Rachael Houser Photography » Wedding Photographer based in Western Kentucky

Sarah and Garrett went to college together. They met at Murray State University. Sarah works in Nashville as an accountant while Garrett works with computers (that’s as specific as Sarah gets when anyone asks lol!) in a small Western Kentucky town. I can only imagine how hard it is to plan a wedding when you only see each other on weekends! On top of that, Sarah is studying for the CPA exam!

I met Sarah in high school; we were in color guard and winter guard together. When I saw that she and Garrett got engaged (Facebook is an amazing thing, isn’t it??) I jumped at the chance to offer my photography services to an old friend. Bless her heart; when she hired me she said now she has four things for their May 2012 wedding: her groom, her dress, the date, and now the photographer! And as of the end of October, she has their engagement pictures done. I’m glad I could get her that much closer!

We met in downtown Nashville for their session and walked all over it seems! And that was all before we headed to Centennial Park! Their 2.5 hour session produced almost 100 amazing pictures but I don’t want to bog down your internet so here’s my favorite 31 images :)

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A little sad that I didn’t take more pictures of this past weekend but at least we got this one!

Proof that Melissa and I did in fact spend the weekend together. And in Indianapolis at that!

If you follow me on Facebook and or twitter you would have seen all my foursquare checkins. Yea, we were kind of everywhere. We had an awesome time tho and I can’t wait till we do it again. I think next time (year?) we’ll go to Louisville….or maybe Chicago!

So this week is kind of crazy for me. Just today I had a med/surg exam, med/surg lecture, nursing class potluck, med/surg lab, med/surg skills checkoff…in that order. Then I left school. Stopped by the computer place to pick up my computer and Neil’s computer. Mine is dead to the world. Thankfully, I was heading to an Apple store this weekend and was able to buy my very first MacBook!!!! Can you tell I’m excited? Yea, I love it already even though it is a little confusing at times. I think I’m catching on…..anyway. Like the good photographer that I am, I didn’t lose any files because they were all backed up :D  Neil’s computer is just fine. Of course it is :/

Drove to Eddyville. Had to scout three locations for a family portrait session this Saturday, got gas, picked up a few things for tonight’s dinner, and came home. Finally home! Let the dogs out, watch the video I had recorded on my camera of the dogs shut up in the back bedroom while we were gone. They are bad. This is the third recording we’ve done: first with Aly out in the room and Benny in his kennel (he chews on stuff), second with Aly out in the room and Benny in his kennel (the only difference was we had the camera angled into his kennel, and third with both dogs out in the room. We let Benny out of the kennel because he practically goes crazy while he’s shut in there. I can’t really describe it…..just take my word for it. BUT Aly does nothing while he’s in the kennel. She does, however, whine when he’s out of the kennel because that’s what Benny’s doing the entire time. Along with chewing on everything. Today, he ate two empty DVD cases, Aly’s bed and quilt, the trash, and something else….that I can’t remember right now :/ Tomorrow, we’re going to try with both of them free, out in the house. Oh, now I remember! Benny pooped in the back bedroom.

Since I’ve been home today (at approx 4:30pm) I’ve culled through an engagement session, edited a few images from said session, answered emails, made dinner, ate dinner, and started this blog post. It’s 8:30pm and what’s still left to do: finish this blog post, make OB exam review, start laundry, and get ready for bed. I may or may not finish my study guide but at least I’ll have a good start on it.

The plan for tomorrow: sleep in, finish study guide for biology exam, study said study guide, answer more emails, take biology exam, and study for OB exam (which is Wednesday morning).

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Pam -

You are a busy bee! On a side note, I love the new layout. I guess I have been out of the loop lately.. Oh well.

Mel -


Leanne -

Holy Moly, you’re SUPER busy! Wow. How did you even breathe!?

LOL @ your pup pooping in the room. I’m glad Pepper doesn’t do THAT anymore!

Usually dogs will chew on things when they are bored. Have you tried buying them a kong? I usually stuff a few treats in there with a 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter… He LOVES that and it keeps him busy. OR, how about giving them one of those HUGE bones? If they like that stuff, it SHOULD help the situation a little. When Pepper use to whine {SUPER LOUD} in his crate, I use to put the radio on and leave it by the crate. Oddly enough, that actually worked! {We use to video tape him as well, lol}. Now, I can leave him in his crate WITHOUT the kong/radio! He’s perfect!

Good luck!

And enjoy that MACbook ;)

Rule #4: Get a Thick Skin

If you take risks, sometimes you’ll get a standing ovation, and sometimes, people will throw tomatoes. Can you think of any leader or innovator you admire who doesn’t have enthusiastic fans and harsh critics? Get used to wins and losses, praise and pans, getting a call back and being ignored. Work on letting go of needing to be liked and needing to be universally known as “a nice person.”


UGH. I struggle with this SO much. A lot of the time the reason I don’t do something is because I’m afraid of someone not liking it. And I’m not talking about doing something intentionally mean. However, I think I’m getting better at just throwing myself out there for the wolves. Take, for example, my photography. People pay me money (sometimes, a lot) to take their picture. I would hope that they’d seen some of my work and already liked it before hiring me but there’s still that chance that they won’t like what they paid for. Thankfully, I’ve only had one semi displeased client in my one year of business and it was an easy fix. I try to give every client my best but, just like with any other job, sometimes things don’t go perfectly. Like a writer with writer’s block, sometimes you just have an off day.

I haven’t taken a lot of risks with my business (yet!) and it’s mainly due to wanting to be liked. Hopefully, once I graduate nursing, I’ll be able to focus more on growing my confidence with my photography business.

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Rule #3: Gasp

Start doing things that make you gasp and get the adrenalin flowing. Ask yourself, “What’s the gasp-level action here?” Your fears and a tough inner critic will chatter in your head. That’s normal, and just fine. When you hear that repetitive, irrational, mean inner critic, name it for what it is, and remember, it’s just a fearful liar, trying to protect you from any real or seeming risks. Go for the gasps and learn how false your inner critic’s narrative really is, and how conquerable your fears.


When I’m trying to decide whether or not to do something, and if it’s a difficult decision, I’ll usually hesitate and get that fear like feeling. Normally, I chalk it up to “It must not be what I should do or I wouldn’t feel this way…” but after reading rule #3, I’m starting to understand that maybe I get that feeling not because it’s not what I should do but because I’m simply scared. It’s just fear of the unknown. It’s that feeling you get when you’re waiting in line to ride a roller coaster. You see people also waiting in line to ride, you see people getting on and getting off, you see that there’s no danger to the ride but you still feel that fear like feeling. Then you finally ride the roller coaster and you get off feeling excited. A lot of times I want to turn around and ride it 10 more times! Once you get over the initial fear like feeling and just DO IT you feel so much better.

I know I do, yet I still hesitate when it comes to some decisions I have to make in my life. I’d like to work on conquering those “fears”.

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Rule #2: Imagine it

What does a knock-the-ball-out-of-the-park life look like for you? What is the career that seems so incredible you think it’s almost criminal to have it? What is the dream you don’t allow yourself to even consider because it seems too unrealistic, frivolous, or insane? Start envisioning it. That’s the beginning of having it.


My thoughts… to me, the perfect life would be me, Neil, 2 or 3 kids, and 2 dogs living in 2 store house that I designed in my hometown. I’d be a full time photographer, working part time as some sort of nurse. I want to use my degree but it’s not what I want to be for the rest of my life. Neil would be a high school health and PE teacher at our county high school, couching the varsity boys’ basketball team. Our kids would be active in their schools and our family would be active in my hometown church. In my perfect life, I’d be a full time photographer and part time nurse. What would be awesome if if I could JUST be a photographer and still be able to help Neil support our family in the life we’d like to live. Neil being a teacher isn’t going to get us far….that’s why I’ll most likely practice as a nurse as well. Which will be OK since I like working in the medical field. Reaching further, if I could practice as a nurse anesthetist or a women’s health nurse practitioner specializing in midwifery, all the while still being a photographer?!? That would ROCK! But let’s be honest and practical here. There’s only one of me :/

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Leanne -

Aww, sounds like the PERFECT life!

Well, you could always work full-time as a nurse for x amount of years {basically, until you have any student loans paid off, a certain amount of your house paid off, a little extra money for the kiddies etc} THEN you can go down to part-time and do what you REALLY enjoy doing!

Jeannie -

Uhhh…you know I’m going to enter midwifery school in July?? (hoping they like me and my interview and all…) We work together???