Raya Carlisle is one very talented wedding and lifestyle photographer from the beautiful beach community of Ventura, California. I was so impressed with Raya's eye for capturing simple, lovely moments, moments everyone wants memorized, while their minds are so caught up in the madness that is a wedding. Raya Carlisle is a wife, a new mom, and quite really adorable. She is also blessed with the ability to photograph her clients' special moments with a natural, candid look. She captures these wedding shots with such intimacy, one would never imagine she was even there. And that's the kind of photographer I would certainly want on that kind of day, so caught up in all that should be perfect. I am really honored to share Raya's beautiful home and images with you. Thank you Raya, for sharing them with us. Oh, and p.s. - what time should I arrive at your pool? That is one little slice of heaven!
What's the best thing about living in Ventura?
Going antiquing down town - there are five or six antique shops and three or four thrift stores all within a few blocks. Location - It's by the beach, 30 minutes from Santa Barbara and about an hour and a half from LA. Makes for a lot of fun day trips.
What don't you leave home without?
My Moleskine...and chapstick.
What's your favorite shop?
That is tough! I'm going to have to categorize this one. Home: Saffron & Genevieve in Santa Cruz, CA. Clothing: Diani in Santa Barbara. I've never actually purchased anything, but I hope to some day. Chain: Anthropologie.
What's one thing about you that would surprise people?
I'm a lot "greener" than people think (or at least I try to be). I don't know why, but more than one person has said that surprises them about me. Maybe I just need to be more vocal about my environmental concerns?
Who are your favorite artists?
For photographers I love fashion photographer Michael Thompson (especially some of his work for W Magazine), and wedding photographer Jose Villa. My favorite painter is Wayne Thiebaud.
Where do you find inspiration?
I hoard fashion magazines and look through them often, especially the days before a wedding or portrait shoot.
Who do you admire and why?
Women in my industry like Me Ra Koh, Jessica Claire, Jasmine Star. They are all wonderfully talented female photographers who have really made it in wedding photography and have huge followings. Wedding photography at one time was quite dominated by men and I admire these women for where they have taken their businesses and in such a short time.
What's the last great book you read?
Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenidies. Intriguing story and beautifully written. (Editor's' note: oh, me too - this is big favorite of mine!)
What's your favorite film?
Amelie - I know I've heard that answer before, but it's true. When that movie first came out I was a single girl about her age and I cried my eyes out in the theater. It has a special place in my heart : )
If you could photograph anyone in the world, who might that be?
I'm a photographer and this was the hardest question to answer! I think it would be my mom & dad on their wedding day. I don't think they have many photos and I would love to document their day the way I shoot weddings today.
Who would you like to sit down to tea with?
This is not anyone famous, but I would love to sit down to tea with my girlfriends from home - There are a group of us that have been friends for a long time and I miss them so much. Every time we get together the hours fly by.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Reality TV shows - anything involving singing, dancing or modeling.
What would you eat for your last supper?
Lots and lots of pasta. With cream sauce. And bread.
What is your most treasured belonging?
My wedding ring. It's an aquamarine stone with a pave diamond band. My husband helped design it and had it made for me - 3 1/2 years later and I still catch myself looking down at my finger as I go through my day.
What is your greatest indulgence?
A gorgeous light blue dress by Heidi Merrick. I bought it online when I was four months pregnant! Indulgence at it's best. I don't even know if it will ever fit, but I had to have it.
What are some of your favorites websites/blogs to visit?
There are so many - I am kind of a blog addict, but to name a few: design*sponge, shimandsons, dooce, thepioneerwoman, makingitlovely, ohjoy!, sfgirlbybay (of course). And then there is Flickr - how would I ever live without Flickr? I'm probably on there once an hour.
What music are you listening to these days?
All of Feist's albums, and anything else that I think will coax my four-week old baby into sleep.
Thanks again Raya for sharing your beautiful images. For more information on Raya's photography service, visit her website, her blog and you can view some of her work here on flickr.