Here’s an exercise: review the trajectory of your life from the rearview mirror of this moment. See how the architecture of your experiences, the constitution of your characteristics and history, is a product of random happenstance and conscious decision making. Note the different story threads. How does a girl from a midwestern suburb find her way to New York City? How does this now New York City lady end up with a Great Dane (we’ll have to go back to beginning again?) We all have a thousand storylines wound up into one. Ever seen the wiring in an electric cord? That’s all of us.
I’m here, on this specific blog, as a photographer: your photographer, I hope. So here’s that thread.
When I was a girl my mother and I took a photography classes put on by an adult continuing education program in the basement of the local high school (I was the youngest class participant by at least twenty-five years.) We watched slide lectures on legendary photographers or went into the darkroom to process and developed our film. Outside of class, we took pictures. And I never really stopped. But I also didn’t really focus on it. I studied Psychology, Digital Cinema and Writing as undergraduate. I matriculated to Teach for America and taught self-contained public school classrooms for years. I received two masters degrees, one in Education and one in Fine Arts. My most recent full time gigs have been non-profit Arts Administration. Meanwhile, photography evolved into the central focus of my artistic life. My friends and colleagues began to ask more and more frequently for me to photograph them. Friends begging “Rachel, I need a new profile picture!” became a running joke at parties. Until I realized, like most recurring jokes, it really wasn’t a joke. Photography was a passion for me, but it was also a service that other people were very directly asking me for, based on seeing my work. Around this time, I also became a mother, and became fascinated by families in a way I never imagined before. All I want to do is look at families, and talk about them and, yes, take pictures of them.
So here we are, back in the now. I’m a photographer. Take a look through my photos, and if you like what you see, I’d love to take your photograph.