Miss Abby has been competing in beauty pageants since she was 9 years old. She has won several titles, including Salem United Miss, Oregon United Miss, National United Miss, IJM Miss Oregon Jr. Teen, and American US National Jr. Teen Queen. I had the pleasure of photographing her pageant head shots for her next competition. Abby has come in a number of times for updated portraits and I just love her poise and confidence.
When competing for Oregon United Miss, the pageant head shot photo she submitted, taken by yours truly, won the photogenic competition. I was so pleased to be part of that achievement!
Keep up the good work, Miss Abby! I’m routing for you! I’ll be looking forward to shooting your next pageant head shots, as well.
“This is my husband and my 40th wedding anniversary year and I wanted to commemorate it with professional photos. I spent a lot of time on the internet looking at websites of photographers that I thought would work well with us “oldsters”. When I found Rayleigh I felt a connection with her work for couples. ”
“Rayleigh made us feel comfortable, an amazing feat with my husband who is happiest on his tractor in flannel shirt and dirty jeans. Rayleigh was able to capture us in a range of moods and poses: from fun, to cuddly, to elegant. I always blink when a camera goes off, but Rayleigh only shoots in natural light so there were no flashes to trigger my blinking. ”
“I felt like a queen for a day! We were so pleased with Rayleigh’s photographs of us that we treated our daughter and new son-in-law to a photo shoot at her studio to commemorate their marriage (they were married in a simple ceremony at the county courthouse earlier). We then commissioned Rayleigh to photograph our daughter and son-in-law’s wedding reception in the evening in a majestic barn where she had to contend with low light and colored disco lights from the DJ. She did a marvelous job of capturing the guests and festivities. ”
“We can’t thank Rayleigh enough to making us all look good!”
I just love this quote! It’s easy to get swept up in the emotions of how we think others are making us feel, but sometimes I have to remind myself that how I feel is my own choice! I have a comical conversation with another local photographer etched in to my memory. It’s only comical because I didn’t let his insults get me down. He asked me a bunch of questions about how I learned photography and about my studio and was completely unimpressed with my answers. Then he went on about how his father was a photographer before him and so was his grandfather. His great grandfather was a painter. So he has generations of artistic ability that he could claim. When I told him that my father was a city bus driver, I could almost see the disdain coming out of his ears like a green colored visible stench in a cartoon. I could have allowed this converstation to affect how I saw myself as a professional photographer. But instead I took a good look at my gorgeous studio and felt proud of the business I’ve built and the strides I’ve made in my art, all on my own. I absolutely love what I do and I’m pretty darn good at it, too, if I do say so myself.
Today I challenge you to tell yourself the opposite of any negative thought or emotion you may have. I want to hear about how it goes! I think you may be surprised at the outcome.
Those of you who have followed my work for even a short time know that family photography isn’t my specialty. Especially when it comes to babies. Hand me a baby and I will look at you like a dear in the headlights. Although, I’ll be getting over that soon since I’m expecting my own “bundle of joy” in April. But when the V Family asked me if I was interested in doing a glam session that included their baby, that was a lot more up my allie than the typical newborn shoot that involves proping up babies in adorable props and hats. So I accepted and I’m glad I did because the shoot went great and I love the photos.
Here is what Mrs. V said about her experience. “I loved my photo shoot with Rayleigh!!! I did a family session with my husband and our 8-month-old baby, and I also sneaked in a couple boudoir pictures, which I’m saving as a surprise for my husband for St. Valentine! I was impressed by how precisely Rayleigh and her make-up and hair professional captured the style of the session that I wanted. I wanted a family and baby photo shoot, but more on the glam side. My makeup and hair turned out impeccable, and the pictures are amazing! I got lots of compliments from my friends and family, and lots of them were asking where I found this level of photography! I have a lot of friends outside of America who do professional photography themselves, and they also mentioned very high quality of the photo shoot. I also loved the process! Rayleigh made it all so easy and enjoyable! I felt confident and beautiful, my husband (who is not a big fan of photo shoots to begin with) was very comfortable and relaxed, my baby was calm and happy. I definitely attribute all that to the wonderful atmosphere Rayleigh creates for her shoots. It was an amazing experience!”
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Moms out there. I’m looking forward to a fun weekend with my Mom and Mom-in-law. Before all the fun, I thought I would share some Mother-Daughter portraits with you guys.
I’m so glad there is a day set aside for us to honor Moms. What are your plans for the weekend?
I have a handful of wonderful hair and makeup artists that are a huge part of my beauty and boudoir shoot experiences. One of them is Dallas Merkley. I want to share with you some photos from the time Dallas got in front of my lens and I also want to tell you about her awesome YouTube channel. Dallas is way too cute for her britches and her videos are really entertaining while also giving awesome makeup and hair tips.
Click Here for her first of several videos. In this video, she goes over some basic makeup tips and introduces herself. Enjoy!
What a fantastic way to celebrate your engagement or anniversary. Couples sessions are such a memorable activity to do together if you are looking for a creative date night idea. As a bonus, you get to enjoy the photos for the rest of your marriage and pass them down to your children… who will most definitely make fun of your outfits and your hair styles. But that’s the circle of life, right?
“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. 😉 ”
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 photo shoot together so we should totally get on that! Sister’s shoots are so much fun and create the most amazing keepsake. 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!
Contact me today to schedule a photo shoot with your sister!
Valentine’s Day is this weekend. If you’ve been crazy busy, like me, you might be looking for a last minute gift idea. With all the love in the air, I wanted to find some fun, inexpensive gifts that could be fun to give this Valentine’s Day and found this – Date Night Sticks. I must live in a bubble, because there are TONS of sites that talk about this and I had never heard of it before! So maybe you’re already aware, consider this a reminder to just do it!
The idea is you write down places, activities, etc onto Popsicle sticks; then when you have a date night draw one and do it! Some sticks can be color coded for less expensive ideas vs. more expensive excursions, maybe even a family night. For Valentine’s Day, you could give a jar, but I think it would be more fun to give the supplies and create the jar together!
Whether you choose to do sticks, or paper in a bowl, I’d love to hear about it! Also include the most interesting activity you are adding to the options. I may want to borrow it!