RACHAEL HOUSER » photography for couples & families

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A Country Plantation House Wedding | Greenville, Kentucky


It wasn’t my first time shooting a wedding at The Country Plantation House but it felt so new! I could probably shoot there 100 times and still feel like there are places and things there that I didn’t notice the times before. Shooting with Elizabeth & Nathan was much the same – no matter what pose I tried on them, they looked amazing in it and so I was more going off the cuff with their bride & groom portraits than I usually do. No need to reference their engagement images to see which poses suited them best!

But let me back up to when we arrived at The Country Plantation House at the beginning of Elizabeth & Nathan’s big day…

The hustle of ceremony and reception prep was happening on the first floor of the mansion. The girls were on the second floor bustling about – finishing hair and makeup and preparing to get into their gowns. The guys were hanging out in the basement, awaiting for further instructions or running errands around the property as needed. We greeted everyone and then got into the swing of our timeline – ceremony details, bridal details – like we do with most weddings. There was no shortage on bridal details so, as always, I was thankful to have Neil there with me as my second shooter. Since he was taking care of the girls’ getting ready and hanging out, I was able to focus on alllll the prettiest that Elizabeth took so much time, energy, and money on. And being able to photograph her details in such a stunning room as the pink bedroom at the plantation made it all the more lovely!

When it was time to get Elizabeth in her wedding gown, Neil headed downstairs to photograph the guys getting ready and hanging out. One of the first things Neil and I do after saying our Hellos is to scout out the location and decide where we’re doing what. Neil loved the feel of the third floor game room area and it only made sense to take the guys upstairs for a while.

Locations are pretty endless at the plantation and it’s definitely one of my favorite things about that venue, however not even the venue took the main stage when it came to Elizabeth & Nathan’s day. A few of my favorite things: How calm and collected both Elizabeth & Nathan were leading up to the ceremony – not sure I’ve hung out with a more laid back couple preparing for the biggest day of their lives thus far! How tender and patient Elizabeth was with the children they’d included in their wedding – she spent so much time making sure everyone was comfortable and having a great time. How packed and energized the dance floor was during the reception even though it grew a tad chilly outside. And last but definitely not least: How Nathan looked at Elizabeth from the first moment he saw her walking down the aisle toward him. Almost as if he still could not believe that she was with him, that she’d said YES to being his wife, and that she would be his forever and ever! I’m sure, even months later now, that he still looks at her that same adoring way!

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An Early Fall Engagement Session | Paducah, Kentucky


More often than not I don’t KNOW my couples before meeting their face to face during their engagement session. So before Shelby & Corey’s, I had no idea how sad I would be that I wouldn’t be available for their destination wedding this coming spring! We met in Downtown Paducah for their more formal outfit before heading to a location that I needed to find the perfect match for from a couple Pinterest images Shelby had shared with me… and I think we nailed it!

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A Lifestyle Studio Newborn Session | Paducah, Kentucky


I’ve only known Jessica since before high school when we found out we were actually second (or third?) cousins! We were in color guard together and when she came to Murray State for college my sophomore, her freshmen year, I got to see her a few times (busy busy lives!) and even watch her precious son Ben. That was years ago though and NOW she’s welcome her and Brad’s second child into the world – Baby Amelia!

They live in Lexington but came down to me for their maternity and Amelia’s newborn portraits – that’s loyalty! And I was beyond honored! This sweet girl spent the first part of her session wanting snuggles and the second part asleep. Just the way I like lifestyle newborn portraits!

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A Late Summer Lowertown Engagement Session | Paducah, Kentucky


It’s currently after 11pm and I am just now getting around to blogging this engagement session that has been sitting on my desktop, waiting to be blogged since the beginning of September. And I’ve been trying to get this blog published since 1pm today. To say fall has been a busy season is a major understatement – but in the best way possible!

Leah contacted me 8 months ago in hopes that I’d be available for their November 2017 wedding. They hadn’t booked anything yet though so I felt comfortable requesting any other dates they may be open to since I was completely booked for 2017. I was shocked but thrilled to learn that they’d were willing to book a November 2018 wedding date if it meant I’d be there to photograph it. UH YES PLEASE! Since we couldn’t shoot their wedding 2017, we opted for a 2017 engagement session. Such a tease – now I have to wait more than a year to work with them again!

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A Summer Field 6 Months Milestone Session | Paducah, Kentucky


For Parker’s 6 month on-location lifestyle family milestone session we choose to return to the exact spot where we spot Stephanie & Sawyer’s maternity session! What a special treat and a very cool memory for all three of us!

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