RACHAEL HOUSER » photography for couples & families

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A 12 Month Lifestyle Milestone Session | Paducah, Kentucky


Sweet Ariadne. I’ve been photographing her since before she was earth-side and then 4 times in just her first 12 months of life! When your high school best friends have babies, you get the privilege of doing things like that. We ended Ari’s 12 month portrait where we started her mama’s maternity session and included something that mama has been struggling to hold on to for almost her entire first year of life – breastfeeding. And so, we celebrated the nursing relationship between mom and baby and it was my favorite part of the whole session.

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A Family Lodge Wedding | Wickliffe, Kentucky


Kody & Jesse’s wedding – I love ALL of my couples and every single wedding is so different that it’s so hard and definitely not fair to pick “favorites”. So maybe I just love love love this wedding so much because I had been waiting 18+ months for this day??? And maybe because Kody hired the best of the best (in my humble opinion) to assist in making it special – Cathy Elliot, Stevie Stout, Erin Hendley, and Sara Falder – they are my go to ladies in the business for a reason! Vendors matter SO MUCH when it comes to having a smooth wedding, before, during, and after the day!

When Neil and I arrived at the lodge that gorgeous summer Saturday, hair and makeup was in full swing and all of Kody’s beautiful details were either being set up (ceremony and reception) or waiting in one spot for me (bridal details). This allowed me to jump right into capturing all the prettiest that Kody spent time, energy, and money picking out. While I don’t typically choose something as public as a living room for the bridal to get dressed in, Kody’s father’s hunting lodge living room showed so much character and meant so much to her family – AND it has really great window light – it only made sense to use it!

During their engagement session last fall, we did a few portraits with Kody & Jesse’s pup Cannon so of course we had to include him in some Bride & Groom wedding day portrait directly after their first look – he is such a handsome dog with am adorable personality! And because I am a big dog lover, I say the more the merrier!!!! There were two other dogs wondering about the lodge area all day. I was kind of in heaven!

Finally, to make Kody & Jesse’s day even more special, Kody’s older sister Kelsey Walden (who just so happens to be a country music star!) sang a lovely rendition of To Make You Feel My Love during their ceremony. Possibly my favorite version I’ve ever heard! With the cypress standing tall out of the water in the background – their whole ceremony was beautiful in sound, sight, and feeling.

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A FBC of Paducah and Walker Hall Wedding | Paducah, Kentucky


I had been looking forward to Samantha & Keaton’s June wedding every since Samantha contacted me over a year prior! And now it’s been almost a year since their fall 2016 engagement session – which made waiting until June 2017 to work with them again really difficult!

So many things about their day had me excited: 1) They were waiting until the ceremony to see each other. I am completely indifferent about seeing each other before the ceremony or during. I give people the pros and cons of each when asked but am totally fine when people choose to wait. Especially when they had the kind of reaction that Keaton had when he saw Samantha walking down the aisle toward him! 2) Special nodes to Samantha’s father, may he rest in peace. We shot part of their engagement session on his farm but she also had a few things lined up to include him during the wedding day – like placing a rose where he would have sat and most of the reception toasts including throw backs to him. Cue the tears from everyone! 3) And finally, they allowed me THREE times and locations for bride & groom portraits!!! First at the park next to the church, second was closer to the reception hall, and third was at the new riverfront area in lowertown! The all made for some epic images but man oh man was the riverfront neat!

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A Lourdes Hospital Birth | Paducah, Kentucky


I heard from Kelsey about a week before her schedule cesarean – at the last minute, she decided she wanted the birth of her second child to be photographed. I was thrilled that she chose me! And at that point in time, a photographer had yet to be allowed into the surgical suite to photograph a c section at Lourdes. That made me even more ecstatic! I like to meet up with the mom before the birth to get to know her a little bit beforehand and to ask questions are her birth plan but because of the birth being 6 days later from initial contact, there simply wasn’t time.

When I arrived to start shooting early that Tuesday morning, it was almost as if we had spent time together already – her entire family welcomed me into the fold and Kelsey was laid back and ready. They had chosen to wait until the birth to learn the gender of their second baby, just like they did with their first baby – a girl. So many in the room thought it would be a girl so imagine Kelsey & Ryan’s surprise when Baby Boy Case was born earth-side!

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A Farm Home Wedding | Symsonia, Kentucky


Arriving at Patrick’s aunt’s farm, I could see the hustle going on around the reception tent and ceremony area near the pond. Vendors and family members were bustling about to and from the main house, where the wedding party was getting ready. The energy was happy but also serious – everyone there had a job to do to make Lydia & Patrick’s day perfection.

Meanwhile, inside the house, Lydia was calm and cheerful. She was relaxed because she was confident in who she had working around her to execute her vision – she trusted the process. I have been blessed with so many brides that put their faith in other people and haven’t allowed themselves to become too overwhelmed or stressed with what everyone around them is doing. Lydia was the perfect example of a bride who trusted her vendors and I can’t thank her enough for that!

So when I started working with Lydia to get her into he dress, she was all smiles and the atmosphere of her getting ready room was light-hearted. And it was contagious! Her and Patrick’s first look wasn’t rushed and we were able to seamlessly go straight into family portraits because her family was waiting on us – how it should be. The rest of the day was smooth sailing and relaxed, with many friends and family having a great time enjoying each other’s company and the celebration of the day… Which is exactly how you imagine a farm home wedding to be!

And then, to cap off an already awesome day, Lydia trusted me further and humored me with my idea of her and her girls jumping into the backyard pool after their exit from the reception. And it was better than I could have ever pictured in my head!

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