Last month my family and I loaded up our minivan for a road trip to Asheville, North Carolina! The purpose of the trip was to get my husband Joe to compete in a Spartan Race out there, but also to visit some new territory for us. Last year our family took our first big road trip to Colorado and had such a great time that we wanted to do the same type of travel, but to a different location. Part of our trip included a bunch of hiking and exploring a couple different waterfalls in the area. This first set of photos is from Catawba Falls. (Our Airbnb was only a half mile from the trail head).
I will forever and always be grateful to strangers who offer to take a whole family photo for us!
This actually ended up being a pretty technical trail, but the kids did great (with some help from found walking sticks). And it's not everyday you get to frolic at the bottom of a waterfall! After this 3 mile round trip, we ordered pizza, bathed everyone and settled in for a cozy evening. It was fantastic!
We also drove out to Linville Falls and probably hiked about another 3 miles to see all of the different overlooks. Something I was extremely surprised and pleased with was the total lack of bugs and mosquitos! I figured being in the south during July was going to be really buggy, but not a bite on any of us!
Cece took this photo of me! I kept wearing long shirts with shorts, so I look pants-less, but I'm really not. I love having baby bump photos to show #4 all the places he/she got to tag along too!
We felt our trip was probably a day or two too short, so we'll just have to come back again and stay longer next time. Thanks for the memories, NC!
A couple weekends ago, I made a quickie trip to Chicago to photograph a triple anniversary party! While I was there I had a chance to shoot four mini sessions and I'm so glad I did that instead of using that time to just eat Dunkin' Donuts in my pajamas. (Although that sounds pretty good too!) Here are a few shots from each of the minis:
It was pure joy to meet four-month-old River and also catch up with my cousin Lauren and her husband Jake. Watching this little lady grow up is going to be a blast!
Next up in my cute baby marathon was little Ellie and her parents Mike and Jenna. All three of them were so easy and natural in front of the camera that this session was a breeze. Fun side note: I flew into Chicago with no newborn props so my mom and I gathered some things around her house including an old American Girl doll bed from my childhood in order to make the session work AND IT TOTALLY DID! Hers and River's session were shot at The Little Red School House in Willow Springs, IL
Do families come any cuter or more color coordinated than this? No, no they do not. It was so lovely to see Anne, one of my dearest friends from high school and photograph her darling kids (seriously, they were all delights). I can't wait until our paths cross again!
I also got to photograph Anne's sister Carolyn and her family! She makes boy mom life look so fabulous and fun and I'm thrilled I got to take some family photos for them!
Now that August is here, I'm gearing up to do an assortment of sessions this month as well as one wedding and a day of boudoir minis! Stay tuned, lots to come in August.
If you seek out any type of advice on running a business, the loudest message you'll hear is that you have to figure out who your ideal clients are and then figure out how to find and attract them. Well, mission accomplished. These are my people.
Family sessions are always going to have a special place in my heart and I especially am crazy about those families who come in and don't stress if a kid wants to hold their water bottle or eat an apple during the shoot. Honestly, big energetic families are my jam (probably because I'm part of one). I love being able to get different groupings of siblings and parents together and also basically just let the kids direct the shoot. I feel like the most natural and fun images occur when I'm honestly just taking a step back and letting people be themselves.
Thanks again to the Larsen family for asking me to be your photographer! I hope we get to work together again!
Over the past several years, I've had people say to me various times "You should teach a class!" I'd get blush-y and aw-shucks-y. I've always taken this as a very high compliment, but I was unsure. Just because you're someone who can DO doesn't necessarily mean you can teach. But, like shooting more weddings and pursuing boudoir photography this year, I felt like this was yet another dream/goal of mine that I wanted to bring to life instead of make excuses as to why I couldn't or shouldn't do it.
I first put out some feelers to gauge interest in early summer, then announced the event and posted a sign-up. The six spots I had opened easily filled. The class was an awesome mix of friends, former clients, and some brand-new faces. I thought long and hard about what the most valuable things I've learned in the sevenish years I've been doing photography and created a course outline as well as notes for everyone. I put together visuals, and got my friend Alysha to help refine my points as well as come out to assist me and provide another perspective as well as additional advice and knowledge. I feel like our different styles and perspectives complemented each other so well and I couldn't have done it without her!
I felt like the class went smoothly and was fun as well as informative but I was blown away by some of the feedback I received via the survey but also through additional messages.
"Your class was awesome! It was partly just helpful to hear you just have to START! And it will make more sense as you go! You are an inspiration!"
"It was fabulous to finally learn about what ISO, aperture, and shutter priority are, but I didn't expect to learn about composition and get so many tips in regard to it!"
"I enjoyed every minute of the photography workshop today! Thank you for hosting this opportunity. I learned a lot and feel inspired!"
"Ah! The workshop today was so wonderful! Now that it's a few hours behind me and I've been able to sit and digest some of what we learned, I am genuinely SO EXCITED to take out my camera tomorrow (and for many days after that!) to play with it! I had even planned out some fun things to do with my kids this coming week and just went back over my list and thought about all the different ways I would use my camera settings for each various activity! Cannot wait. Thank you again for taking time out of your weekend to teach us!
"Very empowering! You both were helpful and inspiring. I loved hearing your story of how you both got started and your different styles. Thank you for this AMAZING opportunity!
Now, of course, I've got my head down coming up with material for a follow up class as well as ways to make Photography 101 with Rachel even better. Thank you to all of these creative and motivated ladies for inspiring ME!
I'll continue to post future workshops and signups, so stay tuned!
This June I got to shoot a newborn session for baby Elena and also got two-year photos of her sister Grace, as well as a mix of family shots. The Massee family is an absolute delight to work with. I first met them about two years ago when Grace was only four months old and I was totally won over by her. She was just the sweetest baby and she and her parents were so easy to photograph. I am thrilled that I've been able to continue being their photographer! We shot this session at The Juniper Loft in Minneapolis which is a FANTASTIC studio space. It's light and bright and has a lot of versatile backdrops, furniture, props and more. Here are some of my favorite shots from my session with the Massee family!
Now that I've revisited these photos, I think it's safe to say that Grace kind of steals the show. I think the Massee family needs to give my own family tips on how to be incredibly photogenic and relaxed during photo sessions. Thank you guys again for the opportunity to capture this seriously special time!
This June I got to photograph a cake smash session with Bella to commemorate her first birthday! Bella was such a doll. She had a very dainty approach to cake tasting, using just one finger at a time. Then she insisted on sharing a bite with her mama and then promptly crawled away from her cake once she had enough. I could probably take some etiquette lessons from her.
Happy birthday, once more, sweet girl! I have a feeling one is going to be a wonderful year for you!
(Cake is from The Cakery, all beautiful outfits and props were provided by her mama Kate. and the cake stand was borrowed from my friend Norah. Cute pics take a village, people!)
A couple weeks ago I had the biggest honor of photographing two-hour old Reece and his family. His mama Kristina and I have been friends for nearly 15 years now and she's been an absolute light in my life a, steadyfast source of inspiration, and one of my biggest cheerleaders. She's always proving that there's NOTHING mamas can't do and there's no limits to how big one's heart can be. Thank you, friend, for this incredible photography opportunity.
(Oh, and for letting me hold your brand new baby!!!)
I love the way their session unfolded and how thrilled Addie was to meet her little brother. I am so happy for the Anderson family and can't wait to see all the adventures they have as a family of four.
Congrats again, you guys! Love you all!
June 2019 is the month I never took of my newborn photographer hat, averaging one newborn session per week... And I've loved every minute of it. I keep going back and forth about narrowing down my services just to streamline my life a little, but... I...just...can't. Because baby cheeks. And baby feet. And widdle fingers and cute noses that I just want to boop with my finger. And I get to hold brand new babies... so I think I'm going to keep newborn photos on the menu since y'all keep requesting them!
We also got some sibling/ sister shots too with big sister Audrey (whom I also took newborn photos of three years ago!)
We rounded out the session with taking some three-year photos of Audrey. I'm excited to see these little ladies grow up together. I think sisterhood is one of the most dramatic, precious, and wonderful things in this world and I love that these girls have a lifetime of adventures ahead of them.
Thank you so much to Tasha and Ryan to take photos of your wonderful little girls (andddd… for letting me bring my own kids along too!) I consider it an honor!
Last month, Wil and Jess kicked of my wedding season at The Mill in Chetek, Wisconsin. When I first met them, I thought they were a kind, sweet, laidback couple and I felt like we would be a good fit for each other. I really had my fingers crossed that they would book me and then was thrilled when they did.
The thing about attending a wedding for clients that aren't a previous acquaintance is that you go in to the celebration very few preconceived ideas of them as a couple. And throughout the ceremony and the reception their whole story unfolded for me and I was brought to tears several times learning about Jess and Wil. Stories poured out from their friends and loved ones about their lives, their big generous hearts, the roads they've traveled (literally and figuratively), their adventurous yet, go-with-the-flow approach to life, their steady and unfailing love for each other and for their friends and family. Even though it was cold and rainy, it was still a perfect celebration of love and joy for some pretty awesome people.
I hope they had the most glorious honeymoon biking through New Zealand and I hope the start of their married life together is as beautiful as their wedding day was. I am honored to have been a part of this day!
Last week, I took photos of sisters Thelma and Neva per their mama's request. This was definitely a departure for me! I normally photograph young children or adult couples and don't have a lot of experience photographing teens. (So I actually was kind of nervous!). Bobbi, their mom, had noticed this field of dandelions near the entrance of our neighborhood and although I've driven by it plenty, I never considered it for a photo location. All I have to say is thank goodness for Bobbi's vision and her impromptu request for a session because I love every single one of the images we got.
So, now I really want to bring my own kids out here for photos except I'm about positive that they won't be nearly as cooperative. Still think I'm going to try though.
As usual, thanks for stopping by and reading!
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!