Category Archives: Studio Business

“Housewarming Party” Promotion

Exciting news and a special promotion!

 

 

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

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

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

I may as well show you the bathroom, too, because it’s just cute. haha!

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

I’d love to show off my new studio in person, so I’m offering a special promotion that you’ll want to hear about. It’s super rare that I offer discounts because although my sessions are definitely a financial investment, my past clients will tell you that the experience is totally worth it! But I’m excited to have all of you ladies in to see the new space so I wanted to offer something special. Let’s think of it like a housewarming party. Except it’s one on one.  And you are totally encouraged to party in your underwear. Now, that’s a good party! Here is the special deal I’m offering…

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

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

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

Rayleigh Leavitt : Boudoir and Glamour Photography, Portland, Oregon
503.828.2973 info@byrayleigh.com

 

Pinterest & Your Session | Boudoir Photography Portland Oregon

boudoir photography portland oregon

So, you have a 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!

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. Here is my Pinterest Page. This 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!

 

boudoir photography portland oregon
1. 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!

2. 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!!!

 

Rayleigh Leavitt : Boudoir and Glamour Photography, Portland, Oregon
503.828.2973 info@byrayleigh.com

Under The Sea Baby Shower | Photography Portland, OR

One of the great things about having a photography studio is having a space big enough to hold fun parties. Throwing parties and crafting happen to be two of my other loves, after photography.   I had a great time planning this “Under The Sea / Mermaid” baby shower for my friend, Jessica. And of course, we all had a blast at the party. So I wanted to share some fun photos from the event.

maternity photography Portland Oregon

I found this banana dolphin grape dish idea from a party blog, that you can see here, but there weren’t any instructions so I just winged it. I cut two bananas in half and only used the ends with the stem. (The other ends made for a nice snack while I put all the food together for the party) I cut a slit in the stem and stuffed a grape in to the slit. I used a black permanent marker to make a dot for the eyes. On the party blog, it looks like they used blueberries for the eyes but I went the lazy way. haha! I had a little trouble getting the bananas to stand up. I put some frosting on the bottoms of them which sort of helped to “glue” it to the glass plate. But it didn’t help that much. Mostly they are just leaning against the pile of grapes.

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I found this candy crab idea on a party blog, which you can see here, but again, there were no instructions. For the base, I used orange slice candies. Then I cut a pinch ring candy in half to make the arms and attached them with toothpicks. I couldn’t find any candy eyeballs like what they used on the party blog and I had no idea what the orange eye backing was that they used. So I used white jellybeans cut in half and black jellybeans cut in to small circles. I just smashed the smaller black circles in to the white jellybeans and they stuck. Then I attached the eyeballs to the crab with toothpicks. My eyeballs look a lot more like crazy eyes, but I kind of like them that way. haha! I spread a layer of brown sugar on a glass plate to look like sand under the candy crabs.

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The red bell pepper octopus was easy. I just cut the top off the pepper and threw out the seeds. I placed the pepper upside down in a tray of ranch dip. I cut up a second bell pepper in to strips and used 8 strips to make the octopus legs. I cut up a bunch more peppers and had the slices in a bowl next to the dip for eating. First I tried using black olive slices for the eyes but I wasn’t sure how to attach them. So I just used some white Sixlets that I already had on hand.2015-05-12_0004

For the oyster cookies, I just used two Nilla Wafer cookies with some pink frosting from a tube in between them. I used white Sixlets for the pearls. I placed the cookies on a glass plate topped with brown sugar to look like sand.

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I bought pre-made croissant sandwiches at Costco and made them look like crabs by attaching olive slices with toothpicks for the eyes.

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The starfish suckers and gummy fish I bought at Target. I put the gummy fish in a pink sand bucket. I topped deviled eggs with a triangle of cheese using a toothpick to make them look like sale boats.

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I found some branches that had been trimmed off a family members tree and spray painted them burnt orange to make them look like coral. I couldn’t find coral colored spray paint but burnt orange worked pretty well. After the orange paint dried, I sprayed some gold glitter on them to pretty them up. I hung plastic pearl necklaces from the “coral” branches and the branches are in a mason jar that I decorated with burlap and green ribbon.

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I made turtle paper plates buy cutting out legs, arms, and a head using this pattern.   I glued the paper pieces to the green plate with hot glue. The party favors were pieces of salt water taffy inside a burlap bag, tied with coral ribbon and a little charm. Each charm was a different kind of sea creature. The one pictured is a dolphin.

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I made Jello sand cups by making Jello in a clear plastic cup, then adding a layer of Cool Whip and vanilla pudding mixture. Then I topped the cups with crushed up Nilla Wafers to look like sand. I bought candy sea creatures to put on the top.

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I pierced salt water taffy with shish kabob skewers to look like sea weed and arranged them in a mason jar.

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The octopus hot dogs were made by cutting the bottom half of a hotdog in to 6 strips. I know octopuses have 8 arms but 8 hot dog strips seemed too floppy.   6 was more sturdy. haha! Then I wrapped the top of the hot dog with biscuit dough and baked them.

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We also had shell pasta salad. As well as a tray of cheesy whale crackers that I found at Target. They were arranged in some super cute pink and white striped baking cups. The plastic forks were held in a cute green polka dot metal pale I found at Target in the dollar section. The napkins looked like onesies with starfish on them. I ordered those from Etsy.

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I used another of the metal pales as a centerpiece, tipped over with plastic pearl necklaces spilling out.

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I bought this newborn mermaid costume on Amazon and put it on my build a bear for the party. I gifted it to the Mom-to-be after the party.

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Other centerpieces included a miniature beach set (I’m obsessed with miniatures), a vase filled with sand, shells, and a candle, and a little treasure chest filled with plastic gold coins, jewels, and pearl necklaces.

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Oh, look, another metal polka dot bucket. Can you tell I loved them? This one is tipped over with brown sugar spilling out of it to look like sand and topped with white Sixlets to look like pearls.

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These jellyfish were my most favorite decoration at the party. I bought some paper lanterns in various sizes. I bought gold, off-white, light pink, and light purple. I also bought some plastic disposable table cloths in matching colors and cut them in to strips. I used my hands to stretch out the table cloth strips, which makes them wavy. I discarded the metal structure that is supposed to go in the paper lanterns because I wanted them to be a little squished down and not perfectly round.   I hot glued the table cloth strips around the bottom edge of the paper lantern. Then trimmed the bottom of the paper lantern with a table cloth strip. I used string to hang them to the ceiling. Although, not exactly how I did mind, here is a tutorial that shows a similar idea and how I stretched out the table cloth strips.

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The ice cream station was made by filling a kiddy pool with sand. I bought the sand at Home Depot. The toppings were put in to pink sand buckets. The ice cream isn’t pictured but I bought the kind of ice cream that comes in a big bucket to go with the theme.

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I decorated mason jars with burlap and green ribbon. I placed a brown polka dot paper straw in each one. I bought blue punch to drink.

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One of the games was to have each guest write down a question that a new mom might ask on one card. And to write the answer to the question on a second card. The cards were mixed up and then the Mom-to-be drew a random question and drew a random answer and paired them together. There were lots of laughs at the combinations.

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I set up a wall for a photo booth background using crape paper and paper cut outs of fish. I collected a few props that went with our theme. And I took photos of all the guests.

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Pin the egg on the sperm. Hilarious! We played this a little differently than the typical pin the tail on the donkey. Instead of having each guest blindfold themselves, spin around, and try to get their piece in the right spot, I just had each guest put their sperm piece wherever they wanted. Because, seriously, who really wants to spin around blindfolded? They wrote their names on the back of them so we would know who’s was who’s. Then the Mom-to-be covered her eyes and put her egg piece on the board. The winner was the guest who’s sperm was closest to the egg. I drew the uterus freehand and cut it out of paper. The sperm pieces were made using a photo of the Dad-to-be’s face and the egg was a cut out of the Mom-to-be’s face. So funny!

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Another game we played was a relay race. There were two teams and they raced to dress up like babies. I made the bonnets and bibs from scrap fabric I had. I bought adult size diapers from Amazon and pacifiers from the dollar tree.

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The guests from the winning team from the relay race then had a race amongst themselves to see who was the ultimate winner. This race was to see who could drink all the apple juice from the bottle the fastest. I only filled the bottle up about a third of the way but it still took quite a long time for them to get all the juice out. So if you try this game, make sure you don’t fill it very much.

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My dog, Rivers, dressed up for the party in her finest Under The Sea themed doggy dress. 🙂

 

Rayleigh Leavitt : Boudoir and Glamour Photography, Portland, Oregon
503.828.2973     info@byrayleigh.com

My New Studio | Boudoir Photography Portland Oregon

I am so thrilled to be able to share some photos of my newly remodeled photography studio. My studio is in my home. I had a 519 sq ft “bonus” room upstairs that was my studio space for about 3 years. It worked great but I was feeling quite cramped and wanted some room to breath. It just so happened that on the other side of one of my studio walls, was a huge open attic space with nothing but rafters and insulation. Why the original home builders didn’t finish it off for usable space, we may never know. But I pinched pennies for 3 years to save up to turn that space in to an amazing addition to my studio. Below is the before and after photos of the extra space. We added just under 300 sq ft of space and with that space I got a 14×14 room for my hair and makeup station and two shooting sets, a small bathroom, and a huge walk in closet/dressing room to store my studio wardrobe. All of that (minus the bathroom) was crammed in to the original space which now holds two shooting sets (including a queen size bed and my poly-board backdrops and reflectors), a computer station for clients to view their photos and place their orders, a props closet, and room to breath! 2015-03-04_0028

 

Here is what the new space looked like to start with. The man pictured below is our contractor, Brent Wright with Wright Home Builders. He did a great job and he’s an awesome guy that we trusted and felt really comfortable with, which is important when you are shelling out all kinds of cash to someone so they can do a job you know nothing about.

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Here is the view from my old space, looking at the hole punched in the wall to create the door between the old space and the new space.

 

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Here are just some progress shots along the way. My dog was inspecting everything and making sure they were doing a good job. 😉

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They added a 5×5 window in the side of the house. I requested a window that was high up from the floor, with a wide window sill so I could have clients sit in the window or lean up against it.

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I picked out some laminate flooring from Lumber Liquidators and then hired a couple of nice guys to install it for us.

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Here is my amazing hubby, tediously painting stripes on the walls by my request. The stripes looks SO GOOD! But they were not easy to do, that’s for sure. We decided to do the painting ourselves to save some money. Boy was it a lot of work.

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And finally….. drum roll please…….. The new space!!!!

Along the pink striped wall is my hair and makeup station. I have a salon chair which is adjustable height (so nice for the makeup artist). And I have a directors chair as a back up. I use that when I have more than one client getting hair and makeup done at the same time, such as for a mother-daughter shoot, or two friends having boudoir photos done on the same day. The door to the right leads to the new bathroom/dressing room/closet area.

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The blue couch area is a set used for photography. But it’s also nice to have extra seating for me and for friends/family who are there while the client is getting her hair and makeup done.

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More views of the hair and makeup station. I’m thinking of getting a new rug. I think I need something lighter colored. This old rug doesn’t seem to match my new space very well.

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This corner with the chaise is also a set used for photography. This happens to be my dog’s favorite spot to sleep while my client is in hair and makeup. Haha! I LOVE the vaulted ceiling on this side of the room.

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Now, going through the door that is to the right of the chaise, you’ll find my studio wardrobe closet, which is also a dressing room, and the half bathroom.   My clients used to have to go downstairs in to the main part of my house to use the bathroom so it’s really nice to have a dedicated bathroom in the studio. The tray of supplies seen below is sort of like an emergency supply for my clients to use. I have nail polish remover, mouth wash, lotion, makeup remover (for those who are surprising their husbands with a boudoir shoot and can’t come home looked all glammed up), wrinkle remover (for clothing, not for faces, haha), and scissors. I also have some granola bars for if they get hungry.

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This is the view from the “old” space, looking in to the new space through the gorgeous french doors (which I do plan to use for photos, yay!) Next is the view of the older space where you can see the queen bed and the computer station. In the far corner is a props closet.

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beauty photography portland oregon

Next to the window is where I store and use my poly-board backdrops and reflectors. That table along the wall is there as a leftover from my Grand Reopening. But I couldn’t move it because I’m using it to hide all the paint supplies which we can’t put away until we finish our paint touch ups. Haha!

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This is where I store all my props. I also have a mini fridge full of drinks that I can offer my clients when they come for their shoots.

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And that’s all, folks!   But I just thought I’d end by showing some photos of my old space when I had everything crammed in to the one room.   Back then, I spent more time moving furniture around between shots than I did taking photos during the shoots!   Not shown here is my old “viewing and ordering room” which was in a bedroom downstairs. Since I now have room to move all that up to the studio, I get to use that bedroom as a crafting room. Bonus!!!

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I just held a super fun Grand Reopening party to celebrate the new space. You can check out photos from that here.

Thanks for taking my studio tour! I hope you like my new space. If you’d like to come check it out and do a portrait shoot of your own, just contact me and I’d love to go over details with you!

 

Rayleigh Leavitt : Boudoir and Glamour Photography, Portland, Oregon
503.828.2973     info@byrayleigh.com

Grand Reopening Fun| Boudoir Photography Portland Oregon

A couple of weeks ago I had the enormous pleasure of celebrating my new photography studio remodel/expansion with a Grand Reopening Celebration! It was such a fun event with about 25 guests. There was a raffle with tons of fun prizes, which were all donated by local businesses. We had mini makeovers done by my girl, Stephanie, from Salon Mariposa.   We also had chair massages by Brian at At Ease Massage Therapy. I hosted a photo booth, complete with lots of crazy props and costumes. After looking through these fun party photos, you can also check out my blog about my new studio space to see some better photos of the actual space.

beauty photography portland oregon

Here are some of my favorites from the photo booth photos I took and then emailed to the guests afterwards.

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Below are some cell phone photos taken by a couple of guests at the event. They were nice enough to send them to me.

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A special thank you to the kind sponsors who donated gifts and services to make my celebration so much fun!

Rayleigh Leavitt : Boudoir and Glamour Photography, Portland, Oregon
503.828.2973     info@byrayleigh.com

Grand Re-Opening Party | Boudoir Photography Portland Oregon

boudoir photography portland oregon

February 19th   6:30-9

RSVP HERE

$1 RAFFLE ENTERS YOU TO WIN

 

  • Gift certificate for a mini portrait session and one digital photo with Photography by Rayleigh $265 value
  • Gift certificate for a massage at At Ease Massage $80 value
  • Gift certificate for a manicure with Christine Voorhies-Travis $35 value
  • Sei Bella Night Firming Treatment from Cat Valley with Melaleuca $44.50 value
  • A beautiful necklace from Michelle Tunnell with ViVI   $38 value
  • A dozen specialty cupcakes from Couture Sweet Treats $40 value
  • 2 admissions to a West Coast Swing dance lesson from Trina Siebert $26 value
  • Gift certificate for Mary Kay cosmetics and beauty products from Lori Hering $25 value
  • Gift certificate for a mini facial or waxing from Kianna Araujo $55 value
  • Gift certificate for a relaxation session from Becoming You Hypnosis $150 value
  • Gift certificate and basket of products from Salon Mariposa $90value

 

SWAG BAGS!

The first 20 people to attend will receive a Swag Bag!   Sponsors include

Beauty Photography Portland Oregon

GRAND OPENING SPECIAL

Book a session while at the Grand Opening Party to lock in this special rate!

$75   Mini boudoir or beauty session

  • Professional hair and makeup
  • Wardrobe styling
  • 30 minute session
  • $100 credit toward your purchase of photos

RSVP HERE

 

I can’t wait to see you all there!

Rayleigh Leavitt : Boudoir and Glamour Photography, Portland, Oregon
503.828.2973     info@byrayleigh.com

Should A Christian Woman Do A Boudoir Shoot? | Boudoir Photography Portland Oregon

I am a Christian, completely devoted to my Savior, Jesus, and I am also a boudoir photographer. It’s not too often that I get asked about how I am able to be both. But it comes up every once in a while. So I wanted to share with you why I love boudoir photography, even as a Christian (or especially as a Christian) and why I believe all Christian wives, or soon-to-be-wives should do a boudoir shoot.

 

What is a boudoir shoot?

Boudoir is pronounced Bu-dwah or Bu-dwar, and is technically defined as, “a woman’s bedroom or private room for dressing or resting.” So in the photography world, that involves a portrait shoot that a woman does privately for her man, usually in lingerie.   Although the shoot is primarily done as a gift for her man, the women find that the shoot is very pampering and creates a space for her to feel feminine, lovely, and even sexy. Women spend far too much time comparing themselves to other women they see in magazines or on TV and feeling “blah” about themselves. Especially tired Mommies who feel more like a Mom than a woman, most times.

 

boudoir photography Portland Oregon

Why should Christian couples be interested in boudoir?

God created men to be highly visual. They can’t help it, it’s the way they were built. They are bombarded with images of sexy woman all the time and no matter how much they try to look away and avoid lusting after the women in those images, it’s inevitable that some of those images are going to get in, and stay there, and even pop up from time to time. How great would it be if his memory was chalked full of lovely images of his wife and the majority of the images popping up in his mind were images he could cherish and feel good about?

 

boudoir photography Portland Oregon

 

The other point to consider is that in a healthy, Christian marriage, a woman should feel sexy, desired, and appreciated for her body even with it’s imperfections. (Obviously there is a lot more about her to be appreciated, but that’s a post for another day)   But when a woman doesn’t feel good about the way she looks, she doesn’t bring to the marriage that needed energy that can really help fuel true intimacy. A boudoir shoot can give a woman that much needed confidence. It’s really amazing what a little sexy confidence can do for a marriage.

 

boudoir photography Portland Oregon

boudoir photography Portland Oregon

 

The Who, What, When of it all…

The photos are an amazing gift to give to a Groom on the wedding night. Valentine’s Day and wedding anniversaries are other occasions when a boudoir shoot would be a very special gift.

 

There are a lot of amazing photographers to choose from for your shoot and you should find the one that is the best fit for you. If you find that a female photographer would make you feel more comfortable, I would happily welcome you in to my studio, as we have an all female staff. My style is very conservative, as far as boudoir photography goes, so if you are more on the shy side or you just want to keep things tame, I’m the photographer for you! My images are sensual but beautiful and tasteful and not over-the-top sexual. Although you can choose how far you want to go, nudity-wise, most of my clients prefer to wear lingerie or to do what I call “implied nudity” where you aren’t wearing much of anything, but all your girl bits are covered by your arms or legs or with sheets.

 

Will my photos end up on your website?

It’s fantastic when a woman feels comfortable sharing at least a few of her photos on my website so that other woman can relate and be encouraged to do a shoot that will enrich her marriage. However, it’s completely understandable when a couple wants the boudoir photos to be for his eyes only and I respect that decision and would never share your photos without your permission.

 

If you are ready to schedule your shoot, or if you have any questions, please contact me! I’d love to talk about it more with you.

Rayleigh Leavitt : Boudoir and Glamour Photography, Portland, Oregon
503.828.2973     info@byrayleigh.com

Christmas in my studio | Portland Oregon Photographer

I’m so excited to show off my handmade Christmas tree forest. Now, this really has nothing to do with photography, other than the fact that the trees are used to decorate my home studio. But, hey, everyone loves a good crafting blog, right?

 

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All the cones were made using various sizes of styrofoam cones, like these, that I purchased at Jo-ann Fabric.   It would have been a whole lot cheaper to make cones using cardboard from cereal boxes or poster-board and I did find a pattern for that here on Pinterest. But I decided to go the easier route, by purchasing cones, even though it ended up costing more.

 

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This cone was made using a raffia type ribbon that I found at Michael’s craft store. I used hot glue to secure the ribbon and just wrapped it around and around. I used a good amount of glue at the base and at the tip to make sure it didn’t come undone. Besides that, I just used a small line of hot glue about 2 inches long every few cycles. I started wrapping at the base and before I wrapped the top, I cut a few strips of raffia and layed them across the top (with glue) to cover the top of the cone, then continued to wrap around the sides.   For some reason, the cones don’t come with a pointy tip. I wish they did. But I just left this tree with a rounded tip. if I were to do it again, I might use card stock to make a pointy tip for all the cones. But the rounded tip doesn’t bother me too much.

 

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This feather tree is definitely one of my favorites! I had purchased some turkey plumage feathers on Amazon for another craft project so I already had them on hand. The feathers have a natural curve to them. So I just used hot glue to glue the feathers on so that they   curved down and outward. There various sizes of feathers so I used bigger feathers toward the bottom and smaller feathers toward the top. And I used a tiny poofy feather at the very top.   I love it!

 

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This cone was really easy. I just used some wrapping paper that I got at The Container Store. At $10 a roll, it’s expensive wrapping paper, but oy! The glitter! I couldn’t help myself. But I just use it for crafting because it’s too expensive to waste on gift wrapping. 😉 I had a hard time wrapping the entire cone and making it pointy on top, which I wanted for this cone. So I wrapped the cone, leaving a hole at the top, which was the only way I could wrap it. Then I made a little tiny cone hat with the paper and glued the hat on to the top. Since the paper is glittery, it blends in and you can’t even really tell that it’s not all one piece.

 

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This cone was made exactly like the raffia cone except using a soft yarn. This happens to be my favorite color and I love the softness.

 

 

 

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This cone was made exactly like glitter cone, except using a different color of wrapping paper. This wrapping paper I got from the Dollar Tree so it was a lot less expensive. For some reason I had an easier time making the top pointy while wrapping the cone, so I didn’t need to make a little hat, like I did for the glitter cone. Maybe it’s because the paper was thinner?

 

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I have a strange obsession with cable knit sweaters as Christmas decoration, so this is probably my favorite cone tree. I bought the sweater at Goodwill and just wrapped it around the cone, attaching it with hot glue.

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This was probably the most time consuming of the trees. I picked out various papers in greens and browns and cut them in to strips that were about 2 inches wide and 3 inches long. At the base I just glued the paper flat to the cone and I used only brown paper. For the rest of the tree I curled the paper a little bit by wrapping the paper around a pencil. The strips of paper at the very top are a little smaller, just to more easily wrap around the tip of the cone. For the very tip,   I cut a piece of paper in to a circle that could cover the top with some of the circle hanging off. Then I cut notches in it and folded the cut pieces down. The star on top was something I saved from a 4th of July party at my friend’s church. It was silver and glittery so I kept it around and it worked great on top of this tree. It’s not on super securely. I just used some hot glue along the inside edge of the star’s “legs.” If it falls off at some point, I’ll just glue it again!

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This cone is just like the raffia cone and the yarn cone, except I used twine. Then I used some of the raffia ribbon to make a criss-cross pattern.

 

 

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This tree, I didn’t actually make. I bought it on clearance at Real Deals. (A super fun and dangerous store for me!) It was on clearance because it used to have a star on the top that had fallen off and got lost. So I need to find a topper for it. I’m trying to find a medium sized bell, to match the other bells, for the top. The tree had a pole stand that it was perched on, but I took the pole off so that this tree would match the rest of the trees. This tree would be pretty easy to make if someone wanted to make one like this.

 

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I’m not thrilled with this tree. For one thing, I accidentally photographed the back of it, where the fabric met, and it looks slightly better on the other side, lol.   But still, I’m not sure what it is that I don’t like about it.   It’s just not my favorite. I just cut strips of fabric and folded them over, in half, so the bottom was folded instead of a cut edge. And I hot glued the strips to the cone, bunching it together a little to make ruffles. The top is a Christmas ornament I stole off my studio’s tree.

 

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I love the concept of this tree. I just wasn’t thrilled with my options for shades of green. They don’t really match the other greens as well as I wanted. But it’s still cute. I just cut circles out of felt and glued them on in layers. For the top I just folded up a piece of felt to look like a point.

 

There are so many cute ideas on Pinterest for cone trees. It was hard to narrow done the ones I wanted to make. But I have a ton of them saved to my Pinterest board and you can take a look at it to get more ideas!

 

I hope you enjoyed my blog!

 

Rayleigh Leavitt : Portland Boudoir Photographer
Tigard and Portland Photography and Video
503.828.2973     info@byrayleigh.com

Portland Wedding Showcase | Boudoir Photography Portland Oregon

The Oregon Wedding Showcase is THE bridal show to go to in Salem and Eugene and this year they had their first show in Portland. I was lucky enough to get in on the ground floor, as the limited number photographer booths go fast. Even though I do shoot weddings, at the bridal shows I market boudoir photography. Boudoir photography is a fantastic gift for the groom. It was so fun seeing the grooms encouraging their beautiful ladies to take part in the experience.

boudoir photography portland oregon bridal show

At this show I also got to debut my newest product, the “Peepshow Viewer.”   Remember those old “View-masters” from when you were a kid? Well, I found an awesome company that custom makes the photo reels using photos from my clients. The ladies at the bridal show had so much fun reliving their childhood, but in a new way. A grown up way.   My show special included a complimentary Peepshow Viewer if they were to book a shoot at the show.

boudoir photography portland oregon bridal show

boudoir photography portland oregon bridal show

boudoir photography portland oregon bridal show

     boudoir photography portland oregon bridal show

A lot of the brides were really interested in my bachelorette parties. Can you blame them? Doing a boudoir shoot on your own is a fantastic experience, but to share it with your best friends is that much more fun.

boudoir photography portland oregon bridal show

If you would like more information on boudoir photo shoots or bachelorette parties, contact me today!

Rayleigh Leavitt : Boudoir, Glamour, and Wedding Photography, Portland, Oregon
503.828.2973     info@byrayleigh.com

How to Decoupage a Dresser | Portland Oregon Photographer

How to Decoupage and Antique a Dresser.

I have to start out by saying, I am by no means an expert in furniture or furniture art. But, I managed to decoupage and paint a dresser with an antique look all by my little ol’ self, (okay my Dad helped a little) and I think it turned out pretty great, if I do say so myself!   I wanted to share how I did it so that you can see how easy it is. The dresser is now used as my hair and makeup station in my photography studio and I can use it as shooting space as well.   I’ve used it a couple of times for photos and I think it looks so cute.   I’ll give you a step by step recap of how I decoupaged and painted the dresser.

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The dresser is actually an antique to start with.   My Dear ol’ Dad found it at a garage sale for $10.   It was kind of in bad shape and needed some repairs.   So my Dad added a wood panel to a weak side and filled in some chipped wood with putty.   I can’t explain how to do that part.   He’s just good with wood and furniture.   But hopefully the furniture you are working with is in better shape to start out with.

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My Dad also removed the hardware (there was only one ring handle left on it) and sprayed the dresser with spray on primer so that it would hold the paint better.   He accidentally got some on the cute little key holes so he just sanded the metal part of the key hole to get the primer off.

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Then I painted the dresser with two coats of white paint using a bristle paint brush.   In hindsight I might have preferred to use a sponge brush to avoid brush strokes but I still think it looks fine anyway.   I didn’t want a super bright white.   I wanted a more antique white.   So I chose Behr brand and the color is Angel Food in flat matte.   This particular brand of paint has primer in it so the previous step where we sprayed on primer may have been unnecessary, but I just wanted to be sure I had a full coverage.

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Then I painted over the white with a very light pink. (in this photo you can barely tell it’s pink, but trust me, it is)   I chose Behr brand again and the color is Hawaiian Shell in flat matte.

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Then I took sandpaper and started sanding the pink paint in areas that would normally get worn over time, like corners and edges.   First I used a fine grit sandpaper sponge, like this one from Home Depot.   I can’t find the exact one I used on their website but the one I used said it was 400 grit.   I liked the sponge because it’s flexible and easy to use around corners.   The idea is to sand off the pink paint to allow the white to show through, only in spots where you want it to look worn.   This gives it an antique feel.   Originally I was going to leave it at that, but there was a spot where I accidentally sanded too much and the gray primer showed through.   I really liked it so I grabbed a more course piece of sandpaper that we had in our garage, 120 grit, and sanded some small areas to reveal the gray.   My husband thinks I should have left it pink and white and not sanded farther down to reveal the gray.   But tell me in the comments what you think.   I could always slap on more paint to those areas and redo the sanding.   Again, it’s hard to tell the difference between the white and the pink in my photos. But hopefully you can see what I’m talking about.   This technique would probably be more noticeable if you use colors that have more contrast, like white and blue.

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Then I went to Michael’s and bought some floral scrapbook paper and Mod Podge glue. There were a few options to choose from for the Mod Podge but I chose Furniture Matte. (Glossy was one of the other options)   I cut out the flowers with a pair of sharp scissors.   Yes, it was extremely tedious.   But I just stuck a movie in the DVD player and got to it.   The paper I chose had some clumps of flowers so I didn’t have to cut every single flower out individually.   But it was still a lot of cutting, just to cut out the background.

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Before gluing the flowers, I first placed them in a pattern that I liked and stuck them on with tape.   I folded a piece of Scotch tape and stuck it to the back of the flower so that I didn’t ruin the front of the flower with tape. The photo below shows the flowers as they were just taped on. Once I was satisfied with the location of the flowers, I removed the tape from each piece of paper and glued the flowers to the dresser using the Mod Podge glue and a small sponge brush.   I followed the directions on the Mod Podge glue which told me to first put glue on the back of the flowers to stick them to the dresser and let it dry for a couple of hours.   Then apply a layer of glue over the top of the flowers, covering the entire piece of furniture and let it dry for a couple of hours.   You can add as many layers of glue as you want and the more layers you add, the more of a plastic, glassy, look you’ll get.   But I only did two layers since I wasn’t going for thickness or that super decoupaged look.   Since I covered the entire dresser with glue, the added benefit is that it added stability to the sanded paint.

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After all the glue dried, I added knobs that I picked out from Home Depot. I chose glass knobs that looked antique to me.   After adding the knobs, I see why the original piece had ring pulls instead of knobs.   Because of the wavy design, the top two knobs end up pointing inward and the bottom four knobs end up pointing outward.   It looks a little funny.   But not so much that it really bothers me.

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And that’s that!   Easy-peasy.   I’m looking for a second dresser that has a similar look to this one so I can have a second hair and makeup station in my studio.   So if you are local to the Portland, Oregon area and you find one, let me know!!   🙂

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Rayleigh Leavitt : Boudoir and Glamour Photography, Portland, Oregon
503.828.2973     info@byrayleigh.com