Get to know the photographers at Tim Ray Photography!

Well hello to you and thanks for joining us and reading our blog!  We hope you will settle in here and peruse our pictures, and blog posts.  We hope that we can help you in any way we can to plan your wedding or photograph you in another capacity.  It is as important to us as it is to you.  This is exciting!  We would like to fill you in on who we are and who will be hopefully be photographing you!  Let us introduce ourselves!

Firstly, the most important person in the Tim Ray Photography work extravaganza is none other than Tim Ray!  He is the brain and the brawn of Tim Ray Photography.  He is dad, the head honcho, husband, partner, son, teacher, and our church pastor.  We wears many hats around here.  We would be quite lost without him.  I think we will keep him!  Actually, we will treasure him all of our days.  He is much admired and adored.  

Tim, Stefanie, Josie, Emily and Maisy

About Tim Ray, photographer extraordinaire!

At first, Tim began photography right out of high school as a hobby.  Out of the hobby grew an occupation as he became known for the quality of his work.  His first client was someone he had known in high school.  She knew he was a very good hobbyist and asked him to photograph her wedding.  Tim happily agreed to photograph her wedding free of charge.  Since the portraits were so good, her family ordered from him.  From his first photography “job”, he earned $900.  That was a lot of money for a young man right out of high school.

Around this time in Tim’s life, he realized he would not be able to attend college as many of his friends in high school had done.  His mother came down with severe and debilitating form of rheumatoid arthritis in a day when there was not many treatments for it.  Additionally his dad was one of the last survivors of polio before the vaccine was discovered.  This disease left his father with one of his legs severely damaged.  Rather than going to college to be an engineer, Tim would have to stay home and care for his parents.  Not only was he good at photography, but this occupation would allow him to stay home and care for his elderly and infirm parents, as well as help them pastor their church of which his father was the senior pastor.

Tim realized he needed to have some better equipment if he was going to start his own business.  Since he was a boy, he and his mother collected baseball cards as a hobby.  Tim looked through his thousands of cards and found some very valuable ones.  He was able to raise $7000 to purchase his first professional camera, an RZ67 medium format film camera.  He became a full time photographer very quickly as word of mouth spread of how competent and talented he was at photography.  On the side, he was a youth pastor at his dad’s church.

In November 1 of 1991, Tim officially became a full time professional photographer.  Since then, he has photographed over 1000 weddings as a full time professional.  He also has photographed family portraits, campaign photography, commercial photography, senior portrait photography, business photography, elopements, class reunions, various events, wedding proposals and engagement photography.  

Why does Tim love wedding photography?

One of Tim’s favorite types of photography is wedding photography.  He loves wedding work because he feels he is preserving memories for people to enjoy the rest of their lives together.  When the wedding cake is eaten, the dress put away, all that remains is the wonderful relationship and the pictures to show the kids of your wedding, the memories and maybe loved ones already gone.  Portraits are timeless.  They are something to be treasured long past your lifetime.  

What makes Tim’s work different?  What makes him an artist?

Fine art photography is created as carefully as paintings.  With his years as a film photographer prior to going digital, Tim learned to see as the camera sees.  In the world of point and click photographers who just purchased a nice camera, who quickly snap a shot, rely on the camera to adjust the settings automatically, Tim learned his art in an era when the artist had to set the camera using a light meter manually.  In this era, there was no instant feed-back as in the digital camera age.  A photographer of a professional film camera would have to know how the camera works in different circumstances.  The camera would become an extension of a photographer’s own eyes.

What did using film for so many years teach you in your art?

Using film taught Tim how to use available light and when to use a flash.   Tim said, “When I used film, the camera didn’t have any automatic settings.  I had to understand exposure without taking light meter readings.  I had to estimate in my head how the camera would see the picture in all the different locations I would be photographing.”  From a dark poorly lit church with high ceilings, to an outdoor wedding at noon with hard light beating down on the bride and groom, Tim had to learn how to capture the best possible photographs in all different lighting situations without the gratification of being able to look at the view screen on the back of a modern digital camera.  Oftentimes, he really didn’t know what he had captured until he would get the film negatives developed and the lab returned it to him in the mail a few weeks later.

With digital, a photographer has instant feedback as to how the picture looks.  An extremely unknowledgeable amateur, can click many photos and hand a disk of un-retouched pictures to a bride.  But in the era prior to digital, a professional  photographer had to pay $3 a click for each image he took at a wedding without really knowing if it was one he could actually deliver to the client.  It cost $3 each picture to develop at his lab.  Because of this, he had to understand what the picture would look like as he snapped it. He did this by understand composition, color harmony.  He had to understand how to take beautiful images directly from his camera without having the luxury of creating them on his computer in post production.

Who is Stefanie Ray?

Stefanie Ray is the love of Tim’s life, and the other vital asset to Tim Ray Photography.  They both work full time at the family business together.  They met in 1998 on July 4th after a long correspondence  on the internet.  They married on June 19, 1999.  Two years later, Josie was born and year after that Emily was born.  

Stefanie has been an assistant photographer over the years and has also been so bold as to photograph a few weddings by herself.  She is more comfortable being the one who enhances the photographs post production.  She loves seeing the wedding photographs out of the camera and taking it step further enhancing them on her computer, as well as managing the facebook posts and getting them ready to upload to the client.

Our little chocolate kiss, Maisy, havanese office manager at Tim Ray Photography

Her passion is music.  She has bachelor degree in music education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University as well as attended two years at a bible college, Oral Roberts University.  She adores writing music, singing, playing the ukulele, and leading worship in her church. While in college, she traveled across Europe singing in a college choir, has taught private music lessons and led worship for decades.  She also home schools her children.  One of her children has a learning disorder.  As a result, for the past ten years, she has been teacher to her two children.  Currently not only is she an employee at Tim Ray Photography, but her goals are to be a published author and free lance writer.

Who are Tim’s other photographers when I get two photographer coverage?

Tim’s wife, Stefanie, and daughters Josie (19), and Emily (17) have been accompanying Tim in the photography business for many years.  Josie and Emily have been apprenticing as photographers for two years.  Both girls have studied digital photography through their homeschooling classes, and worked on the job with Tim.  They are very talented and are growing in knowledge of the trade.  Many of their photographs have been featured on our Tim Ray Photography facebook page as well as the website.

We hope that you have enjoyed learning more about us and that you will call us and tell us about yourself!  We would love to hear about your plans!