Author Archives: Rayleigh

Breast Friends Fundraiser

October is breast cancer awareness month

I’m happy to be hosting my 2nd annual fundraiser for an organization in Tigard called, Breast Friends. Breast Friends is an amazing organization that helps women survive the trauma of cancer, one friend at a time. Breast Friends’ mission is to ensure that no woman goes through a diagnosis of cancer alone.

During the month of October, $50 from every session fee paid will be donated to Breast Friends. This applies to any kind of shoot, booked for any future date, as long as the session fee is paid in October.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Breast Friends, providing portraits to women who have lost their hair due to chemo. I invite you to check out these “Bald Is Beautiful” portraits.

Bonus: special pricing for one day only!

Do you need headshots for your business, your dating profile, modeling, acting, pageantry, or just for fun? November 3rd is the day I’m hosting a mini session marathon at my photography studio in Tualatin, OR. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity. Even with the special pricing, $50 will still be donated to Breast Friends. This calls for a happy dance for us all!

Business headshots mini sessions are happening in my Tualatin, OR photography studio. This can be used for pageant, acting, or modeling headshots, as well.

In need of something more custom?

If you are looking for a longer and more custom session, like branding photos, a full length beauty or boudoir portrait session, or you just aren’t available on the date of the mini session marathon, just reply to this email and let me know what your needs are. We’ll go from there!

Business headshots mini sessions are happening in my Tualatin, OR photography studio. This can be used for pageant, acting, or modeling headshots, as well.

Let’s plan your photo shoot!

If you are ready to book your shoot, please send me an email and we can chat!


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Beauty Portraits Galleries

Free Guide to Preparing For Your Shoot

Headshot Marathon

Do you need professional business portraits?

Who’s got time and money to waste on, yet, another headshot session that ends up in photos that you don’t like? With Photography by Rayleigh in the Portland area, you’ll be amazed at how much you can love a photo of yourself. With an expert guided process from start to finish, you’ll look and feel your best every time.

Book a Headshot Mini Session and get ready for your best headshot ever.

October is breast cancer awareness month

In support of breast cancer awareness month, I will be donating $50 from each session that is booked in October (for a shoot scheduled on any future date) to Breast Friends. This includes headshot mini sessions during the marathon day or any custom session booked on a different day.

Breast Friends is an amazing organization that helps women survive the trauma of cancer, one friend at a time. Breast Friends’ mission is to ensure that no woman goes through a diagnosis of cancer alone. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Breast Friends, providing portraits to women who have lost their hair due to chemo. I invite you to check out these “Bald Is Beautiful” portraits.

When I ran this same fundraiser last year for Breast Cancer Awareness month, I had the pleasure of photographing Michelle, who works with Breast Friends. She was able to take advantage of the special headshot marathon pricing while also helping to raise money for her organization.

Office and group photos

Does your business have multiple employees all needing business headshot portraits? If so, we can talk about setting up a shoot just for your crew. If you need some group shots, I can help with that, as well!

Looking for something more custom for your personal or business portraits?

There are more options for you to consider. If this date doesn’t work for you, or you are looking for a longer, more customized session, including branding photos (such as the photo below), that is an option I’d love to discuss with you.

This is an image from a headshot business portrait photoshoot in Portland, OR. This branding photo shows a woman sitting on the floor and working with her laptop and cell phone while holding a pen prop.

Whether you are interested in the mini session marathon or any custom session, let’s chat!

    Related Topics

    Business Portrait Mini Marathon. Photography by Rayleigh in Portland, OR. For more info about business headshot photos, please visit byrayleigh.com

    My business portrait and headshot gallery

    Business Portrait Mini Marathon. Photography by Rayleigh in Portland, OR. For more info about business headshot photos, please visit byrayleigh.com

    What to expect

    A Fall Beauty Photo Shoot in Portland

    Fall is here!

    I’m sorry for all you sun seekers, but Fall is here and I am so happy. I’ve busted out my sweaters, even though it’s actually still too warm to wear them. But they are ready as soon as that temperature drops a bit. My house has been decorated for Fall for a couple of weeks as I, admittedly, jumped the gun on that one. But I’m not even sad about it. So when my beautiful client, Teresa, brought in an Autumn wardrobe for her beauty session, I was over the moon. It made my little photographer heart so happy. Fall is my jam! I’d love to share with you this Fall beauty photo shoot that was recently done in my studio near Portland.

    A Fall beauty photo shoot in Portland, Oregon by beauty and boudoir photographer, Photography by Rayleigh. This is a backlit portrait of a woman wearing a hat and Fall wardrobe in front of a window in a photography studio. She is posed sitting on a chase lounge.

    Hair and makeup

    Teresa is a hair and makeup artist at Strut Salon in downtown Portland. She arrived with her hair and makeup camera ready. She looked amazing, as you can see. This is her third photo shoot with me and I was thrilled to have her back in the studio! As Teresa can attest, these shoots are such a great confidence booster and can become a bit addicting, in a good way!

    By the way, Teresa gave me a hair cut recently and she also taught me how to tame my unruly natural curls. Oh my goodness, you guys. I never knew my curls could look so good! If you need some help with your curls, Teresa is your girl.

    A Fall beauty photo shoot in Portland, Oregon by beauty and boudoir photographer, Photography by Rayleigh. This is a modest boudoir image of a women lying on a bed, wearing a white sweater and Fall wardrobe.

    Your most beautiful self

    Teresa was kind enough to share some sweet words about her experience in a Google review. She said, “Rayleigh made me feel so comfortable from beginning to end! She photographs you in way that is so natural and so perfect. You’ll leave feeling like your most beautiful self!” This is exactly the experience I aim for all of my beautiful clients to have.

    A Fall beauty photo shoot in Portland, Oregon by beauty and boudoir photographer, Photography by Rayleigh. This is a modest boudoir image of a women lying on a rug on the floor, wearing a white sweater and Fall wardrobe.

    Business headshots

    The photo below makes for the cutest business headshot for Teresa’s salon. Although my clients always have such a great time with beauty sessions, I’m also a Portland business headshot photographer. A need for business headshots gives a lot of my ladies an “excuse” to come in to my Tualatin studio. Of course, my favorite reason for you to come in is to treat yourself and to allow yourself to feel like the amazing person that you are.

    A Fall beauty photo shoot in Portland, Oregon by beauty and boudoir photographer, Photography by Rayleigh. This is an image of a women in a sitting pose in front of a white backdrop. She is smiling for a business headshot.

    Beauty, business, and boudoir

    Photo shoots in my studio often end up a mix of beauty, business, and boudoir photos. When you make the time to come in and have a session, you may as well capture all the facets of your personality. While shooting photos for different purposes, you get the most mileage out of your makeover and your time in the studio. That’s a win, for sure!

    A Fall Beauty Photo Shoot in Portland

    If you love Fall as much as I do, I’d love to schedule a photo shoot for you in October or November. Just send me an email and we can chat!


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    What to wear for a fall beauty photo shoot in Portland. This modest boudoir image is of a women posed lying on a bed with a sweater and tutu skirt.

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    4 tips for choosing a Portland Senior Photographer

    Choosing a Portland Senior Photographer

    “They are just pictures,” she said. “Just go to JC Penney” she said. Sorry, Mom. You got that one wrong. My experience was sorely lacking. 26 years later, I still feel disappointed that I didn’t have a senior portrait experience that made me feel special and beautiful. Instead, when I look at my senior photos, I feel embarrassed to show my kids because they might realize their Mom was totally unfashionable and clueless about hair or makeup back then. They bring up bad memories of being one of the uncool kids. So now I’m on a mission to share my best tips for choosing a Portland Senior Photographer. I hope for other high school girls to have an amazing senior portrait experience where they feel like the special ladies that they are. Here are 4 questions to ask a photographer to see if they are a good fit for you.

    4 tips for choosing a Portland Senior photographer. This image is of a high school senior girl lying back on a couch.

    Is professional hair and makeup provided?

    Whether you wear makeup in every day life, or not, professional hair and makeup makes a huge difference in the final photos. Even if the makeup look you choose is a very natural look, you’ll find that a bit of makeup makes your features pop. Features look more subdued in photographs. Facial features can blend in to the skin. Hair can look flat. A professional hair and makeup artist with experience in working with photographers will know how to apply the makeup in a way that will photograph beautifully.

    How to choose a Portland senior photographer. This image is a of a teenage girl sitting on a blue sofa in a photography studio.

    It’s also true that the time spent being pampered in the makeup chair is an amazing part of the experience. My ladies start their shoot off feeling beautiful and confident. Those feelings show up in the senior photos.

    Does the photographer offer studio or outdoor senior sessions?

    One of the most important questions when choosing the right senior photographer for you is whether they offer studio sessions or outdoor sessions. Which do you want for your shoot? While some photographers give the option of either one, some photographers don’t have a studio and are unable to shoot indoors. It’s also sometimes the case that studio photographers don’t offer outdoor sessions.

    Studio photo sessions are my favorite because I can provide perfectly beautiful lighting. Also, the photo shoot isn’t dependent on unpredictable Portland weather. That being said, I do offer outdoor senior sessions for those who have their heart set on that.

    Do you like the photographer’s shooting and editing style?

    Every photographer has their own look and it’s simple enough to advise you to find a style that you like. In addition to that, though, please make sure you get a good look at the photographer’s portfolio on their website. Is their look consistent? Can you tell exactly what to expect for your own photos? I urge you not to just go off of a small handful of photos that you see on Instagram. If the photographer has inconsistency in their work, you may not end up getting photos that are what you are expecting.

    How to choose a Portland senior photographer. This image is of a teenage girl posed in a sitting pose in front of a white wall in a studio.

    Is quantity the priority or is quality most important?

    Of course, price is an important part of your decision when choosing a photographer, but along with that, you might consider quantity vs quality. Speaking for myself, I’d much rather have 20-30 amazing photos that I absolutely love than 100 photos that are just good (or not so good). That’s what my clients want and that’s what works great in a stunning album layout for the final keepsake product.

    Choosing a Portland senior photographer

    The last year of high school is full of traditions and social rights of passage. At the end of the school year is prom and graduation, of course. But long before that, the year starts off with the tradition of senior photos. Start the year off right with an unforgettable senior portrait experience. I hope these tips help you to choose the best senior photographer for you.

    Let’s chat!

    If you feel like I might be the Portland senior photographer that you are looking for, please send me an email and we can chat! I can’t wait to get to know you.


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    What to Wear for a Fall Photo Shoot

    A pin up inspired diner photo shoot in Portland

    A collaborative styled photo shoot

    A fun new restaurant recently opened up near my Tualatin, OR photography studio, called 60’s Diner. My family has had lunch there multiple times. As a Portland pin up photographer who loves doing 50’s and 60’s themed photo shoots, I kept thinking about how much fun it would be to do a pin up inspired diner photo shoot.

    I asked the manager, Michael, if that would be a possibility and he was happy to have us in. So I went on a hunt to find a model and a hair and makeup artist to join me on this creative collaborative project. I absolutely love when small businesses come together to support one another.

    A pin up inspired diner photo shoot in Portland, OR by Photography by Rayleigh. This is a retro themed image of a smiling woman sitting at a diner bar, with a milkshake.

    Miss Portland

    I did some Instagram surfing to find a model for this collaborative styled photo shoot near Portland. Happily, I came across Karson Fair, who just so happens to hold the crown for Miss Portland Metro. I love her commitment to helping women know their worth, which is an important aspect of my photography business, as well. So I knew she’d make a great addition to the team. It certainly helps that she’s cute as a button and has the sweetest personality. She was a dream to photograph.

    A pin up inspired diner photo shoot in Portland, OR by Photography by Rayleigh. This is a retro themed image of a woman sitting at a diner table, drinking a milkshake.

    60’s Diner

    What I love about 60’s diner in Tualatin is that it’s so family friendly, which is great for people like me who have little ones. What my kids love is that they have TVs sprinkled around that show old cartoons that they get to watch while they eat their grilled cheese sandwiches. The burgers and fries are great, but the milkshakes are what I show up for. In fact, after spending a few days working on all these photos, I just had to pop in for a peanut butter milkshake earlier today. It did not disappoint. They even have boozy milkshakes if that tickles your fancy.

    Wardrobe

    I chose a few outfits on Amazon that I thought would work well and then Karson let me know which ones she liked best out of the options. I didn’t have to spend a lot of money for the outfits, which was a bonus. She was able to find some pearls and retro looking shoes from a friend that worked great. The hair and makeup artist brought the headband. So these looks were really a team effort.

    You can almost hear Chubby Checker singing, The Twist, from the jukebox when you look at these photos. Of course Elvis made a couple of appearances through the speakers, as well.

    A pin up inspired diner photo shoot in Portland, OR by Photography by Rayleigh. This is a retro themed image of a smiling woman standing in front of a vintage jukebox.

    Professional hair and makeup

    It’s not easy finding hair and makeup artists who have experience with retro inspired looks. My go-to artist for pin up inspired photo shoots was unavailable but I’m so thankful she was able to refer me to Crystal Sanchez. Crystal was so great to work with and I’m happy to have met another talented hair and makeup artist. She’s great at what she does and she is super nice. Her and I enjoyed a delicious lunch together afterwards (Burgers, of course), and I loved making a new friend. Crystal loves doing hair and makeup (not just retro style) for photo shoots and weddings.

    A pin up inspired diner photo shoot in Portland, OR by Photography by Rayleigh. This is a behind the scenes image of the model and makeup artist.

    The team for this pin up inspired diner photo shoot

    We grabbed a timer selfie for all those who took part in this collaborative, creative photo shoot. Crystal (the hair and makeup artist) and I (Rayleigh, the Portland pin up photographer) are in the back. On the left is Taimi, the diner server who made us a photogenic and delicious milkshake for the shoot. In the middle is Michael, the manager of 60’s Diner. We are posed around his impressive Harley Davidson bike, which is always parked outside the diner. And on the right is Karson, our beautiful model.

    A pin up inspired diner photo shoot in Portland, OR by Photography by Rayleigh. This is a behind the scenes group photo of the creative team.

    Right after this photo was taken, Karson headed off to a work meeting. Can you imagine showing up to work looking like you just stepped out of the 1960’s? I love it!

    A pin up inspired diner photo shoot

    I’m so glad my shoot idea was able to come to fruition. I loved the team that I was able to gather together and we all had a blast. As a photographer, it’s always so much fun getting to know other people in the Portland community and working together to create something fun and beautiful.

    Want to see more of my vintage themed photography work?

    Pin up photo shoots are typically done in my Tualatin, OR studio. If you’d like to see more of my themed studio work, please click here. I even have some super cute maternity photos done pin up style and you can view those by clicking here. I don’t only do pin up work, so feel free so peruse my website to see my other beauty photography.

    Are you interested in experiencing a photo shoot?

    If you think this looks like a ton of fun, let’s chat and see what kind of session we can design for you. Please send me an email and we can talk details!


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    A pin up inspired photo shoot in Portland, OR by Photography by Rayleigh. This is a retro themed image of a woman lying on a bed with a vintage telephone.

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    What to wear for a photo shoot in Portland

    Ideas for what to wear for a photo shoot

    You’ve got a photo shoot coming up and you are looking for inspiration and ideas for your photo shoot wardrobe? You’ve come to the right place. I’ve written a number of articles that give ideas for what to wear for a photo shoot in Portland. The articles are each focused on a certain type of photo shoot or a certain season. This page will serve as a resource for you and a convenient place to find all of the articles. I hope it helps!

    What to wear for a photo shoot in Portland. This is an image of a client choosing a formal dress with Rayleigh Leavitt, the photographer for the Tualatin, OR photography studio, Photography by Rayleigh

    A Fall Photo Shoot

    Ahhh… the time of year I look forward to most! I know some of you ladies treasure your sunny days, but all summer long, I’m dreaming of the day when I can don my cozy Fall attire. Whether you are doing a family photo shoot or an individual beauty, boudoir, or maternity session, you may be wondering what to wear for a Fall photo shoot in Portland, OR . Here are some ideas to give you inspiration.

    What to wear for a Fall Photo shoot in Portland, OR. This is a boudoir image of a woman wearing a sweater off the shoulders.

    A Winter Photo Shoot

    If you have a Winter photo shoot planned, you might be looking for some ideas for how to dress for the season. These ideas can give you inspiration for a family, boudoir, beauty, glamour, headshot, couples, maternity, or senior portrait session.

    What to wear for a winter photo shoot in Portland, Oregon. This image shows a family photo shoot with a mother and her two daughters.

    A Maternity Photo Shoot

    If you are reading this, it’s likely that you are neck deep in planning and preparing for your sweet baby to arrive on the outside, all while having pregnancy brain. It’s a lot! I get it and I’m here to help. Here are some ideas to help you decide what to wear for a maternity photo shoot.

    What to wear for a maternity photo shoot in Portland, Oregon. Beauty and Maternity photographer.

    A Pin-Up 50’s style Photo Shoot

    I’ve pulled together some images from a few of my past 50’s inspired photo shoots to give you a little inspiration for your own retro pin up session. It may seem daunting at first to come up with a few outfits, but it’s actually pretty easy to find some really cute pieces online. You may even find that you have some things in your own wardrobe that will work. Here are some ideas.

    What to wear for your 50's retro shoot - Portland Pin Up Photographer. This woman is wearing a button up blouse with a cherry print and red nail polish.

    Coming Soon

    I’ll add more articles to this resource as I write them. I intend to add some articles soon about wardrobe for Spring and Summer sessions, a modest boudoir session, and a bridal photo shoot. Please sign up for my emails, if you haven’t already, to be sure to get that info when it comes out.

    Let’s chat!

    Is there anything else you want help with? Just let me know. If you are ready to book your photo shoot, I’d love to be your photographer. Please send me an email and we can chat!


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    What to wear for a photo shoot in Portland, OR. A Victorian inspired boudoir photo shoot.

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    My Experience with Portland Microblading

    What’s the deal with eyebrows?

    Ladies. Can we take a minute to talk about about eyebrows? I’ve lived most of my life without them. For a while it didn’t bother me because I was just used to that being my normal face. But at some point I realized that faces are supposed to have eyebrows and I started feeling a little self conscious about mine. It took me a while to decide to go for it, but I finally took the plunge to get myself some eyebrows. I’d love to share with you my experience with Portland microblading.

    I’m a really late bloomer when it comes to my own makeup and far from being an expert. That’s exactly why I hire a highly skilled professional makeup artist for photo shoots in my photography studio. She makes my clients look fantastic. If you are like me, though, and you are not super “in the know” when it comes to makeup and things of that sort, I hope sharing about my experience with microblading in Portland is helpful to you.

    Are eyebrows really important? I’ll just put this funny Anne Hathaway meme right here and let you decide for yourself. This meme made me laugh because I could relate so well to the non-eyebrow image.

    An Anne Hathaway meme on a blog about my experience with Portland microblading.
    source: unknown

    Blonde eyebrows

    I’m a red head with strawberry blonde hair (under the darker red dye). My natural eyebrows are virtually non-existent. I technically do have eyebrow hair. They are just such a light blonde that they are basically invisible. Below is a cell phone photo of myself and my natural eyebrows, before having microblading done.

    The before picture on my blog about my experience with Portland microblading. I'm a red head with blonde eyebrows.

    My previous attempts at giving myself eyebrows

    For a while I just tried to use my bangs to cover up most of my forehead so my eyebrows were hidden. But that only worked when my bangs would lay just right and my hair was cooperating perfectly. We all know that lasts about 5 minutes.

    So I started coloring my eyebrows with an eyebrow pencil. Trying to draw on the right eyebrow shape was something that caused me stress every morning. I just never knew if I was drawing the line too narrow or too thick. Or with the right arch and angle. And don’t even think about getting my two eyebrows to match.

    Once I had my eyebrows drawn on (imperfectly), it usually worked okay for a few hours. But then the pencil would start to rub off and I’d be left with half an eyebrow. Or striped eyebrows. Not the look I was going for!

    So, this is what lead me to microblading.

    What is microblading?

    Microblading is a cosmetic tattooing procedure. It differs from a traditional tattoo in that the artist uses different tools and a smaller amount of pigment. An esthetician uses a microblade tool to apply color pigments that look like real hairs. If you choose the right esthetician, it looks pretty natural. Microblading tattoos usually need to be touched up after a year, or so. They aren’t permanent like a traditional tattoo.

    My experience with microblading in Portland, OR

    It took me about 7 years to finally go ahead and do microblading because I was afraid that whoever did my eyebrows wouldn’t do a good job and it would look terrible and unnatural. However, I’m so glad I found Erik Berntsen of Permanent Cosmetics NW. He had great reviews and my experience was top notch. I trust him and highly recommend him for anyone in the Portland area.

    Does microblading hurt?

    I won’t lie. It did hurt. An anesthetic cream was used and it did help. But I felt quite a bit of pain in the beginning, before the anesthetic had fully kicked in, and then again at the end, as the anesthetic cream started to wear off. I’ll also note, though, that a common feature that many red heads share is that anesthesia doesn’t work quite as well (this was confirmed once by an anesthesia technician who knew I would require extra anesthesia for a surgery I was having). So it’s possible that non-red heads may not feel it as much as I did.

    How does microblading look with blonde eyebrows?

    Microblading for someone with blonde eyebrows is tricky. The procedure doesn’t color your real hair. Just the skin underneath. If your eyebrow hair is thin but dark, the new ink blends in beautifully and gives you a fuller look. However, if you add darker ink under blonde eyebrows, it kind of just gives your blonde hair a dark backdrop and makes the blonde stand out in a weird way. For this reason, Erik made sure not to go too dark for the ink color, even though I color my head hair a darker color. The photo below show what my eyebrows look like with my blonde eyebrows and the tattoo.

    The "after" picture on my blog about my experience with Portland microblading. I'm a red head with blonde eyebrows.

    Did you throw away your eyebrow pencil?

    This completed look (microblading with blonde eyebrows) wouldn’t bother some people. Erik, the expert, feels that my eyebrows look great, as is. A couple of my friends said the same. Even so, I choose to use an eyebrow pencil over my tattoo, in order to color my real hair. The one I use is from Mary Kay.

    I know, I know… you are probably asking, “What is the point of getting a tattoo, if you are just going to use a pencil over it?” And that’s a valid question. But I absolutely love having the tattoo, in spite of preferring to still use a pencil.

    For one thing, the shape is already there for me. It’s so fast and easy to color my eyebrows in the exact shape that Erik created, in his expertise. No stressing or wondering if I got the shape right. Having that shape tattooed on also helps me when I’m removing the extra hairs outside of the shape I want (although I honestly hardly ever do that because you can’t even really see the natural hair, anyway).

    Secondly, when the pencil starts to rub off in spots, as it inevitably does, it’s not super noticeable. I no longer peek in to the mirror and end up feeling totally embarrassed that I’ve been walking around in public with half an eyebrow.

    Thirdly, on days when I don’t feel like putting on makeup, I just leave my eyebrows alone, and it’s fine. I’m happy to have the tattoo so my face doesn’t look totally colorless and washed out.

    The "after" picture on my blog about my experience with Portland microblading. I'm a red head with blonde eyebrows.
    An eyebrow pencil was used over my microblading tattoo.

    My experience with Portland microblading

    If you are looking in to microblading in Portland, I hope this article is helpful to you. Especially those of you who have red hair or just light blonde eyebrows. I’m really happy with my decision to have microblading done and my only regret is not doing it sooner!

    The "before" and "after" pictures on my blog about my experience with Portland microblading. I'm a red head with blonde eyebrows.
    Before Microblading After Microblading

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    What To Wear For A Maternity Photo Shoot

    Pregnancy brain is real!

    If you are reading this, it’s likely that you are neck deep in planning for your sweet baby to arrive on the outside. Among the 1,345,567 things you have to think about when expecting a baby, planning a maternity photo shoot is one more thing to add to the list. And let’s be real, pregnancy brain is a total booger. I get it and I’m here to help. I’ve put together some ideas to help you decide what to wear for a maternity photo shoot in Portland, OR.

    what to wear for a maternity photo shoot in Portland, OR. This is an image of a pregnant woman wearing white lingerie while sitting on a couch.

    What to wear for a maternity photo shoot in Portland, OR

    In my studio, we usually have time for 4-5 outfits. So I recommend bringing several items, in varying styles, and I can help you decide which pieces would photograph best. Below, I’ll list out some different options to consider.

    A formal dress

    I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t get very many chances in life to dress up in a formal dress. A baby on the way is certainly a reason to celebrate and a great reason to get fancy. My hair and makeup artist will have your hair and makeup looking amazing, so a formal dress will fit right in with your look.

    What to wear for a maternity photo shoot in Portland, OR. This is an image of a pregnant woman standing in front of a hotel room window with backlighting. She is dressed in a formal gown.

    Intimate attire

    On the other side of the spectrum, I also really love maternity photos that look quiet and intimate. Pregnancy is such a personal and vulnerable experience. This look captures that side of motherhood. Wardrobe can include, pajamas, nightgowns, robes, and lingerie.

    A loose flowy dress

    Light flowing fabric is so feminine, which is obviously a good trait to have for maternity photos. The minor downside is that you have to always have a hand under your baby bump to bring the fabric in. Doing this reveals the cute shape of your bump, while fabric just loosely hanging down would make a woman look larger but not necessarily pregnant. This “downside” isn’t that much of a set back, though, because having a hand or two on your belly is great for showing connection to the sweet life you are carrying.

    What to wear for a maternity photo shoot in Portland, OR. This is an image of a pregnant woman posing with a flowy gown in a studio with a white wall.

    Dresses that are specifically designed for maternity photo shoots often have a slit in the front so that you can reveal your bare tummy. That’s another great way to get variety in your portraits. These types of dresses aren’t something you can find just anywhere. But you can find them easily on Etsy or Amazon.

    What to wear for a maternity photo shoot in Portland, OR. This is an image of a pregnant woman posing with a flowy gown in a studio with a white wall.

    A form fitted dress

    A dress that fits snugly around your belly is great for revealing the size and shape of your beautiful baby bump. While we are at it, we can celebrate your other feminine curves, as well. One benefit to a snug dress is that we can have more variety in hand placement as your hands aren’t having to tuck the dress in under your bump.

    What to wear for a maternity photo shoot in Portland, OR. This is a black and white maternity boudoir image of a pregnant woman, in a floor pose, lying on her back on a fur rug in a black form fitted dress.

    Soft and sheer textures

    I love fabrics with textures, such as lace, for all my shoots because they provide visual interest without being overwhelming to the photo in the way that bright colors or bold patterns can be. For maternity portraits, sheer fabrics, such as lace or chiffon are especially great if you want to be able to see through to your baby bump.

    What to wear for a maternity photo shoot in Portland, OR. This is a maternity boudoir image of a pregnant woman standing in front of a window in a sheer lace form fitted dress.
    What to wear for a maternity photo shoot in Portland, OR. This is a couples maternity photo. The woman is dressed in a form fitted lace formal dress. They are laying on a chase.

    Another texture I love for maternity photos is softness. To me, a soft texture speaks of nurturing, gentleness, femininity, and comfort. All good things for a portrait of a mother. Oh, I know, there is nothing comfortable about the third trimester of pregnancy. But we can try! Soft cardigan sweaters and robes are a go-to in my studio.

    Let’s talk about colors

    I’ve already mentioned that bright colors and bold patterns aren’t my jam. They don’t tend to photograph well or fit with my portrait style. So I usually recommend solid colors and I prefer neutrals or pastels.

    Pastels are particularly good for maternity portraits because babies also look so sweet in pastels. I do make exceptions occasionally for a pretty floral print and that can look beautiful in a portrait. But I do try to stay away from stripes, polka dots, or any other bold pattern, if possible (unless we are talking about pin-up photos).

    What to wear for a maternity photo shoot in Portland, OR. This is a close up belly photo of a pregnant woman wearing a flowy pink dress with a flower belt.

    I think it’s kind of sweet to have a pink outfit if you are having a girl and to have a light blue outfit if you are having a boy, if you want to pay tribute to the baby’s gender (if you know what it is). But really any pastel color look gorgeous. And it’s more than fine to wear pink, even if you are going to have a boy.

    In addition to pastels and lighter neutrals, the color black works, as well. It doesn’t give the same feeling of brightness or softness. But in black, your curves really stand out against a light background, which is pretty cool.

    What to wear for a maternity photo shoot in Portland, OR. This is an image of a pregnant woman posing against a white wall in a studio.

    For a totally different look

    The tips above apply to a regular maternity session in my studio. However, I’d also like to share with you a totally different look that I also love. 50’s pin-up inspired maternity photo shoots. They aren’t for everyone. But if you want something a little different, you may be interested. You can read more about those here.

    What to wear for a maternity photo shoot in Portland, OR. This is a maternity pin up studio image.

    Let’s chat about what to wear for your shoot!

    I hope this articles gives you some great ideas for what to wear for a maternity photo shoot. I have an awesome studio wardrobe closet with a number of maternity pieces that are available for you to use and to supplement what you bring in. Send me an email and we can start planning your maternity photo shoot near Portland, OR!

    My studio is in Tualatin, OR, however, I have clients who come to me from Portland, Beaverton, Vancouver, Salem, and Lake Oswego.


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    A Valentine’s Day Wedding for Book Lovers

    Did you know that February is Library Lovers month? When I discovered this recently, I just HAD to share with you some photos from a wedding that I photographed a few years ago. This wedding just so happened to be a Valentine’s Day Wedding that was held at the public library in Hillsboro, Oregon! Do you see why I had to share these photos today?

    A bride and groom almost kissing during their couples photo shoot at their Valentine's Day Wedding. The wedding was held at the library in Hillsboro, OR near Portland.

    A Library Lovers Wedding on Valentine’s Day

    If I’m being honest, when I’m thinking of wedding venues near the Portland area, a public library isn’t typically what first comes to my mind. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful landscape behind the library with a pond and fountain. The event room worked perfectly for their intimate ceremony.

    A wedding party smiling for a wedding photo. The posed portrait was taken outdoors behind the Hillsboro public Library near Portland, OR. This was a Valentine's Day wedding.
    A bride and groom smiling at each other during their Valentine's Day Wedding ceremony. The wedding was held at the library in Hillsboro, OR near Portland, where they also had their couples photo shoot.

    Unique Couples Photos

    What interested me the most about this venue was the opportunity to do their couples photo shoot in the book aisles. That is something I’d never done before. I just love how unique these photos turned out. Such a fun idea for book lovers.

    A bride and groom kissing and holding a book during their couples photo shoot at their Valentine's Day Wedding. The wedding was held at the library in Hillsboro, OR near Portland.
    A bride and groom smiling at each other during their couples photo shoot at their Valentine's Day Wedding. The wedding was held at the library in Hillsboro, OR near Portland.

    A Valentine’s Day Wedding

    It’s so fun when couples choose a theme for their wedding to make it that much more memorable. Valentine’s Day is such an appropriate theme for a romantic wedding, don’t you think? I love how they incorporated hearts in to so much of their decor.

    A tray of heart shaped cookies at a Valentine's Day wedding at the library in Hillsboro, OR, near Portland.
    A pair of wedding rings, scrabble pieces, and heart shaped cookies at a Valentine's Day wedding at the library in Hillsboro, OR, near Portland.

    It was an honor to be part of this sweet wedding. Happy anniversary, J and A! And Happy Valentine’s Day to all who are reading my blog.

    A bride standing against a white wall at her Valentine's Day wedding at the Hillsboro, OR public library near Portland. Part of a couples photo shoot.

    Couples Photo Shoots

    My focus has since shifted to portrait photography, more so than weddings, and I absolutely love photographing couples. If you are interested in doing a couples photo shoot near Portland, Oregon, please send me an email and we can chat!


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    50’s Style Maternity Photography- Portland Pin Up Photographer

    The best compliment I can receive in my studio is a returning client. So I’m thrilled to have had this beautiful Mama in my studio for all three of her pregnancies. The first two maternity sessions were done in my usual “beauty” style. For her most recent pregnancy, however, we decided to do 50’s style maternity photography. As a Portland Pin Up photographer, I was, of course, super excited for this creative idea.

    50's Style Maternity Photography - Portland Pin Up Photographer. This is a retro inspired maternity portrait taken in a studio in Tualatin, OR. The pregnant woman is holding a pan of cookies.

    A quote from the lovely Ms. C

    “Rayleigh is so great at making you feel comfortable and relaxed. She is extremely attentive to details and a delight to work with. I’ve been photographed me 3 times by Rayleigh and I will definitely go back again. She is very talented and I would highly recommend her!”

    50's Style Maternity Photography - Portland Pin Up Photographer. This is a retro inspired maternity portrait taken in a studio in Tualatin, OR. The pregnant woman is holding her belly and blowing a bubble with bubble gum.

    Ms. C wasn’t sure what to wear, so I picked out this blue 50’s vintage looking dress for her on Amazon. The dress isn’t designed to be a maternity dress, but it worked great, anyway. I’m looking forward to using some of the other colors that they have for future pin up photo shoots.

    50's Style Maternity Photography - Portland Pin Up Photographer. This is a retro inspired maternity portrait taken in a studio in Tualatin, OR. The pregnant woman is lying on her back on the bed.

    50’s style pin up hair and makeup is so much fun because it’s not something we do every day. My professional hair and makeup artist, Kerrin, stayed long enough to put Ms C’s hair up half way through the photo shoot, so that we could have two different looks.

    This red gingham crop tank top was ordered on Amazon, as well. It worked great!

    Another thing that makes 50’s style maternity photography so characteristic is the use of props and accessories. I have a number of props, hats, gloves, purses, and more in my studio that really make these portraits fun, glamourous, or sassy, depending on what look we are going for.

    50's Style Maternity Photography - Portland Pin Up Photographer. This is a retro inspired maternity portrait taken in a studio in Tualatin, OR. The pregnant woman is holding her belly with a wide eyed smile.

    50’s style maternity photography – Portland Pin Up photographer

    While you are celebrating a pregnancy and are looking for a Portland maternity photographer, I’d love to discuss this unique look for you. Please send me an email and we can plan your amazing retro 50’s pin up photo shoot!

    If the 50’s era isn’t your thing and you want a different look, we can chat about that, too. You can check out my beauty style maternity portfolio using the link below.

    My studio is in Tualatin, OR and I also consider myself a Sherwood maternity photographer, as well as a Lake Oswego maternity photographer, serving clients from all around the Portland area. I even have clients come from Salem, OR and Vancouver, WA.


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    What to wear for your 50's retro shoot. Portland pin up photographer. This image is of a woman lying on her tummy on the bed, wearing a vintage birdcage hat and 50's inspired dress. She's holding a blue vintage fan for her prop. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com

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