2012 Superlatives – Part One

2012 was a c-a-h-r-a-z-y  year here at RVP, both business wise and family wise for me! So I thought it would be super fun to show (in order) the highs -and some lows- from the past 365 days. I couldn’t do it all in one blog post, mostly because, duh, the year isn’t over yet…so I’m breaking it up! This post has the first 6 months, January-June in pictures! Let me know which ones are your favorites that I posted!

Starting off!

Most epic sunrise! I taught a workshop in January at a studio in San Francisco and one morning my then assistant Brandy and I went to go photograph the sunrise over the Golden Gate Bridge! It was such an awesome experience!

Most exotic workshop attendee/most amazing studio!

Daniela traveled to the San Fran workshop from Mexico! It was so awesome feeling that RVP was going global! Also we were able to shoot in one of San Francisco’s most sought after natural light studios owned by the fabulous Annabelle Breakey

Favorite family alert! The Gormans are one of my top five families to photograph, with stellar personalities, good looks and impeccable fashion sense–I look forward to every time I’m able to photograph this ridiculously adorable family!

Most excitement for Indianapolis – the Superbowl! I had fun driving past this building every day on my way to work!

Best makeover – My studio! After my studio mate’s lease was up, she moved into her own place and I was able to transform this area into something I can call my own! I love how cozy and “Rachel” it is now!

Proudest work achievement…my fourth “baby”…the Rachel Vanoven Photography Newborn e-Workshop.  So many years of learning, hours of putting together, and now nearly a year later the relationships that have been forged in the private online board…this is definitely up their in the highlights of my year! (More info here)

Longest running Facebook Timeline baby! I just loved working with sweet Isabel…she looked amazing in green!

First set of twins! 2012 was the year of multiples for me, I had quite a few newborn twins and a handful of older ones as well! These two, Mason and Jason were born at 34 weeks but you could never tell, they were little bruisers!

First time photographing a home birth! It was such an overwhelmingly emotional experience to be there when Rowan was born! Video of all of the images on YouTube here.

Most vegetable like pose: Doesn’t Kamil look like the cutest eggplant you’ve ever seen? 😉

Most supportive husband – mine! Nick and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary in Oahu. A honeymoon 6 years in the making, and also a chance for me to meet his grandparents who live there! It was such a surreal week for us, we both couldn’t believe that we actually were in Hawaii! Thankful that God picked me to be his wife. Love him with everything I have.

Most photographed baby – Coraline Millie…my one and only niece! Very thankful that this gorgeous girl only lives an hour and a half away from me and I can sneak in photoshoots with her all the time!

Favorite mom/dad/newborn shot to date. While shooting this, I was paying attention to baby Ruby and making sure she was posed right, I wasn’t looking at Scott at all. Immediately after I took her to get her ready for the next shot, I noticed he looked very emotional and he told me that he was just so overwhelmed with love for his two girls. Freaking so sweet, right? Then when I was culling this session I found this gem of a shot and you can TOTALLY see that love flowing from this amazing man to his two lucky girls. Now I need a tissue!

Easiest twins! Penelope and Lucy started off just as regular clients, but after wrapping up their session and realizing we were two babies short for an upcoming workshop, I asked if they would come back for more! And they did! These two girls were phenomenal…two of the happiest little ones I’ve had, and perfectly squishy! Working with them was such a blessing 🙂

Best mom decision – cutting back on work and spending more quality time with my kids. I blogged about it here, and it’s something I am extremely passionate about. You simply cannot get these years back with your kids and photography isn’t. worth it.

Most controversial haircut! Nicholas loved his long hair, but with a new school (and hair restrictions!) coming up and increasingly being called a girl, he let me know it was time for a change!

Biggest twins! With both weighing in over 7 pounds, Luke and Zachary were the biggest twins I photographed this year!

Funniest face – Luke just cracks me up in this shot! Seriously, the lips…the crossed eyes…love it!

Most swoon worthy light – something about this shot/set-up with sweet Wesley just gets me! I’m diggin it!

Vanoven kids’ favorite vendor – Superkid Capes! I’ve worked with this vendor for a few years now and I love photographing my kids decked out in their hero gear and THEY love running around saving the world!

Favorite lifestyle session: This one. Need I say more?

Scariest night of my life – When Nicholas’ pediatrician called me at 9:30 pm after we were sent home from the ER. His symptoms were a red, hot and very painful ankle and a 103 degree fever. The ER doctor dismissed it as nothing, but she saw the possibility that it could be something else. Mainly osteomyelitis, or an infection in the bone.  Which is what it turned out to be and we spent the next 5 days in the hospital undergoing X-Rays, a sedated MRI, reactions to antibiotics and all sorts of fun stuff. Of course Nicholas only remembers that he got to play a Wii 😉

Most likely to give me grey hairs – this one, our oldest, Brynn. She is too gorgeous and just recently told me that a boy at school “held my hand for like, 30 seconds”. Lord have mercy.

Cutest walker user, ever.

And let me get on my soapbox by saying that once you actually have a child who gets very tired using one of these, or is in extreme pain walking any distance, you develop a *strong* dislike for outwardly healthy old/overweight people who have handicapped parking spots. You also realize how they all seem to be taken now that you need a spot.

Off soapbox.

Prettiest puppy award goes to Ocala…my brother and sister-in-law’s Catahoula Leopard Dog!

Prettiest bonnet…this one, my favorite from Faas Design.

Best day spent with my son – our trip to the Fort Worth Stockyards with my gorgeous internet friend, Jen!

Biggest change – Lidia, we taught a few workshops together in 2012, but we both ended up learning about ourselves and I saw her change into a more empowered woman! Blog on Texas trip here.

Happiest newborn experience – Welcoming Greta, her family means so much to me. After the devastating loss of her older sister, Taylor, photographing this new little person was balm to my soul. More about this session here.

My “this isn’t possible” moment – Josie Grace turning THREE. How. Did. This. Happen?

Favorite impromptu shoot – while hanging out at my parents’ home, I asked Karis if we could do a last minute, quick session with her and Cora. So very glad she obliged me!

Favorite mom/newborn shot – this one of Lyndsey and Greta…so much love <3

Most famous RVP client – Grayson the “motorcycle” baby! His newborn shot on the motorcycle was one of my favorite newborn shots, so we *had* to incorporate it into his 6 month session!

First celebrity I’ve “photographed” – Gladys Knight during the Indy 500 parade 😉

Favorite mother/daughter shot: This one in some seriously yummy summer light of Reena and her sweet Willa. I am dying to have a shot like this with each of my kids!

Favorite mini-client – Fiona! I don’t think there is any other kid I look forward to seeing more than this ray of sunshine!

Most grainy – this shot if my friend Karlyn playing with my kids on the sidewalks of Saint Augustine! Love me some grain!

Newest member of the family (or soon to be) – This guy, my baby sister’s fiancé! The kids approve 😉

Most goodness from a bad situation – A workshop in Florida with 50% newborns and 50% outdoor work was crashed by a tropical depression! It rained NINE days straight. We managed to sneak this one session in with my son and my friend Kaylee‘s daughter, Riley. The images are some of my favorites of Nicholas ever!

Runner up best decision I made all year – hiring my big sister, Karis as my office manager/shooting assistant! I’m told at nearly every shoot how much my clients love emailing with her and as you can see, my mini-clients love her as well! SO thankful that I get to work with one of my best friends 🙂

Favorite family session of the year! – The Holloways! I loved everything about it, from the kids’ personalities, to the parents being awesome, to the freaking PERFECT outfits, the light…gah. I want to bottle this session up! Oh wait, I kind of did, as this session inspired me to make an action that I now use on all my outdoor sessions that I lovingly named “holloway”! And no, it’s not for sale 😉

Most epic processing ever.


Somebody please pin this so all the Pinterest crazies think I’m off my rocker.

Most blatant divine intervention – hooking up with these two…mainly Kristin! Who knew when I met her that I’d end up with a new friend! I forgive you for talking me into being your workout buddy, but alas, but aching butt muscles do NOT forgive so easily 😉

And the last one for this installment (if you’re still reading) – Scariest two weeks of 2012 with one shot capturing the most beautiful part of 2012. My mom’s ER trip in Florida, her emergency hysterectomy in Cincinnati, and her ovarian cancer diagnosis. I don’t think I’ve ever been more worried or cried more in my life. My mom’s strength during those dark days amaze me. The way my dad adored(s) her takes my breath away. This instagram shot is in the running for one of my favorite images of 2012 simply for the rawness of it. So thankful that her very aggressive form of cancer was caught early enough and after chemotherapy is over we will be able to move on and have her around for many years to come.

….to be continued 🙂

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