Hi! I'm Rachel Fawn Kolb, a photojournalist and lifestyle photographer based in Northern California who will travel anywhere to capture Love.
I’ve struggled with whether or not to share my personal story on my website. But, I think after this last year, especially, we are all human beings who have had their struggles, and getting to know one another brings us a little closer during these difficult times.
First of course, let’s talk photography! I started shooting when I was twelve years old on a Canon 35 mm film camera, in 1995. I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to live in the era before cell phones and digital cameras. I became a photojournalist - like everyone is today - keeping photo albums of my sister’s, my cousin’s, and my shenanigans all the way through high school. These were printed albums, of course, and I would print out little captions for each photo to tell the whole story.
When I got married in 2009, Facebook was two years old, but not everyone had joined yet, and I still took photos on film. Rikki - my high school sweetheart - and I had a civil ceremony and a small reception at his mom’s house, with just a few family members. We were down-to-earth, private people. I made guacamole in my wedding dress. My cousin sang and played “At Last” on guitar for our first dance. Before the ceremony, I had handed out one-time-use film cameras to each of our guests to capture the day for us. Our wedding album ended up being AMAZING.
It has always been the real moments, the memories that matter to me. In 2014, I was double-majoring at Cal State San Marcos as an English and Music major (I like to write and sing, too), when I finally took a digital photography class. And that’s all she wrote (literally). After that class taught by the spectacular Army Photojournalist-turned -Wedding & Session Photographer, Nancy DiBenedetto, I dropped out of college to start my photography business, because I knew it was what I was meant to do, all along.
But, my husband got sick that same year, with congestive heart failure. Our son Louie was four years old, and I needed to be there - so I put my business plans on hold. When Rikki died in 2016, we were devastated. We moved to Northern California to Pollock Pines, to be near my sister and her son, who was Louie’s age. Leaving San Diego county - where I’d lived my entire life - wasn’t easy, but I knew it was the best thing to do for both of us.
Later that year, my sister got married, and I purchased all of the equipment I needed to shoot her wedding with Rikki’s life insurance, as my wedding gift to her. I loved it! I shot her wedding the same way I’ve always everything - capturing every single moment, because life is short, and precious. I know for me, I’m so glad that I can still go back to all those photos with Rikki and remember him the way he was.
Life went on. I met someone new, we got engaged, we had a daughter, Ophelia, and I officially started my licensed, insured photography business in October 2017 when Ophie was 8 months old.
In my first year, I shot nearly 40 weddings, and TONS of sessions! As of now, I've shot over 100 weddings, and I can't imagine ever doing anything else.
My own relationship with my daughter's dad ended in December 2019, unfortunately. It wasn't meant to be for us, but what keeps me going is getting to continue to capture the love between all of you wonderful couples and your families. I try to treat you all like my own family, remaining affordable and creating custom wedding and session packages based on your budget and needs.