On a snowy spring day last month, I met with Jordan and Nate in St. Cloud to help check off "engagement photos" from their wedding to-do list. I'm so glad we got a chance to finally meet in person after many email exchanges and get a feel of working together! I can't wait to get them in front of the camera again during their wedding in October!
We had a romantic, playful, classy, and candid style shoot at the Bridge of Hope in Sauk Rapids before going to Quarry Park and Nature Preserve to get a change of scenery and outfits. I'm so happy with how their photos turned out and I think their wedding is going to be an absolutely beautiful and joyful day!
(This shot really makes me feel the feels because it gives me a vision of them exchanging their vows on their wedding day in front of all their loved ones. And I love that they could gaze at each other just like that in the ridiculous cold weather with no one around... well, except me!)
Guys, I am honored to be capturing your wedding day this fall. I truly hope you treasure these photos for years to come!
I am so thrilled to be shooting Wil and Jess's wedding this month! Here are some of their engagement shots we took in April (doesn't it look April-y outside?) We shot at Willow River on the sunniest day I've ever experienced and they brought along their bulldog Frank. In my opinion, way more photo sessions should include bulldogs. Even though it was blindingly bright, chilly, and windy, these two were totally good-natured about the day's conditions and we came away with some lovely photos.
Let's be honest, it's not the funnest to take photos when you're freezing, but it does result in people holding each other tighter, and snuggling in closer, which are all things I am ok with.
See you guys again on your wedding day!
Last weekend I met with Ella and her mom to get her two-year milestone pics done! Usually toddler sessions leave me out of breath and laughing since little ones are usually all over the place. But Ella had a more grown-up and mellow personality. It's not often that I'm able to photograph little ones who are willing to stay still, so this was a unique and wonderful opportunity! Ella was a little shy at first, but we made friends as I pretended the furry pillow she liked was a puppy woofing at her. (My random skill set is vast and, well, random.)
Thanks again to Ella for such a great mini session and to The Juniper Loft for providing such a lovely space for us!
Lots of firsts for me this weekend! First of all, I outsmarted winter and had several excellent indoor shoots at The Juniper Loft in Minneapolis. Oh, and I fell in love with this little lady during her mini session. No big deal. The only downside to this shoot was that my face kind of hurt afterwards from smiling so much! Miss Audrey, the world is a lovelier place with you in it and I'm so happy your parents asked me to take your pics! Thank you again, Mary and Justin!
Well... those cheeks and that smile just slay me. That is all. Thanks for stopping by and scrolling on through my blog!
Winter is just flying by! (SAID NO ONE EVER.) Fortunately, photo sessions with sweet families have helped to keep the winter blues at bay. Last month I got a chance to reunite with the Lindmarks at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and take some photos to celebrate Joe turning two. I love getting repeat chances to work with families. Everyone knows each other just a little better and the sessions usually go even more smoothly.
Happy Birthday once more, little guy! Two looks rather amazing on you!
It's such a treat for me when I get the chance to take photos for family members. Last month while I visited my family in Chicago I took some photos for my cousin Lauren's baby shower and I also took photos of my aunt and uncle's dogs for them. The dog glamour shots went as well as they possibly could have! This past year has been my biggest year, by far, for having pets included in photo sessions and I hope this trend continues into 2019!
Love you, Aunt Gina! Can't wait to see you next time we visit!
A couple weeks ago I had a chance to start off the new year by photographing our neighbor's new baby girl Blakely. She is baby number three for the Lewis family which meant lots of photos with siblings!
Is that a sibling stack of cuteness or what?
Blakely on her own and in her mother's arms was also absolute sweetness. I absolutely love that brief and beautiful newborn stage and it's always an honor to document it. Congrats once more, Lewis family! (And thanks for letting me bring my own kids to this photo session! (#makeitwork)
Hi, hi! I hope the new year finds you well and warm! Like many of you, I'm full of dreams, plans, and too many sugar cookies as we head into 2019. In fact, I don't really even mind January as it's such low-key month in comparison to the holiday hustle in December. It's now a perfect time for reinstating order in our minds and homes!
However, before I start talking too much and too fast about all the things I'd like to accomplish this year, I would like to take a quick moment to reflect on and acknowledge the growth that actually happened in 2018 before blabbing about all my goals and resolutions for the upcoming year.
First things first, I changed my business name from Rachel Yuen Gaetz Photography to Ray and Grace Photography. I got an excellent logo created by Autumn Lane Paperie which I incorporated within my website, and social media accounts, and then eventually on gift certificates and business cards. I think the name and the graphic have a feminine, yet whimsical and timeless feel which I think reflects my work! I also revamped my website at the beginning of the year, added a page for photography-related blog posts, and began sending out all of my clients a quarterly newsletter.
Instead of hiding under a blanket during the cold months of the year, when I knew family sessions wouldn't be happening, I offered headshot sessions which were incredibly fun to do. I loved being able to work one-on-one with clients and draw out their personalities in photos!
I also shot a couple of indoor newborn lifestyle sessions too! It's a privilege to get a chance to step in and document that new baby life.
For the first time ever, I offered Mommy and Me Mini sessions in May. These were some of my favorite images of the entire year!
I also connected with Best Version Media and shot 4 magazine covers this year for local publications -- two for The Connector and two for Hudson Neighbors.
I shot a few sessions each month during the summer, but things really kicked up in the fall as I had 25 sessions in October alone. In the fall I also stopped using Google Drive to send photos to clients. Instead, I began using PicTime as my platform for sharing galleries and selling prints. It has been a much more professional and polished way for clients to view, download, and order their photos.
You can see my PicTime profile here.
(I'm proud of it!)
I also held two rounds of mini sessions in October. One at Lake Elmo Park Reserve and one at Willow River State Park. Both days were booked solid and I even added on a few spots!
In December, I offered Christmas tree farm mini sessions. I am so happy with how the sessions ran and with how the images turned out in spite of the chill!
In 2018, I didn't really find my footing in marketing myself as a wedding photographer. I second shot one wedding in the summer, but otherwise mainly spent my time scheduling and shooting family and milestone sessions.
HOWEVER. In November I applied, interviewed, and was hired on as a wedding photographer for Tulips and Ties Photography. I'm looking forward to being a second shooter and learning more from seasoned pros just as much as being able to be a lead shooter. More about this soon!
Anyway, I just wanted to extended a heartfelt thank you to all who hired or referred me in any way this year. I am still in disbelief by the growth in business and I am full of ideas to serve clients even better next year!
I feel like I've been waiting forever to shoot holiday sessions and now they are a thing of the past! Last weekend I photographed several families at WIllow River Tree Farm in Hudson. It had snowed the day before which created a perfectly festive atmosphere for photos! All families did an amazing job of smiling and posing in the cold. I raise my cup of cheer to all of you, well done!
One of my first sessions was for my longtime friend and possibly most regular client, Kristina and her family. This session was extra special because we got to photograph a new baby announcement! I absolutely cannot wait to meet their new addition this summer!
I got to meet Angie, her husband, and four kids last weekend too! I don't get to photograph families of six too often, so I love when the opportunity arises.
I got to photograph my neighbors, the Dumonds. This was so fun and easy. Annnnd I could just eat up that little Isla, she's precious!
These guys can't take a bad picture. I might just frame them and put them on my own wall.
I was lucky to do a couple's session for my friend Sheri and her husband, Jay. Sheri's enthusiasm for photos was absolutely unmatched... She said they hadn't had professional pictures taken of them since their wedding. Challenge accepted, love captured. Jay was such a great sport to go along with all of our ideas and antics. The way he looks at her.... come on! This is couple goals, right here.
So glad they brought the mistle toe... too cute!
The Laine family came out for photos looking fantastically festive. I loved how spirited and energetic Amelia and Eleanor were. It's always a treat to photograph sisters, but getting to meet with twin sisters is definitely extra special and twice the cuteness in every picture.
Lastly, I photographed Jess and her boys. These little fellas love their beautiful mama so much. It was a joy and a privilege to capture their family!
There you have it, holiday minis 2018! There's still time for us to meet at the tree farm this month if you still want Christmas photos! Just let me know, I'll bring the hot chocolate!
It's about to be evergreen as far as the eye can see for the next month! Before I fully transition into holiday mode, I want to share this last lovely session of the fall which was such a great experience. I met with the Ehlenz family, who own two of my favorite restaurants in Stillwater (Pearl and the Thief and Lolo). We strolled the streets of Stillwater and took advantage of the many excellent photo opportunities along the storefronts and the river. I love all the textures and details in that historic town: wood, brick, metal, murals, and more! My brain was on creative overload and I loved every minute of it. We ended our session with some ice cream and some glowy golden hour shots.
Joe and Nicki were such a fun, laid-back couple and they made it so easy to get a big variety of shots, posed and candid, in such a short time. I'm lucky to have met you guys! Thanks again for the fantastic session!
Welcome to my photography blog!
Rachel again! Here's where you'll be able to find blog posts about all things photography: recent sessions, upcoming events, and just fun musings on photography in general. Can't wait to fill 'er up with content!