Interview with Annie Ray, 2015 Campaign Brochure Photographer

We are excited to debut photos from our 2015 Campaign brochure themed “Your Guide to Philanthropy”. Here at UWATX, we believe that the act of giving is what unites our community together. Whether that is through a donation of time or money, we encourage you to build philanthropy in a way that works for you.

We had the pleasure coordinating this project with two very talented women, photographer, Annie Ray, and designer, Kathy Horn. Annie Ray is an Austin-based lifestyle photographer who focuses on bringing out the “real stuff” in everything she shoots. She was voted Best Austin Photographer in 2010 and 2011 from the Austin Chronicle. Kathy is a copywriter and creative director who has a diverse skillset and creates print, broadcast and digital projects.

Both Annie and Kathy collaborated with their photography and design skills to skillfully capture the uniqueness of the three special UWATX families that were featured in our Campaign brochures.  Latara Clark discussed how volunteering has made a positive impact on her children’s lives and helps strengthen their morals(their photo can be seen on the featured image). James McDonough explains how United Way’s Employee Giving Campaign at his workplace made it easy for him to enroll in automatic payroll deduction and give back to his community. Marisela has witnessed firsthand how the Pre-K program funded by United Way for Greater Austin has been pivotal to her daughter’s development.

James McDonough
James McDonough
Marisela & Miya Dagin
Marisela & Miya Dagin

We had the opportunity to chat with Annie and learn more about her passion for photography, as well as discuss some takeaways she had from photographing the UWATX families.

When did you begin to develop your interest in photography?

During my senior year of high school, I signed up for a photojournalism class that was available. The teacher was very inspiring because she pushed us to look outside the box a bit.

How would you classify your style of photography? How did you develop your style?

My style would best be described as “narrative portraits”, where the photo tells a deeper story about the subject and the real person. Over time, I began to really get to know my subjects and the personality behind the thing that everyone else knows them for.

Do you have a preference of photographing objects or people? If so, why?

People. I like to talk with my subjects and get to know them. It is the surface digging that I’ve found fulfilling with any shoot.

What was your favorite part of working with the subjects in the UWATX campaign?

I really enjoyed meeting the different families that UWATX impacts positively. Hearing new stories and working with a team is really fun.

Did you learn anything new from the people you worked with during this specific photo shoot?

It is incredible to see how much United Way for Greater Austin does for families. I didn’t know all the ways they contribute at first, but now UWATX will be an organization that does great work for a greater purpose.

Are there any photographers or artists who have inspired your work?

Illustrator Chris Ware is a huge inspiration to me

What is your best photography tip?

Trust your instinct, and explore new techniques as if you were exploring outer space.

What causes do you support in your personal life?

Currently, I love helping out with dogs that need a forever home. I support Short Mugs Rescue, Bully Butt Rescue, and Pug Rescue.


Want to get your hands on these campaign brochures, as well as our other fun “I’m a philanthropist” swag for this year’s campaign? Learn more about running a campaign at your company!

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