Virtual session: Rachel

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Taking portraits of a fellow photographer can be quite intimidating, especially when you’re not using your trusty camera!

But it also made my session with Rachel that much more special. She had already determined the most photogenic spaces in her home. She had set up a backdrop and was prepared with quite a few tools to prop up her phone for the shoot.

Rachel and I have worked together in the past, which makes it extra special that she trusted me to take these photos for her, and I’m so excited for you to see some of our favorite shots!

This session & the interview included below is from late May, 2020.

What made you want to schedule a virtual photo shoot?

My personal life has been in an upheaval since the start of 2020, so I wanted to do a photo session where I could pamper myself, wear some pretty pieces in my wardrobe (rather than my leggings and t-shirt quarantine attire, even though I do love wearing that every day lol), and just celebrate myself FOR myself (and for no one else!).

What was the virtual photo shoot experience like for you?

It was a lot of fun! I was a little nervous leading up to it because my house isn’t quite HGTV material, but it ended up being fun, and I felt great during the session—confident and comfortable in my own skin—and it was super low-key and fun to do a session around the house in my own space.

What has self-isolation/quarantine been like?

I’ve actually been okay with it! With all of the stuff going on in my personal life and trying to focus on my mental health, working from home and being forced to slow down has been really great. It has given me more time to focus on doing my work well, spending time with my family, achieving some personal goals (such as trying new forms of art and purging my wardrobe). I have also been able to connect with people in a way I haven’t in the past—I have extra time to send Marco Polo videos or connect with friends via Zoom.

What has been your favorite self-isolation/quarantine activity?

Punch needle embroidery! It’s a little challenging to get the hang of it, but it’s also so fun and relaxing once you get into the groove. I’ll turn on a movie (usually one that I’ve already seen so that I’m not too distracted) and work on the punch needle kit. I’m currently doing a cute unicorn and have a ‘Starry-Night’-esque landscape next. 🙂

What song/artist/playlist have you been turning to for comfort?

Gregory Alan Isakov (his full discography! But I’d highly recommend the songs ‘The Stable Song‘ and ‘She Always Takes it Black‘; also The Weeknd’s new album After Hours is incredible top to bottom!

What are you missing the most these days?

Going out to eat. My all-time favorite is brunch at Cava Mezze so I can’t wait to go out and get my tapas-style brunch faves and mimosas!

What are you most looking forward to once things get back to normal?

I’m hoping to plan a girl’s weekend with my college friends and have more in-person time with friends (game nights, dinners out, etc.). All of the digital conferencing sites have been great, but nothing beats face-to-face interaction.

What lesson have you learned that you will carry through to the future?

I would say that I’m still in the process of learning this, but this time has taught me that I can be my own best friend, cheerleader, and shoulder to cry on. I think so many of us (especially women) tend to put everyone else’s needs before our own. In a world so full of distractions, sitting with yourself and being comfortable with yourself is HARD. And I sucked at it at the start of the quarantine. But I’ve grown more comfortable and independent. Sitting with anything that makes me uncomfortable or sad would have been something I avoided completely just a few months ago, but now I’m allowing myself to dwell on the hard stuff actually has made me stronger and has helped give me a clearer head when dealing with the big personal issues in my life right now.

Is there a local/small business that you want to give love to?

Thank you, Laura for offering this and for being such a great encourager. I love your mission of empowerment of women and helping us to love ourselves well!

Oh my gosh Rachel, thank you for this!

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

For fiction books, I’d highly recommend the new Hunger Games prequel book and ‘The Starless Sea’ by Erin Morganstern. If you’re a fan of poetry, Courtney Peppernell’s ‘I Hope You Stay’ is so amazing, and Sana Abuleil’s ‘letters to the person I was’ is captivating.

I’ve linked to One More Page books, my favorite local bookstore that’s offering curbside pickup, local delivery, & shipping! They’re seriously the best and have delightfully served my book addiction the past few months!

I also recently signed up for Dr. Henry Cloud’s monthly subscription service. It includes a library of video content on creating boundaries for yourself with unsafe people, habits, etc. It has been SO empowering. Dr. Cloud comes from a Christian, faith-based perspective, but I think the content is accessible and relatable to everyone, no matter your faith or beliefs. Dr. Cloud’s content is all about helping you build the life you want and taking care of your physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing in the process.

Do you have any personal projects or personal links you’d like to plug?

We lost a close family friend to suicide in the fall of 2018. I support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and would highly recommend that people become donors if they are able. Mental health wellness is so important right now.

Wow, thank you Rachel! Thank you for opening your heart to us! The past few months have been anything but easy, so seeing your perspective and resilience and how you’re caring for yourself is just so beautiful! 

Remember, I’m still taking on virtual sessions why the in-home studio is closed! These sessions are an AMAZING way to have fun creative portraits taking without leaving your house! And who doesn’t want dope photos of themselves in the space they’ve been stuck in for 7 months?

Interested? You can learn more and schedule your session here!


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