RACHAEL HOUSER » photography for couples & families


I don’t know what other people might call it but I have been calling it the Pre-Wedding Consultation since I started this little business of mine. If you’ve already had a Pre-Wedding Consultation with me then this information will not be new to you but if you haven’t and were maybe wondering what the heck is going to happen at yours, here we go!


The Pre-Wedding Consultation is a meeting I hold between the bride and groom (or just the bride) for us to get on the same page right before the wedding.


Me, of course! Haha! And whoever you want really! At least the bride will attend and hopefully the groom. And sometimes the mother-of-the-bride and or mother-of-the-groom, or the maid-of-honor or sisters or grandmother! If you have a wedding planner, they should attend as well. As long as they have you and the wedding’s best interest at heart, I’m all for it!


About 6 weeks before your wedding, I’ll email you, reminding you to complete the wedding questionnaire on your bridal dashboard and ask for a list of dates that you’ll be available, preferably 4 weeks prior to the wedding day but no later than 2 weeks. That way you haven’t entered into the rush of last minute wedding tasks and I’ll have plenty of time to create your timeline for you.


If it doesn’t require us to travel too awful much, I’d love to meet you at your ceremony and or reception venue! That way we can kind of do a walk through of portrait locations, etc. Also, when I arrive on the wedding day, I’ll know exactly which room to find you in. BUT if we can’t make it to the wedding day locations that’s fine! Instead, we can meet at a restaurant for a meal, a coffee house for a cup of coffee, or a local park! Pretty much anywhere where we can sit down and talk and take notes, I’m game!


The main thing everyone wants to know as the wedding draws near is when is ___ going to happen. During the consultation, the bride and I get down to the nitty gritty of the wedding day goings-on. I don’t assume you know how much time I need for certain parts of the day so together, we will work on your wedding day timeline (next week’s Wedding Wednesday’s post!). If we’re able to meet at the wedding locations then we’ll do a tour. I like to see where the brides intends on getting into her dress and where the guys will be getting ready. Are their specific locations you’d like to use for portraits? If the ceremony is held outside, let’s make sure it’s in an area with plenty of shade so it’s comfortable for everyone.


No later than a couple days after your consultation, I’ll email you a tentative timeline. You’ll critic it with your needs and your vision in mind and we’ll go back and forth until it is 100% perfect for the both of us. Sometimes the timeline I come up with is spot on. Other times just a couple things need to be switched around. Either way, in the end, you will be completely comfortable with the flow of the day and confident in when you’re doing what.

My goal is that by the end of the Pre-Wedding Consultation experience, your timeline and your photography will be two things less that you’ll have to worry about!

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One of three of Neil’s cousins who are getting married this year got married this past Saturday! Hannah & James’ wedding is going on my favorites list for sure! The whole thing went down at James’ parents’ home in Lebanon TN – ceremony in the front yard, reception in the back and everyone got ready inside! It wasn’t hot out and there was a breeze in the air. The clouds allowed us just the right amount of sun and family was all around. Oh, and Hanna married her best friend! It could not have been a better day!

Neil and I actually arrived a tad early so while I grabbed some details shots, Neil lent a helping hand to his cousin, Hannah’s mom. I tell everyone I bring him for the heavy lifting but he does much more than that! For example, he lit all the candles right before the ceremony and reception started! So proud of my man! ;)

Hannah’s dress might be the prettiest dress I’ve had the honor to photograph, to date. And it fit her like a glove!


Her veil also wins the prettiest I’ve ever photographed prize. It was the loveliest shade of vintage! On her right hand, Hannah wore her late grandmother’s wedding set!


I would love to tell you that the little flower girl hung out up stairs with me for so long because she liked my company. But really it was because the old family dog, Maggie Moo, was guarding/sleeping on the stairs. It took an act of bravery on Neil’s part to get her over the vicious animal  and down the stairs to safety. Please note the HUGE amount of sarcasm in my tone here. That dog was practically dead to the world, even with everything going on around her! She did greet me with a kiss on the nose tho!


While dressing Hannah, her sister Kayla (who’s next in the family to get married!!) just couldn’t hold back her tears. There was no shortage of tearing up throughout the day… and I was one of the sappier ones!


This image. My favorite of these two ever.


Hannah, you’re radiant! Girl, I could have photographed you all day long!


First look time! We snuck the two love birds down to the lake away from the bustle of preparations going on around the house.


You won’t find a more genuine smile on this groom!


Family time/family portraits back at the house. Both families were so much fun to work with!


James is a big Marvel fan so it wouldn’t be his wedding if there weren’t hints of Marvel every where you turn… even the boutonnières were made from comic book pages!


Of course they wrote their own vows! This wedding wouldn’t be complete without them!




What an awesome idea! Because their guest list was on the shorter side, why not have a big group picture!


True to his form, Hannah’s Pawpaw, Neil’s Great Uncle Tom, cut into the father daughter dance to dance with his grand daughter. Even at 90 years old he’s still a great dancer!


Best night ever, you guys!


Ceremony Venue | Groom’s parents’ house
Reception Venue | Groom’s parents’ house
Bridal Gown | Casablanca, The White Room
Bridesmaids Dresses | Dressfan
Stationary | Invitations by David’s Bridal
Florist | Fresh by CarryAnn
Hair Stylist | Leesha at Stylemasters
Makeup Artist | Jenny Burnley, Bride’s cousin
Caterer | Michael’s Cafe
Cake Artist | Sweet n Sassy
Rentals | Liberty Party Rentals
DJ | CJ the DJ

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Mary Lou Siegfried -

I think the pictures are absolutely beautiful, and the star: Hannah, is even more beautiful! What a special day! Much love to both for a wonderful life together…

Last Wednesday SHOULD have been a Wedding Wednesday, but instead it was a I-got-crazy-busy-and-frankly-just-forgot-to-blog Wednesday. I don’t foresee that blog series making its way into my blog calendar ANY time soon ;) So even though today is Monday, let’s just pretend it’s a Wedding Wednesday, OK?


After your session or wedding with Rachael Houser Photography, you will receive an email with instructions and the link to your online PASS gallery. This is an amazing gallery for a few reasons.

1. Images are easily DOWNLOADED & VIEWED from all your devices – computer, iPad, and iPhone!
2. Images are easily SHARED with all your friends and family.
2. Images are easily FAVORITED & ORDERED.

So here’s how it works.

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Click “Enter the Gallery” button underneath your names to enter the gallery. Ta-da! Your gallery will open up and you’ll be staring at your header. Under the header image you’ll see a bar that says “Scroll Down, View Photos”. Go ahead. Scroll down :)

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The first three images, although not as exciting as the other images on the page, are very educational. Trust me – you’ll want to know what those say. The first image is instructions on how to use your PASS gallery to its fullest. The second image is instructions on how to order prints from your PASS gallery. And the third image is the print release, which you’ll need if you choose to order prints from anywhere other than the PASS gallery or me. Click on the images to enlarge them and therefore, read them better.

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The other images on the first page are “Rachael’s Favorites”, or my favorite images I chose for your blog post.

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At any time, on all pages, there will be a tool bar at the top. Let’s take a look at it now.

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The very next thing you need to do is log in! Notice the 3 horizontal lines in the top left corner of the screen – Click it! This open a menu on the left side of the screen. There are several menu items but what we’re going to look at first is at the very bottom of the menu: Account > Login.

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You need to log in to “favorite” images (which I’ll need you to do if you’re ordering an album), order prints, and download your images from your PASS gallery. When you click on the “Login” link this is what you’ll see next:

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If this is your first time using the PASS gallery: Friends and family – feel free to log in using your Facebook account information. This will be easiest (and still safe!) for everyone but the bride and groom (or primary client). Bride & Groom – please create an account by clicking on the “Create Account” link under “Login using Email” and follow the instructions to “create an account with email” using ONLY the email address you use to chat back and forth with me. The password, however, can be your secret ;)

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Once that is complete, you’ll be automatically logged in and will redirected back to the first page. Click on the 3 horizontal line button in the top left corner. Next we’re going to look at the Collections…

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The top collection will be “Rachael’s Favorites” which you’ve already seen on the first page. Your wedding day has been divided into collections by time and category. To view each collection, simply click on the collection title.

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Click on an image to enlarge it…

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From here you can click the arrow on the left to view previous image…

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Or the arrow on the right to view the image coming up…

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Now let’s look at more features! While viewing an individual image, click the “+” button on the top right corner.

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A menu will appear on the right side with options to “Share (the) Photo” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Email. You can also click the “Download” link to download that individual image. If you do not plan on downloading the whole wedding gallery, you can download the images you want by this avenue. Otherwise, I would wait.

From this menu you can also add the photo (image) to your favorites and order prints! To a print of the image you’ve enlarged, just click “prints”…

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Choose your size and quantity by clicking on the “+” buttons beside your choice until you reach the number you want to order. If you’re done ordering prints, click “View Cart” but to continue viewing images, click “Keeping Shopping”…

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Click outside of the enlarged image to view the gallery behind it.

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Finally, let’s download the entire gallery, shall we?! Click on the 3 horizontal lines button on the top left again and click on the “Download All” button at the bottom of the menu.

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Options will pop up… Click to choose which collections you’d like to download. The images in “Rachael’s Favorites” and “My (Your) Favorites” are automatically in the other collections, btw ;) Click “Start Download” to get started!

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A few minutes will pass and your PASS gallery will email you the link to click to get your download. Your download will come as a zip file that should automatically unzip when you open it. The files in the unzipped folder will be high resolution jpeg image files! The zip file/folder will download to wherever you tell it to OR to a location already determined by your computer/internet settings. Usually a folder entitled “Downloads” but NOT determined by me or your PASS gallery. I get this question every once in a while and I’m sorry but I can’t help answer that.

All there’s left to do now is SHARE (and please credit “Rachael Houser Photography”) and ENJOY!!!

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I am so thrilled to introduce you guys to an up-and-comer in the fashion blogging world – Miss Kortney Lane!

She also happens to be my sister-in-law’s sister, which makes her family, which makes me more than excited that she’s stepping into a world very similar to the photography… and I get to help her make her dream a reality!

My business and I are only where we (can I say “we”?) are today because I had and have people around who are very supportive of my passion-turned-into-profession. And I love to see other succeed in any form of the arts because in our area of the world (i.e.: Western Kentucky), true artists not very prevalent. There are a ton of people who post their outfit of the day (#ootd) on Instagram and call themselves “fashion bloggers”, just like there are those out there who purchase a DSLR and the very same day advertise themselves on Facebook to shoot other people’s weddings. But that’s a whole other blog post ;)

Of course, I do follow Kortney’s Instagram but more than just that, I see her in person all the time – I know she has style even when she’s not posing in pictures! So when she mentioned that she is interested in fashion blogging I knew I was meant to help her. We got together last Sunday evening to do her first (of several I hope!) shoot with just a few of her favorite summer outfits and then finished out the night over dinner, planning out her new blog and much MUCH more! I even taught her a little about her DSLR! I see a very bright future for this lady and I can’t wait to see her get there!


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Peggy Barnes -

I love you in the jeans.

I find it only slightly silly that my mom does not like it when I travel alone for my job. I find it incredibly silly that she recently insisted upon accompanying me down to Chattanooga for an engagement session! Silly momma!

So off to Chattanooga we go, my momma and me! I had mentioned to Kayla & Michael that Neil would probably join me and we’d stay the night since it is a 4 hour drive (8 total). Imagine their surprise to meet my momma instead of my husband! As the title of this blog post suggests, their session was in downtown Chattanooga so my mom was busy taking in all the sights and walking around the town. Which is pretty much exactly what Kayla, Michael, & I did the whole two hours!


The four of us ended the night at Tony’s Pasta Shop for dinner, because they are just too cool to NOT hang out with! Can’t wait to hang out with them again soon!

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