How did you get into photography?
As a young girl, in the early nineties, I would always look through my grandmother's printed photo albums while visiting her. I started shooting on my own Canon 35mm film camera when I was 12 and started keeping albums of my own, of my, my sister's and my cousins' shenanigans. I also shot in black and white film and loved taking the camera out exploring to capture artistic photos in nature. Ansel Adams is one of my heroes.
In college, when I took digital photography, it was then that I knew I wanted to be a professional photographer. I left two double-majors (English and Music) behind, and started my full-time, licensed and insured photography business, Rachel Fawn Photo. But, my husband of ten years got sick, and I had to put things on hold for a few years.
After he passed away, I decided to dedicate myself to capturing and preserving life's most precious moments for my clients, in as beautiful a way as possible, so they can not only remember these milestones in their lives, but they'll also be proud to hang these moments in their home. Other than raising my two children, nothing is more fulfilling and rewarding than being a professional wedding, engagement and family photographer capturing real memories for people!
Where are you located? How far do you travel? Is there a travel fee?
I'm originally from San Diego, but I now live in the Sierra Foothills in a small town called Pollock Pines, about half-way between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe on Hwy 50 in El Dorado County - Gold County! I love travelling all over this northern half of our state, as well as western Nevada - but I'm completely open to travelling out of my area as well if we are the perfect fit! Travel fees may apply for weddings, events or sessions that take more than an hour to get to, but just ask!
What kind of editing do you do?
Using Adobe Lightroom, I adjust the images for exposure, brightness, contrast, color, crop, etc, plus retouch for blemish removal and teeth whitening on any formal portraits. I have some dark-and-moody clients, some light-and-airy clients, some looks-like-film, but most are classic, natural, and colorful. I'm happy to tailor specific editing styles for my clients - I just want you to love your album!
Clients can also order additional retouching or item removal on any photo in their gallery, if needed, for $30 per image.
What equipment do you use?
I carry only the essential equipment, because I like to be where the action is, quickly! And, I use as much natural light as possible, except when fill or bounce professional light is a must - so I'm not setting up huge lights or stands and I'm not part of the scene (and I'm not missing a moment)!
I shoot on two professional-grade full-frame Canon 5D Mark III cameras. I use two Canon 600 EX-RT Speedlites and MagMod diffuser system when needed. My lenses are the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L, and Canon 100mm macro f/2.8L.
I've also owned (and sold, because they don't meet my specifications) the Canon 50mm f1.2/L, Canon 24mm f/1.4L, Canon 50mm f/1.4, Canon 28mm f/1.8, Sigma Art 85mm f/1.4, and Tamron 35mm f/1.8 (I LOVE primes but they have to be PERFECT for what I need them for). My next equipment purchase, however, WILL be the Canon RF 35 F1.8 Macro IS STM lens (great for photojournalism, portraits, details, low light, AND video - yep, I want to start doing hybrid) along with a Canon EOS R body, in early March 2020.
What is your turnaround time for images?
I try to deliver galleries as quickly as one-to-two weeks. But, sessions are delivered no later than three-to-four weeks, and weddings are delivered no later than six-to-eight weeks.
Do you sell prints?
Yes! Prints can be purchased easily and affordably in high quality directly from your online gallery. Prints ordered from your online gallery are fulfilled by White House Custom Colour and are available on canvas, metal, mounted styrene and premium luster paper in sizes up to 24x36 by default, but larger sizes can be ordered by special request.
What are your prices?
My prices are displayed on my Booking site. Weddings and events start at just $750 plus $150 each additional hour, with special Wedding Collections starting at $1500 (including items such as a complimentary engagement session, second shooter, album, and slideshow).
Sessions are $150 for 30 minutes, $250 for 1 hour, or $350 for 2 hours. I also offer holiday mini session promotions for less, so be sure to join my mailing list on my Booking page to hear about upcoming specials!
What is included in the price?
All best images (average 100 images per hour of shooting) are edited and uploaded to your online gallery in high resolution .jpg format, at 270 ppi, to maintain the highest quality, but manageable file sizes, with no watermarks; if you need 300 ppi (full resolution) for very big enlargements, just let me know. Clients get a full print and web release free of charge.
You and your guests have unlimited downloads of the full gallery to your computer as a .zip file, as well as individual images to mobile devices. The gallery never expires.
Why are your prices so low?
It's not due to lack of experience or pro equipment - I've been shooting for over 20 years, was formally trained in digital photography and processing at Cal State San Marcos, shoot on only professional-grade photography equipment, and have shot over 80 weddings and well over 100 sessions since starting my business in October 2017. It comes down to two things: style, and clients.
As an artistic photojournalist and lifestyle photographer, I capture life as it unfolds, providing gentle guidance where necessary, but always encouraging clients to be true to themselves. I capture an average 500 to 1,000 images per hour of every authentic moment, from the best angles for light and composition.
Since my clients want their real memories preserved, they aren't looking to be posed and directed all day, which is an expertise that other photographers charge more for. When my clients want to pose for formal portraits, they provide me with a shot list and/or a Pinterest board to shoot from. Other than that, I capture everything as naturally as possible. This style isn't suited for clients who want their photographer to be in charge of every moment, but for clients who aren't afraid to be themselves and forge their own way.
For your wedding collections that include an engagement session, if we don't do the engagement session, can the price be lower?
The short answer is, no. My wedding collections (8 hours or more) include a complimentary engagement session, and the savings increase with each package tier - you're getting more for less.
The long answer is, I really prefer to shoot an engagement session with my wedding clients when possible, so that's why they are complimentary for the packages $1500 and above (anything lower doesn't cover my base expenses for the session, but I would still encourage a mini session add-on if you book me for a smaller wedding). The reason is this: I'm going to be spending your wedding day with you, capturing your most intimate moments and memories. You need to know that you can trust me, and feel comfortable in front of my cameras. That way, when your wedding day comes around, you know 100% that I'm on your side!
Do you sell original / RAW files or provide proofs of all images captured?
Original / RAW files (.cR2 format) can be purchased for $50 per individual image, $2,000 per full session (average 2,000 images), or $5,000 per full wedding (average 4,000 to 6,000 images), delivered in person on a hard drive.
Proofs (unedited images, 60 ppi .jpg format) can be purchased for $200 per full session, or $500 per full wedding, delivered as a private online gallery for download.
If I book a certain amount of time but then want to add more time, can we do that?
Yes! For sessions, you can add more session time for $75 per each additional 15 minutes if you want more session time. For weddings and events, my rate is $750 for 3 hours and $150 each additional hour at booking; after booking, that rate increases to $300 per hour, or $75 per each additional 15 minutes. So, you can add more time later if you are in a pinch, even on the wedding day itself, but I do recommend booking as much time as you think you'll need up front. I'm more than happy to discuss a potential timeline with you over the phone for a consultation - even a quick one - to help you decide how much coverage you might want and need!
What is your booking process? Is there a deposit? Do you use a contract?
Online booking is easy through my Booking site via Wix Bookings! For weddings and events, you can schedule a free consultation if you'd like. If you'd like to book, you can secure your wedding or event date with a 25%-30% retainer fee, payable securely online.
Sessions can be reserved on my Booking site with the session fee payment in full (except for complimentary sessions which are included with wedding collections - those can be reserved free of charge online after completing your wedding booking). Simply choose any date and time available on my calendar and complete your booking online.
I use a secure Adobe Sign online contract for all weddings, sessions and events, sent within 5 business days of booking. Or, I can send a sample contract upon request, but terms, prices and packages are subject to change without notice; the actual contract will be subject to any prices and terms in effect at the time of the actual booking.
I can't wait to get to know more about you and provide you with beautiful photography preserving your real moments!