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!
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!