I am loving having my studio! It is set up to where I can have a backdrop, or not. I love the natural feel of things. This particular session, she didn't want a backdrop. She wanted something that felt natural. We have a mirror behind her that reflects the door and little light. It was perfect! I also have other areas where you can sit in the studio to put your own personality and creativity in there. She grabbed a book she loves to read and curled up in my chair. You can do anything you want beside the boring ol backdrop.
Tips on being a traveling wedding photographer
I started out as a wedding photographer in my local area. I really pushed and worked hard to get my name out there and build a reputation of being reliable, helpful, hard working, talented, and creative. Once I started booking weddings on a regular basis, the unthinkable happened. We got orders to move! Now here I am, in the town I grew up in, been married to a man who was military but always stationed in the local area, my business has really started to boom, and now we have to move. I was devastated. Not because I didn't want to leave the area, but because I didn't want to start over with my clientele. Little did I know... that was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Because of that simple move, I became a traveling photographer.
I kept all my weddings and clients in my home town. I also took on a ton of weddings in the town I moved to. Once I started traveling back and forth, word got out that I do just that, travel, and started booking in other towns between.
For me, its truly exciting to go out of state to photograph a wedding.
This year for 2021, I have changed my strategy a little and started booking those beautiful Adventure weddings in several different states. I am honestly really looking forward to those this year.
Here are some tips below to help you become a traveling photographer.
1. Build your wedding portfolio local first- You have to start somewhere to really build your portfolio before you are able to show people in other states why they want to book you. This may take you some time and that is ok.
2. Stay Focused- The area I was in, is very saturated with photographers and not as saturated with views so it isn't necessarily a "destination" location that people flock to. So I gave myself a goal of 5 weddings a year. If I could book 5 local weddings considering the logistics of the area I was in, then I would feel successful. I also gave myself a 5 year goal for growth. I wanted to be in a certain place career wise by 5 years and I had to work hard, not compare myself to others to make me want to give up, and keep focused, in order to get there. Before I knew it, those goals were surpassed.
3. Hard Work pays off - Hit the ground running and don't look back. If this is something you really want then the hard work you put in, will eventually pay off. I educated myself just so I wouldn't be just a girl with a camera. I became a girl with a camera and education on how to use that camera. I went to school, and I really indulged and immersed myself in information on how to become the best version of myself while doing this career. I sold myself, I advertised, and I truly put in the heartfelt work it took.
CAMPAIGN FOR CONFIDENCE
I hate being in front of the camera... so I get it. Self Confidence is a huge issue for most of us. I have awful confidence issues. It seems like the older I get, the worse my confidence is. If you have ever said something like this
Listen, this is the number 1 piece of advice I tell my clients, I even have to tell myself this over and over when I am taking my own photos OTHER PEOPLE DON'T SEE YOU THE WAY YOU VIEW YOURSELF!
Im going to do a little campaign for this topic. I am going to grab a few people, women or Men, and take photos of these people with a board saying something they love about themselves. I will start it, and lets spread this confidence. Last year was so hard mentally for so many, including myself and I am praying that this year will be better, but why wait for the year to get better to start showing others you can love yourself! Who wants to get in on this project!!!??????
If you want to be part of this go over to the CAMPAIGN FOR CONFIDENCE page where you will find more information and go to the button text and send us an email!!
We made it through Christmas and New Years and now Valentines day is right around the corner! I have the Lifestyle sessions and The boudoir sessions on special right now! These are perfect for newly engaged, a wedding gift, an anniversary or birthday, or simply just because you love them.
For Boudoir, they will be set up in the studio, the studio will be closed to the public while in session, they will not be shared on any public forum (unless you share them yourself of course, and/or there is one that you gave me permission to share), these are done in a very classy and tasteful manner.
If you are interested in booking please hit the button text at the top of the page or send me a email. We will get you booked!
SO MY GOAL WAS TO BE STRICTLY A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER.
I HAD DONE JUST MARKETING PHOTOGRAPHY FOR A WHILE AND THEN SWITCHED OVER TO BEING JUST A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER.
DON'T GET ME WRONG, I LOVED DOING ALL SESSIONS, BUT I WAS JUST TRYING TO FOCUS ON ONE TYPE AND WEDDINGS WERE THE ONE I CHOSE. BUT OF COURSE, AS EVERYONE KNOWS, 2020 HAD OTHER PLANS FOR THAT. SO I OPENED MY SCHEDULE UP TO TAKE OTHER SESSIONS.
I CAN TRULY SAY I AM LOVING THE VARIETY RIGHT NOW OF PHOTOGRAPHING DIFFERENT TYPES OF SESSIONS. I FORGOT HOW MUCH I MISSED THE CREATIVITY IT TAKES TO HAVE YOUR VERY OWN SESSION WHERE YOU ARE IN CHARGE. YES I AM SOMEWHAT IN CHARGE OF WEDDINGS BUT NOT REALLY. I CAN'T GET TO IN DEPTH WITH MY CREATIVITY BECAUSE THE BRIDE HAS A VISION AND I, AS HER PHOTOGRAPHER, HAS TO STICK TO THAT VISION. I DON'T WANT MY BRIDE TO HATE HER PICTURES BECAUSE I WAS BEING CREATIVE. I WILL SUGGEST THINGS AND IF SHE DOESN'T LIKE IT, THEN WE DON'T DO IT. BUT THAT IS DIFFERENT WITH THE SMALLER SESSIONS. MOST OF THE TIME, I WILL SUGGEST SOMETHING, AND THEY WANT TO DO IT BECAUSE THEY AREN'T PAYING ME THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO GET THOSE PERFECT AMAZING PICTURES. AND IF THEY DON'T LIKE THAT ONE PARTICULAR PHOTO, IT ISN'T A BIG DEAL. SO I FEEL LIKE I HAVE A LOT MORE FREEDOM AND I USE IT TO MY ADVANTAGE!
WEDDINGS ARE STARTING TO POP BACK UP AND I AM BOOKING THEM AGAIN FOR 2021 BUT I WILL NOT GO BACK TO JUST PHOTOGRAPHING THEM THIS YEAR. I KNOW ITS SORTA FROWNED UPON FOR A PHOTOGRAPHER TO BE IN ALL TYPES OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND I GET WHY. YOUR BUSINESS DOESN'T GROW THE BEST THAT WAY. YOU SHOULD PICK ONE TYPE OF PHOTOGRAPHY, STICK WITH IT, AND BUILD ON THAT. BUT IF A PANDEMIC MAKES YOU CHANGE YOUR PLANS, THEN YOU SHOULD DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY AND MONEY.
SO MY ADVICE FOR THIS YEAR, THOUGH IT MAY NOT BE THE POPULAR ADVICE, IS TO TAKE THE TYPE OF SESSIONS YOU WANT TO PHOTOGRAPH. THE WAY I SEE IT IS, YOU AREN'T SITTING STAGNANT, YOU ARE ABLE TO HAVE A CREATIVE OUTLET, YOU MAKE A LITTLE MONEY, AND YOU ARE DOING WHAT YOU LOVE.
TO SEE OUR SESSIONS GO TO OUR SHOP SESSIONS PAGE.
THERE YOU WILL FIND PRICES, PURCHASE OPTIONS AND EXAMPLES OF MY WORK
BELOW ARE JUST A FEW PICTURES TO SHOW MY STYLE AND CREATIVITY. I WAS ABLE TO PICK THE LOCATION, I WAS ABLE TO PICK THE ATTIRE IN SOME OF THEM, I WAS ABLE TO CHOOSE THE TIME OF DAY AND THE LIGHTING, ETC. THOSE ARE JUST SOME EXAMPLES OF THINGS YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF WITH SMALLER SESSIONS BUT NOT WITH WEDDINGS SO MUCH. JUST GRAB SOME CLIENTS, AND GO HAVE FUN!
Hey There! If you are reading this blog that may mean you are thinking of having an ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT and you found yourself with the right girl!
What is an ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT?
It is just that!
An elopement or very small wedding that is filled with adventure!
It can be a yurt sleepover with all your loved ones, in the middle of no where or just the two of you under a waterfall.
Think breathtaking views, becoming one with nature. People love this type of wedding because they feel most connected when in the great outdoors.
WHO WOULD DO THIS TYPE OF WEDDING?
The couples who want this tend to have a love of travel and passion for exploring. They want to be unique. They throw all the rules out the window and do things the way they want to. They typically don't want the stress that "traditional" can bring. They are fearless and definitely not afraid of a little dirt. They live life on the edge, wear their hearts on their sleeves and value experiences over things.
WHERE CAN YOU DO THIS?
With an adventure wedding, the possibilities are endless. From mountains, to waterfalls, to beaches, to caves. You can have quad rides, horseback riding, helicopter rides. Literally, wherever or however your imagination takes you!
WHEN SHOULD WE HAVE OUR ADVENTURE WEDDING?
Consider where you want to go and research.
Look at weather, does your destination have a rainy season?
Think about Tourism, is it a tourist area and does it have a peak season. If so, consider the crowds, longer lines and booked lodging.
How do we make this happen?
Contact me and we can reserve your date, ask questions, bounce ideas and then all you have to do from there is relax and adventure!
FIRST AND FOREMOST LET ME INTRODUCE MYSELF!
My name is Stephanie and I am the photographer for Marilyn Ray Photography. I am an educated and local award winning wedding photographer. I also specialize in Lifestyle and Marketing photography. If you know me, then you know I love going on adventures. I try to go to a different state and do something amazing at least once a year. I am very much at peace when I am in the middle of nature watching the sunrise or sunset. To me, You can't go see this beautiful waterfall, mountain top, or river and not feel some sort of peace!
I have pretty much knocked everything off my bucket list in Ga, so I have moved on to other states. Just a few examples of the adventures I have taken are skydiving in Hawaii, White Water Kayaking 18 miles of the Colorado river, summited Mt. Leconte at sunrise, hiked to see the arch in Utah, canyoneering down morning glory bridge in Moab, etc.
I obviously have a TON of other things to knock off this bucket list of mine.
SO HERE IS THE BIG THING.
I love photography. I love being creative. I love showing people what I see through my lens. I see beauty in every direction, especially in people. I love sharing excitement of others. I love seeing people genuinely happy. Which is why I love photographing weddings. For the bride it may be the most stressful day but for me as a photographer it is the most beautiful. I love catching all those amazing special detailed moments that are otherwise forgotten because of the hustle and bustle of the day.
My ultimate goal was to be strictly an "Adventure Elopement" Photographer. I have always wanted to put my 2 passions in life together and make it something pretty amazing.
Well, Ya'll "Adventure Elopements" are blowing up and they are thing now....
AND MY DREAMS ARE OFFICIALLY COMING TRUE!
I have been booked for a few different Adventure wedding/Elopements in 2021!!!
I want to watch people on the happiest day of their life while doing what I love to do... being in nature! I have the experience of being outdoors, I see the true beauty in everything around me, I am a wedding photographer with lots of experience, I travel a ton so I have experience there as well. Why not put all those experiences together to create one wonderful one!?
If you are reading this and are interested in an "ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT" please do not hesitate to reach out to me!
We can achieve our dreams together!
For more information on our adventure elopement/wedding services, contact us and ask about our special pricing!
If you need a guiding hand to plan or are looking for an officiate for your elopement or adventure wedding, Feel Free to give me a shout. I have the officiant on hand ready to jump on board when ready!
For more information or ideas visit our ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT page!
When the Bride, Family, Groom, and Photographer all mesh, Magic Happens!
I love meeting my Brides and Grooms in person for several reasons but the most important to me is to learn who they are, what they like/dislike, and what they expect from me as their photographer.
Not only do I ask them, if they are local, to come to the studio before signing the contract so we can talk, but I also offer a free engagement session for those that are close enough for us to do so. The engagement session is offered with the wedding package and it gives us a chance to work together before the big day!
It is where I get to see who they are as people and as a couple. I get to see their personalities and how excited they are for the wedding. I get to read their body language, and learn what makes them uncomfortable.
In the short time we are together, I see if they are going to be the couple that wants the traditional poses or will climb to the top of the hill covered in tall grass.
It is the time where we learn if our visions and personalities mesh.
Once we have that figured out and realize we are the perfect fit for each other, the rest falls into place!
As a wedding photographer, I come in contact with many different people, brides, venues, families, vendors, etc. and it is so important to me to vibe with all of them!
When you feel comfortable around your vendors, including me, you give me access to the real you, which in turn makes your pictures GORGEOUS!
When you have everyone, including the DJ's and videographers, meshing together the day ends up AMAZING!
So when planning and picking vendors for your wedding, make sure you genuinely like them. Chances are if you like all of them and their personalities, they will enjoy being around each other as well and make your day even that much more amazing!
Wedding Guest Books with Photos
I am the person behind the lens for Marilyn Ray Photography. I have been been a lifestyle photographer for 5 years and have made my way into the wedding and marketing industry. I really enjoy what I do. I love being creative and stepping outside the ordinary box.