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Gabriel works in a village very close to a large lake called the Pfäffikersee, so he was one of the first people to hear about the city officially declaring the lake frozen enough to walk on. It hasn’t frozen solid in over in more than 10 years, so we got layered up to venture out to experience what it’s like to walk on a giant frozen lake. When we got to one of the docks, I looked out on the horizon and saw all these people way out that really just looked like  little black dots moving around. People were way out ice-skating, pulling sleds, or just walking like us and it was the coolest thing. Being from tropical Alabama, this was a very different experience for me.

We walked across to another side of the lake and people were selling bratwurst, risotto, glüwein, hot cider and all kinds of yummy things for the hundreds of people who came just to play on the frozen lake. Kids were in their snow suits, sliding around, while adults took the opportunity to bring out their dusty skates for the first time in years. As we walked back to our starting point, skaters would leisurely glide by as if on a joy ride, hanging out in the -12 C windy cold. It was a sight for this southerner, that’s for sure. I always try to make a habit out of photographing the first snow of the year, but since this year the snow came rather late, I photographed the frozen vineyards in Malans a few weeks back so I’m posting those as well as my first ever experience walking on water. Grab a hot cup of coffee and enjoy. Happy Sunday!

Loretta Finley - February 19, 2012 - 10:03 pm

These pictures are terrific. They remind me of my youth growing up in the northeast. Very cold but lots of fun. Thankyou for sharing them:))
Loretta Finley.

Eric DeJesus - February 20, 2012 - 6:46 am

These are some wonderful shots Rachel!! It’s so much fun to watch what you post next- keep it coming! It’s all beautiful!

Shirley Hendrix - February 20, 2012 - 10:18 am

I’m the same way about loving the snow, even after all these years in New England. We have had only 1 storm this year, but it was 12 inches of pure fluff.
I even like shoveling it! I love the shots of you dancing around in the snow.
Love you,
Aunt Shirley

Rebekah Athey - March 5, 2012 - 8:33 am

Is he planking? Lawd XD Love you guys.

Rachael - February 9, 2013 - 9:56 pm

Your work is stunning!!! I discovered you through your incredible & moving performance in October Baby. Much blessings on your continued success in both film & photography!!

Rachael - February 9, 2013 - 10:00 pm


Timon + Ursula | Engagement

I had the privilege of shooting my first couple of 2012! Timon & Ursula, you two look radiant together and bring so much life to those around you. Your obvious love for each other will keep you young and silly all through the wrinkles. I hope you enjoy these shots as much as I do!

Carol S. - January 20, 2012 - 8:08 am

Rachel, this are amazing! Love is in the air and you captured it. God bless you!!!!!!!!!!

In Christ!
Carol Skipper

chelsea - January 20, 2012 - 10:52 am

LOVE LOVE LOVE ! I love how fun and expressive these photos are. I feel like i was there :) (and kinda wish that i was!) ;) Awesome job as usual my dear…

naemi - January 20, 2012 - 3:47 pm

aww i love those two! and love the way you captured them.

Ralph - February 27, 2012 - 1:34 pm

just awesome shots, Rachel! great job!
love ralph

Rachel - April 15, 2012 - 4:04 pm

These are amazing. Do you ever come to NC? :0)

Samuel-Rhys | Dothan, AL Children Photography

This Christmas was one of the best in the 26 years I’ve lived. One, because my husband could go with me to my hometown and experience the traditions, the craziness, the food, and the family that belongs to me. I was affirmed during this time that I am indeed a rich woman. The icing on the carrot cake was that I spent invaluable time with my nephew Samuel, laughing, cooing, playing, and of course sticking my camera in his face. His cuteness revolves around his big personality and his extremely expressive face, so of course I was thrilled to post these photos we took on Christmas Eve.

Colleen - January 18, 2012 - 9:57 am

Love that little guy! Well captured Rach!

Vicky Sharp - January 18, 2012 - 4:39 pm

You know I love them! I want to pinch those little cheeks! You did a great job capturing his little happy spirit.

Stephin - November 14, 2012 - 12:52 am

I love the focusing!! Natural lights are great!

Carlos Ferreira - April 12, 2013 - 12:59 pm

Adoro fotografia com talento! Congratulations!

E Family + Dothan, AL Family Portraits

While visiting Dothan for the festive holiday time, I was honored to do this magical family session at Landmark Park. There are no words for how happy these pictures make me. I don’t know if it’s their charming honesty or the light or the cotton, but whatever it is, I’m not going to say too much. Just enjoy them.

Angie - January 9, 2012 - 3:51 pm

The pictures do tell our family story and we hope you can capture all the chapters in our story as we grow. The pictures are great and the kids adore you. Thanks!!

Vicky Sharp - January 9, 2012 - 6:13 pm

They are beautiful Rach. You did it again.

Vicky Sharp - January 9, 2012 - 6:13 pm

They are beautiful Rachel. You did it again.

Colleen - January 10, 2012 - 1:29 pm

Absolutely Breathtaking!

Beverly + Kalen | Dothan, Alabama Engagement Photography

Alabama is a great place to enjoy crazy 65 degree weather and golden trees in December. It was a beautiful warmish day at Landmark Park with Kalen and Beverly as I shot their engagement photos and got to know them a little better as a couple. I am so happy to share this photos with you.

It’s such a funny and sweet story of how Kalen proposed to Beverly by a river in the woods under a make-shift bamboo gazeebo. He totally had her fooled. She suspected he may propose, but Kalen somehow tricked her into thinking he was just doing something “special” for her before leaving for his masters degree in a city four hours away. After a picnic lunch and an hour or so in the woods, he got the ring out of the cooler and asked her the big question. I’m so happy she said yes because just look at this love. Radiant.

Their wedding will take place next October and will be shot by the lovely Chelsea and Travis of Crazy Love Studios here at Maria’s Vineyard in Dothan. Beverly and Kalen, thank you both for letting me get a glimpse into your life and your story together. My hope is that your friendship and love for each other will continually deepen through laughter and the beauty you encounter in this world. Shootings you was a real treat.

chelsea Nelson - December 18, 2011 - 10:47 pm

love the couple. love the colors. love the fashion sense. love the bokeh. LOVE the ‘love’ banner. love the location. love the photog. love it, love it, love it. :) I can’t wait to share in their wedding day festivities!

Beverly - December 19, 2011 - 5:18 am

Rachel, I laughed and I cried!! I love them!!!! Thank you so much for the amazing photos! They are gorgeous!!

Mary Margaret Smith - January 9, 2012 - 1:57 pm

Love these! The black & white photo of her is unbelievably stunning. You captured the light perfectly!

Carol Watkins - January 10, 2012 - 10:03 am

Awwwww………my baby is all grown up. I love, love, love the pictures. I think I have looked at them at least a hundred times – it’s hard to pick a favorite!! :) Kalen and Beverly had so much fun at the shoot. You did an amazing job Rachel!

Amanda - January 10, 2012 - 1:41 pm

I love how all of the pictures turned out! Absolutely gorgeous!!Great job!!

Teri Colquett - January 12, 2012 - 12:30 am

These pictures are HOT! Some of the best I have seen for engagment pictures.

Ruth Jones - January 12, 2012 - 12:32 am

The pictures are gorgeous Beverly!

Stephanie Martin - March 1, 2012 - 7:22 pm

Love all the pictures!!

Ashley Carnley - March 1, 2012 - 7:31 pm


Hannah Cooper - March 1, 2012 - 7:37 pm

These are stunning! Love them all! Best wishes for you guys!:)

Chelsea Nelson - March 1, 2012 - 8:50 pm

Beautiful as always…I cannot wait for the big day to get here! :)

Lydia Townson - March 4, 2012 - 7:47 pm

Beautiful pictures! Love, love, love the pics and the subjects! Can’t wait for the wedding Bev and Kalen. It’s going to be a special day!

Donna Yost - March 4, 2012 - 8:33 pm

Beautiful pics…..

Magan Parker - March 5, 2012 - 8:00 pm

Love!!! They are so great!

Twyla Williams - March 6, 2012 - 5:43 pm

Absolutely beautiful pictures & beautiful couple. Amazing photography! Love them all…pictures, couple & photographer.

Lynn Mann - June 13, 2012 - 8:54 am

I never get tired of looking at these pictures! Can’t wait for your special day!

B Family | Portaits

It’s neat to see how people are connected, and I was excited to find the sister of a previous groom wanted photos taken of her family. I really do love word-of-mouth referrals. Plus, these kids were stinkin’ cute so I was up for it. We started in their backyard and then went on to do a bit of shooting along a lake near Kleinandelfingen. We caught the last bit of the gorgeous fall light along the water and then finished up for the evening. These photos are saturated with Autumn, and I think that’s why I love them so much. Enjoy !

Vince - January 31, 2012 - 11:56 pm

Is that photo of the four of them sitting at the beginning of the pier the best photo on this website? Absolutely, yes!

My quote for October Baby, which I just saw tonight, is the following: “Here we have a film that is destined to be a powerful and emotional classic movie for this generation.”

Rachel award-winning performance! Congratulations!

Naemi + Portraits

Since she is one of the most stunning women I know, truly, it was killing me to keep these photos hidden on my hard-drive while I traveled to America the past two weeks for work. Finally I think I’ve conquered the jet-lag and am back in full force to update my blog. Naemi, it is an understatement when I say you are beautiful in so many ways. Thank you for allowing me to glimpse into your new phase of life with these photos. You are radiant.

Corinne Sekinger - November 7, 2011 - 1:22 pm

Well, you cant get more beautiful! Um – can I have that dress? You have both done a fantastic work here girls!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing these… Corinne

Miranda - November 7, 2011 - 2:32 pm

These are magnificent. Naemi is gorgeous, and you did a wonderful job in capturing her beauty!

Colleen - November 7, 2011 - 7:54 pm

Rach, these are gorgeous and Naemi looks beautiful! I can’t wait to do another photo shoot with you!

Lajescha - November 9, 2011 - 7:45 am

absolutely amazing would the Irish say :-)) – great job you two!

Ines - November 9, 2011 - 2:06 pm

Amazing pictures of a beautiful women. Never change a winning team… and you two ARE a winning team!

Madeleine - November 10, 2011 - 11:03 am

wow…i’m really amazed! i can see some new and some known sides of naemi. thanx to you both for sharing

Deborah - November 11, 2011 - 5:27 am

BEAUTIFUL indeed Rach!

Chelsea Nelson - November 11, 2011 - 11:45 am

Absolutely radiant as usual. You are great at what you do. :)

O. - November 25, 2012 - 2:21 pm

Absolutely stunning! A secret admirer :)

Pigeons on the Gate

Pigeons on the Gate is an Irish folk band based in Switzerland, but if you ask them, they’ll probably tell you they’re Irish. Their translations of the traditional Irish melodies create dynamic shows that are outrageously fun, fronted by a band that is booming with talent. I was invited to join these guys at the front man’s housewarming/album release show, and it was such a good time. I/we all had so much fun and I couldn’t stop moving! For the slower folk songs, the fiddles turned to violins and we were invited to calm down with the melodic flutes and chilling vocals. That was the only time I felt it appropriate to grab a glass of wine and actually watch the show instead of poking my camera everywhere.

The instrumental songs invoked feelings of dancing down a dimly-lit street in Dublin at midnight, catching the last rhythms resonating from the pubs. I was reminded of home in the deep south, the current of my own heritage’s rich music’s history making it’s way through my roots and veins.

After hearing these guys live and sitting for an hour or two with their newly released album, “Last Night’s Craic”, I’ve come to the conclusion that each song tells its own tale, making it a collection that gives a rather generous glimpse into the heart of Ireland.

If you have a moment, check them out at www.pigeonsonthegate.com.

Lajescha - October 18, 2011 - 10:32 am

Love you Rachel! Thank you soooo much!!!

love + three years

It is a beautiful autumn morning here in Winterthur and I am thrilled to share that 3 years ago today my husband Gabriel and I joined as a team, as soulmates, as life-long friends and companions, and laughed deep belly laughs with the dearest friends and family members. Before God, we decided to go for it and get married, for the third time sorta since we had an American wedding, a court wedding, and a Swiss church wedding. I couldn’t be happier with where that decision has brought me in my life and my heart. Today I want to celebrate the awesomeness of God’s choice to bring us together, for his clear voice making it an easy decision, and the adventure it has been.

Gabriel, you are my best friend, the one to whom my heart belongs, and I adore you in all the ways a person can be adored. Thank you for choosing me, and for the lifelong gift you’ve given me as my husband. I trust you completely, and I want you to know that I will always choose you right back. You are a good man, you bring out the best and worst in me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Happy Anniversary babe.

Some shots from our honeymoon location trip to Bignasco, Switzerland.


Michael Torres - December 3, 2011 - 11:13 pm

What an amazing eye you have. I saw the trailer for October Baby and looked you up. You are a person with many talents.

God Bless
Mike T

edwin nalundasan - October 13, 2012 - 6:34 am

saw your movie “October Baby” & your photography works.. such an amazing & talented, and of course, a very pretty lady.. you will go places.. regards & god bless..

lindz - October 16, 2012 - 10:32 am

i really look up to you. i greatly admire your voice that speaks through the photos you take- such a passion for life and our existsnce! you might not read this but id be honored to have u take pics for us of my newborn and I. truly honored.

Francisco - August 9, 2014 - 11:15 am

I am an argentine lawyer, 31, probably you and your husband’s age. Married also in 2008. 3 kids. I loved OctoberBaby. If you ever come to Buenos Aires with your husband write to me and I will show you around in return for what the movie has contributed to change people for good.

Kind regards,


W family

“What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life – to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories.”  – George Eliot

Sometimes I wish I could write long stories about the families I photograph and the things we talk about in those few hours of popping in on their life. If it weren’t for my mouth being so prone to jabber, I wouldn’t ask the questions that I do, and I would probably walk away feeling like I had only “worked” for this couple of hours.  Mind you, sometimes this happens. Sometimes it’s a quiet day and I just focus on getting the job done. The God of our universe chooses these moments, not me. On the other hand, sometimes  all the stars seem to align and shooting is just…easy. Had I kept my mouth shut in this last session, I wouldn’t have learned that the couple met over the internet (like my husband and I) and were completely in love before they’d ever met. It was AWESOME to meet someone who had such a similar story to mine.

B and T, (and your parents) thanks so much for choosing me to mark this moment in time for your family. Also, thank you for letting us use the brown couch and for your hard work driving it to the field on the top of your car. I am so excited to share these photos with you and let me know if you too can’t stop thinking about those blonde curls, blue eyes and ridiculously cute Swedish and English smiles.

Care - November 14, 2012 - 8:22 am

Rachel ~ After viewing your redemptive film, “October Baby,” I wanted to find you in cyberspace. Thankfully, I happily found myself in the middle of your photographs and stories. Beautiful. You obviously honor and serve the good dear LORD, who is near. Refreshingly redemptive. Thank you

Caren MacMurchy
Watertown, South Dakota

Dayana - April 11, 2013 - 9:29 pm

Rachel;you are doing a great job and Jesus has given you the skill and the talent to reflect the light that you are trying to show to each person that see your photos. May God bless you and thanks God always for everything he does no matter how hard or easy is it. go foward…

M Family

Let me introduce to you the M family. Catching one of the last warm summer days, we met along the water in Pfäffikon for our session. This was such a fun and sweet shoot, especially because they bought me ice-cream when we were finished.

The kids played, fished, and didn’t seem to mind my camera in their face too much. It was a good time. Thank you M Family for inviting me to shoot you guys to mark a moment in your families’ time together. It was also nice to hang out for a little bit! I hope you enjoyed yourselves and will remember working with that American photographer that one day at the water when the kids are older.

Miranda - October 4, 2011 - 2:17 pm

I love the pictures of the boys with the sunglasses! I bet this shoot was a blast. I can’t wait to take my boys fishing…..when I’m positive that the middle child isn’t going to go leaping in the water.

Vicky Sharp - October 4, 2011 - 3:31 pm

Great shots as usual. My favorite is the last one. They are such a nice looking family! I know you had a good time on this one.

Raphael + Autumn Afternoon

The season of the senses has arrived. We were given a beautiful autumn afternoon in Winterhur last week and a more than willing Raphael let me shoot him in his backyard as the sun went down. I loved his green autumn sweater and the scrape on his chin. I loved the way he put his hands in his pockets and how he gave me contemplative looks like a small man instead of a child.

I could tell the light was already changing with the season, introducing my camera to the coming cool nights and early sunsets. I look forward to the falling leaves, the pumpkins, the smell of cinnamon and clove, and of course the invitations to drink spiced wine and eat my favorite Appenzeller fondue.

Vicky Sharp - September 25, 2011 - 10:51 am

What a beautiful little man! You did an amazing job as usual.

irene - September 25, 2011 - 10:17 pm

These are beautiful, Rachel! The fall colors are spectacular, what an invitation to the season!

Nicole - October 19, 2011 - 1:31 pm

Wooowww!! Rachel!! Your pictures are just GREAT!! AWESOME!!! Oh and Raphael is the sweetest one! I’m so glad that he forgave me for calling his beloved donkey “horsey”. He just looked serious at me when I said: “Hi Raphael and oh hi Horsey!”- “That’s not Horsey, that’s Donkey!” oohhhh I was soooo sorry! LOL!!

Poliana Moura - February 7, 2013 - 6:21 pm

I loved all of your pictures!You’re a such good photogapher and actress :)