Stephanie Ray Photography: Blog en-us Stephanie Ray Photography (Stephanie Ray Photography) Mon, 25 Jan 2016 22:56:00 GMT Mon, 25 Jan 2016 22:56:00 GMT Stephanie Ray Photography: Blog 80 120 Krista and John's country wedding in Royce City, TX Krista and John got married on a hot summer afternoon at Big Sky Ranch in Royce City, TX.  Their wedding was probably one of my favorite weddings to photograph in a long while!  The decor was stunning, the couple was so fun to work with, and the rain that came later that night, made for the most amazing clouds!  However, my favorite part of this wedding was the decor!   Krista and John borrowed sets of china from all the members of their immediate family to create a massive collection of mix-matched china for their guests to eat of of.  I just loved that idea! Not only was it gorgeous, but it added a nice sentimental touch to the decor.  The mixture of antiques, rustic wood,  and greenery, mixed with the soft pink color palette made this decor absolutely stunning against the country backdrop.  The ceremony featured a gorgeous cedar cross made by a close relative of the bride.  They had a very musical set of friends who performed during the ceremony and also saved the day during the reception by playing "Somewhere over the Rainbow" for the Mother/Son Dance when the DJ equipment failed.  The whole crowd sang along, it was a wonderful thing to witness.  It just goes to show you that even the things that go wrong can turn out to be the best part of the whole day.  Oh, and did I mention, the bride gave the groom a rifle for his wedding gift???  I couldn't resist getting at least one gun portrait! (only in Texas, right?)  Overall, I just really loved every thing about this wedding.   From the people, to the decor, to the venue, and everything in between it was just absolutely perfect!  I hope you enjoy viewing the images as much as I enjoyed taking them!


]]> (Stephanie Ray Photography) Big Sky Ranch Summer wedding DFW wedding photography Dallas Wedding Photographer the Best wedding photographer in DFW wedding photography Mon, 25 Jan 2016 22:28:32 GMT
Monica and Jeff Monica and Jeff got married last March at Poetry Springs in Terrell, TX.  The best part of this wedding for me was when the Groom, Jeff, reaches in his pocket and pulls out a list of all the celebrity men that the bride, Monica, had written out when they first started dating.  As he is telling the story of how this list came to be, it is clear that he has something in store for this little inside joke of theirs (it had been hanging on their fridge since its inception) He then proceeds to burn it and proclaim that Monica is now his wife and no longer gets to have a "list"  It was the sweetest and funniest thing I have ever witnessed by a groom!  I am surprised I got a good shot of it since I was laughing so hard!  It made me remember that the best thing about marriage is being with someone who can make you laugh!

]]> (Stephanie Ray Photography) DFW Photography Wedding photography dallas Portrait Photographer dallas, TX Portrait Photographer the best wedding photographer in Dallas the best wedding photographer in Fort Worth wedding photographer wedding photographer Forth Worth, Texas Wed, 06 Jan 2016 14:00:00 GMT
Laura and Jonathon I had the privilege of working with Laura and Johnathon last year thanks to George Street Photo.  This stunning couple was so much fun and so in love! It was a beautiful wedding ceremony at University Christian Church followed by a reception at the gorgeous Ashton Depot.  Both venues are in Forth Worth, TX and let me tell you, they are both absolutely breathtaking!  (not unlike this couple) However, as beautiful as the wedding and reception were,  my favorite part of the night was the end! Get this, the bride and groom made their sparkler exit and then took of in a freaking HELICOPTOR!  It was the most awesome exit I have ever witnessed at a wedding!  Although, the guests did get more than they bargained for when the helicoptor took off and blew my dress up around my waist in front of over 100 strangers.   (Yep, that happened) Good thing I wear shorts!  Now that I have given you a reason to keep going to the very end..... hahaha ***Spoiler alert, there is no picture of me during aforementioned "incident"  so don't get too excited!  But I did get some great shots of the helicoptor!  Enjoy!


]]> (Stephanie Ray Photography) DFW Photography Wedding photography dallas Portrait Photographer dallas, TX Portrait Photographer the best wedding photographer in Dallas the best wedding photographer in Fort Worth wedding photographer wedding photographer Forth Worth, Texas Tue, 05 Jan 2016 20:27:17 GMT
Arianne's Bridal Portraits at Central Square Park in Dallas, TX I had such a great time with Arianne at her bridal portrait session at Central Square Park in Dallas, TX.  She is one of the many brides I have worked with through George Street Photographers.  George Street is a great company out of Chicago that hires photographers all over the country to shoot weddings on an independent contractor basis.  They are responsible for about half of the weddings I photograph annually.  I love working with them and they always send me the best couples!  Arianne and Adam were no exception!


Arianne was really nervous about being photographed and I was determined to get her to feel comfortable and look great so she could feel great about herself and have some amazing images of her in her beautiful wedding gown with a detachable train.  She has such a beautiful and fun personality and I was determined to capture that in her bridal portraits.  Central Square Park  in Dallas, TX was a great option for us because we wanted a traditional look similar to the Arboretum but without all the crowds and walking.  Plus, it's really close to my home, making it an easy place for brides to meet me and change into their dress before the session to avoid getting wrinkled on the drive.  Arianne's Mom, Autumn, came to be our assistant and she did a great job helping out!  


Many brides bring a bouquet to the bridal session but Arianne decided against it and I really love that we are truly able to focus on her beautiful gown.  It can be tough to come up with posing for a bride with no bouquet because we are just so used to working with flowers!  (what do I do with my Hands???)  In this situation, i just treat it like a fashion shoot and focus on making her look comfortable while highlighting the details in the dress.


Overall, I think the session went really well.   I am most in love with the pink flowers that were in bloom that day!  The spot right by the flowers just so happened to have a great big tree to the right of where I posed her that blocks most of the light coming from that direction.  Leaving us with beautiful, directional light from the left that really shapes and contours her face.  One thing I see a lot of photographers do is over-expose bridal portraits and blow out the dress, which I believe defeats the whole purpose of a bridal portrait!  It is really easy to make a white dress lose all detail with too much light.  My goal lately has been to photograph brides in a way that really showcases all the detail in their dress while still focusing on creative lighting and composition.   


]]> (Stephanie Ray Photography) Bridal portrait Bride Dallas, TX Portrait Photographer Photography Wedding Wedding Photographer, Dallas, TX Fri, 10 Jul 2015 17:06:05 GMT
Coco turns 2! at White Rock Lake Park Happy Birthday, Coco!  To celebrate Coco's 2nd birthday, we headed out to White Rock Lake in Dallas, TX.  Caohna, Coco's mom, had told me about an awesome tent she had purchased for the shoot and we decided to add some colorful ballons and some streamers to give it a festive birthday vibe.  I wanted some sun rays coming in from the back and side to really give a dreamy sun-drenched look so I chose an area that had some spots of sunshine and set the scene so that the sun was positioned at a 45 degree angle to the left and behind my subject.  From there we just a had a good time!  We pulled out all the stops to make sure miss Coco was happy.  Everything from candy to bubbles to Taylor Swift!  I even sang a few rounds of the Itsy Bitsy Spider:-)  Thankfully, all of our hard work payed off and Coco had a great shoot!  



]]> (Stephanie Ray Photography) DFW Dallas Children's portrait photographer Family Portraits Dallas, TX Photography child portrait photographer dallas Portrait Photographer dallas, TX Portrait Photographer Wed, 17 Jun 2015 03:33:07 GMT
Baby Riley's Newborn Portraits I love it when I have such an amazing connection with a wedding client and end up photographing their family as it grows!  I first met Kiran and Ryan when I photographed their wedding last year. First we did Kiran's Bridal Portraits, then I was finally able to meet Ryan on the wedding day.  When Kiran called me and told me they were expecting their first baby, I was over the moon excited! I was also thrilled that they wanted to work with me again!  We did the maternity session, which I blogged about last month and now it is time to introduce this precious baby boy, Riley, to the world!


But wait!  First, let me tell you a little about this shoot....  


Newborn portraits have always been a favorite of mine!   I find it very peaceful and inspiring to be around a beautiful sleeping baby.  Over the years, I have molded my approach to newborn photography through trial and error and finally feel I have found my personal style. For Riley's portrait session, I went to Kiran and Ryan's house and was able to set up my backdrop and pillow right next to a great big window and shoot with natural light.  I prefer to use natural light for newborns because I feel like the flashes tend to disturb the baby. My best investment was a heating pad, a noise machine, and really soft blankets over a peanut shaped newborn poser pillow to create a really comfy bed for the baby to fall asleep on.  I have transitioned into only using the newborn fabric wraps so that the baby can wear a diaper and I have not had a single accident since!  Plus there is so much you can do with a newborn wrap.  It really allows you to be artistic.  Ideally, the baby will sleep through the whole session and we can get a few looks in a couple of hours but realistically, this rarely happens!  I usually end up spending the day hanging at the house with the family waiting for the baby to fall asleep.  Post production is huge in newborn photography, I spend more time retouching newborn portraits than any other type of portrait.  The majority of the retouching involves backgrounds and skin healing.  The blankets may have a wrinkle or crease and babies tend to have peeling skin and some imperfections that just need some fixing up.  

Ok, now it's time to meet Riley!  Enjoy!


]]> (Stephanie Ray Photography) DFW Dallas Children's portrait photographer Family Portraits Dallas, TX Photography child portrait photographer dallas Portrait Photographer dallas, TX Portrait Photographer newborn portraits Sat, 13 Jun 2015 02:32:14 GMT
Blair and Paul's Engagement session at Central Square Park in Dallas, TX Blair and Paul were so much fun to work with! We met at Central Square park for their engagement portraits on a cold, rainy afternoon in March.  Blair's son came along and helped me out when he wasn't posing for a few shots himself!  We were determined not to reschedule because of the rain.  They really needed an image for their save the dates that needed to be sent out asap.  So we decided to brave the frigid rain and make the most of it.   Plus, I  finally got to experiment with my ideas for a rainy day portrait session!  We had limited time and were a slightly restricted with poses due to the fact that almost everything at the park was drenched in cold rain!  I am pretty impressed with what we were able to capture!  However, it wasn't long before we were all so cold that we had to call it a day.  I am so blessed to have such adventurous couples to work with!  These guys were troopers for sure.  I can't wait for the wedding!


]]> (Stephanie Ray Photography) DFW Portrait Photographer Family Portraits Dallas Wedding and Portrait photography Dallas, TX dallas, TX Portrait Photographer engagement portraits Thu, 14 May 2015 22:12:52 GMT
Hanna Family Kids Portraits My good friends and long time clients Bill and Meredith Hanna asked me to do this session as a mother's day gift to the Grandmother of these beautiful children.  We headed over to Central Square Park in Dallas, TX for our portrait session and the weather was perfect that day! The little kids needed some help getting to their happy place, but we managed to get some great smiles!  I am not gonna lie, there was one point when I was wearing bunny ears and singing the Itsy-Bitsy Spider while hopping around with my camera in one hand and a fake mustache in the other.....What can I say?  When you are working with young kids, there really is no limit to what you will do for a smile!  


]]> (Stephanie Ray Photography) C Child portrait session at Central Square Park DFW Dallas Children's portrait photographer Dallas portrait and wedding photographer Family Portraits Dallas, TX Photography child portrait photographer dallas Portrait Photographer dallas, TX Portrait Photographer Thu, 14 May 2015 20:33:34 GMT
Kiran and Ryan's rainy day Maternity Session Last year I met Kiran and Ryan when I photographed their wedding day.  They were an amazing couple to work with and I fell in love with them and their entire family!  As you can imagine, I was THRILLED when they called me to tell me they were pregnant and wanted to schedule a maternity portrait session!  We had the date scheduled for weeks in advance and when it came, the weather was just horrible.  Torrential  downpour and there was no way we could shoot in it.  We rescheduled for the next week and again it was raining!  However, this time we were not going to let it get us down!  We decided to make the most of the situation and turn our portrait session into a rainy day theme.  I went out right away and bought umbrellas at Kroger for our prop and camera protection.   I even made a speed-light protector out of a trash bag and a hair tie (I am basically the Magyver of photography!)  You will recognize the location from my previous post, it is Central Square Park in Dallas, TX.  We had a blast and got a little wet but not too bad!  It was definitely worth it for all the great shots we got!  It's a good thing that we braved the weather, Kiran texted me the next day to tell me that her water broke and Baby Riley was on the way a little early.  Talk about cutting it close! 

P.S. I would like to add that it is very difficult to hold my camera and an umbrella.  Just in case you were wondering...


]]> (Stephanie Ray Photography) Child, portrait, photographer DFW Dallas portrait and wedding photographer Family Portraits Dallas, TX Maternity Portrait Session Photography Photography" Pregnancy dallas Portrait Photographer dallas, TX Portrait Photographer Wed, 13 May 2015 22:08:17 GMT
Huddleston Family Portraits at Central Square Park Dallas, TX I had the pleasure of photographing Kara and Ryan's maternity portraits last year and I was thrilled when they called me to take their first family portrait this year!  Baby Brynn has just hit the 6 month mark and to capture this momentous occasion, we decided to do a family portrait session as well as capture some portraits of the baby.  I always love when I get to see clients again, especially when it means I get the pleasure of meeting such a beautiful baby girl!  We went to my favorite park in Dallas to capture these family portraits, City Square Park.  You will likely recognize this as my new go-to spot for portraits of any kind.  It is the perfect backdrop to any type of session.  Photographing at a familiar location helps me to focus on expressions and capturing the emotion from my subjects without worrying about scenery.  City Square Park has some amazing vignettes that work well with my posing style as well as green grass that just looks great year round!  (Anyone in Texas knows that a park with green grass year round is hard to come by)  Thank you to Kara and Ryan for choosing me as your portrait photographer again.  Congratulations on your wonderful family and thank you for allowing me to capture your happiness in your first family portrait!  


]]> (Stephanie Ray Photography) Child, portrait, photographer DFW Dallas Children's portrait photographer Family Portraits Dallas, TX Photography child portrait photographer dallas Portrait Photographer dallas, TX Portrait Photographer Wed, 06 May 2015 17:51:22 GMT
Bridal Portraits at The Chapel at Ana Villa I actually photographed this session last summer, but I never blogged about it and was reminded of it when I was looking through wedding venue sites for my own wedding that I am currently planning!  This is such an amazing venue and the Bridal suite is absolutely stunning!  If you are in the market for a great wedding venue, you should definitely check out The Chapel at Ana Villa or Northeast Wedding Chapel (their sister property yesterday that I viewed yesterday and it was equally impressive!)  This bride was worried that she wasn't photogenic, as  are most brides.  I find that with the right photographer, anyone can look like a super model.  It's all in the posing.  As you can see here, despite what she thinks, the camera loves her!  This session was photographed for George Street Photo and Video and was so fun to shoot. Enjoy!

]]> (Stephanie Ray Photography) Ana Chapel DFW Dallas Villa at bridal photographer portraits the wedding Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:43:29 GMT
Spring Mini Sessions Here a few of my favorites from my Spring Mini Session special offer.  Children's portraits are so much fun for me because I truly love the feeling  I get when I can make a child smile!  It's like the whole world gets a litter brighter for a moment!  I was thrilled with the response I got from this offer and am hoping I can offer mini sessions like this for other holidays and seasons!  

The weather in Dallas gives us a few scheduling issues in the spring, but all in all the sessions turned out great and I didn't get rained on once!  I found a perfect little spot near White Rock Lake in Dallas, TX.  It was perfect for these sessions because the light there was great all morning so I was able to fit in a few sessions at a time.  When looking at light for portraits, I always look for spots of solid shade with a few patches of sunbeams in the background to give my images a 3 dimensional look.  The best is if the face is in the shade but you can get a little sunlight right on the head creating a key light that separates your subject from the background. Children always do best in the mornings and so I specifically chose this spot because of the awesome morning light.  A few of these images (with the wooden door behind them) were taken at a different location in the courtyard of my apartment.  This spot was great because it was in shade all day and allowed me to photograph that portrait session at 1pm and still have good light.  

I like to use furniture in children's sessions to help keep kids in the spot that I want them in.  I find that white is always the best color.  Not only does it go with everything, but it also helps to reflect some white light on to the subject's face and block out some of the discoloration that you typically see when shooting with such green grass.  I photographed all of these portraits with natural light only.  I set my camera to a wide aperture to create a shallow depth of field, blurring the background to really make the subjects pop. Children move fast so  always remember to use a high shutter speed!  I suggest at least 1/250 but in daylight at a 2.8 aperture you really won't have any issues there.  I was able to shoot these at 100 ISO because I shot with such a wide aperture.  I couldn't be happier with the images and I know that these families will cherish them forever.       





]]> (Stephanie Ray Photography) Child portrait session at white rock lake Dallas Children's portrait photographer Photography child portrait photographer dallas Portrait Photographer dallas, TX Portrait Photographer Fri, 16 May 2014 21:53:14 GMT
Downtown Dallas Engagement Portraits Engagement portraits are among my favorite types of portraits to shoot.  It gives me an opportunity to meet the couple before the wedding and find out a little about them and their own personal style.  I also love coming up with quirky and unique ways to express that style.  This is a recent engagement portrait session I did for George Street Photo.  This couple wanted something different and fun that showed a more urban style.  I use a variety of factors when selecting a location for their engagement session but the most important factor is the couple's style and personality.  After speaking with the couple and learning more about them, I suggested we go to Klyde Warren Park in Downtown Dallas to get some images with the food trucks and they loved the idea!  We headed over to the Park just before sunset and got some great images of them hanging out eating sushi.  We then moved our session over to the new park on Main Street in downtown Dallas and continued our fun until after the sun went down!  Thanks to my off camera flash I was able to shine some light on them while retaining the beautiful background lights of Dallas after dark.  


]]> (Stephanie Ray Photography) Downtown Engagement Photography dallas dallas Portrait Photographer dallas, TX Portrait Photographer downtown dallas wedding photogrpahy klyde warren Park portraits" Mon, 17 Mar 2014 01:02:49 GMT
Brock fitness model Brock had contacted me to do a shoot that would show off his hot bod and just be super cool!  After discussing what he was looking for we decided to do a pool side session.  I was looking for a great swanky pool for weeks!  Nothing was turning up, then I get an email from a contact at the Omni Hotel and he is telling me that he can get clearance to shoot at thier pool!  I was super excited until we learned that they would only allow it if he was fully dressed for the shoot.  I was very grateful for the opportunity, but clearly, by these images you can tell that was just not going to work for us.  We settled on shooting it at a friends apartment complex and I am so glad we did!  It was so hot and we were in the bright sun with my 2 photogenic 500s on either side, both turned up full blast to over power the sun.  By the end of it I was drenched in sweat but in love with the images!  That makes it all worth while!  Brock looks amazing and the way the light dims the background, makes him really pop off the page.  This is hands down my favorite way to light fashion photography.  Thanks to Brock for being such an amazing model and thanks to Dezman for letting me shoot by his pool and wake him up early on a Sunday!


]]> (Stephanie Ray Photography) fashion photographer dallas, TX mens fitness model photography mens swimwear Sat, 24 Aug 2013 23:15:40 GMT
Dana and Isiah...My first destination wedding! I had an AMAZING time at the Iberostar Resort on the Riviera Maya, Mexico celebrating and photographing the wedding of Dana and Isiah!  They are such a cute couple and  have a great family and group of friends that came from all over the states to see them get hitched.  As a photographer I rarely get to spend more than a couple of hours with the bride and groom before the wedding day but not this time!  I got to live it up with the B&G and all the others that ventured south of the border for this beautiful destination wedding for several days before the big day.  As a result, I was able to get to know them, making my job so much easier when it came to photographing them!  We didn't have much time on the beach before the sun set but because I was so familiar with the group we were able to get some really great shots!  What do you guys think of this beautiful courtyard?  I fell in love with it and wish all of the weddings I shoot could be in such an amazing location!  Thanks so much to Dana, Isiah, and all the others that I got to spend 5 days in paradise with!  Congrats guys!  I am so honored that I got to capture your special day!


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]]> (Stephanie Ray Photography) DFW wedding photographer dallas bridal portraits destination wedding destination wedding photographer wedding phtography dallas Tue, 20 Aug 2013 19:04:21 GMT
Super Baby! Creating this image made me have to think outside the box and I think that is why I love it so much!  This little bundle of joy was so ready to hang out with us that he didn't want to miss a thing!  Resulting in us not really being able to get many cute sleeping baby portraits... I decided to to try something new and just threw down a black backdrop and let him pose away!  I was not sure what I was going to do just yet but had an hunch and ran with it!  As I was going through the images I began making up things in my head as to what he was doing and this just reminded me of Superman!  I immediately got out my bamboo drawing tablet (that I had not used at all in the year since I bought it)  and started drawing in some clouds.  After several failed attempts at a cape, I got out some ancient cds of old clip art and found a cape, traced in in photoshop to the image, and voila!  Super baby was born! 

P.S.- I must have gone through about a thousand fonts to find this one!  (Life of a and OCD designer) 

]]> (Stephanie Ray Photography) Baby portrait photographer Dallas, TX Newborn baby pictures baby portraits newborn portraits photography" Wed, 17 Jul 2013 14:00:00 GMT
Eila's Camping Trip! (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-43345308-1', ''); ga('send', 'pageview');

I personally love shooting children's portraits because you never know how they are going to turn out til you are done!  These images are a testament to that!  We took these portraits at my favorite spot at White Rock Lake in Dallas, TX.  This was the first set of professional portraits that Melisa has done of sweet Eila and I wanted to make them super special!  We talked about doing some with Eila holding my antique camera and then I decided to take it up a notch and design a whole set for this little cutie pie!  Brad (my boyfriend) and I were able to built the tent out of $5 sheet from Walmart,  some 1"x2" wood strips, and pvc pipe from Home Depot.  (Tip: when building props for a photo shoot, measure it to be sure it will fit in your car!  I learned that the hard way on this session!) I bought the flowers at Michael's and the rest of the set is props and such from my house.  It was very cold that morning and we had anticipated warmer weather so Eila was dressed for spring.  Lucky for me I brought a cute blanket and Eila was very happy to wrap herself in it to keep warm!  But we still wanted to get some shots of her cute outfit so we moved the set into the sun to keep her warm while we played a game of "run through the tent". We needed her to be in front of the tent and this seemed like the best way to do so, since she has so much energy! (as many 2 year olds do)  It worked perfectly and we were able to capture some of my favorite children's portraits to date.  The results were amazing and I could't be happier with the way these portraits turned out!   Enjoy!

]]> (Stephanie Ray Photography) Child portrait session at white rock lake Dallas Children's portrait photographer child portrait photographer Tue, 16 Jul 2013 04:39:16 GMT
Angela's Realtor Portraits (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-43345308-1', ''); ga('send', 'pageview');

I had a great time working with Angela from Ebby Halliday Realtors!  She needed some executive head shots for her new ad campaign and to print in the program for a Diffa charity auction.     I love the idea of having more than just a plain studio background for executive portraits, so we borrowed an amazing home from a friend of hers!  Having it in the home setting gives these images a more personal touch.  I just love the way they turned out!  It was also great to get to hang out with an old friend for the day.  Thanks Angela!  

]]> (Stephanie Ray Photography) executive head shots executive portraits realtor portraits Tue, 16 Jul 2013 02:25:53 GMT