Nice to Meet You.

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

Who am I?

The Man Behind the Camera

I think the most important thing to know about me is how much I love my wife, my daughter, and my son.

The second most important thing to know about me is that I’m going to work harder than anyone else to be the best that I possibly can be.

My last 9-5 job was working as the North American Repair and Diagnostic Technician for a high-end camera company. Three months after I was hired, I completed their 12-month training program, and a month later was their highest producing technician in the states.

I genuinely loved my work there, but as my photography business grew it became too much of a time commitment to be working 6AM-6PM every day as well as shooting weddings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

So I took a risk. And it was worth it.

You can currently find Sarah, Carolina, Jonathan and I in Cary, North Carolina. Yes, my daughter is named Carolina. Yes, we live in North Carolina. We named her that before we moved here.

We’re simple, laid back, and genuinely just thankful that my job lets us spend so much time together as a family all over the states.

Rangefinder Magazine
30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography Worldwide Nominee. One of 200 photographers worldwide to receive the nomination.
SLR Lounge Apex Award
Given to less than 1% of images entered worldwide
SLR Lounge Ascent Award
Given to less than 3% of images entered worldwide
Wedding and Portrait Society
1 First place image in 2017.
Wedding and Portrait Society
4 First place images and 4 second place images in 2016.
Magmod Photographers
First place “How I shot it” contest
Magmod Photographers
First place “Commercial Work” contest
Magmod Photographers
Fourth place “Reception Lighting” contest
Wedding Wire
Wedding Wire Couple’s Choice Award Winner 2016

If you’re going to bribe me, (and you haven’t figured this out yet) tacos are the way to go.

Panthers Fan(atic).

I smoke my own barbecue (Eastern, obviously).

I’m a fairly regular gamer and I play guitar.

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

I’m basically Jim without the season 9 and more jello based pranking.

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 Sara 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!


By 2018, I added sponsorships.

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


By The Numbers

Images Delivered
Events Photographed
Tacos Consumed This Year

Raleigh based wedding photography to


You'll want to relive for a lifetime