803 2nd Street Suite 302 Davis, CA 95616
Tue-Sat 10:30AM-6:00PM
Appointments are recommended.
(530) 756-0499
RayJohnstonPhotography.com (link down)
http://blog.rayjohnstonphotography.com (link down)
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ray-Johnston-Designer-Photography/129085522205 (not found)
Ray Johnston
Payment Methods
Visa, MC, Cash and Check


Ray Johnston Designer Photography studio specializes in custom Photography creations. Ray Johnston frequently photographs family, children, baby, pregnant mothers, High School Seniors, College Graduates, weddings, business portraits, modeling, event, and commercial photography. Ray currently photographs in the Davis, Vacaville, Fairfield, Dixon, San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Roseville, Folsom, Lake Tahoe, Woodland, and Napa, Sonoma Valley wine country areas.

Ray Johnston Designer Photography has free consultations where the Photographers photographer meets with the client and shows them samples of work, discusses the clients vision, and suggests clothing and background choices. The studio offers a variety of different creation sittings, from a basic studio sitting to shooting outdoor or on location to custom sessions that the studio tailors to the clients needs. There are many options for receiving your images, from archival quality mantel portraits to signature archival quality wall portraits. The studio prints on a variety of surfaces, including paper, watercolor, and canvas. The studio specializes in custom framing and album creation as well.

Ray Johnston Designer Photography also restores damaged/old photos or artwork. They are professional retouchers/digital artists and can bring almost any photo back to life.

In addition to portraiture, Ray Johnston Designer Photography also offers Passport Photos services, including citizenship and visa photos for any country. The price is $30 for domestic and $65 for international photos.


Please contact us to tell us what type of photography you are looking for. Please share your vision with us of your desired portraits.

When to start Photographing Children

We recommend even starting before your baby is born, usually in the last months of pregnancy. Then after your child is born, at 3 weeks, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. With these images, we can create a beautiful album showing the first year of your child's life, growing up. After this every year is recommended. We want to be your child's photographer for life.


First, we recommend setting up a consultation appointment for us to meet you. This way we can see your eye, hair, and skin tone, helping us decide together which colors work best for you and your surrounding environment and the the time of the year - in the studio or on location.

Session Length

Being on time for the photo session is very important, especially for outdoor portraits, when the lighting near the beginning or end of the day can change quickly. During the portrait session, Ray will take hundreds of images. Ray will continue to photograph until he really feels he has captured your portrait. Sessions usually last an hour to two hours (for event/wedding photography there you can hire the studio to photograph for/up to a whole day)

Let us reassure you...

Many times people will avoid a portrait just because of a past bad experience, or physical appearance. Ray will use lighting and the angle of the pose with the camera to hide or balance so that you look your best. Many times posing will not work and a more candid or natural moment will help you look your best, for example a side profile view of you conversing, laughing with a friend. In addition, Ray is also a professional digital artist to enhance, hide, shadow, and add or reduce makeup. You can have the perfect portrait.

Archival Quality Prints

Ray Johnston Designer Photography images are guaranteed to last a lifetime. Ray uses the finest of museum grade quality papers and coatings for your images to maintain their beauty for generations to come.

Viewing/Ordering Images

After your portrait session, we will set up a date for the viewing of your images. It is always best to view and order in the studio with help from Ray and his trained staff of artists. We use large projections of your images for you to make your selections. During this time, we can show all the images including cropping, black and white, color or other artist rendered enhancements of your images. We will also discuss all of the re-touching and signature wall portrait options for your portraits.

We dedicate as much time as you need for the viewing and decision making in a relaxed atmosphere in our studio. There is no extra charge for the first viewing and we ask that you plan on making your decisions during this scheduled time. For an additional charge, additional viewing sessions are available. Please allow approximately one and a half to two hours for your viewing time, as we do not want you to be rushed.

About the Photographer

Award winning photographer, Ray Johnston grew up with a camera in his hands, pushing the limits of photography, combining art history, and a passion for people photography. Ray has the patience and people skills to photograph any age, making his clients feel comfortable.

Ray Johnston Designer photography offers museum quality portraits that are timeless. More than just photographs, Ray delivers a masterpiece when only the finest will do.

With a background in motion picture film, Ray always asks himself, "how do I create a two hour movie in one frame." Some of his clients have compared him to Norman Rockwell with a camera. "Creating people art", Ray photographs from a different angle, lighting, background, and pose to tell a story with every portrait as a family heirloom to pass on to many generations to come.

Mini Portfolio

Ray Johnston has photographs on public display at Mother and Baby Source, the Sutter Birthing Center, at Helmus Optometry, and at Papyrus.

  • Davis has a wide variety of resources for Photography


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2008-01-31 22:30:28   Being an artist and businessman, I was looking for a creative business headshot photographer here in Davis, CA. I wanted more than the “glamorized passport photo” that I see everyday, such as the realtor headshot I see on the shopping carts at Safeway. In the past, I’ve walked by Ray Johnston Photography’ studio window on G Street on my way to work many times. I’ve always admired his photographs of family, baby and wedding photography. I was even more amazed with the samples he shared with me when I went into his studio. Ray has a large indoor studio with many backdrops and different types of lighting. He was very helpful in helping me choose the clothing styles and colors to compliment my portrait. Ray helped me feel at ease during the photo session. After the photo session, I was very happy to see the many images to choose from, different angles, lighting styles, and backgrounds. Needless to say, I got more than I expected. I now have images for web, business card, and brochure. I also gave a print to my girlfriend and parents. Thanks Ray – Awesome job!!!


    2008-04-02 20:01:09   Ray has had some interesting photos for sure! It's sad cause I remember recognizing most of the people in the display photos from being around Davis for long —StevenDaubert

    2009-04-15 22:45:35   Ray was realy great with our 3.5 year old daughter and son age 1.5. There was no way our son was going to cooperate, sit still ,look at the camera, yada yada until Ray brought out his secret weapon - the rubber chicken. It was amazing. Passport photos for Switzerland and Canada were perfect, plus he's a nice guy. With Ray you get small town service. I was surprised at the cost, $65 per set (but 50% off for the second set of Canadian passport photos was nice). We called around and most places charge the same or more just for US passport photos and they don't know how to handle foreign passport pictures. With so many foreign students at UC Davis you can see how he got into this line of work. —CarlShepherd

    2011-01-27 18:46:57   I know Ray for a long time, and I am very uncomfortable with my photo being taken, I am so very camara shy, and I would rather never have a picture of me. There are times that we all need photos, and Ray has the ability of making my picture look good, I do not know how he does it, and it is not photo shop, he knows the lighting, the right side to shoot, and so many things that it is confusing too me, the end result is a picture that actually looks like me and I am not embarrassed to have and share with friends. So Ray is just the best, so talented, and I would recommend him to anyone who hates getting their picture taken. Jamie Davis Computer Doctor —JamesMorton

    2011-05-05 14:18:46   I tried all day to have my passport photo taken according to the Netherlands' specifications. I was luckily directed to Ray Johnston's Studio where he quickly and professionally took my photo exactly to the Dutch specifications. He was incredibly helpful and quite precise. To my knowledge, he is the only man in town who will do passport photos to specifications other than the United States. It was such a relief to find him. If you are in need of particular specifications on your photograph, Mr. Johnston is not only accurate, he's friendly, and personable. You can even have your photo digitalized for other visa needs if you choose. I will be recommending him to all of my foreign friends. —AlineCresswell

    2011-05-24 04:10:40   I just randomly walked into Ray's one day because I needed a passport picture for my graduate school application. I could not have picked a better place to have my picture taken because he was very enthusiastic and helpful along the entire process despite the fact that it was just a passport photo. Ray doesn't just takes photos like many other photographers do but actually puts all the time and effort he needs to satisfy the customer's needs. If you need to have a picture taken for any reason, I would highly recommend Ray because I believe he'll put the same kind of care and effort into every step of the way for you as he did for me. —thewiseone

    2011-06-15 13:42:56   Hi Ray, good luck on your move, although I'm going to miss your store front photos. I've ridden my bike by them thousands of times over the years. But I'm sure your new place is going to be a great place for photography and business. See you soon, Chris —crpike

    2011-07-18 14:37:57   As of July 1, 2011, Ray Johnston Designer Photography has moved from 407 G St. (4th and G Downtown Davis) a couple blocks away to 803 2nd St. Suite 302 (2nd and G Downtown Davis - 3rd floor above Shuz). The new studio is an exciting NEW location - a larger, new building with breathtaking views of Downtown Davis - I will be offering the same high quality studio photography specializing in family, baby, business head shots, modeling, photo restoration, passport, and commercial photography. Drop by and say hello :) —RayJohnston

    2011-07-21 20:23:52   Ray is not just an excellent photographer and very nice person, the man is seriously a life saver. I called him on a very short notice to have a business “custom passport” photo taken for an application. This is what he did for me: he booked me an appointment the next day after his normal business hours, then edited the photo and sent to me 20 minutes after the appointment. He truly understood my situation and did his best to be very prompt about giving me an awesome photo. If you want to go through a list of photographers to try and save a few pennies over the buck, go ahead. But if you want a caring professional who would work with you to give you a great product, I totally recommend Ray. —samaakamal

    2011-10-09 08:22:49   I had known of Ray Johnston by walking by his studio for years (before it moved to an upstairs location) and looking at the great photography he had in his window. Then earlier this year I purchased a gift certificate for his services at a silent auction. I am thankful for this for two reasons: (1) that he had supported VetMerge, a local veterinary mission group that I participate in, with his generous donation; and (2) that it finally gave me the kick I needed to pay Ray a visit. My wife, infant daughter, and I wanted to take some pictures with my in-laws (having already done so with my parents), and my wife really wanted to get pictures next to a sunflower field. There is a narrow window of blooming for sunflowers, but Ray was easily able to accommodate us, and even got up well before dawn in order to get there to capture the first morning light. He and his assistant created a great and energetic photo shoot, and the resulting pictures (that we just picked up) are beautiful. His photo printing process creates photos mounted to thick stock to make them sturdy and last longer, and he spends a great deal of time digitally editing the pictures to make the result the best that it can be. We were very pleased with the entire process, from the ease of communication with Ray in setting things up to the final product. I would definitely recommend him to anyone looking to get that special photo session, and we will definitely be going back to have him capture pictures of our daughter (and any others after her) as she grows up. —kr80

    2011-11-05 14:36:24   My wife and I have been looking for a family photographer for quite some time because we wanted to begin a photo album for our son. After several meetings with different photographers and albums, we came across Ray Johnston from Ray Johnston Designer Photography. We found his albums to be most interesting with several different unique angles, his family and baby photography were very creative and fun with a great amount of attention to details and subtle retouches. His new studio in Downtown Davis was neat and nicely set up. Ray is a very talented photographer and we could see that he really takes pride in his work and really cares about his clients. Ray was easy to work with and he helped us stay relaxed and have fun! He was great with our 8 month old son and got some awesome pictures. The pictures are exactly what we were hoping for. We are so glad that we choose Ray!!! We will surely call him again in the future. —SergioR

    My family has worked with Ray for the past couple of years. He creates beautiful, professional images of my family. We have worked with him for my pregnancy/ maternity pictures, as well as newborn/ baby pictures. My daughter, who is 4 has also enjoyed working with him. He does a great job relating to kids, and often has an assistant to help engage and manage the kids during the shoot. His vast portfolio will help you get ideas about what kinds of quality photos you will receive. He is open to ideas and would try new poses to help it fit your requests. Equipped with accessories, such as clothing and ornate textiles, you will get a stylized image that you will LOVE. His final products are beautiful pieces that will be long-term family heirlooms.

    A visit to his studio and spending a few minutes visiting with him, will convince you that you have found your family’s new photographer. He lives by his mission statement of: create. people. art.

    Your family will become the newest unique art pieces on your wall and you will LOVE it!


      2012-04-04 13:21:50   Great guy. Very professional. I needed to get an international passport photo that had very strict guidelines that needed to be followed. Ray took the time to carefully read the guidelines and did his best to follow them. He stores the pictures for 90 days so that if anything goes wrong, you can always get a reprint. Worth the price to get things does right the first time and not having to get pictures taken over and over again by cheaper options. Would definitely come here again if I needed more pictures. —AnitaSmithson

      2017-02-03 08:57:32  I went by there yesterday to check into getting some international passport photos done and it looks like Ray is no longer at the 803 2nd Street Suite 302 location. His name isn't in the direction at the building's entrance. —yu210148