Hi! I am William, owner of Phantasy Photos LLC and your photographer. My wife, Stephanie, helps me out occasionally with clients on session days, Facebook posts, studio set design, brainstorming new ideas, and more.
I am more than just a photographer. I am a United States Air Force Veteran. I am a guitarist and occasional songwriter. I am a test automation engineer. I am a casual video gamer. I am a reader of many subjects – fiction and nonfiction. I am an expert with meat and fire. I am a Mississippi State University and University of Phoenix alumnus. I am a St. Louis Cardinals, Las Vegas Golden Knights, Henderson Silver Knights, Las Vegas Raiders, and Los Angeles Lakers fan. And I’m a closet Dallas Cowboys fan because fellow Mississippi State University alumnus, Dak Prescott is their quarterback. Well, I’m a closet Cowboys fan until he goes to another team.
While I am all those things, my two passions are music and photography. In my youth, I wanted to be in a rock or heavy metal band. I was a member of a couple of bands, but, alas, they never went very far. I got into photography before I picked up my first guitar. While my interest in photography has been on and off for many years, I picked it back up in 2015 and have been running with it ever since.
The Early Years
As I mentioned in the previous section, my name is William, though most people call me Bill. You can use either name.
This is my story. I think it’s an interesting story, but, then again, I am biased. It’s a pretty long story, well, because I’ve been around for a pretty long time. I wrote it so you can get to know me, which is important in the photography niche that I chose to specialize in. I hope you’ll stick around for a little while and read it.
Although I probably started in photography with a 135 and/or 110 Instamatic camera… you know, those cameras that had the film in a cartridge and used flashcubes… I consider my first serious foray into the photography field when I took a photography class in junior high (middle) school and another one in high school. In those classes, I not only learned about how a 35mm single-lens reflex camera works, but also about composition, framing, lighting, and more, and how to develop black and white negative film and create black and white prints.
During my high school photography class, my step-grandfather gave me his Argus C3 MatchMatic Rangefinder 35mm camera (it’s at the top left of the photo, just below the Polaroid camera). I thought I’d lost it during one of my many moves, with my family or during my time in the United States Air Force, but my mom had it packed away in a box. She sent it to me. I still have it, and it’s still in good working condition. When I graduated high school, my parents and grandparents pooled their money and bought me a Konica AutoReflex SLR (it’s in the middle of the photo just below the Polaroid camera) for graduation. I still have it too. And it still works just fine.
Over the years, off and on, I photographed things that I found interesting, mostly landscapes, sunrises and sunsets, wildlife, and on occasion, thunderstorms. I never really cared to take photos of people, except perhaps in candid situations. I took photographs of various aircraft when I was in the United States Air Force, deployed to Incirlik, Turkey during Operation Provide Comfort, but I’m pretty sure those photos got lost in one of my moves. In any event, I never really took photography seriously or engaged in it with any regularity until the spring of 2015.
2015 - A Renewed Interest in Photography
In the spring of 2015, I lost my job. My wife had a good, well-paying job, working from home, so at the time, there wasn’t an urgent, immediate need to find a new job. Since she worked from home, I didn’t want to distract her by playing my guitars or video games.
One of my cousins is a photographer. She takes photos of abandoned things, lighthouses, landscapes and wildlife, especially the desert southwest and the northwestern Oregon coast. It was her work that inspired me to find my Olympus digital camera and go take pictures. So on the days that I wasn’t looking through job listings and applying for jobs, I grabbed my camera and went out into the local area to photograph anything and everything I saw that interested me. I took photos of the Fabulous Las Vegas Strip: Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe at Paris Las Vegas, Bellagio, Luxor, MGM Grand, Tropicana, New York, New York, Excalibur, and the famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. I took photos of Fremont Street and the Downtown Las Vegas Arts District, Red Rock Canyon, Exploration Peak, Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, Valley of Fire State Park, Clark County Wetlands Park, Floyd Lamb Park, El Dorado Mine near Nelson, Nevada, the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve, and more.
With time on my hands, I took a trip to visit my parents in Mississippi. My dad took me to Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. We walked around some, and I took a lot of photos of interesting landscapes and experimented with photo editing. He took me to some other interesting places for photo opportunities during my visit too.
After that trip, my wife and I went to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico over Memorial Day weekend, and I got some nice sunrise and sunset photos of the ocean and surrounding area.
In 2016, I drove back to Mississippi to be there for my mom and dad when my dad had surgery… to help out around the house and yard, run errands, pick up prescriptions from the pharmacy, and some other things. I was fortunate that my new employer allowed me to work remotely for a few weeks. While my dad was in the hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, I got some really nice sunset photos over the Mississippi River. Just before I left, I went to nearby Mississippi State University, where I attended and graduated college, walked around, marveling at all the changes since I was last there and taking photographs.
On my return trip home, I slowed down and took my time, stopping at interesting places to take some photos: Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, Cadillac Ranch just west of Amarillo, Texas, the Leaning Water Tower in Groom, Texas, one of the largest crosses in the Western Hemisphere located near Groom, Texas, Standin’ on a Corner Park in Winslow, Arizona, Grand Canyon National Park, Williams, Arizona, Seligman, Arizona, Peach Springs, Arizona, and some other interesting sights along the way.
2017 - Seeds of a Business
In May 2017, I decided to try photographing people. It took a while, but I found a few ladies who were willing to work with me, on a TFP basis or as paid models. From October 2017 through April 2018, I worked with these ladies to decide if portrait photography was something I would enjoy. I also wanted to find out if I could be good at it. And I needed to learn how to work with people.
The photos in the two galleries below are some of the results from those photo sessions.
I learned that a) I did enjoy it quite a lot, and b) I could be good at it. In May 2017, I built my photography website. Initially, I called it PhotosByWLG. Later, I changed it to William Gentry Photography.
A Five-Month Break
My wife and I had some personal issues surface in April 2018. I took a break from photography. Before I continue the story, let me back up a few months.
Starting in early 2018, my wife told me she wanted to see herself as I see her. She told me this several times. At the time, I didn’t know how to show her what she wanted to see, but the seed was planted. It just needed some time to sprout.
Since I wasn’t practicing my photography skills, I started researching the photography niche I was drawn to – boudoir photography. There were two businesses and educational resources that I was drawn to:
- The Boudoir Divas, and
- Boudie Shorts.
I bought courses and products from both. The information I got from both of those resources was helpful. I started implementing some of the things I learned into the beginning of what would become my photography business. But there was still something missing. I couldn’t quite connect the dots. Then, late one night in June, the owner of Boudie Shorts contacted me about a program she just started. We chatted through Facebook Messenger for a bit. I was intrigued and scheduled a call. I got all of the program details on that call, including the price. I really wanted to join the program, but the timing just wasn’t right.
In May 2018, My wife and I started seeing a therapist and marriage counselor, individually and together. That was one of the best decisions we ever made. Over the past 3 years, we’ve worked through a myriad of issues. By early August, the most serious of the issues were mending. That’s when that seed started to sprout. I figured out how to show my wife how I see her. I could show her by taking her photos.
For her 50th birthday, I gave her a boudoir photo session. We planned it for the weekend before her birthday. We rented a suite at New York, New York Hotel and Casino. We went shopping for a couple of her outfits. She found Beauty Studio, Inc. to do her hair and makeup. We checked into New York, New York on Friday evening and had a late dinner at one of the hotel’s restaurants. Saturday morning, we had breakfast and did some shopping while housekeeping tidied up our suite. At 1 PM, our hair and makeup artist, Danielle, arrived to do my wife’s hair and makeup. She did an amazing job.
She wore three different outfits.
- Her official Golden Knights sweater/jersey, black panties, and thigh-high black high-heel boots
- A United States Air Force camouflage outer shirt with Staff Sergeant stripes and cap. a black bra, black panties, black garter belt, black sheer stockings, and black stilettos
- A partially sheer bodysuit and sheer skirt
We used three different spaces within the suite for her photographs. Since we rented the hotel suite for the entire weekend, we took our time. The session lasted 5-6 hours instead of 3 or 4 hours.
I wanted to do a same-day photo reveal for her, but my 8-year old MacBook Pro wasn’t cooperating so it had to wait until we returned home on Sunday.
My wife knows she is beautiful. But she never saw herself as sexy. My wife could not believe the person in the photos was her. She cried tears of joy! She finally saw her sexy side.
Objective #1 of the session was accomplished; she saw herself as I see her. Objective #2 was to show her that I act professionally at all times during photo sessions. This objective was also met. Objective #3 was to get her acceptance, approval, and support for me to start a boudoir photography business. I planned to wait a week or two before discussing objective #3 with her. I was surprised by what happened next.
She said, “Now I understand why you want to specialize in boudoir photography. You can’t keep this to yourself. You must share it with other women.” And that, as they say, is that. Objective #3 met.
In October 2018, I was contacted again by a representative of Boudie Shorts LLC about its Certified Professional Boudoir Photographer program. Remember, I already researched the program but determined that the timing wasn’t right. Now the timing was right, but I needed my wife to buy into the program because it wasn’t cheap. Tiana explained the program to my wife. We asked a few questions. Then we discussed it privately for a couple of minutes. My wife agreed that the program was worthwhile and would be beneficial.
I enrolled not because of some sense of pride or to show off that I’m certified. In fact, in the photography world, this certification means absolutely zero, nothing, zilch, diddly squat. I enrolled because I knew that the program would help me become a better boudoir photographer and a better business owner. I did it because I felt that it would help prospective clients trust me as a male photographer to take their intimate photographs. I felt that it would help them feel safe and comfortable in my studio. I felt that it would help them understand that I value and respect them as clients. And, finally, help them understand that I run my business professionally and ethically.
In addition to the Certified Professional Boudoir Photographer program, I have and continue to study with other renowned boudoir photographers and educators, including Marissa Boucher (The Boudoir Divas), Michael Sasser, and Denise Birdsong. These educators and their courses arm me with additional knowledge and skills to give my clients an even better boudoir experience.
Phantasy Photos LLC
After joining the Certified Professional Boudoir Photography program, it was time to start my boudoir photography business. I wanted the name to imply boudoir photography and intimate portraits without stating it explicitly.
I came up with a couple of names and almost went with Pixel Perfect. Then my wife suggested Fantasy Photos. I liked it but tweaked the spelling to Phantasy Photos. Thus, Phantasy Photos was officially launched in October 2018.
Phantasy Photos was officially formed in February 2019 when I filed with the state of Nevada and became Phantasy Photos LLC. To date, I photographed 26 women under the Phantasy Photos brand. In 2021, I’m changing my business model from photo session plus products to all-inclusive packages. Many clients didn’t buy photos and products under the session plus products model. I also think many people didn’t schedule a photo session because photos and products weren’t included. I think I’ll attract more clients with the all-inclusive packages model.
outside the studio
Photography for Fun
There are times that I will take a client or model on location to do something super creative, such as a cosplay set that screams the need for a specific outdoor setting.
When I’m not working with clients but need my photography fix, I enjoy getting outdoors to photograph landscapes, sunrises and sunsets, wildlife, flowers, the Milky Way, the stars and the moon, lightning, light painting, and more.
Interested in seeing those photos? Check out my Facebook Page:
William Gentry Photography
The background photo is a self-portrait I shot in November 2017 at Valley of Fire State Park near Overton, Nevada. To date, I’ve done two photo sessions near where this photo was taken.
I enlisted in the United States Air Force in September 1989 and separated on 06 December 1998 with an Honorable Discharge. My job was that of an Aircraft Armament Systems Specialist. The easy way to describe my job is that I loaded bombs, bullets, and missiles and maintained the weapons systems on USAF aircraft. Although I could have worked on any aircraft in the USAF fleet, I was always assigned to F-16 units.
Duty Stations & Deployments
Although I did not deploy during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, I am a veteran of those operations. Together they comprised the Iraqi War.
My duty stations were Homestead AFB, Florida, Spangdahlem AB, Germany, and Nellis AFB, Nevada.
I deployed to Incirlik AB, Turkey five times in support of Operation Provide Comfort and once to Aviano AB, Italy in support of Operation Deny Flight. These two deployments were real-world missions. I also deployed to Soesterberg AB, Netherlands, Nevatim AB, Israel, Belgium, Denmark, Tyndall AFB, Florida, and Nellis AFB for various training exercises. Some of these deployments were NATO training exercises with other nations’ air and naval forces.
Besides photography, my other passion is music. I picked up my first guitar in 1980. I am a self-taught guitarist. I wrote a few songs too. I don’t play as often as I’d like. Someday that will change.
I have 3 acoustic guitars, 6 electric guitars, one acoustic-electric guitar, an electric bass, and a banjo, several amplifiers, speaker cabinets, and other accessories.
My favorite music genres are heavy metal, classic rock, and country, though I do listen to other music genres on occasion.
I enjoy spending time with my beautiful, supportive, and loving wife.
I like watching movies. Bull Durham, Star Wars, and Marvel movies are my favorites. My favorite actors are Kevin Costner, Charlize Theron, Matt Damon, Amy Adams, Clint Eastwood, Sandra Bullock, and Keanu Reeves, to name a few.
I enjoy reading and barbecue grilling.
I don’t watch a lot of television, but my favorite must watch shows are the Marvel shows (Disney+), the Mandalorian (Disney+), Cobra Kai (Netflix), and The Expanse (Amazon). I need to watch Yellowstone. I have quite a Netflix list that I may or may not get around to watching.
I’m looking forward to more new TV series based on the Marvel and Star Wars universes.
Various Photos & Selfies Over the Years
Mexican Riviera Cruise
We took a 7-day cruise for our 10th Anniversary in October 2015 (yeah, a year and a half late) to the Mexican Riviera. Departing from Long Beach, California. Ports of call were Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Cabo san Lucas.
We are avid fans of our Las Vegas Golden Knights. We’ve been to several Knights games, including the two below.
With the Henderson Silver Knights inaugural season in 2021, perhaps we’ll go watch them in action as a much less expensive option.
Boudie Camp Live 2019
Boudie Camp Live was a boudoir photography conference. Well, actually it was more than just a boudoir photography conference, but you have to experience it to understand why. It was held annually in Austin, TX, usually in April. There were guest speakers who taught us about a wide range of topics:
- General photography
- General business
- Photography business
- Boudoir photography topics
- And more
I got to meet a lot of people who I only knew online through the CPBP program.
An impromptu photo session broke out during lunch on Day 2! A few of my colleagues modeled for the rest of us. I missed most of the spontaneous session because I was talking with Boudie Shorts staff about the Boudoir Empire program. I missed getting a photo of Cassie in a tree 🙁. But I did get a lot of great information to implement in my business. Boudie Camp Live 2019 a lot of fun!
I was really looking forward to Boudie Camp Live 2020, but it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Boudie Shorts ceased business shortly thereafter. Stupid COVID-19! I hope some of us can get together once COVID-19 releases its grip upon the world.