Nice to Meet You.

I'm Dave Shay. Wedding Photographer. Father and Husband. Taco Hunter Extraordinaire.


Behind the Camera

I think the most important thing to know about me is that my family is everything. None of this would have happened had it not been for the rock that is my wife, and so many snuggles from my kids that I’ve never deserved.

The second most important thing to know is that I care about other people. With no usable wedding pictures of our own, because we didn’t know how important hiring a professional was, I’ve set out on a mission to create memories for every couple I work with that will last beyond their life time.

And we’re doing it. With over 250 weddings across 27 states, we are making an impact, and that’s what sets me on fire.

Sarah, Carolina, Jonathan, and I settled down in Holly Springs, North Carolina with our latest addition to the family, Sadie (our trouble-seeking, yet adorable Australian Labradoodle).

We’re pretty simple, enjoying nights in, food on the table, and the company of friends.

In addition to being sponsored by industry leaders like MagMod, Fundy, and SLR Lounge as ambassadors, We’ve been privileged to win more than 40 awards from the fiercest competitions taking place all over the world. 

What’s more important is that I have created memories for nearly 300 couples. Yes, we’re award winning, a lot more so than most, but that’s not why we exist.

I like Tacos, probably way too much.

I’m a Panthers Fan(atic). No matter what.

Eastern BBQ is the one true way (and I prefer to smoke it myself)

I love food. A LOT. And it helps that my wife is such a good cook.

I can say the entire alphabet backwards in under 5 seconds.


My Mission

Good Pictures. Good People.

That’s it. That’s all I’m looking for.


I want to team up with couples that like each other and prioritize getting good pictures for their day. If you guys laugh with each other, annoy each other, and still know how to flirt with each other, I want to tell your story, because your story is a story worth telling.


“Good people bring out the good in other people.” ~Anonymous

My Story So Far


In 2009, I met Sarah Shay.

I was a transfer, she was a freshman, we met at Freshman Orientation in college as we both did our best to get out of the ‘icebreaker games’.


In 2010, We got engaged.

Had a friend pretend to take some photos, bought a pretty ring, asked a pretty girl a pretty serious question. Lucky for me, she said yes. (After telling me to "shut up" that is.)


Took Intro to Digital Photography

The original intent was to give the camera I got as part of the class to my wife as a wedding present.. Didn’t quite turn out that way. And yes, I aced the course.


In 2011, We got married.

We were young, but we knew what we were after and we knew we were far better as a team than either of us was apart.


I Took Engagement Photos for a Friend.

Called out of work sick to go hide in the bushes so I could photograph a friend of mine getting engaged. Even rented a fancy ‘professional’ camera for the occasion. If we’re being honest… I thought I was pretty cool.


In 2013, I went full-time.

After back to back 100+ hour work weeks between a full time job and 30 wedding clients, Sarah and I decided it was time to make the jump. Friday afternoon I walked into my boss’s office, handed him my two weeks notice and listened as he said ‘That’s Brave’ and told me to enjoy my weekend.

Raleigh wedding photographer dave shay

In 2014, Welcomed Carolina Grace.

May 8th, 2014 I got to experience something that I’ll never be able to explain. There was a closeness with my wife in that delivery room that I’d never felt before, and a beautiful new journey unfolding before me.

Raleigh’s award winning photographer dave shay

Moved to Raleigh, NC

After spending time growing up in the south, a few trips to enjoy the outer banks AND you know, naming our daughter Carolina, it’s safe to say we’ve kind of loved NC for a while. When my best friend moved to Durham, it opened up the perfect opportunity to start another new adventure. That was before we knew how good the food was, too!

raleigh’s most experienced wedding photographer

By 2015, I had shot 150 weddings

Only four short years in and I have been fortunate enough to watch 150 different sets of “I Do’s” across 13 states.


In 2017, Welcomed Jonathan Luke.

September 1, 2017, my blessings were multiplied.


200 Weddings!


In 2018, I added sponsorships.

Added as an ambassador for MagMod and Litra, in addition to sponsorships by ShootProof, Fundy Designer and more.

fearless Evan-Rummel-New-York-Photographer-0006EDIT

In 2019, Ambassador for SLR Lounge.

1 of 12 Ambassadors selected in the world for SLR Lounge Mastering the Business of Photography


300 Weddings!

Family Photo by Dave Shay


You can find me passionately photographing and teaching all across the states.


By The Numbers

Tacos Consumed This Year

Raleigh based wedding photography to


You'll want to relive for a lifetime