The photography industry is beyond saturation. Everyone’s asking for a little piece of the shrinking pie. Instead of fighting over leftovers, a Californian photographer Hannah ray is busy baking her own pie going beyond the limits of conventional commercial photography.
Traditionally, fashion photographers have made a living by hiring their services from marketing agencies, brands and creative directors to create images that complement marketing campaigns. Ray is breaking this trend by making himself a spokesperson who communicates directly with potential customers by showcasing the brand in an exciting lifestyle.
Ray’s method begins when she comes into contact with a fashion brand that is looking to reach new customers. Every client is a little different, sometimes Ray contacts them, others stalk her through word of mouth or after seeing her work firsthand.
Once she begins working with a client, Ray plans an ambitious adventure. Every trip is a little different, but almost all of them offer exotic places and exciting activities. During the trip, Ray routinely wears his client’s clothes while scheduling photoshoots as they go that will be shared on social media and on his blog.
Throughout the journey, the brand she represents comes to the fore, enjoying a unique form of adventure-related exposure that Ray viewers love to be part of. Finally, when the trip is over, Ray customers have a plethora of images they can use to further market their products.
It all started when Ray first became interested in modeling. Despite a natural knack for connecting on camera, Ray continually found herself slamming against walls trying to get agencies to represent her due to her much smaller size than most models.
Rather than seeing this discouragement as a failure, Ray chose to rewrite the rules by merging his love of modeling with his burgeoning passion for photography. Ray’s camera skills quickly developed as she transformed the camera into a vessel for her creative vision.
Moving forward, Ray developed a passion for shooting a myriad of different subjects. As her presence grew, she realized that she was not only creating exceptional work, but also attracting an audience who loved the same brands as her.
Like a typical photographer, Ray tried to “do it all” by setting the camera timer and filming herself. Ray quickly realized that the quality and consistency of her selfies was limited by the fact that she had to go back and forth to the camera to take each photo.
Ray first tried asking her roommate to press the shutter button for her, but over time she found the true voice of her work when she teamed up with a close friend who was also a photographer. . Now Ray is working with the talented Ron Khy with whom she collaborates deeply in almost all adventures.
Together, Ray and Khy are redefining lifestyle fashion photography.
At first glance, Ray’s life feels like a giant vacation bouncing from one exotic location to another while having fun and taking photos. While this is true in a sense, there is a lot more going on behind the scenes than it seems. Each trip is a tremendous amount of work, starting with dedicated networking at local fashion and trade shows, connecting with potential clients, and continuing with careful planning to find the perfect destination to showcase the products. customer’s products.
Once there, Ray works long hours, making multiple shoots a day in a variety of exciting scenes. Each day often has a precise and predetermined schedule with clothes already planned for each shoot. Ray runs through each shoot to make sure she meets the demands of each day with little time to actually be a tourist. After filming is finished, Ray returns to the hotel (or tent) to begin putting together hundreds, often thousands of images into a set that will be immediately edited so that she can post professional-quality editorial footage. the next day. After a journey of action-packed days and late nights, Ray returns home to begin finishing the photo sets so that she can post blog posts promptly telling the story of her adventure.
Much of Ray’s ability to attract the audience she needs for her clients comes from her cohesive style. This brings an identity and a voice to his images that make the viewer feel like they are part of the action.
Ray has a simple and airy editing style designed to keep his photos true to the original scene while giving them a slight touch of fashion. Ray tries to minimize his retouching while ensuring that all of his images are a realistic representation of the scene as it was taken.
Where Ray’s style really starts to stand out is in the way she adds a little bit of herself in each photo. Unlike traditional fashion editorial photos, Ray brings a sense of action to his photos by pulling the camera back to show more of the scene while posing to create a sense of contemplative excitement.
Ray’s career in fashion is just one small facet of her ever-expanding portfolio, as she has also discovered a passion for various other disciplines of photography. Most notably, she fell in love with capturing live events. This includes concert photography, but has recently also reached eSports teams such as TSM as they prepare to face each other in the finals of the LCS North American Championships.
Check out more about Hannah Ray’s work below, then head over to her website to find out more about what she’s doing and to keep an eye on her next destination.