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Rachael Hall Photography bio picture
  • Your Wedding Experience

    My Motivation: I have experienced first-hand why wedding photography is so important. I never realized its value until flipping through a photo album, showing my daughter my crappy photos from her parents' wedding (we didn't hire a professional and totally got what we paid for). For my second marriage, finding the right photographer whose work I LOVED, and whose personality connected with mine, was my TOP priority. I needed to be able to trust her while totally ignoring her on the Big Day! And she exceeded my expectations. Now I sit with my nieces, showing them my album, giggling over how small they were and how funny Uncle So-and-So looked. We're looking at family history!

    My Process: Your wedding photography is not just a set of photographs; it is an experience. I want you to enjoy it through your entire planning period and at your wedding! Once we've spoken on the phone or in person, I want to get to know you! I want to hear your story--how you met, why you're getting married at this particular place, what's important to you. Every bride is different! And that's what keeps my job so fun. How do we create a relationship? By having an engagement session or bridal portrait session. You see how I work, and I see how you are in front of a camera! By the time I show up on your wedding day, it's familiar, it's comfortable. And I'm able to anticipate and capture those candid moments with your family and friends that will last for generations. Finally, I want every couple to have their images in their hands--not just on Facebook--images you'll go over again and again with YOUR kids, your grandkids. Isn't that why we hire photographers? We're making family history together!

Cypress Fine Art Albums Folio: Austin Portrait Photography

I. Am. In. Love. This just arrived today, and I have been waiting on pins and needles for over a week!! Cypress Fine Art Albums did an incredible job with this hand-make, Japanese silk-wrapped tri-fold folio for my 8×10 portraits of Hannah. I wanted a really special gift for her grandparents, who live far away and rarely see her. I wish I could be there to see the look on their faces when they open this!! The pale green silk and ivory ribbon are so elegant and perfectly compliment the prints. I think this would be a killer gift for parents for bridal portraits, or engagements, even wedding portraits!

Now I wish I had ordered one for myself! Grrr……Happy Easter everyone!

Top 10 Wedding Gifts for Which I Wish I Had Registered

I was cleaning my house this fine spring morning, enjoying the birds’ singing coming through the screen door. My sis and I had a really lovely breakfast on the back patio earlier, sitting comfortably on our new patio furniture I recently got at Lowe’s (too bad, WalMart!!). It just got me thinking, there are so many pretty things I’ve acquired in our house that I could have registered for as a bride. It’s been a few years, and obviously the things being sold today are not what were in style or being sold in the past. But the principle remains. I’d been on my own as a working adult for so long when I got married, I felt like I didn’t need anything; everything I owned was “perfectly good,” as my BigMama would say. Who cares if those towels are a little ratty? Just cut the strings off and keep going!

We tried registering for as little as possible, in hopes that people would just give us congratulatory notes stuffed with checks. Any social etiquette columnist will tell you it’s a big fat no-no to request cash in lieu of gifts for a wedding (darn you, Emily Post!). So we just sort of hoped people would give money. They did not. And not only did they give us stuff, they gave us stuff we didn’t register for, because our list was so pathetic. So without further ado, here is my List of Top 10 Gifts I would register for if given another chance:

 

Cutco Knives

I was aghast at the thought of registering for these, but my intelligent husband who loves to cook knew Cutco was the only way to go. We registered. And by golly, a very kind friend DID buy us a set of steak knives. Which we use every day. Yes they’re expensive. But they will last a lifetime. You never know who will be inspired to bless you with something this awesome. Register! www.cutco.comVitamix Blender

Another hugely pricey item. We bought my mother-in-law one for her birthday (the entire family chipped in). Of course, my spouse began to covet it immediately, so after a year, I got him one for Christmas. He was thrilled, and guess what. We use it every day. I’ve lost count of how many $25 blenders I’ve tossed because they burn up or the dern things leak. www.amazon.comSelf-Inflating Air Mattress

This might be just a personal preference. My hubby’s family is large, and they have a family reunion every year. Tons of kids. Nowhere to sleep. It’s just nice to pull out the old reliable self-inflating mattress that fits two adults or 3-4 kids comfortable and it’s inflated in about 5 minutes. $100. Target, WalMart, etc. you can find them anywhere.
Nice Blankets

Target had beautiful blankets this past winter. I lusted after them for a few weeks, and as the cold just seemed to be not going away this spring, I finally caved and bought one (on sale!). All our other throw blankets were small (and guess who would complain that his feet and shoulders couldn’t be covered at the same time?). Now we have a nice big one that’s not too hot, not too skimpy to snuggle under on the couch, or on my nice new patio furniture.Candles

My sister showed me the magical capabilities of upgrading an entire room with small, inexpensive items. Like candles. They’re cheap; they’re pretty; they smell good; you can replace them easily if you get tired of “Ocean Breeze” and want to try “Japanese Cucumber” instead. Target and World Market are great places for these.Picture Frames

This is one of the affordable things your friends will happily buy you, and that you likely never buy for yourself because ugh, my old frames “are perfectly good” even though I bought them in high school and you’d rather put that $25 or $14 toward a decent hair cut. Again, Target, World Market, Hobby Lobby. Great places to look.
Throw Pillows

Another huge room upgrade at an affordable cost.

Rugs

I’m not talking room-size area rugs, I mean the cheaper, smaller ones for your kitchen or bathroom or guest room. The ones you find for $100 or less. Great wedding gift!Beautiful Serving Dishes

I so wish I had done this one!! We don’t host parties often, but when we do, boy do I regret the sad, motley crew of platters and bowls I cobble together. I’m friends with a couple who did register for that sort of thing, and I always loved how pretty their food looked in all those matching pristine white dishes. And they were just plain white! But you get my point.Lamps

Another room upgrade. My sister just bought herself a new dresser, and wanted a lamp to sit on it. That $40 object totally changed the feel and atmosphere of the room! It’s cozy! There’s ambiance! You want to hang out in there and share secrets and watch Hulu together on her laptop! Do it.

Julie and Patrick’s Riverwalk, San Antonio Portrait Session

Julie and Patrick are the neatest couple! They live in Arizona and were coming to San Antonio for a weekend getaway. I sooo wish I could do their wedding, too! I’m honored that they hired me for an engagement session on the Riverwalk in San Antonio. Patrick was a little nervous and asked for some tips on posing. I was so thrilled by how comfortable they are with each other……that’s not something I can “teach” someone to do, and I said as much to him. I don’t expect every couple to be kissy kissy but the best I can tell anyone is to just focus on your partner–think about why you love him/her so much–relax and just look at her, look how pretty she is! We’re not trying to be the next cover of a Nicholas Sparks film but you picked this person to marry for a reason. Yes the camera adds a little pressure and I am kind of a stick in front of a lens myself, so I know how it feels. That’s why I do my best to chat and make everyone chill. Tell me your story! Tell me about your wedding plans. Tell me when you knew this person was The One.

I know they’ll have a very special wedding back home. Congrats you two lovebirds, on your upcoming marriage! <3

Joey and Heidi Portraits: Austin Wedding Photographer

Joey and Heidi have the sweetest story!! They met a baby shower: Joey saw Heidi and told his friend, “If I can get her to go out with me, I’m gonna marry that girl.” Joey’s in the military, stationed in San Antonio, so Heidi flew out from California for a short visit. I’m sure their New Year’s Eve wedding back home will be amazing! I’m so happy to have met this wonderful couple. <3

I love a man in uniform, zow!! Heidi has such a classic 40′s style.

Hannah, Freshman Year Portraits: Austin Portrait Photography

So, that old proverb about shoemakers’ families never having shoes, and doctors’ families always being sick, I guess it goes for photographers’ families sometime never having photographs. I hate that, but golly when your kid has her own car and says “she’s really busy” what can you do??? My Nanner lives 30 minutes away, which might as well be another WORLD, and yes she works and pays her own rent and groceries and gas and oh my gosh I’m so proud of her! But I MISS THIS KID now that’s she’s left the nest. I bribed her with free food and pedicures to lure her up north. She gave me exactly 10 minutes to snap a couple of portraits for her grandparents who see her maybe once a year. Yes. Bribes and Guilt. I employ both heavily, without tact, discretion or any sense of pride. But look at the results!! I love this girl.

  • April 6, 2014 - 4:01 am

    Bethany - Gosh these are BEAUTIFUL!ReplyCancel

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