*This is a paid post from an APW Sponsor*
There is nothing better than a longtime reader who pours her whole heart into creating a wedding business that solves the very problems that led her to APW to begin with. Today, that’s Rachelle Rawlings Photography in Houston, whose 2011 wedding (and coolest engagement session in the history of all time) is so ingrained in my mind that I can recall it by heart. These days, Rachelle is creating classic, emotional, unfiltered photos and prices starting at the I-don’t-know-how-it’s-possible rate of $1,750. And she’s working hard to support clients that are a little bit traditional, a little bit unique, and a whole lot of themselves. In short, she’s been working crazy hard to build a business that allows her to work with APWers.
Over the past few years, Rachelle has been busting ass building a portfolio and getting acquainted with the local Houston wedding market, so she’s got skill and experience to spare. But because she is still building her own client base, Rachelle Rawlings Photography is crazy affordable, especially for the Houston area. Her wedding day coverage starts at $1,750 and includes eight hours, a second photographer, high-resolution files, and an online gallery. Complete collections with portrait sessions and albums start at just $2,000. Which is crazy, in a barely covering costs kind of way. Jump on this now, because with Rachelle’s talent, it’s not going to last long.
Even in the non-WIC world, it’s still all about model-esque pictures and fancy DIY projects and being the craziest, quirkiest, most unique thing possible. But you know what? You don’t have to do any of those things. You don’t have to be WIC and you don’t have to be a DIY queen and you don’t have to look like a model to be happy with your wedding. Maybe everyone else already knows this, but I didn’t realize it and maybe I’m not the only one.
There’s a tendency in the indie wedding world to judge and immediately discard all things associated with traditional weddings. But Rachelle Rawlings Photography doesn’t care if you’re throwing the bouquet (or not), doing a garter toss (or not), getting married in a traditional venue (or not), as long as you’re being you. Rachelle takes everything she learned from planning her own wedding, and puts it into being the best cheerleader for your wedding. Rachelle says:
I work with a lot of couples who consider themselves “laid-back traditional.” I believe that weddings are made up of two very important aspects—the traditional and the personal. Parts of the day will follow traditions: most people will wear special clothing, say vows, have witnesses, and be presented to the community as a married couple. And parts of the day will be personal to the couple and guests: the details of the day, the exact words said, the location, food, and activities hosted.
I think that both of these elements, the traditional and the personal, are equally important to a wedding day, and I love working with couples who feel that way too. I work with couples who aren’t afraid to include (or eschew) things because they are traditional or because they are unique. They ultimately let themselves be their own guide and trust their choices—and in my eyes that makes for a wonderful wedding day, no matter what the specifics are.
I don’t believe that showing a true, real reflection of your day is at odds with making everything (including you!) look really beautiful. I have been photographed professionally several times, including on my wedding day, and I understand firsthand the power of seeing a photo of yourself that both captures something really true, but also makes you feel like you look really great. I strive to take the natural beauty and joy intrinsic to your relationship and your day and help make that look ridiculously amazing in photo form.
It can be really hard to find a wedding photographer who understands both the indie and traditional side of weddings (especially in areas more typically dominated by tradition, where the only alternative ever seems to be super, super indie). But Houston’s Rachelle Rawlings Photography gets it. Rachelle herself is one of you from way back, and I’ve been watching her work grow ever since she signed off as a wedding graduate and moved on to kick ass at doing her own thing. (I even got to help her a little along the way!) I have no doubt that Rachelle is going to take off in a huge way this year, and you could be one of the lucky ones to nab her while she’s still in the building phase. So get to it, because an absurdly talented photographer who charges under $2,000 is like the Hale-Bopp Comet of wedding photography—rare and magnificent.