Author Archives: Rayleigh

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.

Muffin Top

Famous Dave's cornbread muffin top. Rayleigh is a beauty and boudoir photographer with Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

The muffin top is where it’s at

From 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. And the muffin top is the best part.

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 as much, splitting the muffin in half, if we were cutting it in such a way that I were getting the top half. So my husband, being the sweet guy that he is, gave me the top half of the muffin. Now that is love.

What does this have to do with photography?

When I pose my clients, I pose them in a way that celebrates the parts of their body that they love and I downplay the parts that they don’t love as much. If you have a sweetie, I’m sure he loves you for all of you. 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?

A new addition to the family

Those of you who have followed my work for while 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 had a new addition to the family and they asked me if I was interested in doing a glam session, I was excited.

Hair and makeup services are included in my Family and newborn portraits.  Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
Hair and makeup services by Tracy Schulz http://www.tracyschulz.com/

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! “

A new addition to the family. Family and newborn Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

“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.”

A new addition to the family. Family and newborn Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

“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!”

Family and couples Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

I really enjoyed working with this sweet family. Ooooh… the sweet thumb-sucking melts my heart. I’ll be looking forward to more family shoots like this one.

A new addition to the family. Family and newborn Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

Beauty in a Kimono – Boudoir Photography

Beauty in a Kimono. Boudoir Photography by Rayleigh. This is an image of an Asian woman lying on her tummy on the bed. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

Beauty in a Kimono

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 beautifully. She was a complete beauty in a Kimono.

Miss M’s experience

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

Beauty in a Kimono. Boudoir Photography by Rayleigh. This is an image of an Asian woman standing in front of a black background. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

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

Beauty in a Kimono. Boudoir Photography by Rayleigh. This is an image of an Asian woman lying on her back on the bed. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

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.

Beauty in a Kimono. Boudoir Photography by Rayleigh. This is an image of an Asian woman lying on her back on the bed. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

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

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. Bride's Dog. For more info about beauty photography, visit byrayleigh.com

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.

A puppy who has grown in to an old dog. For more info about beauty photography, visit byrayleigh.com

Take a look at this photo of 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? 

False Eyelashes | Beauty & Boudoir Photography Portland Oregon

Wear False Eyelashes. boudoir photography in Portland, OR. Photography by Rayleigh. byrayleigh.com

Beauty and boudoir Photo shoot tip – Wear False Eyelashes

False eyelashes make look a bit 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

Mother's day portraits with Photography by Rayleigh. Before and after hair and makeup services. This family photo is of a mother and daughter sitting in front of a white background in the studio. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

Happy Mother’s Day to you!

I’m looking forward to a fun weekend with my Mom and Mom-in-law for Mother’s Day.  Before all the fun, I thought I would share some Mother-Daughter portraits with you guys. I think Mother-Daughter portraits are my favorite thing to photograph!

Mother's day portraits with Photography by Rayleigh. This family photo is of a mother and daughter kneeling behind an ottoman in the studio. It is backlit with beautiful window light. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
Mother's day portraits with Photography by Rayleigh. This family photo is of a mother and daughter sitting in front of a black background in the studio. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

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

To view more of my family portraits, please visit my family gallery.

That time my makeup artist got in front of the camera

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 my makeup artist, 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 YouTube channel.

A before and after collage of a beauty headshot. Photography by Rayleigh. byrayleigh.com

I love love love the white lace dress that Dallas brought for the shoot. White makes for a nice soft look. And lace adds some texture and character.

Beauty Photography by Rayleigh. A sitting pose and headshot. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

Dallas is gorgeous and also extremely talented with hair and makeup. She’s also funny, as a bonus. So it’s always great to have her in my studio as a makeup artist or as a client.

Beauty Photography by Rayleigh. A sitting pose and headshot. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
Beauty Photography by Rayleigh. This image is of a woman wearing a white lace dress in front of a white background. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
Beauty Photography by Rayleigh. This image is of a woman wearing a white lace dress in front of a white background. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
Beauty Photography by Rayleigh. This image is of a woman wearing a black dress in front of a black background. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

Want to see more?

To see more of my beauty photography, please visit my beauty gallery.

Date Night Idea

What a fantastic way to celebrate your engagement or anniversary. Couples sessions are such a memorable activity to do together if you are looking for a creative date night idea. As a bonus, you get to enjoy the photos for the rest of your marriage and pass them down to your children… who will most definitely make fun of your outfits and your hair styles. But that’s the circle of life, right?

Couples photography by Rayleigh. This image is of a young couple standing in front of a black background. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com
Couples photography by Rayleigh. This black and white image is of a young couple lying on the floor and embracing. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com
Couples photography by Rayleigh. This image is of a young couple sitting in front of a gray background. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com

Want to see more?

To see more of my couples portraits, I invite you to check out my Couples Gallery.