RACHAEL HOUSER » photography for couples & families

PINIMAGEA year ago we bought this house. You may remember it, but I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t. This update is coming an entire year after we bought the house AND I haven’t blogged about it since last May. Progress has been happening over the last year but it’s been so slow that it wasn’t worth blogging. Why so slow? We’re doing a lot of the renovations ourselves (I say we, but I mean Neil) and while we’re plenty capable, it takes money to renovate an old house and also man hours. With Neil working his normal Monday through Friday job and then shooting weddings with me almost every Saturday for most of the year, he only recently has had the time to spend renovating. Two things have happened since November that have given the renovation a giant boost: wedding season ended and Neil’s father, who taught him most of what he knows, retired! My father-in-law’s increased involvement in the project has been a huge blessing and now we are finally seeing a tiny tiny tiny light at the end of the very very very long tunnel. Guys, we still have so much to do and I want to show you what we’ve done so far but you need a starting point… Here are the before photos that I took soon after we took possession, and brace yourselves, there are a lot:

The house, the front: There was snow on the ground this time last year :(

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The foyer: The stairs are awesome and the water damage, while visible, was minimal

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The living room: The floors are amazing! Check out how it borders each individual room!

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The dining room: Oh the wall paper!

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The library: this room gets amazing light!

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The kitchen: this was an addition in the early 30’s (we think)

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The mudroom and pantry: this was a porch when the kitchen was built and then later enclosed it to make the two small rooms

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The half bath: this and the laundry room (below) were additions at some point

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The laundry room: plaster cracks galore!

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The stair case: definitely one of my favorite things about the house!

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The second floor hallway:

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Bedroom 1: this room has THE BEST light in all the house… I love love love that front window!

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Bedroom 2: it sits above the living room so duh, it has a fireplace. Really bad plaster cracks and a fair amount of water damage.

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Bedroom 3: built-ins!

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Second floor bathroom: It’s giant, y’all. The claw foot bathtub is, no joke, 6 feet long. Yeah.

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The sunroom: It was added in the 70’s, and built on top of the kitchen and porches that were added in the 30’s. It is the farthest thing from level in the history of unlevel things. Check out that slant!

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The floors! The first floor floors are original to the home and are the most stunning hardwood floors… I can’t wait to revitalized them! The second floor floors are original to when they finished the second floor, sometime in the 50’s (we think). They are not as gorgeous but will be once revitalized!

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An early fall park engagement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGE

Happy Friday! It’s a sunny spring-like winter day today and while it wasn’t a chilly out, it was just as sunny for Shelby & Cameron’s maternity portrait session this past fall. Your can almost feel the warmth through these images!

I photographed the lovely Shelby when she was a bridesmaid in Kortney & Harrison’s wedding and a few months ago I was back at it for their maternity session! They’ve since welcomed their precious baby boy earth-side and we’re already planning a milestone session for him!

An early fall park engagement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall park engagement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall park engagement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall park engagement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall park engagement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall park engagement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall park engagement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall park engagement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall park engagement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall park engagement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall park engagement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall park engagement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGE

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An early fall, bicycle themed pregnancy announcement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGE

It’s another gloomy spring-like winter day here in Western Kentucky and in order to motivate myself to be productive today, I’m starting my morning (from here on out) doing two things before I do anything else (work related):

1) Completing something from my to-do list that doesn’t also add to my list. Like blogging for example! I usually start my work day off opening my email and answering any emails that can be answered within a minute, and then adding the other email’s tasks to my to-do list. Answering my email ADDS to my to-do list, and while it’s a necessary part of my day (multiple times a day), it’s not very motivating…. it’s actually rather draining! But blogging! Blogging allows me to check it off of my to-do list and doesn’t add more tasks at the same time! Win!

2) Doing something that lifts my mood and encourages me to get going on my day. Like blogging a sunny and exciting portrait session!

Kortney and Harrison were blessed to find themselves pregnant a few months ago and I was honored to be one of the very first people Kortney told! It’s kind of necessary when you’re interested in an announcement session ;) Kortney is now 25 weeks along with Baby Girl Teagan – it’s hard to believe she’ll be here with us in a few months!

We met at our go-to location for their announcement/anniversary session, where they got engaged and where we shot half of their engagement session, with an adorable blue cruiser bicycle they rented from Bike World and the most precious, iconic red Radio Flyer tricycle they purchased as soon as they found out they were expecting! I loved Kortney & Harrison’s vision for their session because it is SO them! They are both avid cyclists – and their little girl is sure to be one as well!

An early fall, bicycle themed pregnancy announcement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall, bicycle themed pregnancy announcement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall, bicycle themed pregnancy announcement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall, bicycle themed pregnancy announcement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall, bicycle themed pregnancy announcement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall, bicycle themed pregnancy announcement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall, bicycle themed pregnancy announcement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall, bicycle themed pregnancy announcement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall, bicycle themed pregnancy announcement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall, bicycle themed pregnancy announcement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall, bicycle themed pregnancy announcement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGEAn early fall, bicycle themed pregnancy announcement session in Paducah Kentucky by Rachael Houser PhotographyPINIMAGE

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I’m a firm believer that God brings people into each others lives for a reason. I know God brings couples and families into my life – my business – and while I usually don’t understand the reasons sometimes for a while, I can feel it from the beginning.

Lindsey and Austin live in the Lexington area and knew they wanted to have their engagement session there but they also knew they wanted their wedding to be in Western Kentucky. Something else they knew they wanted – one photographer to handle both. I completely agreed with them… It’s important for me to have that time with my couples before their wedding to learn how they interact with each other and therefore what poses work best for them. Bride and groom portraits on the wedding day are about 1/3 of the amount of time we have for engagement portraits so that engagement session is very important! Also, it’s just as crucial that my couples are comfortable with me come the wedding day. They spend more time with me than any other vendor!

As Lindsey and I emailed back and forth, I learned that they were interested in fall engagement portraits and it just so happened that all three of us were available for their session on the exact same weekend I was already scheduled to be in Lexington! That sealed the deal – I would be their engagement AND their wedding photographer! To say I was happy is an understatement!

Lindsey and Austin met through mutual friends but only later did they find out they lived in the same apartment complex. They quickly bonded over their love for dogs and months later made it official. Together, they have 4 dogs now!

I instantly connected with Lindsey, Austin, and Lindsey’s friend who assisted with all the dogs during their engagement session because I too am a dog lover. It was treat to not only photograph this adorable couple but their pups too!

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They met through mutual friends but what really set it all in motion, Lydia tells me, was when Patrick’s roommate called her one night needing a ride home for them. Patrick followed one good deed with another by offering to take her car to the carwash the next day. He asked Lydia out on their first date at that same carwash.

Lydia approached me about shooting her and Patrick’s wedding after having seen her friends’ Britney & Jon’s wedding images from years ago. She was also referred to me by another friend whose wedding I’m photographing next year. Word of mouth is alive and well, my friends!

I have my favorite locations at the lakes area of Western Kentucky but Lydia surprised me with picking a location I would love to shoot at again – her grandmother’s lakefront property. Not only was it beautiful but it was also super easy to house their pup Lyla when we didn’t need her. After spending most of their session in Lydia’s grandmother’s yard, we headed up the hill in her neighborhood to this little trail that shown the gorgeous fall colors all around. Now that their engagement session is past us, I’m ready for their June 2017 wedding to get here!

A Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGEA Barkley Lake Engagement Session by Rachael HouserPINIMAGE

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