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Meet Trailblazer Rachel Austin

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

Rachel, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I think my story starts out much like other photographers, I have always been artistic and have always loved creating art. As a kid, I used to really love taking pictures with disposable cameras. I would have my friends dress up and model for me. I remember how excited I would get to go develop them to see the results. In high school, I took photography and at age 18 I got my first DSLR camera. I really didn’t take it very seriously until my first daughter came into the picture (pun intended). It was then that I decided I wanted to document her as she grew. Time goes by so fast and I knew that I wanted to create something beautiful that we could both always have to look back on. Now, I have another daughter and I have learned not only the importance of documenting them as they grow but to also document me with them. What really sets my soul on fire, besides taking pictures of my girls is, taking pictures of other families and babies. I honestly feel so honored every time someone chooses me to document a life event for them. I mean, these are moments that will always be with them.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I can say with confidence that it has not been a smooth road, I think people that create really tend to beat up on themselves, so that is definitely a battle I have with myself all the time. It’s something I am working on but like anything else it’s a habit you have to train your brain to break. Another major challenge is being a full-time mom and trying to run a business, the mom guilt is real. I have a hard time trying to balance it all. My advice to young women starting out their career would be to have confidence. Have confidence in yourself, have confidence in your decisions and don’t let that inner voice tell you you can’t do it. The worst that could happen is you fail, really in the grand scheme of things that’s not so bad. I wish I could take my own advice here!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Rachel Austin Photography – what should we know?
I am a lifestyle photographer, I specialize in families, motherhood, fresh 48s, and newborns. I am always evolving and learning about photography and what I really enjoy about it, I think creating a fun and relaxed place for people to truly interact organically is my specialty. I just set up an in home studio to allow for a beautiful space when clients do not have one available to them. I am really proud of the authentic moments that I capture. For example fresh 48 sessions are done within the babies first 48 hours of life. I have done a few where the siblings are meeting for the first time, it’s an amazing thing to see . There isn’t a whole lot that excites me more then creating and being a part of something that is so life-altering to people. I get to hold that memory for them forever which is truly such an honor and I don’t see that ever getting old. The thing about photographers is there are a ton of us, I believe each of has a lot of great things to offer. I see other photographers work all the time and I am truly blown away by what they create. I am a part of unraveled academy & have found so many inspiring and supportive photographers. I feel so grateful to have found a group of women that just want to cheer each other on. If I had to say one thing that sets me apart it would be my ability to bring calm to a session and finding ways to capture my client’s essence is what makes me different. I feel that the experience in the moment is equally important to the images themselves.

So much of the media coverage is focused on the challenges facing women today, but what about the opportunities? Do you feel there are any opportunities that women are particularly well positioned for?
I’m not sure the media is focused on anything but the Coronavirus right now, it’s a really strange time. I actually feel like photography is a perfect profession for women. We have so much emotion, passion and compassion and I think you really need all of those things to capture people. Also, I feel that women prefer to hire other women to photograph them and their families because they feel more comfortable in being vulnerable or because they feel more connected to their shared experiences. I mean think about it, men usually aren’t the ones to hire a photographer for family photos or for their newborn sessions. Women are typically the ones who make a point and understand the importance of documenting the family’s milestones. They are the ones to research photographers and ultimately, they are the ones who decide what kind of style of photography they want and person they will hire. I gotta say it’s one of those Women supporting women professions.

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Image Credit:
Rachel Austin

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