Born in Warrensburg, Missouri and raised in Greenville, North Carolina, Dylan Ray was brought up as the son of a career nurse and an accomplished painter, laying the groundwork early for an understanding of the abstract beauty of oils and acrylics, as well as the reality of how quickly our lives and the moments in them can pass. As a child, his first brush with photography came with a Brownie Hawkeye that was used more as a toy than a camera, but the shutter still worked and he could still hear that distinct spring when it clicked. Looking down into the Brownie’s viewfinder, Dylan Ray took imagined photo after imagined photo before eventually upgrading to a Kodak Instamatic camera with 110 film that was reminiscent of a pair of opera glasses. From then on he was hooked.
Dylan Ray attended Randolph Technical College in Asheboro and graduated in 2004 with an Associates Degree in Photojournalism and Photographic Technology. While in school he underwent a change in philosophy, drifting from the purist belief that film was the only true medium to embracing the range, convenience and value of digital photography. It was also at this point that Dylan Ray gained a greater interest in Photojournalism, driving him to intern for the Post & Courier in Charleston, South Carolina and the Carteret County News-Times in Morehead City, North Carolina, where he was asked to remain on staff as the new head photographer and eventually photo editor. Over the next fifteen years Dylan Ray accumulated over 20 awards from the North Carolina Press Association for Excellence in Photojournalism.