Thanks to the social media gods, I was fortunate to meet Rachel through a media dinner. My first thought was...this chick has a sense of humor. Nice...finally! My second thought was...this chick is kind of a bada**. Witty, smart, creative and she really doesn't concern herself with the petty blogger world. My kind of woman.
Since then, I've been inspired by her mouthwatering brunch shots, picturesque Chicago snaps and her ability to switch careers so seamlessly. No doubt Rachel works her tail off to build her photography business but, as we know, hard work pays off and she's working with some of Chicago's most elite dining establishments. She's unapologetic about her opinions but has an extraordinarily big heart for humans and animals. Kinda like a steel covered marshmallow which is the only way to survive in today's competitive creative market. Meet my friend Rachel!
Tell us a little about Rach, Esquire and the mission of your brand. How hard was it to get started? Give us the deets on all your photography collaborations as well!
My mission is to share as much of the beauty I see around me as I can. I also want to continue growing and learning as much as I can! I’ve always been a risk taker so it wasn’t a hard decision to jump right into it. I’m currently working four restaurants on a regular basis as well as a few major brands, but I’m also looking into expanding my portrait photography!
1. What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an entrepreneur let alone in the food/photography industry?
I’ve been into photography since I was 15. I wanted to go to college for it, but was afraid to submit a portfolio. Fast forward about 13 years to when I lived in NYC and was using Instagram more regularly. People started asking me to take more photos (for free at first) and it just grew from there. It got to the point where I couldn’t balance working a full-time job and my part-time job as a photographer anymore. I quit that job a year ago to pursue photography full-time and I haven’t looked back.
2. What one blog/photography moment are you the most proud of and why?
I’m very proud of my first Presidio shoot. It was my first food shoot with a real camera. It was the start of something I really love to do!
3. How would you describe a typical day?
I get up and make coffee and eggs almost every day, catch up on emails and watch youtube or skillshare classes. Then I head out to shoots and/or events for most of the day. Somewhere in between I’ll stop at a coffee shop to wrap up work for my social clients. Then I head home and snuggle my dog and husband and watch whatever show we are currently binge watching.
4. How do you describe your personal aesthetic?
I’m drawn to things that are very clean and organized with more muted tones and colors and I try to create around that. Although, I do enjoy a splash of color every now and then!
5. What individuals, tastemakers, celebrities, entrepreneurs, public figures inspire you?
I’ve always been very inspired by Betsey Johnson. I actually used to work as a stylist in two of her stores before they closed: Columbus Avenue in NYC and Melrose in LA. I’ve loved her since I was 11. She’s always marched to the beat of her own drum. Created a fun brand that didn’t follow the trends but just WORKED. She’s always been unapologetically herself, and I’ve always aspired to be like that.
6. If you weren't in the blog/photography industry...and could be anything else...what would it be?
I would go back to the legal field. It’s not that I didn’t like it, I really did. Particularly the transactional realm. And research and writing! I actually love problem-solving so it was a great industry for me. The jobs were just very limited when I graduated.
7. It's creative time...what's on your music playlist? What inspires you?
One band has always helped me focus. Whether it was studying for law exams or hunkering down to finish some edits, Explosions in the Sky is what I turn to.
8. Favorite restaurant on a Friday night + why?
Presidio! The food is always incredible, and the bartenders really know what they’re doing. It makes winding down after a long week super easy.
9. Wine or classic cocktail?
10. Favorite weekend getaway destination?
11. Bonus question - 5 must-have apps that you need in your life to function?
Instagram, Snapseed, VSCO, Lightroom, and Words with Friends
12. What's next for Miss Rachel?
I want to continue growing as a photographer. Learn as much as I possibly can. The 5 year goal is to be a family and dog photographer!