Author Archives: Rayleigh

Importance of Sleep

boudoir photography portland oregon

There is so much to do everyday that it’s sometimes tough to add in the time to sleep. It’s common for my husband and me to get less than 6 hours of sleep a night. Yikes! While everyone’s sleep needs differ, I know that I could benefit from more sleep. I’ve read that between 7-9 hours is ideal.

This is true for every day life, but it’s especially true for the night before a beauty portrait session. Photoshop is pretty awesome but I can’t edit out a sleepy look from your eyes.

There are a million articles on the importance of sleep and just as many on how to get a good night’s rest. Here is an easy read from the Mayo clinic.

Are you getting enough zzzz? Are there any rituals you do that help you sleep better?

Miss J

Plus size boudoir photography by Rayleigh. For more info, see byrayleigh.com

“I had a GREAT experience with Rayleigh!  I met her at the women’s expo and was impressed with her portfolio.  I emailed her explaining I was interested but not sure what package I wanted to do.  She was very patient in explaining the options.  Her guideline on preparing for the shoot was very helpful and I followed it pretty closely.  Having a beauty day before the shoot added to the experience and made it even more special. Tracy, the stylist that did my hair and makeup was great as well.  I loved the studio and how girly everything was.  The photos came out better than I ever imagined – LOVE them!   I will definitely recommend her to friends and hopefully, I’ll have the chance to do this again some day. 😉 “

Modest plus size boudoir photography by Rayleigh. This image is of a woman standing in front of a black background, wearing a long skirt. For more info, see byrayleigh.com
Modest plus size boudoir photography by Rayleigh. This image is of a woman lying on a chase lounge in a pink bra and robe. For more info, see byrayleigh.com
Modest plus size boudoir photography by Rayleigh. This image is of a woman wearing a pink tank top and panties in front of a black background. For more info, see byrayleigh.com

Want to see more?

If you are interested in a boudoir session and you’d like to see my boudoir gallery, please send me a message and I’ll send you a link to my private gallery.

Valentine’s Day Wedding | Wedding Photography Portland Oregon

Okay, you know you are behind on blogging when you realize that it’s Valentine’s Day weekend and you haven’t yet blogged your Valentine’s Day Wedding from two years ago. But the timing does work out pretty well for me to share these beautiful photos from the adorable Matz wedding. Their wedding did happen on Valentine’s Day and, of course, it was Valentine’s Day themed, which was a first for me. I adored the heart shaped cookies they had for their guests.

Valentine's Day wedding. Wedding Photography by Rayleigh. This image is of the bride having her hair and makeup done. She's wearing a netted bird cage veil headband. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
Valentine's Day wedding. Wedding Photography by Rayleigh. This image is of the bride smiling at her groom. She's wearing a netted bird cage veil headband. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
Valentine's Day wedding. Wedding Photography by Rayleigh. This image is of the bride and groom with their wedding party She's wearing a netted bird cage veil headband. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
Valentine's Day wedding. Wedding Photography by Rayleigh. This image is of the bride with her bridal party They are wearing black bridesmaids dresses. She's wearing a netted bird cage veil headband. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
Valentine's Day wedding. Wedding Photography by Rayleigh. This image is of the rings with some heart cookies and Scrabble pieces. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

The other thing that made this wedding fun and unique is that it was held at the Hillsboro Public Library.  I doubt Amber and Justin knew this but it just so happens that February is “Library Lover’s Month” so win-win! I’ve never had the opportunity to photograph a wedding at a library before so I really had fun getting some unique shots that I really love! They are some of my most favorite wedding shots in my 14 years of shooting weddings, because they are so different.

Valentine's Day Library wedding. Wedding Photography by Rayleigh. This image is of the bride and groom kissing behind a book. She's wearing a netted bird cage veil headband. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
Valentine's Day Library wedding. Wedding Photography by Rayleigh. This image is of the bride and groom kissing embracing among the books. She's wearing a netted bird cage veil headband. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
Valentine's Day Library wedding. Wedding Photography by Rayleigh. This image is of the bride and groom smiling behind a book shelf. She's wearing a netted bird cage veil headband. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
Valentine's Day wedding. Wedding Photography by Rayleigh. This image is of the groom in a black tux with a red bow tie and rose. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
Valentine's Day wedding. Wedding Photography by Rayleigh. This image is of the bride standing against a white wall. She's wearing a netted bird cage veil headband. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
Valentine's Day wedding. Wedding Photography by Rayleigh. This image is of the wedding program and heart shaped cookies. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
Valentine's Day wedding. Wedding Photography by Rayleigh. This image is of the bride and groom during the ceremony. She's wearing a netted bird cage veil headband. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

Want to see more?

I don’t keep any wedding photos on my main website because I only shoot weddings by special request. If you’d like to see more of wedding work, just send me an email!

Athletic Boudoir Session

Ms. P is a basketball coach and she had an amazing athletic boudoir session with me. I love how we were able to get her feeling all glammed up but still incorporate her basketball to keep her personality in the shoot.

Athletic boudoir session. This is a before and after collage headshot of a woman sitting in front of a black background in a black and white dress. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

I asked Ms. P a few questions about her experience and this is what she had to say:

  • Why did you want to do a photo shoot?

    As a gift for my husband and to help my self esteem

  • Why did you choose Photography by Rayleigh for your shoot?

    I liked her pictures and the reviews by other clients. I felt like she would be able to help me feel more at ease with the process and get good pictures as a result.

  • A little anxious as well as excited
Athletic boudoir session. This is a modest boudoir headshot of a woman standing in front of a wooden background in a teal lace shirt and bra.  Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
  • What does “beauty” mean to you?
    Feeling good about your appearance

  • What does “sexy” mean to you?

    Confidence, appealing

Athletic boudoir session. This is a headshot of a woman sitting in front of a black background in a black and white dress, holding a basketball. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
  • What did you love about your shoot?

    How relaxed I felt (surprisingly), how well my hair and makeup where done. I will definitely come back for another shoot – maybe something other than boudoir as well.

  • How did you feel about being nearly naked in front of the camera?

    Shy, for the most part, although Rayleigh did a great job of making me feel as comfortable as possible

  • What was your favorite moment of the whole experience?

    My husband’s reaction when he saw the photos.

Athletic boudoir session. This is a modest boudoir post of a woman lying on the bed, holding a pillow. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
  • Great, beautiful.

  • I gave most of them to my husband who keeps them on his night stand. The “professional head shots” I am using for my business and coaching practice

  • Any advice for ladies thinking about doing a photo shoot?

    Do it! It was a lot of fun and makes you feel great. The pictures turn out gorgeous and it will make you feel good about yourself.

Athletic boudoir session. This is a modest boudoir post of a woman wearing a jersey and kneeling in front of a white brick background. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
  • Rayleigh was amazing to work with. She was very professional and quick to respond to all questions and concerns I highly recommend her..

  • Designer jeans and sky high strappy heels (okay, that’s two but they go together!)

  • Think of yourself that way – it will reflect in how you carry yourself and in your smile

Want to see more?

If you’d like to see more of boudoir work, please send me an email and I can send you my private gallery.

Sisters Session

hughes 006..

One of the most beautiful bonds in the world is the bond between sisters. When I was growing up, my sister and I used to fight constantly. I didn’t want her in my room or touching my stuff. But as an adult I can’t imagine life without my sister. We talk on the phone almost every day and she’s my very best friend.

It’s been way too long since my sister and I have done a sisters session together so we should totally get on that! Sister shoots are so much fun and create the most amazing keepsakes. They make a great Mother’s Day gift, too.  Ooh, I just gave myself a great idea for a gift for my Mom this spring. Haha!

Beauty Photography by Rayleigh. These image is of a teen girl standing in front a white background in a Sue Bryce inspired pose. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com
Sisters session. Beauty Photography by Rayleigh. These images are oft two teen girls standing in front a white background in a Sue Bryce inspired pose. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com
Sisters session. Beauty Photography by Rayleigh. These image is of a teen girl standing in front a backlit background in a Sue Bryce inspired pose. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com

Want to see more?

Click here to see more beauty portraits and click here to see my senior portrait gallery.

Exist in Photos

It’s impossible to remember everything

It’s nearly impossible for almost all of us to remember everything we’ve ever looked at or read (unless you’re really cool and have that neat memory trick, which, I totally don’t), or every family member you have…or had. Every Holiday dinner, every birthday morning, every family vacation, every time you cut a class in high school and went to the beach or behind the Taco Bell with your friends. Unless those memories exist in photos.

Have you ever stopped to think about just how long you’ve been on this earth? About how many days you’ve lived….how many sentences you’ve spoken….how many things you’ve really seen??

If only we’d stopped to take a few pictures

Exist in photos. A Heritage photo of me from the 90's. For more info about beauty photography, visit byrayleigh.com
This is me in 1991 with my New Kids On The Block birthday cake. A great memory I might have forgotten without this photo.

There’s so much that we’ve lived through that we’ll never remember, because we don’t have images of them. The memories that we DO have, we have because they left an imprint on us, whether it was good or bad, it was a strong enough moment visually, emotionally, physically…that it left a mark in our minds that is easy for us to access either whenever we’d like, or, when something sparks up a related memory of that time, like a certain smell or a song.  But can you imagine how much we would remember if we just stopped to take a few pictures along the way?

Albums full of photos but almost none of my Mom

I feel so blessed that my Mom was very much in to pictures of my sister and me when we were growing up so I have albums full of photos to look back on. But do you know how many of the photos include her? Hardly any of them. Mostly because she was the one always taking the photos. So she doesn’t really exist in photos from my childhood.

I would love to look at a bunch of photos of what my Mom and Dad both looked like in the early 80’s as I was growing up or in the 70’s before I was born. Maybe some photos of them together when they were dating.  

Exist in photos. A Heritage photo of my Mom from the 1970's. For more info about beauty photography, visit byrayleigh.com
This is one of very few photos I have of my Mom from her younger days.

I totally get it, though. I find it difficult to allow myself to be in photos because I never like the way I look in snapshot photos and I’d rather just have photos of all my friends. Plus, I just feel so comfortable being the one to take the photos.

Exist in photos

One day when my children want to look at all my old albums, they won’t care about seeing photos of my friends. They want to see me. They won’t care if I was having a bad hair day or if I needed to lose weight. So I do my best to just exist in photos and to quiet the voices in my head that tell me that I’m not pretty enough to be seen. To be remembered. I want to leave an imprint on this world and a memory for my family members to look back on with love.

So take some time to have your photos taken. WITH your family. WITH your friends. Take some selfies! We have the ability to catch these memories now. To preserve them. There’s no reason not to. Nobody who loves you will care if you are too skinny or too big or balding or not tan enough. The only thing that will matter to them when you are gone, is that they can look back and laugh and cry and ultimately remember you and how wonderful your time together was.

A selfie of me with my two little girls. I had to go back over a year to find a candid picture of me with them. So even I need to hear this advice.

How about some gorgeous professional photos of yourself to pass down to your children?

This article is mostly talking about candid photos of daily memories. But I also can’t say enough good things about gorgeous beauty photos of you and your family. These are the photos that will be hung on the walls for decades. And even hung on your children’s walls after that!

Please click here to see my beauty portrait gallery and click here to see my family portrait gallery.

Exist in photos. Family photography by Rayleigh. This image is of a mother, father, and young daughter, embracing and laughing in front of a white background. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com

If you’d like to talk about how to create some beautiful photos for you to pass down to your children so that you can exist in photos, just shoot me an email! I can’t wait to work with you.

Thank you, Angela Yodice of Whirlie Girl Photography, for inspiring this post.

Victorian Inspired Boudoir Session

It’s good for a photographer to do something a little different every now and then to stretch our creative muscles and to avoid burn out. I’m so excited to share the photos from my stylized Victorian inspired boudoir session. I teamed up with one of my fabulous hair and makeup artists,  Kim King, for this unique vintage session. It’s so much fun to be able to create a look that is completely different than what we normally do. Some of the photos were on the more dainty, Victorian side and some of them were more along the lines of an Old West, Saloon Girl theme.

Victorian inspired boudoir

Victorian inspired boudoir session. This is an image of a stylized vintage themed boudoir headshot. She is wearing a corset, choker necklace, and feather in her hair in front of a light background. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com

I purchased the gloves and the choker necklace on Amazon.com. The feathers for her hair were found at a local craft store. I already had the pink corset in my studio wardrobe. For the dress form placed in the background, I used a lace dress I already had and folded the top part of the dress down so it was just a skirt. Then I added a frilly button-up shirt for the top that I found at Goodwill and completed it with a piece of ribbon for a belt. The idea was to make it look like an old Victorian dress in the background.

Victorian inspired boudoir session. This is an image of a stylized vintage themed boudoir headshot. She is wearing a corset, choker necklace, and feather in her hair in front of a light background. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com
Victorian inspired boudoir session. This is an image of a stylized vintage themed boudoir headshot. She is wearing a corset, choker necklace, and feather in her hair in front of a light background. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com

I made this bustle, too, and I’m quite proud of how it turned out. It worked so great for this shoot.

Victorian inspired boudoir session. This is an image of a stylized vintage themed boudoir standing boudoir pose. She is wearing a corset, choker necklace, bustle, and feather in her hair in front of a light background. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com
Victorian inspired boudoir session. This is an image of a stylized vintage themed boudoir shoot. She is wearing a white nightgown, choker necklace, and hat in front of a light background. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com

The model for this shoot, Kimberly, found these adorable bloomers online.

Victorian inspired boudoir session. This is an image of a stylized vintage themed boudoir shoot. She is wearing a corset, choker necklace, and feather in her hair in front of a light background. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com

Wild West Saloon Girl

I also had this black corset in my studio wardrobe and I always thought it looked a little too “Country Western” for a normal boudoir session. But it worked great for this themed shoot!

Victorian inspired boudoir session with a wild west saloon girl theme.  This is an image of a stylized vintage themed boudoir standing pose. She is wearing a black corset, choker necklace, and feather in her hair in front of a brown background. She's also holding a gun in a holster. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com

I was able to borrow a few props, such as the gun (it’s a toy), the holster, and the vintage hat you’ll see below from a local business who sometimes travels to retirement homes and offers free vintage photos for the residents. They were so kind to allow me to borrow them for my shoot.

Victorian inspired boudoir session with a wild west saloon girl theme. This is an image of a stylized vintage themed boudoir headshot. She is wearing a black corset, choker necklace, and feather in her hair in front of a brown background. She's also holding a gun. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com
Victorian inspired boudoir session with a wild west saloon girl theme.  This is an image of a stylized vintage themed boudoir headshot. She is wearing a black corset, choker necklace, and feather in her hair in front of a brown background.  For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com

I’m not anything close to being a seamstress. But I know just enough about sewing to be dangerous. I made this little skirt and I really love how it turned out for the photos. Just don’t ask me to make another one because I probably couldn’t repeat it. Haha!

Victorian inspired boudoir session with a wild west saloon girl theme. This is an image of a stylized vintage themed boudoir standing pose. She is wearing a black corset, choker necklace, and feather in her hair in front of a brown background. For more info, please visit byrayleigh.com

Do you have an idea?

Did you enjoy the images from this Victorian inspired boudoir session? If you are interested in doing a stylized shoot like this one or something else that is totally unique, just contact me with your idea and we can make it come true!

Mother-Daughter Session

Ms. R contacted me about doing a Mother-Daughter session with her Mom, Ms. A. Having hair and makeup done in my studio and then spending an hour, or so, snuggling up for photos is a bonding experience. The photos are an amazing souvenir of the great day they had and I know they will cherish these photos and the memory of the time they spent together, for years.

A before and after collage from a beauty shoot. This image is of a young woman sitting in front of a black background wearing jeans and a black top. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
A before and after collage from a beauty shoot. This image is of an older woman sitting in front of a black background wearing a black top. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

These sessions are a great idea for a fun Mother’s Day activity. I also offer gift certificates that you can gift your Mom on the holiday. Then you can schedule the shoot for a future date.

Mother-Daughter session. This image is of an older woman and her grown daughter, standing in front of a black background wearing black tops. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
Mother-Daughter session. This image is of an older woman and her grown daughter, standing in front of a white background. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

Aren’t they adorable? I’m tempted to ask them if they will adopt me in to their family. They are the sweetest and those smiles are contagious.

Mother-Daughter session. This image is of an older woman and her grown daughter. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
Mother-Daughter session. This image is of an older woman and her grown daughter. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com
Mother-Daughter session. This image is of an older woman and her grown daughter, standing in front of a black background wearing pink and black tops. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

This image, below, is just a goofy shot where they wore some vintage hats that I have in my studio. It kind of gives a photo booth sort of feel.

Mother-Daughter session. This image is of an older woman and her grown daughter wearing vintage hats in front of a black background. Photo booth style. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, visit byrayleigh.com

Are you interested in a Mother-Daughter session?

Mother-Daughter sessions are probably my most favorite kinds of sessions to do. The bond between Mother and Daughter is so special. To see more Mother-daughter images, I invite you to check out my Family Gallery. Please contact me to book your own beauty or boudoir photo session!

Business Headshots and Boudoir Session

A before and after collage. This image is a professional business headshot. The woman is standing and leaning against a black background, wearing jeans and a sweater. Photography by Rayleigh. Byrayleigh.com

The lovely Ms. C came in for a shoot that was both professional business headshots and boudoir. I love when my clients bring a variety of outfits to wear so their photos are more versatile.

What Ms. C had to say about her business headshot and boudoir session

“A friend had used Rayleigh and I loved how her photos turned out. So I contacted her via email to inquire about pricing and she offered several different options. Budget was a concern, but she offers a mini-session that was just what I was looking for (a mix of boudoir and professional looking photos). This was a gift for my husband (and to myself for losing almost 100lbs) and I was nervous about doing boudoir shots.”

This image is a professional business headshot. The woman is in a sitting pose in front of a black background, wearing jeans and a sweater. Photography by Rayleigh. Byrayleigh.com

“Her studio is in her home and she had a make up artist come in to do my hair and makeup. The make up artist asked me questions about what look I wanted (more natural or more glamour, etc.) and really seemed to listen to what I wanted. I felt like I still looked like myself after wards but just better. Rayleigh was very pleasant (and so was the make up artist). The session was very relaxed and comfortable.”

This image is a professional business headshot. The woman is standing in front of a black background, wearing a blue button up office blouse. Photography by Rayleigh. Byrayleigh.com

“I was very nervous and anxious about how the photos would turn out. I was blown away…I still can’t believe that it’s me in the photos. The poses are tasteful and I love how she made me look beautiful (and thin!) and brought out my best features. I turn the Big 50 next month and my husband wants me to book another session!”  –Ms. C

This is a collage of modest boudoir poses on the bed. Photography by Rayleigh. ByRayleigh.com

Want to see more?

Click here If you’d like to see more Business Headshots. If you’d like to see more boudoir photos, please contact me and I can send you a private gallery.

Pinterest & Your Session

boudoir photography portland oregon

So, you have a beauty or boudoir session coming up and you’re not quite sure what look you like best. Aside from trusting your photographer to know that she knows exactly what to do and how to make you look your absolute best, you still might want to do a little research to see what kind of look you want for your photos.

Here’s a few tips on how to use your Pinterest boards to collaborate with me (your photographer) and to inspire yourself to step out of your comfort zone!

Pinterest and your session

1. If you’re not on Pinterest, get on there now! Seriously, it’s pretty awesome and there’s almost nothing you can’t find on there for inspiration and ideas….for more than just photography!

2. If you’re a Pinterest veteran. you probably know all about secret boards and how to use them, but, in case you’re not, this is a great tool from Pinterest that will help you create an inspirational board that nobody else can see unless you give them permission. When you sign on to Pinterest, you have the option to create a new board and you can make that board secret by clicking the little button (by the arrow!). You can also add me to your list once you are following me on Pinterest so that I have the ability to see what you are putting on your board.

boudoir photography portland oregon

Here is my Pinterest Page. Sharing your board with me will come in extremely handy, especially if you have difficulty explaining the style that you have in mind. I can just look at your board and see exactly what you like!


3. I would also have the ability to pin images to your board with suggestive ideas for clothing or accessories if you’d like. You can find a lot of great ideas on what type of accessories you may want to have for your session and the images link to the original post of the image, so you can most likely find out how to buy that item online!

4. Don’t forget about your hair and makeup!! I know when I go to the salon with an idea in my head for a color or style, it’s extremely hard for me to explain it to my stylist. When you use your Pinterest board, you can search for just the right style and makeup application that you want for your shoot and then your stylist can work with you to get a look similar to that for your own session.

Never underestimate the power of social media and how it can really be used to communicate with other people aside from family. Step outside your box, find something that speaks to you, that moves you, that inspires you….and go for it!!!

Let’s chat about your shoot! Just shoot me an email and we can go over all the details.