A Complete View


:: Thoughts ::

It was time to change things up and design a new cover.  Instead of a single image, I really wanted to present a more “complete” view of what I do, and highlight my main thought behind it all.  There’s a subtle pattern to this layout. The corners are veterans, or representing veteran-related events. They are the cornerstone of my business.  The center four images, surrounding the very middle, are also veterans.  And the photos that are most vibrant?  Yep, you already know.  The center row is made up of personal favorites from various sessions.  No veterans in this row—just reflections of this photographer’s passion for her art.

So there it is—Reflexions by Rachel in a nutshell.  Men and women who serve are the cornerstone.  They’re at the center, the core, of what I do.  They also shine the brightest, because that’s where my passion lies.

Custom Facebook Cover Template 300 ppi v4 small font

Until next time,


Worth The Sacrifice


 :: Thoughts ::

Father-daugther relationships are precious.  Individually, they are fragile beings, each with their own doubts and insecurities.  At the same time, they are strong and resilient.  A father going to war, carrying the weight of missing his family.  An internal war is simultaneously raging as he fears being seen as abandoning.  Fighting the enemy, but also fighting himself.  His little girl back at home yearns to be held in his arms.  Everything he does, every day he fights, he does it in hopes of coming home to her.

It’s not about glamorizing a story or an image.  It’s not about minimizing what is shared.  It’s all about the raw, unfiltered truth.  It’s about being uncomfortable.


Until next time,


Rebranding : New Logo


 :: Thoughts ::

It was time for a new logo!  I’ve been wanting to redesign it for quite a while now.  But being the indecisive person that I am, I could never sit down and figure out what I wanted.  I mean seriously.  I struggle enough just trying to decide what color I want to paint my nails.  So it’s no surprise I didn’t fall in love with any of the sketches while designing a logo…and I didn’t understand why nothing was clicking.  But then, I realized none of the designs were me.  They were pretty, cursive fonts, and awesome Photoshop brushes.  That’s when I figured it out it hit me.  I decided to use my signature…my handwriting.  As photographers, we put pieces of ourselves into our work, so it just felt right to me.

Out with the old…


…in with the new.


Simple, unadorned, authentic, perfectly imperfect.  I found it.

Until next time,


LensCulture : Portrait Awards 2015


 :: Thoughts ::

I decided to submit a photo series for LensCulture Portrait Awards 2015.  Based on the description for the category, I knew what I wanted to do.

“Often we think of portraits as single images but a series of portraits can work in many different ways.  For example, a portrait series could show different members of a group or even offer a more conceptual, less direct approach, without portraying the subject itself.  In short, we’re open to ALL interpretations of what makes an interesting portrait.  You can submit up to 10 photos that work well together as a group—thematically or aesthetically or in telling a story—and as a cumulative portrait.”

My first thought after reading the criteria?  “Christopher’s photos from last July would be perfect.”  I included an explanation behind each photograph I submitted as part of this series.  This is my submission…

Until next time,


“Death Smiled At Me”

Christopher was injured by an IED in Afghanistan on September 28, 2011.  He was helping an injured soldier when it happened, “just doing his job” as a medic.  I captured glimpses of his story as he shared details he remembered from that fateful day.  He told me he usually was not eager to share so much from that experience, but he did just that in front of me.  He let me truly see him during our time together–heart, skin, and soul.


“My Favorite Leg”

His favorite leg–it’s heavy and has a semi-automated movement feature to help him walk.  He mentioned it is especially helpful while walking on an incline.  He’s proud of his prosthetic leg, and he walks ever so confidently.


 “Healing On the Court”

He proudly bares his new leg on the basketball court, where he used to play in his wheelchair with other recovering soldiers, at the Center for the Intrepid.


“I Thought I Was Blind”

These are the sunglasses he was wearing on September 28th.  “It happened so fast,” he told me.  “I thought I was blind, but it was just dirt covering my glasses.”  You can clearly see the dirt caked on–everything left in its raw state from the blast.


“Three Years Later”

Christopher had not put his sunglasses back on since his accident.  But in front of me, in front of the camera, he braved it.  He slid on the dirt-caked sunglasses, and stared right through me.


“Reliving That Day”

“I was helping someone–just doing my job.  But then I was the one in need of rescuing.”  His raw facial expressions while sharing took me to that day in Afgahnistan–where he was scared, confused, and feeling helpless.


“I Wouldn’t Give Up”

He continued sharing his story with me–the fragments he carries with him every day.  He did not realize how badly his left arm was injured until he tried putting a tourniquet on his own leg.  “My arm just wouldn’t work, but still I tried.”


“I Carry My Comrades Daily”

This image sums up his story.  He is flesh and blood; a fragile yet strong life.  He chose to serve in the military because he felt called.  During his service, he made a sacrifice that would ultimately change the direction of his future.  He now bares the physical and emotional reminders.  He is titanium.



Christopher is currently pursuing a degree in Physical Therapy.  His experience makes him a wonderful example of overcoming challenges and dealing with change resulting from war.  He is full of optimism, courage, and passion.  His circumstances have shaped and molded him, and now he is going to help others rise up.


Cap. Gown. Hot Pink Heels.



Congratulations on your upcoming graduation…it’s just around the corner! This is when things really get exciting!

You showed up looking beautiful for your session.  It was so fun to see your personality come out as we got going.  It’s hard to choose because you had a variety of looks going on, but I think I’d have to say my favorite shots are the ones of you naturally interacting with your parents.  That’s tied with the shot of you putting on your hot pink heels, in your cap and gown…and standing barefoot on the bridge.  I know you couldn’t see it, but when your dad picked you up and carried you in your heels, I had this ridiculous grin on my face.  That was such a sweet moment…and I’m so glad you have a photo to always remember it.

My wish for you is to continue discovering. If you forget how to dream, find someone who will inspire you and remind you how.  If one day you realize you don’t recognize yourself, seek until you find that girl again.

Never stop pushing…outgrow yourself daily.  Chase what matters most in this life, and the trivial pursuits will dissolve.




“If you forget how to dream, find someone who will inspire you and remind you how.”

PX3 Patriots – vs – LSF Warriors


:: Houston, TX ::

The PX3 Patriots All Veteran Celebrity Softball Team went to bat with the Lone Survivor Foundation Warriors on October 21, 2015 at Rice Stadium.  Veterans and celebrities took the field together.  If there’s one thing that stood out, it was their sense of community.  Rice stadium was so alive–you could hear it in the laughter, and see it in supportive embraces, and in the mutual respect.  This was a fun, competitive game, but it was so much more. It was family.

To those who served–thank you.  I know you were playing for your brothers and sisters that night.  And I have no doubt they would all be proud of every single one of you–those who are with us and those who are missed.

As I stood beside you that night, I knew I was standing among champions.




You’re My One


Dylan + Kalina,

I got to stand back and observe love.  There was nothing forced about you two.

Kalina, all it took was one look…you’d get one look at him, and your eager smile didn’t hesitate to make an appearance.  He led you through the tall grass, clearing anything in your way.  He played with your hair, and twirled you along the dirt path.  I saw adoration anytime he looked at you….your petite frame in that pretty, pink dress.

“Come here, sweetheart.”  I remember you saying that, Dylan, as you extended your hand to take hers.  Kalina wore your hat, and wrapped her arms around your neck.  She leaned on you, and you both knew you were content.  She was in awe of you.  And the way she tilted her head back just to get a glimpse of your blue eyes…that was the best part.

I watched as you fell deeper.




“I watched as you fell deeper.”