Rae Marcel Photography opens in downtown Edwardsville

Photography is a passion for Rae Dorsey, and she’s using that passion to make memories for her clients.

Dorsey is the owner of Rae Marcel Photography, which had its grand opening July 9 at 301 N. Main St. in Edwardsville.

Dorsey has traveled all over the country photographing couples and families living out their best moments. Her focus is on weddings, maternity, newborn and family portraits.

“My husband (Dominic Dorsey) and I came to the Edwardsville area five years ago and he works at SIUE, so we moved here for his job,” Dorsey said. “Our daughter (Yara, now 4) was just three months old and I decided to be a stay-at-home mom during that time.

“Not having any family here, I needed some creative outlet and photography was something I fell back on. I used to do it as a hobby, but I hadn’t picked up my camera in years. Once I decided to pick it back up again, I fell in love with it.”

Dorsey started taking photos at small weddings, which quickly morphed into taking photos at large weddings.

“I also took pictures of newborns, but the weddings kind of took over at some point,” Dorsey said. “Now I’m scaling back down to where I only take a small number of weddings each year, so I can do photography for newborns and families.

“I pretty much do it all because I never get bored. I never want to niche down to one thing because I feel that’s just not my personality.”

For more information, visit https://www.theintelligencer.com/

Prior to becoming a professional photographer, Dorsey worked in drug development clinical trials.

“It was very scientific and very black and white,” Dorsey said. “This job is like painting in color and I get to be creative. It was a night-and-day career switch, but I’m really enjoying it.”

Dorsey’s photography has been featured in Essence Magazine, Munaluchi Bride, Black Bride Magazine, Muna Mummy, Wedding Day Magazine, Equally Wed Magazine and many more publications, crediting her exceptional work and attention to detail.

For Dorsey, the response to her work, especially the wedding photography, has surpassed her expectations.

“I still don’t think I’m where I want to be and five years is short amount of time to do some of the things that I’ve done,” Dorsey said. “Photography is a market that is very sought after and I see a lot of people who don’t go past five years.

“It can be hard to sustain as a career, so my main goal after five years was to put myself in a position where I had a successful photography business that could serve families for different purposes, not just for photos.”

In addition to wedding photography, family portraits are another favorite for Dorsey, who credits extensive research for the growth of her studio.

“I have a lot of families who are going through some kind of journey, and they need that safe space to celebrate and to document that time,” Dorsey said. “I’m happy that another part of my job is to get to meet those kinds of people.

“I didn’t think I would be this far along, but in the first couple years, I invested in a lot of education. I poured my money into learning the business structure and I think that contributed to my success. As I got into it even more, I was able to learn to create different things as I went.”

Dorsey’s new space at Rae Marcel Photography in Edwardsville allows people to curate their art while renting the space for different types of photography and video sessions. 

“I used to have a studio in Indiana, but we closed that in September of last year,” Dorsey said. “I went from a space that had a lot of things like jewelry, art and sculpting, but some people came in and bought the building.

“We saw this creative art culture kind of fade away and I see that happen all the time. I feel like art can be a very sustainable profession, but sometimes you don’t have the time, the space and the money to do it. Being back here in Edwardsville, I wanted people to know that they have a space to display their artwork, video or photography.”

Dorsey is anxious to develop relationships with her fellow business owners on Main Street.

“I have some great neighbors, and everybody has been very welcoming,” Dorsey said. “Me and Blow It Out on Main (located next door at 303 N. Main St.) have discussed using our space for brides to get ready to for their wedding, where they can have a nice clean open space before the wedding starts.”

Dorsey is especially excited about the potential for arts and entertainment, as well as business growth, in downtown Edwardsville.

“We’re getting a lot more businesses and attractions and things like that in Edwardsville,” Dorsey said. “I want to be able to offer a stress-free luxury experience for families and couples here in the city.”

For more information about Rae Marcel Photography, visit her website or Rae Marcel Photography on Facebook.




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