely don’t know enough about that hobby to buy the right thing.

I always end up buying gift cards for them, which, let’s be real… is super lame. I’ll be the first to admit it.

Father's Day gift ideas. This family photo was taken with natural light in a studio with a father and his daughters embracing and smiling in front of a white background. He is wearing a black polo shirt and the girls are wearing yellow polka dots with overalls and a yellow hair accessories. This photo was taken by Photography by Rayleigh in Portland, OR. See more at byrayleigh.com.

Instead of giving more stuff, give an experience.

For a Father’s Day gift idea that doesn’t involve giving more stuff to clutter up the house with, try giving an experience as a gift. Something fun for him to do. Or better yet, something fun that he can do with his kids to celebrate fatherhood.

My favorite Father’s Day gift idea.

Have you considered gifting a photo shoot experience to your Father or to the Father of your children? What I LOVE about this idea is that not only does he get to experience a fun photo shoot with his children, but he gets to keep the photos as a tangible gift to enjoy for years and years. This could be a family shoot. Or a shoot that includes just Dad and the kids (even grown kids). Father-Daughter shoots are the sweetest! Or even a shoot for Grandpa to have with his grandkids.

If you are thinking, “He’s not the kind of guy who likes to get dressed up and smile for photos,” then another idea I have for you is to gift some beautiful photos of the kids. Something like this.

On the other hand, if he’s more in to photos and you think he’d even enjoy a photoshoot all to himself, you can see what that might be like here. Even guys can use a confidence boost every now and then!

If you don’t have time to get the photo shoot booked before Father’s Day (*ahem* any other procrastinators out there?), don’t worry! You can gift him a gift certificate and we can do the shoot at a later date. No pressure or rush.

Father's Day gift ideas. This family photo was taken with natural light in a studio with a father holding his baby daughter and smiling in front of a white background. He is wearing a black polo shirt she is wearing yellow floral shirt with overalls and a yellow polka dot headband. This photo was taken by Photography by Rayleigh in Portland, OR. See more at byrayleigh.com.

A memorable photoshoot experience that is more than just a great Father’s Day gift idea.

I can’t tell you how much I treasure photos of my children with my Husband. My husband feels the same way. I know my children will be so glad to have these special photos when they are older, as well. These mean SO much more to all of us than a funny mug or another necktie collecting dust in the closet.

Ready to book?

I can’t wait to chat with you more about what kind of shoot you would like to do for the father in your life and to either schedule your shoot or arrange a gift certificate. Of course, I’m happy to answer any questions that you have. Just contact me and we can chat!

What to expect when you book a shoot

If you haven’t, yet, experienced a shoot in my studio or if you’ve never done a shoot as glamorous as this before, you might be wondering how the process works. I’d love to share with you what to expect when you book a shoot with Photography by Rayleigh.

First, I invite you to watch my video below (created by Ambient Sky) because it’s a really great way to get a feel for what the experience is like. Then we can go over the steps of the entire process.

Now let’s go over the details of the process from the time you book, to the time you hold your luxurious album or folio box in your hands.

BEFORE THE SHOOT

Ultimate Guide to Preparing for your Photo Shoot

If you haven’t received my prep guide, you can click here to get that sent to you. It’s loaded with info to help you…

  • Prepare for your session
  • Know what to expect when you book a shoot
  • Learn how to feel relaxed during your shoot 
  • Put your outfits together
  • Know what NOT to do!

Session Consultation

In addition to the detailed prep guide, we can also have a phone, video, or in-person consultation to go over details and specifics for YOUR shoot and to go over any questions or concerns you might have. The more prepared you are, the less nervous you’ll feel.

YOUR SESSION DAY

Come as you are

All of my sessions include professional hair and makeup by my talented hair and makeup artists. All you have to do is show up with a clean face and hair. Then relax, sip on some wine, if you’d like, and listen to music while we all chat and have a great time. If you have ideas for how you want your hair or makeup, you are welcome to bring pictures to show her. Otherwise, you can just sit back and let her do her magic. Hair and makeup typically takes about 60-90 minutes.

What to expect when you book a shoot. This is a behind the scenes photo of my makeup artist and my client. My client is sitting in the makeup chair, having her eye makeup done. The background is my pink wall. This is the studio of Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com.

Your photo shoot

Don’t worry about knowing how to pose or how to look good in front of the camera. That’s my job! My strength is perfect posing to help every woman look their best. Accentuating the curves you love and downplaying the curves you don’t love. Just relax and trust me!

How many outfits?

I don’t have a specific limit to the number of outfits you can wear during your shoot, but we typically shoot for about an hour and in that time we can fit in about 3-5 outfits. I recommend bringing a variety of outfit styles (casual, dressy, formal, etc).

What to expect when you book a shoot. This is a before and after portrait. This girl is in a sitting pose, wearing a casual sweatshirt and legging against a white background. She is smiling with her hand in her hair. Photo by Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com.

CONFIDENT NEW YOU

the ordering session

The ordering session is where you get to view all of your gorgeous photos and choose your favorites. You’ll be shocked at how much you can LOVE a photo of yourself! I am so pleased to offer same day ordering! After your session, you can head out to lunch while I process your photos. After lunch, you get to come back and view your photos!

Images can be purchased individually, however, my clients love my image collections that include gorgeous presentation products that are truly the top of the line in the industry. I offer high quality wooden folio boxes and luxurious Queensberry albums. All images purchased come with the digital copy of the image, which gets sent to you shortly after your ordering session. The printed products take a few days to a couple of weeks to receive, depending on the product you choose.

What to expect when you book a shoot. this is a photo of the album I offer my clients after their photo shoot. The image in the album was taken by Photography by Rayleigh and is a picture of sisters wearing white t shirts and jeans in a sitting pose. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

Wall art is another way to display your stunning images. I’ll be your personal designer, helping you to design a beautiful display of images for you walls.

What to expect when you book a shoot. The image in the frame was taken by Photography by Rayleigh and is a picture of an Indian woman in a pink formal dress sitting on the back of a white couch. The rest of the bedroom photo is a stock photo I purchased and have permission to use. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

Now that you’ve learned what to expect when you book a shoot, I hope you can see that a shoot with me is more than having your photos taken. It’s an amazing experience that can help you change the way you see yourself. Do you have questions? I invite you to check out my blog that goes over some common concerns that my clients have before their shoot. Also, I’m happy to answer any questions that you have. Let’s chat about your shoot!

Christmas Pajama Sessions

For the first time, ever, I’m offering a day of limited edition Christmas pajama sessions. You won’t find me offering these types of “mini” sessions often. So if you have been wanting to book a shoot with me and you are looking for a lower cost option, this might be the opportunity for you! These shorter sessions will be held on one day only and there will only be 6 spots available.

Limited Edition
Christmas Pajama Sessions
November 23, 2019

Slots will be in 30 minute increments between 10:00-1:30

Christmas pajama sessions. This is an image of a girl wearing red plaid Christmas pajamas and a red winter hat. She's hugging a red pillow and sitting in front of a Christmas tree. Image by Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

What is different about these sessions?

  • The session fee is waived! (Usually $690)
  • Professional hair and makeup is not included but is available as an add on
  • Photo shoots are 20-30 minutes long
  • Special pricing! If you purchase two individual photos, you get one free. I will also have a small package available to save even more money. This special package is only available for these limited edition sessions.

Who are these sessions for?

These sessions can be scheduled for individuals (beauty or boudoir) or families.

Do I have to wear Christmas pajamas?

Although, I think a Christmas pajama session is such a fun idea, you can opt to wear something different. Just make sure your outfits go with the Christmas theme. Red, green, gold, gray, beige, and white are the best colors for this Christmas set. Pastel colors, like light pink, can go well, too, if we take out the reds in the set up. By the way, if you do wear pajamas, they don’t have to be red “Christmas” pajamas. They can be neutral colors, too. Any of the colors mentioned above would work fine.

Christmas pajama sessions. This is an image of a little girl wearing red plaid Christmas pajamas. She's holding a glass of milk and a teddy bear, next to a plate of cookies, and sitting in front of a Christmas tree. Image by Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

What is the special pricing?

Photos can be purchased individually, which means you get the full size digital version of the photo, as well as a complimentary print of the photo (your choice of 5×7 or 8×10 print). Photos are $250 each. For these limited edition sessions only, if you buy two photos, you get one free!

For the highest value, consider purchasing a package of 10 photos, which includes the full size digital versions of the photos on a crystal USB drive and an heirloom quality album. The special price for this package is $1200.

Can I get professional hair and makeup services?

Professional hair and makeup services are available at an additional cost. That cost is subject to change depending on the hair and makeup artist. So please ask me about that when you book your shoot. There are only 3 slots available that will allow time for hair and makeup services, so you’ll want to grab one of those spots quickly.

Christmas pajama sessions. This is an image of an Asian mother with her daughter, lying on the floor ans smiling. They are wearing sweaters and matching pink winter hats. Image by Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

What if I’m not available on November 23rd?

If the mini session day doesn’t work for you, please consider a booking full size session. Full size sessions can be booked on a day that is convenient for you and includes a more full experience compared to a mini session. Pricing will be regular pricing. The Christmas set will be available until mid-late December.

How do I book my shoot?

Spots are limited! So contact me soon to ask any questions and to book your limited edition Christmas pajama session. A deposit of $250 is required to hold your spot and that deposit goes toward your photo purchase.

Christmas pajama sessions. This is an image of a girl wearing a gray striped night gown. She's holding a glass of milk with a plate of cookies, and sitting on the floor in front of a Christmas tree. Image by Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

Pageant Headshots

Pageant headshots. This beautiful girl is standing in front of a white background, wearing a formal dress, tiara, and pageant sash with her hand on her hip. This image was taken by Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com

Oregon United Miss

Miss Abby has been competing in beauty pageants since she was 9 years old. She has won several titles, including Salem United Miss, Oregon United Miss, National United Miss, IJM Miss Oregon Jr. Teen, and American US National Jr. Teen Queen. I had the pleasure of photographing her pageant head shots for her next competition. Abby has come in a number of times for updated pageant headshots and I just love her poise and confidence.

Pageant headshots. This beautiful girl is standing in front of a black background, wearing a formal blue dress, tiara, and Miss Oregon pageant sash. This image was taken by Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com

Pageant headshots for photogenic competition

When competing for Oregon United Miss, the pageant head shot photo she submitted, taken by yours truly, won the photogenic competition. I was so pleased to be part of that achievement!

Pageant headshots. This beautiful girl is standing in front of a black background, wearing a black formal dress, tiara, and jeweled mask. This image was taken by Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com
Pageant headshots. This beautiful girl is standing in front of a white background, wearing a formal blue dress. This image was taken by Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com

Keep up the good work, Miss Abby! I’m routing for you! I’ll be looking forward to shooting your next pageant head shots, as well.

Housewarming Party Promotion

Exciting news and special promotion now through October 2018.

Housewarming Party Promotion. This is a photo of the studio of Photography by Rayleigh. for more info, visit byrayleigh.com

Hey ladies! I have exciting news to share with you. Photography by Rayleigh has moved to Tualatin!  I’ve been working hard to get the space looking gorgeous for all of you.  The space has a new coat of paint (or three) by Radiant Services NW.  A beautiful new floor by Koeber’s Interiors.  And an amazing floral arrangement by Vanessa’s Flowers. To celebrate, I’m having a Housewarming Party Promotion!

Housewarming Party Promotion. This is a photo of the studio of Photography by Rayleigh. for more info, visit byrayleigh.com

I have two huge windows for gorgeous light.  And black out curtains for more artistic lighting set ups.

Housewarming Party Promotion. This is a photo of the studio of Photography by Rayleigh. for more info, visit byrayleigh.com

I LOVED my pink striped wall in my previous studio space so I had that done in the new space, too. This photo shows the hair and makeup station and the photo reveal station.

Housewarming Party Promotion. This is a photo of the restroom part of the studio of Photography by Rayleigh. for more info, visit byrayleigh.com

I may as well show you the bathroom, too, because it’s just cute. haha! I’m a big fan of gold polka dots. I’m a little obsessed, if I’m being honest.

This is what the space looked like before we moved in. It was nice but I needed to brighten it up with white paint and put in the wood floor because wood floors are just sexier than carpet.

I’d love to show off my new studio in person, so I’m offering a special promotion that you’ll want to hear about. It’s super rare that I offer discounts because although my sessions are definitely a financial investment, my past clients will tell you that the experience is totally worth it!

I’m excited to have all of you ladies in to see the new space so I wanted to offer something special. Let’s think of it like a housewarming party. Except it’s one on one.  And you are totally encouraged to party in your underwear. Now, that’s a good party! Here is the special deal I’m offering…

Housewarming Party Promotion

I’m offering $241 off my mini session which is a 30 minute beauty or boudoir session and includes your choice of 8 digital images on a thumb drive for $499. Professional hair and makeup services are optional but highly encouraged. They are an additional $150.

The shoot doesn’t have to be a boudoir shoot. If you want a beauty shoot (fully clothed) or professional head shots, I’d love to do those, too. The offer expires at the end of the month, which means that you have to contact me to book your shoot and pay your deposit this week. Your shoot can be for any future date. How does that sound?

If you have questions or if you are ready to book your shoot, just shoot me an email at info@byRayleigh.com. I can’t wait to book your shoot!

40th Anniversary Portraits

This is a before and after collage of my lovely client. Photo by Photography by Rayleigh. for more info, visit byrayleigh.com

Couples Portraits

I had the pleasure of photographing this fine couple for their 40th wedding anniversary and they were a joy to work with. I love photographing “empty nester” couples who have raised their children and have decided to invest in something special for themselves.

40th wedding anniversary

This is what my clients had to say about their experience…

“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.  “

40th wedding anniversary portraits. Couple photo by Photography by Rayleigh. for more info, visit byrayleigh.com

“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.  “

40th wedding anniversary portraits. Couple photo by Photography by Rayleigh. for more info, visit byrayleigh.com

“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. “

40th wedding anniversary portraits. Couple photo by Photography by Rayleigh. for more info, visit byrayleigh.com

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

40th wedding anniversary portraits. Couple photo by Photography by Rayleigh. for more info, visit byrayleigh.com

Having clients come back for multiple sessions, or referring family members to me is the best compliment! I always love seeing this beautiful family in my studio.

Do You Feel Inferior?

Do you feel inferior? Quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. Rayleigh is a beauty photographer in Portland, OR. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

Do you feel inferior?

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!

This one time…

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’m proud of my accomplishments

I could have allowed this conversation 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. No matter what that meanie thinks.

So do you feel inferior? 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.