Photography by Stephanie Kay Blog

Thank you so much for visiting my little corner of the web! Photography by Stephanie Kay specializes in child and family portraits, high school seniors, engagement and maternity portraits in Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville, Apex, Holly Springs, Atlantic Beach, Pine Knolls Shores and Emerald Isle, North Carolina. I shoot on location all over the Triangle and the Crystal Coast. I focus on natural outdoor photography sessions.

Archive for 'Morehead City'


You’re going to get a chance at some point to make your life they way you want it to be. Every day, week and year  you make choices that continuously lead to the shaping of your life.

For me, the past 7 months have been life-forming. My dad was diagnosed with a horrible and deadly cancer on November 1st. My DAD. My dad was never sick, tough as they come. Unrelated to this, the days before his diagnosis were heart-wrenching due to a major fall-out with people who I thought were my friends. I spent the 3 days leading up to my dad’s diagnosis talking to him non-stop about how I had been done wrong by these women, and how they hurt my children (their hearts, not their bodies) and I lost sleep over it. I thought what these women did was the absolute worst thing. I was so wrong. The absolute worst thing was that my dad was diagnosed with a horrible and deadly cancer and my time with him was coming to an end.

I woke up early on November 2, after barely sleeping at all. It was pitch black. I went downstairs and watched the sun come up. The sun was bright that day, the sky was bluest blue. I noticed it because my dad was in the hospital getting treated for low hemoglobin due to internal bleeding from his esophageal tumor, and he would not feel the sun that day. I realized how important it was to be able to stand in the sun and appreciate the beauty of the day. Because that could get taken away at any time.
My dad and I talked so much during the last six months of his life. We talked a lot about his declining health and all of the complications he faced along the way. But he also gave me life lessons. He talked to me about things that were important to him. Things he wanted me to take with me through my life.

Now I am VERY IMPERFECT. Very. I have said and done things in my life that I am not proud of. But lucky for me, and for all of us, life is filled with second chances. And third chances. It is never to late to start making choices to start shaping your life the way you want it. My dad told me how to do it: value your heart and soul enough today to say this bold statement: I actually deserve to be happy and have a good life.

For once, I shut up and listened.

I want you to know, whoever you are, that your life is valuable. Your happiness is important and should be the biggest priority. Don’t waste your time, time is limited. Make the most of your life. It is something you will never regret. Buy the beach house. Spend time with your kids. Let go of people who do not fill your life with good. If someone doesn’t understand you, doesn’t “get” you, treats you badly, makes you feel “less”, then move on.

Be happy. You owe that to yourself.

Last weekend we went to the beach. We have a little condo in Atlantic Beach, NC. The weather was amazing. The sun was bright, the sky was the bluest blue. My husband was listening to Jack Johnson and watching the ocean. My son was skim boarding into the waves. My daughter was playing in the sand with her friend. I was with a true friend, talking about our kids and our schools and dinner and Disney. We were doing simple things and all of us were so happy. My dad would have been really proud. Because we are living the life he wants for us.

A life that’s good.

See more of my work here:

Photography By Stephanie Kay

  1. Start with hydrated skin. Use a non-greasy lightweight moisturizer. Don’t use a moisturizer with SPF, SPF sits on the skin surface and can cause an unwanted shine. Your makeup will go on better if your skin is well moisturized. Use your favorite moisturizer without SPF that works for your skin type.
  2. Make sure your skin is matte. What this means is you don’t want your skin to look reflective or shiny. Shiny skin is not desirable in photography. It can make you look like you have oily skin, and it can reflect light creating hot spots on the face, which is very distracting. If you have oily skin you can use mattifiers or primers to absorb oil and prevent shine. Benefit’s Porefessional is a great product to try.
  3. No shimmer, glitter or shiny makeup products. Again, we do not want shine.
  4. Give yourself flawless skin. Use a fuller coverage foundation, with concealer and powder. You want to try and cover any redness or discoloration on the skin. Conceal dark circles if you have them, and apply concealer around your nose and on your laugh lines. Use a minimal amount of concealer and blend well. Of course, go for a matte finish. If you have great, even skin you can use a lighter product like Make Up For Ever’s Water Blend Face and Body Foundation. It evens out the skin and looks and feels natural. If you need more coverage, try Make Up Forever’s Ultra HD Foundation. Use powder on your forehead, nose and chin.
  5. You’re going to need more color in your face than you think. You don’t want to look washed out. Apply more blush and mascara than usual. Enhance your brows. Eyebrows add structure to the eye. A fuller brow makes your face look younger and fresher, but don’t overdo it. Take a selfie so you can check your makeup before the shoot to make sure your features stand out.
  6. Define your eyes. You will be connecting with my lens and your eyes will be the main focus of your photos. Use eyeliner on your top and bottom lash line. Use 3 eyeshadow colors. Use a neutral shadow over the lid, a darker shadow in the crease and a highlighter at the inner corner and on the brow bone.
  7. Sweep bronzer over the jawline, temples, sides of the nose and just under the cheekbones. Use a natural looking blush to add tone and dimension to the face. Blend blend blend.
  8. It is important to have a lip that is balanced, saturated and symmetrical.

Here are some links to my favorite makeup products for photoshoots.

Benefit Porefessional

Makeup Forever Water Blend Face and Body Foundation

Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation

Mac Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation

Mac Prep + Prime CC Colour Correcting Compact

Mac Select Cover-Up

Mac Blot Powder

Benefit ka-Brow Eyebrow Cream Gel

Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

Urban Decay Beached Bronzer

Mac Powder Blush

Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipstick


To view my website, click the link below
Photography by Stephanie Kay



Her hair is to die for. But so his her face. I shot this by the pool in my subdivision in Cary, NC. The background was a nasty pond and overgrown woods, but the light here is perfect and I knew that with the right camera settings I could make the shot look magical.

I photograph in Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville and Raleigh in the Triangle area. I also photograph at the beach on the Crystal Coast/Carteret County.

Click this link to see more of my work and learn more about Photography by Stephanie Kay.

Cary, NC High School Senior Photo

I love lights in the background of my photos. And I love this high school senior’s highlights and the outfit she chose for her senior pictures.

I shot this in Lafayette Village in Raleigh, NC.

I am a professional photographer who photographs in the Triangle area and the Crystal Coast. I photograph in Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Apex, Morrisville, and Holly Springs in the Triangle area. On the Crystal Coast, I photograph in Atlantic Beach, Pine Knolls Shores, Emerald Isle, Morehead City, Beaufort and Newport.

Photography by Stephanie Kay is a licensed and professional photography business and provides digital images as well as print packages to her customers.


Lafayette Village Photoshoot, High School Senior, Raleigh, NC

This is my best friend and her family at the Oceanana Pier in Atlantic Beach, NC. The Pier is a popular spot for photos because it adds an architectural element and cool colors to contrast with the ocean. This was a windy day and the ocean was really kicking up. This made for a really great background.

I photograph in Atlantic Beach, Pine Knolls Shores and Emerald Isle on the beaches of the glorious Crystal Coast. I also photograph in Morehead City, Newport and Beaufort along the Intracoastal Waterway.

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The young man pictured in these engagement photos is the son of my daughter’s second grade teacher. These two have been together since middle school! They separated (physically – not a break up) for a short period of time when they went to college, then he ended up transferring so he could be with her.


This photoshoot was in Raleigh at Historic Oak View Park. I photograph on-location in Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Morrisville, Apex and Holly Springs in the Triangle area and Atlantic Beach, Pine Knolls Shores, Emerald Isle, Morehead City, Beaufort and Newport in the Crystal Coast/Carteret County.

Click here to see more of my work

Raleigh Engagement Photoshoot

Raleigh Engagement Photoshoot

Raleigh Engagement Photoshoot

Raleigh Engagement Photoshoot

Raleigh Engagement Photoshoot

I came across these two beautiful mermaids at A Place At The Beach. They were just relaxing and enjoying the view.

Shot at A Place At The Beach in Atlantic Beach, NC.

I photograph in Atlantic Beach, Pine Knolls Shores and Emerald Isle.

Click here to see more of my work.

I shot this in Atlantic Beach to showcase CY Design Studios jewelry.

Shot at A Place At The Beach in Atlantic Beach, NC.

Red Hair and a red dress. The beach at sunset. A stunning combination.

Shot at A Place At The Beach in Atlantic Beach, NC.

A lot of my clients tell me that they have not had a photo together since they got married. So I asked this couple to pose in a romantic way, and while they laughed the whole time I got this great shot which they absolutely love.

I photograph in Atlantic Beach, Pine Knolls Shores, Emerald Isle, Morehead City, Beaufort, Newport and other towns on the Crystal Coast and Carteret County, North Carolina.

In the Triangle area, I photograph in Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Morrisville, Apex and Holly Springs.


See more of my work here: