Treasured Memories: Ray & Julie Photography

Rachel Hirst

Though usually found behind the lens, we’re putting husband and wife team, Ray & Julie Photography, in the spotlight today as we discover how they first came to pick up a camera, why they fell head over heels for weddings and what it is that keeps them totally addicted to the industry.

Treating each of their couples as they would family, for UNVEILED Network Members Ray and Julie, photography is so much more than a job…it’s a passion. Their love for capturing weddings was initially sparked after photographing their daughter’s big day, and ever since, they’ve applied the same level of care and attention to every celebration they’ve documented.

Keen to get to know their couples ahead of the big day and establish their desired photography style, all couples who book Ray and Julie are offered a complimentary pre-wedding shoot.

And as if that wasn’t generous enough, the East-Yorkshire based photographers are offering Brides Up North​ and ​UNVEILED readers two ‘parent albums’ worth £300, included in their package at no extra cost. This special offer is exclusive to readers who contact Ray and Julie via their website and add ‘Brides Up North/UNVEILED’ in the information section.

Having been awarded numerous industry accolades for their impressive work over the years, couples who book Ray and Julie are in safe and expert hands, as the couple explain here.

Hello there!

Ray & Julie say: Hi, we are Ray and Julie Dixon, a husband and wife multi-award-winning photography team based in Beverley, East Yorkshire. We specialise in wedding and studio portrait photography.

Where did your passion for photography come from – and how did you turn it into a career?

Our love for photography originally began underwater! As seasoned scuba divers, we’ve experienced the ocean in the Maldives, Mauritius and Egypt, surrounded by sharks and dolphins. Once back on dry land, we got into portrait photography, capturing the memories of couples in love, families and pets in the studio we established in our home town of Beverley.

We first began shooting weddings when we were asked to capture our daughter’s big day. From there, we were privileged to be awarded for our photography, and the bookings soon followed. Before long, we both resigned from our long-term jobs in the fire service and devoted all our time to Ray and Julie Photography.

What do you love about capturing a couples’ big day?

Meeting every couple to discuss their desires for their day through to the first dance and cutting of the cake, being on the journey with them is such an honour. From the moment we arrive on location, we absolutely love photographing weddings. Being asked to capture those intimate moments to be treasured forever is such a privilege, and we always aim to give our best. We feel most honoured to experience the quiet moments of reflection in the day, the tears, the building excitement and the intimate moments between loved ones, as well as the funny moments that have everyone laughing, of course.

How would you describe your style of photography?

Our style is your style! At the beginning of our journey, we realised that photographers usually declare their ‘style’ of photography; reportage, documentary, traditional. We tried to squeeze ourselves into one of the categories, but we just didn’t fit. We aim to give every couple the type of photography they desire. Of course, we are happy to guide and make suggestions with our experience, but ultimately we are led by the couple; after all, it’s their big day, right?

What’s your approach like on the wedding day?

We like to meet the couple and get to know them and what they want to achieve from their wedding photography. From there, we continue to offer the same friendly, relaxed approach up until and throughout the day, and we are always available for any questions couples may have. When the day arrives, couples can rest assured that we are both really organised people, and we aim to be unobtrusive in every way; you’d hardly know we were there!

How do you build relationships with your couples?

We have a unique attitude toward getting to know our clients. We are friendly and relaxed, and we put our couples at ease. One of the ways we do this is to offer a complimentary engagement shoot. The engagement shoot is a great way to get to know each other and for the couples to get to experience our photography and gain confidence in front of the camera. Our couples become lifelong friends and often return to us after their weddings for family portraits at our studio.

What sets you apart from other photographers?

We treat every wedding with the care and attention that we did on our daughter’s wedding day all those years ago. Each and every wedding is unique and special and deserves to be wonderful, and we do everything in our power to make sure the photography of the day reflects that. As one of the ​‘Three Best Rated’​ photographers in our region for the past four years and with many other awards for our photography, both on location and in the studio, we are incredibly proud of our accomplishments. We find it helps clients to know they are dealing with professional photographers who are experienced and have a good reputation.

Do you have a favourite part of the day to capture?

We love weddings! It’s really that simple. From the early starts to the late nights, the big moments to the intimate ones – how could we possibly choose a favourite part of the day?

Where does your work take you?

We travel the length and breadth of the UK. Edinburgh Castle was a joy to photograph, but so was Beverley register office. Primarily, it’s about the couple and their day, but we are happy to travel for our clients. We are looking to include more weddings abroad once the current restrictions are lifted, and we are super excited about that. Photographing at a new venue is always an adventure for us.

What are your top tips for couples searching for a photographer?

  1. Do your research.​ Find a photographer who seems professional. A good website and social media is a good start. Request to see more of their work, including wedding albums etc. Ask yourselves – do they seem professional? Can they offer you a contract, and are they fully insured?
  2. Meet potential photographers and find out their personality.​ Do you get on? It is really important you feel comfortable around your photographer as you will spend a lot of time with them and you need them to understand your needs.
  3. Check out the cost.​ Whilst high pricing doesn’t always guarantee high quality, and low cost doesn’t always reflect bad photography, it is a good starting place, but if an offer seems too good to be true, it may well be. Always ensure you check out any reviews and recommendations. Ask if the photographer has had any work published and if the work on their website is their own (it certainly should be).

And the absolute no-nos?

  1. Accepting the cheapest quote.​ In our experience, this rarely turns out well. If a photographer has to quote low prices, they may need you more than you need them.
  2. Not having a professional photographer.​ We understand that not everyone has the funds for a professional photographer, but if you can find it in your budget, then remember that your photographs are your memories of the day and are the only thing you take with you into your future.
  3. Leaving booking your photographer until the last minute.​ Good photographers get booked up fast. If you put off finding and booking yours, you may find you aren’t able to get one at all.

What options do you offer when couples are booking you?

We offer a four-tiered pricing structure. Our packages start from £1,495, including eight hours of photography, two professional photographers and digital images on USB in a presentation box. We also offer a complimentary engagement photoshoot to be enjoyed before the wedding. Alternative packages include high-quality albums to display your memories and more time with your photographers. Our prices are always fixed at the time of booking, so there’s no chance of the price rising before the big day, no matter how far in advance you book. We are always happy to discuss your requirements.

We are happy to offer ​Brides Up North​ and ​Unveiled readers a special offer -​ two ‘parent albums’ worth £300, included at no extra cost. This is exclusive to readers who contact us via our website and add ‘Brides Up North/UNVEILED’ in the information section.

Anything else you would like to tell us about?

Ray and Julie Photography​ hold the current ​‘National Portrait Awards Photographer of the Year’​ and the ​‘Yorkshire Region Studio Photographers of the Year’​ titles, awarded by​ The Master Photographer’s Association.​ Photography is our passion, and we’ve captured weddings from all walks of life. We are always excited to meet new couples and discuss the plans for their big day.

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