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Ruth + Stefan | Wedding

After a very busy two weeks, I am so excited to blog this very special couple who married September 3 in Diessenhofen at the Gasthaus Schupfen. I wasn’t anticipating rain, but I was prepared for it even though not a drop fell the entire day. The weather was amazing actually. Light and love everywhere.

Stefan waited patiently for his “first look” with Ruth beneath the sun-soaked leaves at romantic Schloss Hegi. Ruth looked so gorgeous even I was nervous for him. I actually had butterflies in my stomach. I kept thinking, “Why am I so excited???” Then I knew. I’m always reminded of my own marriage jitters and how beautiful the whole process is.

Swiss folk were floating in their tubes and rafts, watching with curious eyes at the current took them by, while Stefan and his beautiful lady Ruth married on a covered platform overlooking the River Rhein. I enjoyed the wedding so.darn.much. I didn’t want it to be over.

Ruth and Stefan, may your years be full to the brim with love for life and one another. Thank you for allowing me to be part of such a tremendous day.

First Look + Forbeyon Flushmount Albums

When shopping around for the best quality flush mount albums, Forbeyon had me at hello. The vibrant colors in their presentation photos made the albums seem so spectacularly modern and timeless at the same time. The first time I saw Forbeyon albums, they were presented in such a way that I didn’t know if I was looking at interior design or advertisements for of sushi. They were immediately impressive and unlike anything I’d see on the market to date. The cover options are endless and their signature metal cameos give a stylized first impression. My clients have been very impressed with these albums, and since I’m shipping them from the US to Switzerland, it’s important that I am working with a company who offers great customer service.

They also give an unlimited 50% studio sample discount on their flushmount albums and so a book-lover like me was giddy for some samples. So with no further adieu, I present to you my first documented Forbeyon sample album.


Jonathan + Manuela | Part Two

Weeping willows by the River Rhein, perfect high 70’s weather with a sunshine and a light breeze… laughter and happy tears… sacred love…all in one glorious day. Manuela was a relaxed and elegant bride from the first application of eyeliner to the bouquet-toss at the reception. They had no idea what was planned for the day after the ceremony, so it was exciting to watch them see what their maid of honor and best man had planned. In the late afternoon, we all piled in for boat ride up the Rhein with the entire wedding party. It relaxing and certainly enjoyable for me, someone who loves anything to do with water. I had to remind myself that I was actually working!

We had special permission to shoot the bride and grooms’ romantic shots in what I thought looked like a secret garden tucked away in the city of Schaffhausen. The light was perfect, and so were my lovely subjects, so in turn the photos are some of my favorites from the entire day.

Jonathan and Manuela, may you both live a rich, love-filled life that grows deeper each day together. Thank you for letting us be a part of such a momentous day.

Vicky Sharp - August 21, 2011 - 3:57 pm

The photos are beautiful as always!

Amy - August 21, 2011 - 6:44 pm

You are awesome!

Miranda - August 23, 2011 - 8:10 pm

Each time I browse your photos I think to myself, “She’s not going to be able to top the last set.” And I am proven wrong again and again. You never cease to amaze me. These are magnificent. I want to get married again just to have pictures…and also to have my own water bottles. However, I don’t use water bottles because of the excess of plastic…so water jugs. People can carry around personalized 1 gallon water jugs.
Also, I noticed the pastries immediately, and want to know EXACTLY what they were made of. They looked delicious.
I bet that being a part of one of the biggest chapters in in someone’s life is really special. You pull it off with amazing flare!

Cara Brashier - August 23, 2011 - 8:56 pm

Beautiful job Rachel. This is just georgous.

Manuela + Jonathan | Part One

What a joy to see someone commit to one another after being together for 7 years! J&M celebrated their love and said “I do” on paper last Friday at the romantic Schlosspark in Andelfingen. It was a super quick session with ideal weather and a small gathering of family and friends. While I was shooting, we were even serenaded by another private parties’ brass band about 25 meters away which was special and romantic. There is something sweet and simple about the quietness of these images, and I am very much looking forward to photographing these two again at their big wedding next month. It will take place in an adorable chapel at Insel Rheinau alongside the river Rhein.

iMentalMommy - July 11, 2011 - 10:51 am

These are beautiful. They remind me of my young love with Jon and how far we’ve come since then. I hope that their love is long lasting and creates as many memories as mine has.

Valentina + Michael | Part Two

I’ve tried beginning this blog over and over, and I’ve just now realized why I can’t think of the right few sentences because I’m thinking in pictures! It makes perfect sense… this wedding was truly beautiful, from beginning to end. My favorite thing about it was the simplicity even though it took place in an extremely ornate place.

After Valentina and Michael came to me about shooting their wedding at the astounding cathedral at the St. Urban Kloster, I was set on doing everything in my power to not only capture them as a couple but to use the beauty of that place as emphasis. We had such a good time.  I even brought out my new/old fuji instax camera and loved every minute of instant gratification that comes with a “polaroid” type camera.

The evening meal took place at one of the oldest hotels in Switzerland, The Hotel Krone Solothurn and the food was simply perfect. Too bad I forgot to photograph the most amazing filet mignon I’ve tasted in my life.

Valentina & Michael, you are a beautiful couple and we wish you all the happiness in the world. Thank you for letting us be part of your wedding day.

Vicky - June 21, 2011 - 11:45 am

They are beautiful~ as I knew they would be. What an incredible venue! It looks like a movie set. You did a wonderful job again!
Love you,

Brandy - June 22, 2011 - 5:12 pm

AMAZING girl!!! I miss my talented cousin so very much! Wish you were closer =( When you come visit, would you mind bringing your stuff with you and doing a shoot for my little family??? God has TRULY blessed you girl. Live the dream!!

Amy - June 23, 2011 - 8:08 pm

One of your BEST!

cindy - June 24, 2011 - 7:04 am

beautiful work Rachel!

Kasey - June 26, 2011 - 6:19 pm

What a gorgeous wedding. You are so talented. You captured it beautifully.

Matthew Anderson - July 4, 2011 - 1:03 am

Great shots Rachel! Looks like an awesome location. I see a sample album in your future…


Raquel - July 4, 2011 - 10:39 am

I love it! and I got some ideas… like the heart shaped ballons!
All the best wishes for a lovely married couple!

Little Samuel

I had a sweet time following little Samuel around his house while he helped with the garden and explored on his own. I hid in the background and in some cases the bushes because the moment he noticed the camera, he wanted to press all of the buttons. Very curious and very smart for a 14 month old. This is one cute little man… and make sure to look closely at those eyelashes.

Claudio Fuchs - June 8, 2011 - 3:06 pm

He’s a real sweetie.
You capture him in some of his most beloved habits.
Great job! And well done.
This will preserve some nice memories.

Cia Fuchs - June 10, 2011 - 6:08 am

Great shots!! Woowww! Can`t get my eyes off this little sweet man! Proud auntie.

iMentalMommy - June 13, 2011 - 5:21 am

These are amazing, as usual. I love the shots with the parents and the children. The kids are always laughing blissfully, and the parents are in the process of throwing their backs out.

Brandy - June 22, 2011 - 5:13 pm

How WONDERFUL!!! And such a sweet age to photograph =)

Valentina + Michael | Part One

I think it’s so cool that people who marry in Switzerland (myself included) often have two weddings: first, the civil/legal wedding where documents are signed and nerves are calmed and second, the pretty party with the dress, the church, the written vows, or in some cases the ringing of cow bells, and the fun! Michael & Valentina were focused on the most important thing yesterday for their “engagement session”, each other. (They technically still qualified for that title even though their “civil wedding” was an hour after our shoot.) We had a lot of fun on the historic old town of Olten, Switzerland, and I very much look forward to their wedding in the St. Urban Monastery this coming weekend.

iMentalMommy - June 7, 2011 - 7:43 am

These are dreamy. I love the “Italy” feel of the town. The old world charm is amazing. I also loved the specks of red amidst the sea of neutral in the lamppost picture.

John Jefferson - April 1, 2012 - 7:15 pm

Wow. I’ve looked at much of your work. You are quite good. I’ve learned from you. I haven’t said that about many other photographers. FYI, I live in the Washington DC area. I work in DC. God bless you and your husband.

the benevolent Andrea | Portraits

I am honored to be given the opportunity to tell someone’s story with an image, and I find it equally challenging and rewarding to do so. I am not often hired to take head shots or put a subject on a stool in a studio (although those things are completely fine and useful for many people) and depending on the weather, the sun, and the client, golden hour sessions can be an incredible tool to capture the essence of a person and their radiant uniqueness.

I know I often talk about how “special” portrait sessions are, (perhaps I’m sometimes the only one who feels special) and I suppose I could use a thesaurus and find another word, but the reality is that my initiative during a portrait session is to capture a person as they are. In this case, I believe I have only scratched the surface of who Andrea truly is. I met her a couple of years ago when she was handing out delicious produce from Israel at our church (I know, because I ate some)  and since then I have heard her sing notes of perfection, I have watched children gravitate to her, and I’ve performed in a musical with her. I have also been the recipient of many hugs from her which speaks strongly of her spirit in a country where hugging is generally not the method of showing love. After all, her last name is literally “Sunshine” (in German, of course.) Thank you Andrea for giving me this opportunity to show who you are, beautifully you, the best I could.

mandii - May 31, 2011 - 9:52 am

what a beautiful lady and amazing images! i hope she feels how lovely she is!!!

Vicky Sharp - June 1, 2011 - 7:24 pm

What fun photos! She makes me smile. Great job again Rachel.

iMentalMommy - June 7, 2011 - 7:44 am

Where do you find all of the awesome locations to shoot? It’s almost like you’re living in Eden! It is making this city girl one jealous person!!

T Family

I haven’t seen swan babies since I was a little girl, but these brave little ducklings ventured out into the lake right as we were walking on a bridge at the Pfäffikersee. Quite appropriate scenery for a family and children photo-session, I’d agree. Everything about the setting fit perfectly with this family. The dreamy sun made our afternoon session very enjoyable while they played and laughed in the tall grass along the water. I’m pretty sure I was a mere tree in the background as far as the kids were concerned. They were very expressive and excited about everything going on around them, so I was able to steal mom and dad away for a few romance shots in the amber light. Afterall, who wouldn’t want to cuddle up and show some love near a lake with baby swans?

Tera - May 25, 2011 - 4:35 pm

Oh, my goodness. These are gorgeous. I love love them! What a beautiful couple & sweet sweet family. Oh, I bet they love them!!! Rachel… the word is about to be out!!! You are going to be the one who shows Switzerland the beauty of photography!

And the last photo of the boats!!! OH MY!!!!!

naemi - May 25, 2011 - 10:59 pm

the black & white one’s are my favorites. and the rest is amazing, too. was great being there with you!

iMentalMommy - June 1, 2011 - 7:26 am

These are AMAZING!!!!! I can’t believe you were able to capture the swans. That made this set even more perfect. The little boy’s face cracked. Me. UP! I bet that its incredibly relaxing to shoot in such tranquil settings. You are FANTASTIC!

the dearest juliette | family

It’s about a ten minute drive from my house to the the lush country side where sheep graze and farmers grow a variety of things whether it be corn or cows. The landscapes reveal areas of freshly cut grass and patches where endangered wild orchids grow alongside clovers and giant dandelions. I would make this trip on a daily basis if it weren’t for gas prices, but luckily I could make the trip to photograph a family living in the region and take advantage of this “typical Swiss” scenery.

He is an commercial pilot and she is a professional florist, and while they watched their little girl play alone on a blanket, she looked at him and said, “We made that.”

With their backs to the sun and smiles on their face, Lea, Christian, and their daughter Juliette played in a field of wildflowers while I photographed their sweet moments. I wouldn’t change a thing about this session… it was truly perfect. They were all so in love with each other, and it shows. What a gift to have caught a glimpse into the spirit of this family.

irene - May 23, 2011 - 11:18 am

Rachel – these are beautiful! I have known this great little family for some years and see how you just captured the essence of each one of them! great work!

Lea Werner - May 23, 2011 - 3:07 pm

Juliette, my husband but especially I were very nervous about that photo shooting. The weather was not very stabil and the evening before it was raining and the clouds were covering up the sun. Additionally to that we were dressing up the first time for this kind of manner.
But that evening the sun seemed to shine forever and Rachel took away all our fear and supported us perfectly.
Juliette, who needs normally some time to get to know someone, was playing with Rachel and forgot totally about the camera.
We had a beautiful time and felt very strong as a family.

Thank you Rachel! You didn’t just make photos, but capturing our souls in a shine of light!

Rebecca Messer - May 23, 2011 - 4:53 pm

Rachel, you have out-done yourself once again. I love how you can create a stunning, incredibly personalized glimpse into an individual or a family’s life. Every photo shoot is so special and tells a lovely story!

Brittany Sullivan - May 23, 2011 - 9:39 pm

Rachel – Wow. Beautiful family. Gorgeous lighting. Stunning photos. Straight out of a fairy tale DREAM! Great job! Hope you and your family are well!

Hendrix Gabriel - May 23, 2011 - 10:47 pm

beautiful fields of gold

Greg Hendrix - May 24, 2011 - 5:33 am

One of the things I have always loved about you is your ability to see beauty when others are rushing through life striving to arrive somewhere. Dad

Tera - May 25, 2011 - 4:38 pm

These may be the best comments I have ever read on a blog. What a compliment from Lea… wow. And your Dad, that is beautiful… and so true.

Thanks for sharing Rachel!

iMentalMommy - June 1, 2011 - 7:28 am

This family is adorable. I love how you extract their love and paint them onto film. You do a wonderful job of it. Now, if only you were in my vicinity. -sigh-

Rachel - June 1, 2011 - 7:59 am

Oh Mir, don’t worry… I’ll chase your kids around with my camera this Christmas. Can’t wait!

Keep it Simple

Simplicity is a sweet thing, wouldn’t you agree? Running with no mp3 player… reading a book… walking down the street… the bold “red” of a Spring tulip… simple. Sweet. Uncomplicated. As you’ve probably noticed, this blog has undergone the “simple” treatment.

I want the focus to be where it should be: on the images. So, I’m keepin’ it simple and takin’ it slow, one step at a time. Comments and thoughts are more than welcome. Peace and love to you.

I love it. It makes your photographs look larger than life. I painted red tulips recently. Your picture makes my painting look like a toddler’s coloring book.

Noah + Helena | Mini Session

The more I photograph children, the more I want to photograph children. It’s such a fun challenge, one where you are forced to stay on your toes and come up with ideas in mere seconds. Moments are perpetually cute, and the shutter speed better be fast.  It was an honor and a privilege to collaborate with portrait artist Irene Marzano, who will work from one of these images for her next painting. Here are a few shots of Noah and his sister Helena.

They are ABSOLUTELY beautiful!!! Two of my favorite names as well. I do hope that you’ll post the portraits. I would love to see them in paint. You’re doing great! I would love my children photographed before they graduate!!

Vicky Sharp - May 9, 2011 - 7:16 pm

These are beautiful and the children are beautiful! My favorite is the last one.