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Check Out Rachel Hernando’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Hernando.

Hi Rachel, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Truthfully I have never been the kind of person who could sit still for too long– As one of 6 siblings raised by a single father, I found myself preferring skateboarding and tagging up the streets of Wilmington to staying indoors and even got my first tattoos by the time I was in high school to the dismay of my teachers, but what my brother, sisters and I all had in common from a young age was that we were naturally inclined to diving into creative expression to cope with the unfavorable circumstances of living in a single parent household in a less-than-privileged community, and so I witnessed them in awe as they explored the mediums of graphic design, murals, paintings, music, tattooing, calligraphy and poetry. Because our mother wasn’t around, my siblings and I stuck closer to each other, and thus each of their talents influenced me heavily, and vice versa. To this day, everyone in my tribe has their “thing,” and because of them, mine has definitely evolved into living and creating behind the lens.

By the time I was 19 and out of my childhood home, I had already given birth to my firstborn Kaley, but I was a born hustler determined to make something of myself both for me and my family, and since I had always found the specialized nature of higher education appealing, I enrolled myself in college right after high school, taking graphic design courses, conventional art classes and even securing a paid internship with the Getty Museum. Given all of this past formal training, however, what I feel has most inspired and motivated my more serious drive to pursue photography full-time is my joyful commitment to motherhood and marriage: On a daily basis, I am reminded in so many ways that I am blessed to have four beautiful children and a blissful marriage to my husband Eric, along with the love and loyalty of our fur babies, Beans and Buddha. The emotional fulfillment that my family constantly brings me is what has most inspired me to capture all of our precious moments together, along with the awareness of how fast-paced our lives truly are and how much beauty can be easily missed if we don’t take the time to bring it fully into focus. This is what makes it so effortless for me to capture the moments that my clients also find precious and worthy of holding on to forever.

My versatility as an artist behind the lens can be attributed to my wide range of personal interests: I’m able to capture key moments in sports events because of my own experiences as a champion Muay Thai fighter, along with my enthusiasm for extreme sports such as snowboarding, roller skating and skateboarding. I can also easily crystallize striking portraits of women, couples and families both because of my own experience as a published model and as a young, married mother of three children in varying ages and stages. Lastly, because of my long-standing passion for music and high art, I am able to seamlessly co-create the visions of fellow musicians, singers and visual artists on camera and film.

I am a student of life, always creating in the image of my creator, and my chosen medium of expression is the curated framing of human behavior and nature itself.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It’s all about perspective. I look at all challenges as an opportunity for growth. More like growing pains, if you will.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I have always considered myself both an artist and a visionary, taking pictures with my eyes everywhere I went long before I began capturing the moments I found beautiful and inspiring for myself and on behalf of those who have naturally found their way to me for my services. Gems Original Photo was an invention sparked by my innate passion for art but it definitely gained its fast momentum in 2020 by necessity: the pandemic struck and I suddenly found myself having all the time, desire and motivation in the world to do what I’d been wanting to do for a long time, and I was finally in the right place, time and mindset to take my dream off the ground. My style is very much capturing true feels with a creative touch.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
To me, success truly comes from those who persevere. Looking at obstacles and challenges as opportunity for growth. Success is inevitable.

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Image Credits:

Gems original photo

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