Friday, October 7, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

Stay Tuned this Week

Check back with this blog at the end of the workday, (starting Tuesday) each day this week for a series of portraits we created for one of our favorite families. We have photographed each son (3) at their school and dad at work. What a story!
We tend to think how things are today is going to be how they look in the future. It just isn't so.
Time changes all things.
Stay tuned

Friday, September 30, 2011

Miss Avery ... Time in the Flowers

We are always honored when people travel great distances and have us photograph their children.
And, we are also honored when previous clients purchase one of our gift certificates at an auction that raises funds for a project we believe in.
Miss Avery's mother did both.
For someone who lives in Denver to purchase a gift certificate while here makes us feel great!

What a happy child who has let us see her heart and soul ... a little flower in a flower garden!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kelvin ... a Gift for his Wife, as well as a new PR portrait

After 36 years of owning a portrait studio, I can tell you every adult feels a little weird giving away their portrait to loved ones.

We all really like the portraits that others have given to us.
Children know their parents and friends will love having a portrait.
And we all know that 10 years from now, we definitely are going to look older, really, a lot older.

So, today is the day.
Jolene and I just had our class re-union (40 years) and 10% of our class is gone already, WOW!

I know that Kelvin's family will love and cherish his portrait. A great smile, timeless clothing, and a classic look.
And as I always say, "Thank You" for allowing us to be a part of his history.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


 Great music and great food. Stop by to see the portraits of our fabulous local musicians: Sylvan Reynolds, Dallas Morris, Scott Carson, Shawn Mahaffey, David McCoy, Riley Jantzen, Donnie Record, Joe "Doc" Bryant, Steven Harwood, Steve Allen, David Roberts and Cecilia Daughterty!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Miss Nellie

Here we are at grandchild number 6 in our gallery for their grandmother's bedroom (look back for "Hunter & Nelson", "Miss Abbey & Sofey" and "Miss Addison" in our archives). What a cool project!
Next month brings us to the newest grandchild, stay posted!

Friday, September 23, 2011

3 Generations of L'Espoirs ... a new display at Western Sizzlin"

Sometimes a portrait of a family can be so much more than a picture of faces. Sometimes it becomes a picture of the heart, the values and spiritual life of generations, passed down through faith and actions.
And so was our vision for the L'Espoirs.
50 years from now, these 2 young boys will be telling their grandchildren stories about growing up around their grandfather.
Thanks to all, I couldn't ask for more to work with!

And be sure to head out to Western Sizzlin' to see these portraits as they were meant to be seen, as "Art for the Heart and Home".

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Elizabeth, Gregg and a pile of children ... a new display at Western Sizzlin'

This portrait is the second in a new display at Western Sizzlin'.
Do you think I exert too much control in a session?
I think this family would say "just the right amount"
Thanks Greg and Elizabeth, I had a BLAST!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Join us Tuesday, September 27, 2011, for "Tu Tu Tuesday".  Your $22 sitting fee will benefit 4RKids.  Call 233-8322 today to book your sitting and 100% of your sitting fee will be donated to 4RKids to benefit special needs children and adults in northwest Oklahoma.

Don't have a little girl?  We are also photographing "little dudes with attitude".

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

the Graggs ... a new display portrait at Western Sizzlin"

Check out our new series of portraits now on display at Western Sizzlin', three pretty cool and amazing families.
Thanks to the Graggs for being a part of this!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Payton ... OBA Senior 2012

Portrait design ...
In our portraits, the face is everything, and while other elements may be included, they must not compete or  be distracting from the face.
This portrait has a lot going on, a checked shirt, trees, fences, water reflections, a light sky, even a red barn!
But, the face is most prominent.
The trees on our left bring a circular design to his body and face.
The arms crossed with the fingers pointed up move the eye to his face.
The fences are like arrows pointing inward.
The sky and water have the corners darkened to pull our eye to him.
Even the red barn with the roof angle is directing us inward.
And all of this was purposefully done.
And while all of this is great, none would matter if his expression was not who he is!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Jonah ... at 9 months

Does it sound like I am bragging when I say what a tender and touching portrait this is?
Do you think I am proud of how this turned out?
What do you think I think when I look at Jonah and his father.

Here's what I know, Jonah is blessed by a wonderful father
                                 Joel is blessed by a wonderful family,
                                 and I am blessed by knowing all of them.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

the Gwins ... also Casual & Relaxed

Back in 1975 when we got this party started by opening the studio, there were only 2 choices for family portraits, in the studio (otherwise know as formal and stiff) or outdoors (otherwise known as casual and relaxed). But immediately I began to change all those preconceived ideas (in fact, many clients are more uptight outdoors than in the studio). With a casual pose and clothing, a studio portrait may be more fun because there is no wind, no hot or cold, and no worrying about the dogs running away. Plus, there are more time slots available.
With the Gwins portrait, it was made more personal by adding a chair from their home. Even the dogs photographed great and said it was fun!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

the Ingelses ... Casual and Relaxed

Some times our title of a post says it all!
This was an additional session from the Hayeses 50th anniversary sitting posted last week. It is always a great idea to have these extra family portraits taken when the opportunity presents itself.
What a great, fun evening we had with this family.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Columbus Day ... October 10

If you are off work Columbus Day, October 10 and have always wanted a portrait by "the Grays", call us at 233-8322 and we'll get started!

Friday, September 2, 2011

the Griffins ... a Fun, Fun, Fun Family

At the end of every session, I always ask our clients "was it fun"?
At the best, the answer is "YES"!
At the worst, the answer is "that was better than I thought".

What do you think the Griffins said?

This will be a great memory of a great family!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

"Tu Tu" Tuesday - $22 Sittings September 27

Join us Tuesday, September 27, 2011, for "Tu Tu Tuesday".  Your $22 sitting fee will benefit 4RKids.  Call 233-8322 today to book your sitting and 100% of your sitting fee will be donated to 4RKids to benefit special needs children and adults in northwest Oklahoma.

Don't have a little girl?  We are also photographing "little dudes with attitude".

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

the Hayeses ... Wishing them the best! ... Part 2

The second portrait for the Hayeses is this family portrait. It was taken about a month later than their "couples" portrait. This is the backyard of the home their children spent most of their childhood in.
What a great memory, even future generations will be displaying this portrait.
As I said to them as we left their party Saturday night, I am looking forward to all of this again on their 75th!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

the Hayeses ... Wishing them the best! ... Part 1

Last week was the 50th wedding anniversary of this couple.
We moved to Enid in the summer of 1961, and vaguely I remember their wedding from the church bulletin and conversation at St. Paul's Lutheran. And of course, I noticed their involvement as well through the years.
And here we are now.
What a great party they threw for family and friends last Saturday! Jolene and I were both thankful and honored to be invited. To quote a line from a Beatles' song, "A splendid time was had by all"!
Also thanks for the opportunity to create this touching group of portraits for your living room.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Demi ... Senior 2012

Inspired by French painters (and a ritzy photographer in Dallas), 20 years ago we began photographing our clients with furniture outdoors. And while I know that it is not "always" a good a idea, when it is "right", it is "right". And here, it is absolutely correct! The look is in keeping with the location and clothing. Beautiful. And as always, a great expression and pose ties it together.
Thanks to Demi and her mom for stepping out of the box (or the room) for her senior portrait!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Taylor ... Senior 2012

I knew from the moment I drove up, this was a great location.
First of all, before I got there, they told me it was her grandfather's farm, so I knew the attachment to the heart was there.
When I then saw the picnic and fishing area, I knew the memory of time spent with family was there.
Then I saw the sun reflecting off the water with the grass on the shore.
It was all perfect.
Add in a great expression, and it became art.
One of a kind.
Classic, not corny.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sydney ... A Birthday Present for Her Father

Most of the time I write about what makes a portrait by "the Grays" a portrait by "the Grays".
But here is what it really is, a gift out of love.
None of the technical or artsy stuff matters if people don't love each other.
What a great group of clients we have!

Monday, August 22, 2011


Class of 2012 Senior Portrait Special - Book your sitting now and receive as our gift 25 wallets of your favorite pose with the purchase of an 11x14 or larger.
Call today 233-8322.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cassidy ... Senior 2012

In our portraits, I usually create three dimensional depth in a two dimensional by using a 1) foreground, 2) a mid ground, and 3) a background.
This sounds obvious, doesn't it.
But in reality, it's not so easy.
Here we have Miss Cassidy as our mid ground, and the background is flowers, but what I believe leads us unmistakably to the expression is the soft out of focus flowers in the foreground.
A classic (not corny) portrait is the result that will stand the test of time.
Our thanks to Cassidy and her family for this great portrait!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tom Boepple ... Enid Arts

Tom is probably Enid's most prolific artist, we believe more of his artwork has been sold than any other. For those of you who don't know, Tom is the watercolor painter who does the "Christmas Cards" for "Main Street Enid" every year. He is someone who's artwork we have admired for over 2 decades and it has been our pleasure to renew his friendship.
What do I love about his portrait?
You know don't you!
It's how our eyes go to his eyes.
And also how I tell his story as an artist.
In my experience, it's usually the best.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Book your sitting now and receive as our gift 25 wallets of your favorite pose with the purchase of an 11x14 or larger.
Call today 233-8322.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Meghan ... Our first senior for 2012

What makes a portrait by "the Grays" unique?
Most of all, it has to be our clients, each one unique and special.
Not followers of the crowd or the latest trend, they know both will pass, sooner than later.
They are comfortable with who they are, not trying to impress anyone.
I know Meghan is all of this, and more.
It's not all about Jolene and me, it's about Meghan.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Etown Cover

Thank you to Etown magazine, Candace Krebs, Rachel Hancock, and Theo Pace for the great feature and kind words in the new issue. And a special thanks to Lt. Governor Todd Lamb for giving so graciously of your time for this photoshoot. It was a fantastic experience!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hunter & Nelson

More portraits for grandmother's wall.
Check out our previous posts, "Miss Abbey & Miss Sofie" and "Miss Addison", and you can see how 5 totally different children can be photographed over a seven month period and still be compatible and consistent.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Josiah ... 4 years old

I love this classical pose, in the "arts", we call it a "C" line. From the top of the head to the toe of his foot on our right, it forms a gentle "C", a pose that is great for a child, soft and casual.
Since 2008, we have photographed Josiah for each of his birthdays, each one of them unique and appropriate to the year he is celebrating.
Happy Birthday from your photographer!

Friday, July 15, 2011

April ... Pillar of the Plains

This is the newest "Pillar of the Plains".
April wanted a portrait to show the fun, happy and lively side of her personality for our display. And it really shows through in her portrait.
Congratulations to her, one of Enid's best!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

$20 Senior Portrait Sitting - Studio AND Outdoors - Call Today, 233-8322

"I love your work and you are the only people who I have ever wanted to take my senior pictures.  I really enjoyed working with you when we did our family portrait."
Cassidy  Class of 2012 Enid High School

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Miss Claire

This portrait of Miss Claire is the third in a collection of children's portraits for their mother's wall.
Go back and check out Olivia's and Meridith's portraits, and you will see the continuity of style combined with the individuality of their personalities.
Two more to go and you will see what can be done with a great series of portraits to showcase the love of a family.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

$20 Senior Portrait Sitting - Studio AND Outdoors - Call Today, 233-8322

"You took my sister's senior photos also and I loved them.  I have seen different peoples senior photos for years now and the ones you take have always been my favorite."
Meghan - Class of 2012 Oklahoma Bible Academy

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Julianne ... and three generations of love!

All of us need someone to watch out for us, Miss Julianne has three.
Three generations who will do whatever it takes!
No mistaking that.
All hands on to even insure her happiness.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mark ... Business Portraits

Mark is the 3rd in our series of posts on "Business Portraits".
And while we are very happy with the different poses on all of the three portraits, I am most pleased with the expressions.
Why you might ask?
It's because they all are believable, natural, and real.
Posing, lighting, backgrounds and props can all add to a portrait, but without the expressions that show us who the subject is, it's all just pieces of an incomplete puzzle.
And how do we get these realistic expressions?
Time before the session to chat, and time during the session, not rushed, but relaxed for relaxed expressions.
Enough about this.
Mark, "thank you" for your kind words on facebook, you are too nice!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jim ... Business Portraits

Branding, it's what we can help a local business with.
Coca Cola does it.
Honda does it.
Every huge business does it.
Don't let that intimidate you and your business.
Last month we posted "Richard", this is another portrait for them.
See how the background, props, lighting, retouching is all the same.
But the pose is different.
Because all of us are unique.

Jim, thanks for a great portrait.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Four Generations of Cooks ... and Shepards

The Granddaughter and Grandmother on our left are dressed alike.
The Grandmother and Granddaughter on our right are dressed alike.
And the client and her mother are next to each other.
All of this, clothing and color, props, pose, background were all thought out in advance, planned. Therefore, the session itself was relaxed, fun, and calm.
And it shows, an heirloom portrait and work of art for their homes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

the Smiths ... Perfect New Parents

I love the energy of this couple.
And their smiles.
Plus the pose!
Isn't this the kind of parents every child would want?
I know they will be wonderful parents!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jonah ... Portrait #7 for his parents

One of the most truthful statements of all times came from John Lennon, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".
We hear so often that parents "wish they had taken more portraits of their children".
And of course, it makes us think "what could we have done to have helped them do this"?
But then, we run across people who make this commitment to have their children photographed in a timely manner.
Jonah's parent are those people. We started photographing his sister at three months, then 6 months, then 9 months, followed at one year, then eighteen months.
This is Jonah's six month portrait, the first was at three months.
We know that his parents will be thrilled with the collection of portraits they are building.
A memory that can't re-create later.
It's now or never!
Call us now, let's start making plans to photograph your children.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Zach ... Senior Portrait

Zach with Katie and Chloe, what a story.
It has love,
and restraint.
It does sound like a story, a story with a happy ending!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


We are looking for 6 seniors to photograph in June for potential marketing and display images beginning in July.  We would photograph you in the studio and our outdoor garden (at no charge for these sittings). If you are interested, email us at and tell us why you would like to be photographed by The Grays . 
Be sure to include a weekday daytime phone number where we can easily reach you and let us know what high school you attend.   Also, please share with your friends! Thanks.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Curtis ... "That Sneaker Dude"

Curtis Tucker, the "Evolution of the croMac man".
It starts with and iPhone, then you add an  iPad, and end it with a MacBook Air.
If you don't know of Curtis, google his name or "Enid Buzz".
Curtis was the first "E Entrepreneur" we met years ago when it all was beginning.

Thanks for having some fun with us on our "Enid Arts" project!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Megan ... EHS Senior

Miss Megan came in with an idea.
"Swimming pool with the crosses in the background".
Beautiful black dress.
Simple, clean and not dated.
It was my pleasure!
All of this made sense, of course she is a swimmer, and she even won an athletic scholarship to Missouri State in Springfield.
Congratulations to her (and to her parents checkbook)!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Conor's portrait is another in our series that compliments a sibling. His brother Dylan, from Dr. Fagan's New Display was previously posted a few weeks ago.
Every thing I wrote about in my previous post applies here.
Except, we photographed each boy for two different portraits, an extreme close-up in "Black & White",
and then a "Story Telling" portrait.
And Conor was quite the martial arts practitioner. I knew when I photographed this move, it was the one, sometimes you can just tell. This was not posed, he just gave us this move, and I snapped.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Zach's portrait is another in our series to match a sibling from the "Dr. Fagan" display images.
His sister is Abby.
And if you have just looked at her portrait, you are probably thinking, "I can tell both portraits were taken by Wess, but I'm not so sure they compliment each other".
And I would say you were in the ballpark on that observation.
What you haven't seen is the portrait of Abby that her parents  choose for their home, it is not the same that they choose for Dr. Fagans office, but it does compliment this portrait.
Which brings me to the point that "one size" (or one pose) does not have to fit all.
Just in case you haven't noticed, we are all not the same.
So when working with us, everything does not have to be off the same pose.
No packages or rules.
We want everyone to be happy!
It's just that simple.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Miss Meredith

Lately, it has been a real joy to photograph so many siblings for groupings.
Years from now, I know these will still be treasures for their family.
As we saw from the tornados, the first possessions  people start looking for are their photographs.
We are truly happy to be in a profession that is so positive and that brings our clients such joy.

This portrait of Meredith is a companion portrait for her twin's "Olivia" (Dr. Fagan's New Display).
Aren't they both beautiful?