RACHAEL HOUSER » photography for couples & families

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It’s super cool when your friends have a baby not two weeks after your child’s first birthday! Randee & Jake were at Graeme’s first birthday party while she was pregnant with Baby Claire and the next time I saw them was in the hospital only hours after she’d given birth to their first born, a daughter, Claire Marie.

A year later we met in my studio for Claire’s 12 month portraits, which included portraits with mom and dad, portraits by herself, her cake smash, and my new favorite, the baby bath!

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Do you remember that time, almost two months ago, when I went to New York City for an engagement session? There was snow still on the ground in some places and the trees hadn’t yet bloomed to green. Other than the not so subtle nod to winter, the air was full of spring!

This wasn’t our first destination engagement session but this was definitely the farthest! Jasmine & Chris are from Paducah but have found themselves living their lovely lives down in Houston. When the engagement finally happened, Jasmine clued me into their thoughts – Key West or Cancun wedding and engagement sessions in Paducah (of course!) and Houston. I was down for whatever and excited at the thought of shooting in Texas, a state I’ve never ever visited. Then all of the sudden they were planning Chris’ birthday celebration in NYC and Jasmine and I said, WHY NOT? Neil and I booked our flights the next day!

Destination weddings and, likewise, destination engagement sessions are different than the norm – If you’re paying for me to be there multiple days, then we get to shoot multiple days! We started our first evening in NYC, a Friday, in Central Park. Where else?? Jasmine and I had done extensive research on where to shoot in the park so we tried to hit our top picks during the first two hours of shooting. The second hour was mostly us walking around 6th street TRYING to grab street shots. It’s not as easy as some people make it look! Our fourth hour was spent after dinner in Time Square. Lordy, those may have been my favorite images!

Our third day there was a bitter 38 degrees and windy but we braved it to grab some iconic Brooklyn Bridge pictures and then spent our last bit of light shooting at a park near the bridge. Was all of that walking on Friday and freezing on Sunday worth it? No doubt in my mind!

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Momma and daddy can’t get enough of this little guy, and who could blame them??? I knew Cohen before he joined us earth side and I’ve know his momma since high school. Best friends, even though they may grow apart, never truly fall away from each other. I was honored to photograph Tamela & Patrick’s engagement session, their wedding, and then of course, their maternity session. Now, we’re planning Cohen’s 12 month session!

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They are opposites: Ashley likes fashion and all things girlie while Gene is a guys’ guy, loves being outdoors doing outdoorsy things. But they couldn’t be more perfect for each other – they complete each other and two Saturdays ago, they sealed the deal! So before I blog their wedding, enjoy their spring engagement session!

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While I love me some mom and dad portraits with their new bundle, there’s just something extra sweet about portraits of a newborn being held cuddled up close to his momma. The bonding starts so early – Little Gunnar was only a few days old during his portraits, yet he was already his momma’s and his momma was already his’. And I know exactly how that feels – it’s the best feeling in the world.

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The best time to book your newborn session is as soon as you know you want to work with me. I do not book specific dates on the calendar, instead I book a limited number of babies each month. This allows me to offer flexible scheduling options after each baby makes their arrival earth side, since babies come in their own perfect timing. I do everything I can to help new parents stay relaxed and this is just one way I can keep the process as stress-free as possible. If you have waited until the last minute to book a newborn photographer, feel free to reach out! If I can squeeze you in, I will! I don’t want anyone to miss out on having this beautiful and fleeting season captured for forever keeping.

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