Author Archives: Rayleigh

Bridal Boudoir Shoot

I loved working with Miss K for her bridal boudoir shoot and I was so happy that she gave me permission to share her images online. Miss K is a strong military woman who cleans up so nicely! She’s absolutely gorgeous.

Bridal boudoir shoot. This is a boudoir pose of a woman in her wedding veil, lying on her tummy on the bed. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byRayleigh.com

Miss K’s bridal boudoir shoot experience

This is what Miss K wrote on Yelp about her experience.

Why she chose Photography by Rayleigh in Portland

“I have to say that when I first started thinking about doing a boudoir shoot (after I saw Rayleigh’s booth at the Oregon bridal show) for my husband as his wedding gift, I felt a little weird about it. What was it going to be like? Is it going to be awkward and uncomfortable? Would taking someone with me make it more comfortable? How much am a going to be willing to show in front of a stranger?

I looked into a few different places, as you always should. But there was just something about all of her information, reviews, and obviously the photos that really put me at ease. She doesn’t just use the ‘best’ photos she has taken, because all of them are AMAZING! 

I live in Washington, but our wedding was in Oregon. So scheduling was going to be really hard, I thought, since I wasn’t going to be there more then a week before the wedding and needed to hide the whole thing from my fiancé.   She made it all work.”

What she wore for her boudoir shoot

“I took a bunch of stuff with me, more then I needed really. But some of the things I took were, an NFL jersey, a shirt of his, my wedding boots, an NFL sweater, heels, a few pieces of lingerie, some really cute bras and matching undies. I’m not very good at pairing outfits of this nature together, but she has some stuff too. She helped me decided what looked good together and pretty much told me what to wear, after I told her I had no idea what I was doing, lol.”

What she said about her bridal boudoir shoot day

“The shoot itself was really fun. The makeup artist was awesome as well. The shoot was relaxed and very comfortable. She asks you if you are comfortable with poses before asking you to ever do them. The hardest part about the whole thing is, what do I do with my hands, lol, hands are awkward, but she knows what she is doing. “

Bridal boudoir shoot. This is a close up boudoir image. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byRayleigh.com

What she said about the portrait products

“After it was all said and done, I choose the 5×7 image box, and ended up buying two additional photos because I just could NOT narrow down to 10. They were just so awesome!

I’ve seen a few people complain on here about the price. I am a firm believer in ‘you get what you pay for’, and I definitely got my money’s worth with this. So if you don’t want to pay the price and get something that you will LOVE forever, than go somewhere cheap and get some trashy pictures.”

Enjoying her portraits after her bridal boudoir shoot

“One of the many great things about my pictures is that they are not trashy. They are very tasteful and beautiful. I showed a bunch of people and had no shame because they are that good. My Step Mom was even looking at them while I was out of the room, my dad walked in and said “Oh MY GOD! is that my daughter?!” haha, so she picked out a couple that were appropriate to show him.

I really CAN NOT say enough good things about Rayleigh and what she does. She is AMAZING! She was WONDERFUL about getting me in and processing all the pictures in time for my wedding! I HIGHLY recommend her business to anyone! Thank you so much Rayleigh 🙂 Hope I can make it back for another shoot sometime with my husband. “

Want to see more?

I invite you to check out more of my blogs about these topics:
Boudoir Photography
Bridal Boudoir Photography
My beautiful Plus size clients

For the privacy of my clients, I try to post only modest boudoir photos online. If you’d like to see my full boudoir gallery, please send me a message and I’d be happy to send you the private link. Let’s chat about your bridal boudoir shoot in Portland, OR!

7 tips for how to feel confident while being photographed

7 tips for feeling confident while being photographed. This is a modest boudoir image in a photography studio of a beautiful plus size woman lying on her tummy on a couch in black babydoll lingerie. She's touching her hair to her mouth. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byRayleigh.com

My top 7 tips for how to feel confident and relaxed during your photo shoot in Portland, OR

If you are like most of my clients, you have no idea how to “look sexy” in your photos and you certainly don’t feel confident. In normal every day life, I totally feel like I’m not that girl, so I totally get it. I’m excited to share with you my top 7 tips for how to feel confident and relaxed during your boudoir or beauty photo shoot at my studio in Portland, OR.

Tip #1: Have Fun!

If your goal is to get great shots, you may feel more nervous or even overwhelmed. But it’s my job to get the great shots and all you need to do is relax, trust me, and focus on having fun! If your smile is fake, it will be noticeable in your images. But if you are genuinely having a great time, you’ll have an extra sparkle in your eye and you will love your images so much more. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a woman who was smiling a real smile, who wasn’t beautiful.

7 tips for feeling confident while being photographed. This is a modest boudoir image in a photography studio of a smiling Asian woman lying on her back on the bed, covered by white sheets. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byRayleigh.com

Tip #2: Visualize

Visualize your shoot ahead of time! Don’t focus on your nerves or feeling awkward. Instead, picture yourself having a good time, feeling relaxed, looking fantastic, seeing your images afterwards and absolutely loving them.

Visualize it from your point of view, in your own shoes. Do this several times before your shoot. Then when it’s time for your shoot, you will be excited and ready for a fantastic time.

Tip #3: Get inspired

What is confident beauty to you? Everyone has a different picture in their minds of what confident beauty is. It may be dramatic clothing and  a serious gaze. Or it may be laughing and having a casual, giggly, fun time.  

There are lots of places to look for inspiration such as magazines, photography websites, movies, and art.   Communicate with your photographer what style you like and what mood you want to have for your portraits.

Tip #4: Show up with all you’ve got

If you want to feel confident during your boudoir shoot, you’ve got to really be in to the shoot and be open. Posing is my job.  But posing is only half of it.  Confidence will show up in your photos and you have to bring that.  Even if you are just faking it!  

Feeling self conscious about your body? Just pretend you aren’t. I know, it seems silly. But when you see your glowing face and your rockin’ curves, you aren’t going to care if your love handles are a bit more lovely than they used to be. Those things will mostly be hidden, anyway, by posing, lighting, and wardrobe.

Come on! Stretch outside your comfort zone and give it all you have. 

7 tips for feeling confident while being photographed. This is a modest boudoir image in a photography studio of a woman standing in front of a white background and laughing. she's wearing a pink sweater. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byRayleigh.com

Tip #5: Remember the context

The sheer fact that you are willing to be in front of the camera being photographed is awesome! It’s powerful and vulnerable at the same time. I love that my clients trust me with this experience.

Tip #6: Use all of your senses

Bring out your sensuality through the use of all 5 of your senses. While at my studio, enjoy some music, indulge in some Ghirardelli, sip on some wine, wear your favorite scent as well as an outfit that makes you feel smokin’ hot.   Think on memories that make you blush and smile.

Tip #7: Be yourself

Honor who you are, in this moment. The time is now. You are lovely and beautiful just as you are.

Want to see more info?

I invite you to check out more of my blogs about these topics:
Boudoir Photography
Session Tips
My beautiful Plus size clients

Would you l like my free guide on How to Prepare For Your Shoot? I’d be happy to send it to you!

For the privacy of my clients, I try to post only modest boudoir photos online. If you’d like to see my full boudoir gallery, please send me a message and I’d be happy to send you the private link.

Senior Portraits – Old School Glamour Shots Edition

My senior portraits – old school glamour shots

Uh-hem…. Yes….. The embarrassing photos below are portraits of me. As much as I looked like a 40 year old country singer, biker chick, lounge singer I was actually a shy, quiet, 17 year old. These were my senior portraits – old school glamour shots edition.  

Third time’s a charm?

I first had my senior portraits taken at a little studio in the mall and hated my photos. So I made a second attempt and went to a second place in the mall. Unfortunately my results weren’t any more favorable. Somehow I hadn’t learned my lesson, so I headed a little ways down the mall and took advantage of a sale they were having at the old studio called Glamour Shots, hoping to get some better images. I hated them just as much as the others.

Do you remember that place? As far as I know, they don’t exist any more.  Glamour photography, as a genre, fizzled out.  For a while, that is.

Modern glamour photography

Now glamour photography is back in action and has quickly grown as a very popular type of photography. Thank the good Lord that the 90’s style didn’t return with it.  Modern glamour sessions are nothing like the old school versions.  When people hear the phrase “glamour photography” they might still think of the old mall studio which would probably not send them running in that direction to have a shoot for themselves.

Thankfully, photographers like me have been able to bring back the idea of glamour photography but in a modern way. Most of us call it Beauty Photography.

A new experience

I’m thankful that my clients have decided to trust me with their senior portraits and other beauty photography and that I can give them an experience that is so much better than the experience I had in high school.  

The experience in my studio is nothing like what you would find in a mall. Instead you get to enjoy a luxurious experience involving an amazing hair and makeup artist who is awesome at accentuating the beauty that is already there (even if you don’t yet see it). Then a customized photo shoot that brings out your personality.

I don’t just dress you up in whatever costume I have in your size (which was very limited in my high school shoot, as they didn’t cater to the curvy clients).  You will absolutely love your photos and instead of being embarrassed to show them, like I was in high school, you won’t be able to wait to share your photos with your friends and family. 

Please visit by senior portraits - old school glamour shots blog. This image is a modern backlit  senior portrait of a teen girl lying on her tummy wearing light colors. Photography by Rayleigh. Please visit ByRayleigh.com
www.byrayleigh.com

Let’s chat!

Oh, and in case you are wondering, the biker chick photo in the middle is the one I ended up using for my yearbook photo. But I was totally embarrassed when the yearbook came out!   20+ years have gone by and I still feel a void where there should be a great memory of an awesome senior portrait session. Don’t be like me. Invest in portraits that you will love.

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

But first, you HAVE to look at the glamour shots on  this blog post  at buzzfeed.com because it got me laughing so hard! It’s hilarious!


You may also be interested in these topics

senior portraits gallery

Senior Portraits Gallery

Beauty Portraits Galleries

Senior Portraits Blog Articles

Session Tips

Free Guide to Preparing For Your Shoot

Brownsville, OR Wedding Photographer

I’ve known Amy and her family since about 1991 and they always amaze me with their creativity. So I knew that Amy’s wedding would have the Banks family touch and I couldn’t wait to see it! It was absolutely fabulous! They turned a simple church banquet hall in tiny Brownsville, Oregon in to a beautiful wedding venue. Amy even made her own wedding cake and it tasted as great as it looked! I’m honored they chose me to be their Brownsville Wedding Photographer.    

Brownsville, OR wedding photographer

Brownsville, OR wedding photographer. This outdoor wedding portrait is of a smiling bride and groom looking at each other. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byRayleigh.com
Brownsville, OR wedding photographer. This outdoor wedding portrait is of a smiling bride and groom looking at each other. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byRayleigh.com
Brownsville, OR wedding photographer. This outdoor wedding portrait is of a kissing bride and groom holding their marriage certificate. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byRayleigh.com
Brownsville, OR wedding photographer. This candid church wedding photo is of a dancing bride and groom, doing a dip at their wedding reception Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byRayleigh.com
Brownsville, OR wedding photographer. This outdoor wedding headshot portrait is of a smiling groom. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byRayleigh.com
Brownsville, OR wedding photographer. This candid outdoor wedding portrait is of a smiling bride , fixing her earring. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit byRayleigh.com

Want to see more?

I invite you to click here to see more of my wedding blogs for wedding photography near Portland, Oregon.

2021 update: I don’t currently have a weddings gallery available on my main website because I only do weddings by special request. If you’d like to see my wedding gallery, just contact me and I’d be happy to send you a link.

My Husband Is Perfect

My husband is perfect for me. This is a black and white boudoir or "dudoir" image of a man lying on the bed. Photography by Rayleigh. For more info, please visit ByRayleigh.com.
My husband, Nate.

My husband is perfect…. for me

My husband is perfect. Having said that, know that I am using sort of a loose definition of perfection. Mostly I’m talking about the way that I see my husband and the way that I think of him.

It’s true that Nate isn’t actually a perfect person. He has faults and sins, just like me. And just like you. But if I choose to focus on those faults and sins, I’m destined to be unhappy.

I aim to be the happiest wife

Since I aim to be the happiest wife, I choose to focus on Nate’s great, amazing qualities. I frequently remind myself and I also remind Nate, that he is perfect…. to me!

I married him because I decided that his great qualities far outweighed his negative qualities and that I would love him completely, for who he was, including his faults, and not try to change him.

Focus on the good stuff

So before I allow myself to dwell on any kind of annoying habit that Nate might have, I instead focus on the fact that Nate loves me and wants me to be happy and he is a good, good person. He is good to me and treats me like a Princess. That is a perfect dream come true.

God brought us together as part of His perfect plan. We were perfectly made for each other. To me…. my husband is perfect!

Want to see some more photos?

If you’d like to see more photos of my adorable husband or of the other men I’ve had the honor of photographing, click here.

Mature Love

Image by Kacy Kizer. For more reading about mature love, visit byRayleigh.com
An image from my wedding by our photographer, Kacy Kizer

Lies at the alter

Before Nate and I got married (in 2010), we were reading a book called, Lies At The Alter by Dr. Robin Smith out loud together and there was a paragraph that really struck us.  

The paragraph read, “Truth must precede love.   Otherwise, what we think is love is just an illusion. The promise of truth is freedom.   You can stand at the alter and say, ‘I’m not here because I feel forced to be here.   I’m not here because I’ll die without you. I’m not here because it’s my last chance.   I’m not here because my parents will be pleased, because everything is paid for, because I’m too embarrassed to back out.   I’m here because I chose you. We stand exposed before each other.   You see me.   I see you.   And we say, “Yes!” It’s an informed, full fledged yes.   We choose to be together,’ That’s mature love.”

In love with love

It seems that too many people fall in love with the idea of love, and not as much in love with the actual person that they chose to marry.   Then when the infatuation fades and the illusion dissapates, they are stuck with someone they aren’t happy with.   They don’t understand what it means to be married.   They don’t know how to get their needs met or how to meet their spouse’s needs.

Last chance

Other people get married because they think they found someone who will work out okay for them and they think it may be their last chance to get married.   For those who have yet to get married, I plead with you, never think in those terms!   Don’t let the thought affect your choice in the least!   I have thought like that in the past and I cried to God, asking him why he would let my chance slip by like that.   I must have looked so silly to God.   He knew there was someone a million times more perfect for me than any of the other loves I wanted so badly in the past.   After falling in love with Nate, I thanked God with everything in me for not letting my past desires be fulfilled and helping me to wait for the right one.

Mature love

I’m confident in my marriage and in our ability to stay happy because we see each other for who we really are.   And we love what we see.   And we desire to meet each other’s needs.   We know the impact of not meeting each other’s needs.  

Romantic high’s are great, but they don’t last on their own.   You must have a sturdier foundation that you can keep building on.   And then you have to put in effort to keep romance alive in your marriage.

Living in truth and reality and being well rooted in your marriage is the key to mature love.

Kiss Me Like You Mean It

Image of my husband and me by Lindsey Rose

So many roommates

I’ve had a lot of roommates.   But that may be the understatement of the year.   Yes, I’ve had close to 30 different roommates in my lifetime (not including my family).   Some of them have been wonderful people whom I will be friends with for the rest of my life and others made me oh so happy when it was time to move!   I’ve learned to live with almost anyone and I can get by just fine.   That doesn’t mean I actually enjoy living with just anyone. But I can get along under the same roof with a lot of different kinds of people.

Not just another roommate

But when I chose Nate to be my husband, I didn’t see him as just another roommate opportunity.   Believe me, as far as roommates go, he’s a great one!   But obviously, he’s much more than that!   The problem is that although it seems obvious when you say it like that, in reality, so many husbands and wives end up in a relationship that isn’t much more than roommate status.   Because I know that is a very common tendency, I wanted to learn how to avoid becoming roommates instead of lovers.

Kiss me like you mean it

I’m currently reading Kiss Me Like You Mean It by Dr. David Clarke.   It’s about having passion in your marriage like the passion between Solomon and his beloved expressed in Song of Solomon in the Bible.   There is a lot of great stuff in this book that I will probably share in future blogs.  

Talk to each other

For today, I’ll stick with one idea from the book and that is to make time and talk to each other. Seems like a simple concept.   But even after only 6 weeks of marriage, I can see how if you don’t schedule alone time to together the bulk of your conversations will be more informative and purposeful than deep and intimate.   It’s easy enough to squeeze in some time to get a run down of the schedule for the week or a list of what you need at the grocery store or maybe, if you have some extra time, you can even squeak in some time to talk about what color you should paint the walls.   But the conversations are usually held while you are also doing the dishes and cooking dinner at the same time and your husband is practicing guitar or watering the plants.   No eye contact.   No connection.

Dr. Clarke suggests scheduling time to just sit and talk for 30 minutes at least 4 times a week.   They should be spent in a quiet place without distractions (no kids, phones, magazines, etc).   And he recommends following his 5 steps to good talk time.   I thought they were great steps to follow so I wanted to share them with you!

Step 1:   Start with a brief prayer.   Thank God for each other and invite him to be with you as you spend time together.

Step 2:   Read your couple’s devotional.   Answer the questions at the end.   It’s a great conversation starter.

Step 3:   What’s on your mind?   Talk about daily living topics like work, family, and friends.   Catch up on life.   Look for a topic that might have potential for more intimacy.

Step 4:   Pray together.   Make a list of prayer requests and pray for 5-10 minutes. Hold hands while you pray.

Step 5.   Move from prayer to conversation.   Talk about some of the things that you just lifted up in prayer. These are the concerns of the heart and the things you care about the most.

Nate and I have been pretty good about having scheduled alone time most days of the week (it’s a lot easier for us than those with kiddos) but we really want to start praying at the beginning of our alone time.   We think that would make our time more meaningful.   Try it out!   I’d love to know how it goes for you!