We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Nicole and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel Nicole, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
It was never a thought process for me, actually. Around age 11 is when I started my very first business, and I think from then on, I always knew that owning my own business was just going to be what I did. It wasn’t a researched project, I didn’t know anything going into it. I had talents, I knew how to use them, and I used them to work for myself. I’ve always been very driven and hardworking, so putting those together with my talents, and the desire to make my own money by using everything that was my own, and not working for someone else has always been the way I’ve done things. I’ve never worked a full time job for anyone but myself! It’s so rewarding and I wouldn’t change one thing. Since that first business I started as a preteen, I have owned at least three other businesses, before deciding the one I wanted to pursue was within the wedding industry in photography. I absolutely love it!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Mostly, I JUST LOVE LOVE. I’m obsessed with love stories. Nothing gets me going more than hearing from my people how much they love their partner. The mushy gushy details, like how one of my groom’s was off on a trip in Germany, and literally scouted out a place to take his boo there so he could propose, or how one of my bride’s worked with her later groom, and she haaaatedddd his guts, but now they’re more in love than half the people I know. Hearing these stories of how things come together too perfectly to be coincidence just makes me so happy I could cry. I feel all the stories they tell me. We get deep when we talk. We talk about how infertility has played such a role in my people’s lives, how the next step is getting married so they can adopt a child together, because they can’t have their own. We cry together, we feel together, and then, when, two years after we shoot their beautiful wedding, they invite me into their home to take photos of their daughter, who they were able to have naturally. It’s a miracle, and we capture that miracle, and the next miracle, one year later, because life isn’t linear and it isn’t easy, but it is beautiful… The good, the bad, the hard, the messy, it’s all beautiful and we don’t shy away from sharing it, because it’s all part of the process to the entirety of the lives we live.
I get so excited because my people let me in. They let me into the hard and messy parts of their story, their REAL story, so that I can honestly and authentically capture them and their love. We laugh and cry and smile and dance together, because at the end of the day, I’m not just a photographer taking their photos. I am a friend, their person, who is capturing their love and their story and their memories and their beings, as they are, not as they want to be, because honesty is the most important thing to me, and it’s the most important thing to my people, and my most favourite thing is how much they love to look back at those moments, because they take them back to a time of their life that they want to remember for forever. That is real, and that is important, and because of that, my job has so much more meaning than any other random job, and that’s not something I take lightly. I mean what I say and I say what I mean because I want my people to do the same with me.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh my gosh I am LIVING for this question. I invite people to come visit every day of my life, and I explore for this exact reason, so I can show them the best time and pack the most stuff in! First, before they even arrive, I would hit up Jina and Britney of Blend Sweets and order at least a trio (but let’s be honest, probably an 8 or 10 set because we need at least one of all the flavours) of their cheesecake baos to enjoy over the course of the week. I am utterly obsessed with their ube bao!
When my bestie arrives, we would stop at a coffeeshop, because I cannot get enough coffee, ever. I’d probably take them to Dayglow, or honey hi, because their aesthetics and menu are so on point. If they don’t like coffee (not really sure why we are friends, but whatever, that’s a different topic), I might take them to Boba Guys, or hey hey for some tea & boba. After that, we might wander to a view thrift stores / vintage stores, or pop into Stories bookstore and cafe, see what’s poppin, and people watch for a bit.
For lunch, I would 100% pop in at Lowboy, or get it to go, because I am obsessed, so fucking obsessed. I am no longer vegetarian, but always get their impossible fresh burger and fries because they are to die for.
Over the course of the week, we would head to Malibu at least once, probably visit Venice beach, and most definitely go down to Laguna beach. Probably take a hike, like the one I did to a waterfall a couple weeks ago in the Angeles Crest Highway, or a brand new one I’ve never been to. I’d also love to take them to Joshua Tree, because we definitely want to hit every type of ecosystem we can, and also how can you say no to saying hello to a Joshua tree? I can’t.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
MY CLIENTS/MY PEOPLE. I have such a hard time calling my clients, ‘my clients’, because they are so much more to me than that. They truly are my friends, my people, through and through. By the time I arrive on their wedding day, we have conversed so much, shared jokes, drinks, so much laughter, and often can roast the shit out of each other.
My people inspire and motivate me to no end. Obviously, I wouldn’t have this business without them, so they keep me alive and eating (though not sleeping, they all keep me working my ass of HAHAHA, jk), but they also truly love me for me, and it’s so good to be seen for who I am and what I can create for my people, and to not be seen as a statistic or as a way to get the job done in a corporate setting. I have the freedom I do to create my art SOLELY because I am surrounded by my people, the ones who book me because they believe in me and my work. I adore them, and I adore what we create, and most importantly, the memories we are capturing that last for generations.
Other: Other instagram https://www.instagram.com/imrachelnicole/
Rachel Nicole Photography LLC (me)