Wednesday, March 26

Unexpected Guests: Raya Carlisle.

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.


Anonymous said...

Raya really is so special! She's a daily inspiration for me and other photographers! So so glad that you featured her here!

Caroline said...

Amazing work, and her home is beautiful! Lovely feature!

Anonymous said...

i love the paper pony! raya has tons of talent, and everything she does always looks great without being overly styled or contrived. and that yard has me feeling more than a little bit jealous...

Raya Carlisle said...

Thanks Victoria! This was so fun and especially interesting to see which images you picked. As for the pool, I say we have a "biz ladies meetup" at my place this Summer. I'm sure Grace will be down. One clarification - I actually live in Ventura which is just South of Santa Barbara. We moved down here when we bought a house. Also a lovely beach town, just a little more affordable : ) So, pool, margaritas, my place?

sfgirlbybay said...

thank you raya! and thank you for clarifying - my bad! i fixed that right up. ventura is lovely and i am in for the biz ladies meet up, along with the margaritas - fun!

Nathalie said...

What a beautiful house and really beautiful photography !

Anonymous said...

What an inspiration! such lovely photos and what a beautiful house... I want to live there!

Anonymous said...

Awesome job Raya and your house is GORGEOUS! Will you come help me decorate??

Anonymous said...

Utterly stunning photographs and a great sense of style. I especially love the chairs.

Jasmine said...

Raya, you inspire ME! :) Your home is simply beautiful and if given the chance, I'd gladly photograph you and your handsome husband anytime!

Scarlett Fiona Reed said...

I love the way you put Raya's pics together. It's so exciting to see someone I know as your guest. She is so so gifted and the house is beautiful!

Cindy said...

i loved the interview and raya's photography is wonderful.

forest said...

I have been so blessed with such an amazingly talented and beautiful wife (Raya). It is so fun to see her talents and passions inspire others.

PS: She does make a tasty margarita.

jennifer said...

i love her style and the things in her home. i remember seeing that locker picture with the blue chair on flickr or something... cool color chair! i'll have to bookmark paper pony for sure.

Unknown said...

I ve said that before, I love your blog!!!!
this is my favorite part1

sfgirlbybay said...

I'm so glad y'all like this visit with Raya - what a great girl and a lovely home, huh? Thanks so much Raya - it was inspiring!

Anonymous said...

Raya, you are just lovely through and through. How house is lovely, your photos are lovely, your sense of color and how to combine them are lovely, and you and your spirit are just lovely. There is no other word when I think of you.

And what an honor for you to mention us in the write up. Thanks so much for what you said.

Now when do I get to see you again?

Give that baby a hug for me.

Much love

Anonymous said...

I love your blog!!
Thanks for the inspiring eye candy!


Lilleez said...

♥ the images babe! xo

Anonymous said...

What a fun life she leads! I'm in Ventura and had *no* idea such creative, innovative, and stylish people resided here. I'm so used to schlepping to Santa Barbara to escape this little 'burb. Fun glimpse!

Raya Carlisle said...

j. we should meet! Ventura creatives unite. I get you about SB, but I am finding more and more to love about V town : )

Scarlett Fiona Reed said...

Keep me in mind for the biz ladies meetup too. I would love to meet all of you!

Raya Carlisle said...

Hi friends, I was just working on a new bio & came back to this post to see if I could borrow anything from this interview (why is writing a bio SO hard?). You are all so sweet & thank you again for the uplifting comments! It warmed my heart to read them all over again.
Love to all,

sfgirlbybay said...

always awesome to have you on th eblog, miss raya. you better make that bio sing your sweet praises! or, i'll write it for you! :)