A Photography-Based Wedding Day Timeline
August 14, 2019
Rachel means "Lamb" in Hebrew. My middle name is Fawn. And I'm an Aries. So, basically, I'm all kinds of cute little hoofed animal. I do love meadows, pastures, mountains, forests, trees, water - I love everything and everyone, really. When I get to shoot photo-journalistically, I capture around 1,000 photos per hour on two cameras of every single amazing thing that's going on around me. I'm a super photography nerd.
Okay, ready for the novel? (If not, just skip this page and look at my pics.)
I'm from Fallbrook in San Diego county, where I lived for nearly 33 years (I'm 36 now). My first inspiration was my sweet ol' grandma, Helen Jones. She would make us homemade popcorn and goat's milk sapote milkshakes all summer long. Her photo albums, dating back to before my dad was born, lined the shelves of one of the upstairs bedrooms. My sister and my cousins and I would thoroughly enjoy re-living all these memories from before we even existed. (And I loved seeing how dorky my Dad was as a kid. The apple didn't fall far.)
I picked up my own first (film) camera when I was 12, in 1995, and I was totally obsessed. I kept photo albums all throughout high school of my sister's, my cousins' and my shenaniganigigans (as if that word isn't weird enough, I had to weird it more). I became the new self-declared family photographer. Growing up before cell phones and getting to be a film photographer was actually pretty damn badass.
But, my grandma also had me take piano lessons and came to my spelling bees. Being a choir and English nerd, I was an English and Music double-major for most of college (UCSD, Palomar College and CSUSM - I was on the ten-year program).
When I took Digital Photography 301 - it was ON like DONKEY KONG (though I liked Super Mario 3 better), and that was ALL SHE WROTE (but at least She didn't Write Murder . . . Was the Case that They Gave Me . . . sorry, too many 90's references . . but Angela Lansbury and Snoop Dogg were Tha Shiznit).
My photography professor (didn't I tell you this was a novel? I warned you) was a former Navy Photojournalist named Nancy diBenedetto, who kicked ass and took names (every day . . . for roll call). I never missed a class, even when I was passing a kidney stone (damn you, dirty Dr. Pepper).
Blah blah blah . . . long story short, I dropped out of college when the class was over a few classes shy of my degrees and decided to "be" a "Photographer" (so much for ten years of nothin' . . . bahahaha! Sorry grandma. Just kidding. I know you're smilin' down).
But, life happened. My husband of ten years got sick, and passed away in January 2016. I moved with our son Louie, who was six at the time, to Nor Cal - Pollock Pines to be exact (oh God, SNOW) - to be close to my sister April and her son Jack, who is Louie's age. Obviously, it was the best thing to do.
All right, so this is where people want to feel bad for me - but please don't! I'm engaged again to an amazing Chef, we have a little girl together, and Louie has a step-brother his age. I started my business for real in October of 2017, and I've shot over 60 weddings and over 80 sessions completely and totally dedicated to preserving people's actual real memories of the people they love. There's a reason I care so much about it, and now you know what that reason is. Photographic nerd-dom dating back to when I was 12 coupled with an extreme appreciation for Life. That's what loss does. It makes every new moment matter.
So the thing is, I'm a shy, awkward dork, sure, but get me behind a camera (or four . . . I actually have four), and I turn into this photographic super hero. I swear. I zone in on all of that laughter and love and those hugs and kisses and tears and all that realness . . . all that Life . . . and I just don't stop shooting. I can do it both ways, where I either guide you along and suggest things for you to do but then still capture you as naturally as possible (Lifestyle Photography), or, I can hide in the bushes (okay not always . . . but sometimes) and actually let you truly be yourselves and just capture everything like crazy (Photojournalism).
And, for engagement sessions, it's all about an epic adventure. Being new to Gold Country, I'm in love with it and want to explore every where, all the time. Just . . . golden hour, blue hour, mountain-river-forest-ocean-lake-meadow-downtown-wherever-I-don't-even-CARE-as-long-as-it's-AMAZING gorgeousness. Wherever. We'll just have fun and it'll be insanely beautiful. You and the person you love most and this sort of nerdy side-kick (me).
All right, let's wrap it up. What do people say here? "Hey, whatever you're looking for, I'd love to chat with you about it!" (That's a lie. I don't like talking, really, unless I have a couple cameras on my shoulders and one is pointed at you. But I'll make it work.)
Let's DO this!