Photographer brings an artist’s ‘i’ to his portraits

Capturing moments in time.

That’s what Wilfred “Jay-R” Reyes is hoping to do with his photography company, iCandy Images, which opened in January in Towne Square.

He previously ran his business out of a home studio in Bremerton, but keeping the business running smoothly — and his house clean — became too stressful.

“Customers had to go through the living room to get to the studio,” he said. “It just didn’t work out.”

Speaking of home, it’s where Reyes’ ambitions were born.

“When I was growing up, I always wanted to be an artist; I did all sorts of sketches,” said Reyes, 29, who moved to Bremerton from Oxnard, Calif., as a child. “I did all sorts of sketches. My parents gave me that thought of artists don’t make much money.

“Well, here I am. This is a different form of artistry, but it fulfills my needs to be artistic.”

But the road to artistry wasn’t smooth.

Reyes started as an engineer at Boeing, but when the aftermath of 9/11 made jobs scarce, he joined the military, similarly to his father. He served a little more than five years — and cultivated his love of photography along the way.

“I was going to be going out to sea a lot (so) I figured I might as well get a camera and do something.”

In 2008, a friend asked Reyes to shoot his wedding, and that’s when he became enamored with the idea of doing it professionally.

“There’s nothing like photographing their special day,” he said.

Now, he mainly shoots families in a 900-square-foot studio he chose for its proximity to South Kitsap High School — right across the street. However, he is always willing to personalize the experience by shooting in clients’ homes.

And most enjoyable for him is taking photos of children, which he is considering making his specialty.

“Between birth to five, those ages are wonderful,” he said. “Their smiles are genuine.”

Reyes said while high schoolers are always wondering what the photographer is thinking of them, young children “don’t hide anything.”

“Nothing is more inspiring to me than seeing a parent’s eyes light up when they see that photograph of their child.”

Reyes charges $40 for a 15-minute studio session, which typically caters to business professionals needing portraits. An hour in the studio is $80, while $100 is charged for an on-location shoot, such as at a park or in someone’s home. The sitting fees are applied to the final purchase fee. His products include photos of all sizes, stretched canvases and floating canvas portraits.

Reyes is planning to set up a booth at the Port Orchard Farmers Market on Saturdays, and is working on cardboard cutouts where people can stick their faces in.

“We’re going to make the cutouts geared toward the Farmers Market,” he said, “so people will remember it was Port Orchard.”

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