Playing Catch Up

When you don’t blog for over a year, getting back in the saddle is super daunting. When that year was the craziest and most awful year of your life and you feel that you need to somehow sum it up in black text and package it nicely so it’s palatable for your blog readers, it’s downright weird.

Do I start with what most of you guys know? That what I blogged about here came back and made my absolute worst nightmare true? I could write about fifty individual blog posts about losing my mom to cancer and how it changed who I am indefinitely.  2017 wasn’t my favorite year and December 3rd a light went out in my life that a part of my heart will always be broken over.


But 2017 was also the year that my husband and I moved my studio from downtown Indianapolis to a home studio and then moved it again to Brownsburg, about 6 minutes from my house. We didn’t stop there because attached to that studio is the Rachel Vanoven Shop, a brick and mortar store filled with photographer goodies, baby gifts, jewelry I love and all kinds of locally made merchandise. Just next door we ALSO renovated a small house into a rentable studio space for photographers to use called the Light Share.


To say I’m glad that 2017 is over is an understatement, and I can’t thank all of you amazing people who made it less sucky. So many cards and flowers and gifts and messages. Do you know I bought a whole pack of thank-you cards that I meant to send out and never did? Mostly because in my fog of grief and the insane business of opening the shop I just don’t remember who sent what, but just that I felt so lifted up during the worst days and weeks of my life. That’s one of the biggest take aways from last year, I was so humbled by the outpouring of love. I’d never experienced loss and stress like I did then, so I had no idea how giant some of the smallest gestures could mean to someone going through the Worst.

So 2018 Rachel is very different from who I was last year. My priorities have shifted even more than they had in the past. How my mom affected my life, how others during that time changed me, how watching my husband Nick pour his soul into a shop that has my name on the building has left me seeing the world with new eyes, and I hope that eventually over time I can share the depths of what I learned with you guys.

There’s so much more to share (Hello, the time consuming beast in my life also known as the Rachel Vanoven Collective) but for now a little short and bittersweet update will do. Feels good to be back.


  1. Emily Bernard says:

    Rachel, I love so much that not only are you an insanely talented photographer who amazingly shares her knowledge with so many of us, but you share you heart, soul and family with us and that is really beautiful. I love that I feel like I know you because in such a personal field (art) and in this social climate where everyone is scratching for a spot at the top with the most followers, you being so genuine and purely Rachel is so refreshing and inspiring. <3 Keep up being exactly you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *