Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Abi.
Rachel, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I loved art growing up. All forms and studied many of them. I picked up a nice film camera just for personal joy of the art. For favors, I would take people’s portraits but never really thought much of it. I was in college and a close friend decided to get married but had no funds. They asked me to take their wedding photos or they would not have any!
Honestly, the prospect was extremely intimidating. I wanted to run away but knowing they would have no photos if I didn’t help them out, I took the dive…. and fell in love with photographing weddings. I didn’t launch a business then, I studied and worked and trying to develop skills as a photographer, as a business person, as a wedding professional and honestly, what was most helpful to brides and grooms on their day.
Over a decade later, I still am filled with joy at every wedding. I still get butterflies from the joy but also sheer weight of my job: I am given the responsibility and honor of being the person to capture this GIANT moment in time. There are no second chances and there is no tomorrow with this job… and honestly it is why I love it. I must succeed to love and care for my couples. It is their day and not only does that mean I need to get the shots but I need to be a blessing them and help them have THE BEST day they possibly can. And each time I am selected, I’m still giddy at the opportunity to do just that.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Never has my life been smooth sailing… too stubborn for that, I’d guess.
I started my business thinking I had studied enough and knew enough. That was not at all true. I didn’t think through my branding well. I didn’t know the wedding industry well enough. I allowed people’s opinions of me to degrade my spirit. I allowed my arrogance to hinder my growth.
It was with the help of some amazing people in the wedding industry that I helped me to learn from my silly and young mistakes. I got to come alongside those more seasoned than I was and who were willing to lend me their understanding and apply it to my business and my work. People like Jim Coleman, Azul Photography and honestly a group at the time called WPS.
Since I’ve learned, the thing that makes us best is community and comradery. It is helping us all do our jobs well and loving others, you never know what someone is struggling with, so it is always best to show love and grace.
And let’s be serious, for most of us out here we are not where we think we should be/desire to be. And then 2020…. was a hard year for everyone. I have come to accept that we are where we are… and take joy in the moment. Not complacent but content with who you are and where you are while you make moves and goals to get further. Don’t let your drive and goals get in the way of having joy in the blessings you exist in today.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I specialize in making people feel at home. I focus specifically on this in work with my wedding photography but also in life. There is no day so wonderful as a wedding day but often so clouded with stress and angst when it can be smooth and joyous, relaxed and natural. It is a day set aside to celebrate love.
In this amazing area, there are so many talented photographers and we each have our place and talents. I am here to take pictures and pretty ones but what sets me apart is my focus is on my client. I desire their day to be filled with ease, laughter and naturally relaxed photos that capture who they are. I love making my couples and clients feel at home and natural.
I adore making my clients feel beautiful… because they are heart and soul, body and mind… beautiful. I desire to not only make those around me smile with joy but actually believe the truth I see in them.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
The first book to make me fall in love with books was “Pride and Prejudice” as such it will always have a place in my soul. The imagery of “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” captivates my heart. I have recently read “The Furious Longing of God” where a former priest talks about his journey of love with his God.
Apps… honestly, it is things that allow me to function practically that makes me run: it is the banking app, it is the synced calendars, it is zoom meetings, it is my budgeting to go… these practical apps are what make my heart sing so I have to spend less time stuck on the mundane.
I honestly spend my free time looking up artists, dancers, art restoration (Baumgartner Restoration), cooking (Bingeing with Babish), Bush pilots (Trent Palmer), Live aboard Sailing videos (Sailing Uma), etc. on YouTube. Their passions and life encourage exploration and precision and taking a part of life now.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.rachelabi.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelabiphoto/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rachelabiphoto/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/rachelabiphoto?lang=en
Rachel Abi Photography (Chris Tatem)