This week was basically “Groundhog Day, photography edition” with every morning starting the same, 5:00 alarm, coffee, devotions, kids off to school, more coffee, off to the Shop, edit from about 8:30-3:30, home, dinner, shoot at 6:00, home by 8:00, kids to bed, fall asleep while watching Netflix with the husband.
(how sweet is my editing buddy, Oliver?)
BUT, I’m happy to say that as of 11:42 on Saturday, September 15th…I AM COMPLETELY CAUGHT UP.
Only thing left to do on my list is….blog. So let’s dive into this weekly roundup business shall we?
My first session this week was with one of my favorite self made business babes and my hairstylist for the past 5+ years, Celaithia! She’s a fellow curly girl who I’ve followed from salon to salon as she’s worked her way up on the hair scene in Indianapolis and I couldn’t be more excited to document her OPENING HER OWN SALON.
Y’all she is 27 .
And I think this is why I love her, at 27 I was completely submerged in doing whatever it took to grow my photography business, diving headfirst into the world of being a business owner for the first time. This amazing woman blows me away with not only her business sense, but look at how STUNNING she is…
She’s basically family at this point, she did my little sister’s hair for her wedding on pretty much the most humid day in Indiana, ever. (Definitely click that link if you want to see bobbi photos gorgeous work) I photographed her own wedding in 2016
(patiently waiting on little Ethan/Celaithia offspring to photograph, BTW)
And in December when I lost my mama to cancer, Celaithia was one of the many, many, many people who supported me – sneaking me in for a quick color the day before the funeral because I irrationally wanted to look presentable for my mom, and then showed up despite several inches of snow and an hour and a half drive to the actual funeral. I have some amazing people in my life and she is absolutely one of them.
So proud of you, beautiful woman.
After shooting Celaithia, I headed back to the suburbs and met up with the Gleason family! Erica won a free family session last year when the Rachel Vanoven Shop was opening and she brought her family SIX hours round trip for their pictures. We had just had three solid days of rain, which thankfully had stopped just in time so we didn’t have to reschedule, BUT my entire location had gone from a field to a small lake. <insert all the sad face emojis that I’m too lazy to figure out how to put in the blog>
But the Gleasons were absolute troopers and we sloshed through the mud and somehow still made magic happen..
(ISO 320, 1/2000ss, f/1.4)
I was so glad that I had just been to the UK last month and shot two back to back cloudy day sessions (that blog post coming next week!) to brush up on all the ways to create dreamy images without the golden hour being golden!
Erica is the photographer over at Photography by Erica Marie in Illinois so we snuck in an updated headshot for her–perfect timing since I had just brushed up on my headshot skills a few hours earlier with Celaithia!
Thank you SO much for making the trek over to Brownsburg, getting all of your butts wet in the name of photography, and being ridiculously laid back (my favorite kind of clients!)
I went from photographing a family I’d never worked with before to the next day on Tuesday I photographed a family I’ve been photographing for nearly eight years! I met the Sumners when after shooting them down as clients because their newborn was too “old” (I think she was three weeks when they emailed), they were persistent so I finally caved and ended up being SO glad I did. Guinevere slept so good for me, and they had me document her milestones that first year and quickly became some of my very favorite clients!
Almost eight years later, Guinny and her brother Stark have pretty much crossed the border from “client kids” to family <3
Little known fact about me:
Newborns aren’t my favorite, family sessions are. I just freaking love kids. I mean, look at these faces…
This was the day AFTER the water logged shoot with the Gleasons and thankfully the ground was for the most part, much more session-friendly! And Guinevere found my new favorite spot for photos! (Members of the Collective facebook group, make sure you watch the live video I posted in there about why this spot is SO dang good!)
Are you guys ready for my favorite shot of the session that was completely Stark’s idea?
Seriously prepare yourselves to witness a heartbreaker in the making…
He slays me.
I adore kids.
And their parents who feel more like friends I’ve had forever <3
Also, you guys know what an Alpine Glow is right? Well, we have our own version of that right here in the Midwest. I’m calling it the “Brownsburg Glow” and I love it. I can’t WAIT to see how this looks once the leaves start changing!
One thing I love about “lifer” clients is that so many of them have started requesting that I get in a family shot. Guys, it makes my heart squeeze that they get how much I love them, and that they love me right back. My sessions are SO much more than a business transaction. (note the clover flower in my hair that I forgot was there…Guin gave it to me at the start of the session and I found it hours later when I was getting ready for bed!)
The kids remembered that I let them use my camera last year, so I let them take more this year, and LOOK what these little artists captured of each other!! Cannot wait until next year already, the worst part of my job is the fact that I really only get to see some of my favorite kids once a year!
My last session for the week, I need to brag on my clients for just a second.
Last year, as my mom was dying, it happened to be during my busiest season – October/November. Most of my clients were AMAZING, rescheduling and working around my trips to the Cleveland Clinic, Christ hospital in Cincinnati, and so many trips to Brookville. I can’t tell you what that time in my life felt like and how thankful I am for the months I was able to spend with my mom.
During that time, there were a few clients (who are no longer clients) that made everything worse. Whether it was being adamant about not rescheduling or upset about turn around time, it was just so hurtful, words can’t adequately describe the helplessness I felt.
Around the same day I was dealing with some of the most insane texts of my life, Krista had reached out to me about their session we were trying to reschedule, and was so go with the flow but also let me know that she was praying for me and my mom and we put their session (which was already paid in full) off until the next Spring. Losing my mom taught me so much about how much grace means to someone that’s struggling, and I’m not sure Krista understands the gift she gave me that day.
Fast forward to Spring, and weather pushed back our session AGAIN. So last week when I saw the forecast for 77º and full sun, I texted Krista and we set it up.
And it was perfect.
Have a gorgeous weekend, guys <3
Rachel, your post brought tears to my eyes. Your words are beautiful and I’m touched that in a very small way we could help lift a work burden so you could devote all of yourself with your sweet mom. Love you, sweet friend.
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