Amy + Ryan’s Wedding- St Regis Resort, Princeville Hawaii

Another wedding in paradise.

These are really, really smart couples choosing to get married on Kauai.

The ceremony was so picturesque placed under those giant trees. I had to use some super human photography ninja powers to deal with the crazy light directly behind…and I think  I won. Part of the reason I love shooting weddings is the fact that every one involves different light, locations, people…constant variety keeping my brain on it’s toes.

Amy and Ryan, thank you so much for having me be a part of your wedding and I think you could come back every year to celebrate with the island and a new set of photos on Hanalei Bay.

 

(images shots with a contax 645 on portra 400 and canon 6d using Mastin Lab Presets. Film developed by The Find Lab)

Joy + Max’s Wedding- Hollywood, CA

Joy and Max picked two stunning locations to celebrate their wedding. Their ceremony was at the Greystone Estates  and their reception was at the Andaz hotel. Beautiful grounds and beautiful views….but my favorite part was listening to the toasts. I met Joy and Max the day of their wedding (like a lot of my couples) and I love getting to know them more through the words of family and friends.

One of the best moments was finding out Joy’s family is from Maui! I had no idea I was flying from home on Hawaii to shoot an LA wedding with Aloha spirit. Made me happy.

Such a generous, kind couple with an amazing sense of humor. Everyone was laughing and crying through the whole ceremony and I loved how welcoming Max was with me while I was photographing them getting ready. He had a million things on his mind and still made it a point to ask me questions and help me feel welcome. It was really sweet.

Yet again another couple I wish lived next door. Feeling so grateful for all of these amazing people I get to meet and connect with.

 

(Shot on a contax 645 with portra 400 and a Canon 6D using the Mastin Lab Presets)

Wedding Planner- Nick Gentile 

 

Shannon + Justin’s Wedding- Hanalei Bay, Kauai

This wedding pretty much sealed the deal for me. I knew Kauai weddings would be magical…I just didn’t think I would fall this hard and this fast.

I only shot for 2 hours. Just me, Manulele (the officiator who I will be highly recommending to all my couples), Shannon and Justin. A destination elopement that left me near tears and wishing it would never end.

Justin and I tracked down the perfect ceremony spot at Hanalei Bay a few minutes before we started. I am so glad we found this private, gorgeous spot…since it was just what Shannon and Justin wanted. It was at the public beach at the St. Regis Resort in Princeville. Manulele had the most beautiful Hawaiian ceremony. We finished up chasing the last light of the day, said goodbyes and I drove home to tuck my babies into bed.

Thanks to Shannon and Justin for having me document all these sweet moments. I was in photographer heaven.

 

 

MacIntyre Family

I have been crushing on this family since we first met a couple years ago. Yes, they are cool and have great style and blah blah blah…but who cares? They just feel good to be around. Their home just feels good. Their conversation just feels good. The way they parent just feels good.

A short few weeks after this shoot a sweet baby girl joined their family. Mama delivered that baby ninja style in her home. Getting tucked into your own bed after giving birth is pretty amazing.

I know for people shooting this far along in a pregnancy feels weird…why not just wait until the baby comes? Well, I hear you. I do. But I think the moments “before” are so special. So much excited energy and appreciation for what is and was. It is about being in the moment and preparing as a united front for the change to come.

Big big love to this family and all the goodness that surrounds them.

All images shot on the contax 645 on portra 400 pushed a stop. Developed by The Find Lab.

 

Sutten + Jacob’s Wedding- Newport Beach, CA

The same day I shot this wedding, I moved out of our home in Anaheim. It was crazy. Truth be told, sneaking away from the moving chaos was pretty nice. Instead of staring at the loose ends of our messy house, I sunk my toes into sand, squinted into the late afternoon sun and got to drill Sutten and Jacob with 2o questions while we drove from location to location.

Such a sweet, fun couple PLUS her family is native texans and her dad  smoked his own brisket for the wedding.  Give me good light and good food and you will find a happy me.

Thanks to Sutten and Jacob for being so good looking and fun to hang out with.

 

 

Jordyn + Cody’s Wedding- San Diego, CA

 

A happy, light filled wedding day. Pretty sure these types of days will never get old.

On the other hand, looking at this couple makes me feel old. They are so young and fresh. Sigh. But the thing I found most intriguing was how wise and thoughtful Jordyn was. She is one of the most accepting, loving, genuinely happy brides I have ever photographed. She couldn’t stop talking about how wonderful her new husband was and how great he is. It was a heart warming thing to witness. Of course he adored her as well. Duh.

Super happy about all these people finding each other and loving each other. Glad we don’t have to be alone in this world.

So excited for your life together, Jordyn and Cody. Honored to have documented your first day as husband and wife.

 

Salisbury Family- San Francisco, CA

Just another amazing, causal, REAL, family lifestyle session.

We just walked around the Ferry building, chatting, swapping stories and capturing some great moments of this family of three being together.

Man, I love my job.

If you are interested in a lifestyle family shoot at your home or at one of your favorite locations, email me at info@rachelthurston.com

(shot on a contax 645 on kodak portra 400. Developed and scanned by The Find Lab)

 

Baby Theo

Calmness and chaos coexist in the home of a newborn. The chaos is hard to detect if you aren’t around at 2am when the whole world is asleep expect for you….but I have to say these three had a very strong calm over chaos ratio. I wasn’t sure anyone was even sleep deprived. All I saw was starry eyes.

So fun to see friends go from no baby to baby and have it seem like they have always played the role. Morgan and Joel are complete and utter naturals. Parenting instincts blow my mind!

Theo is a very loved and very blessed baby to have the family he does.

All my love and sweet singing lullabies to this new family. xxoo

 

(shot on the contax 645 with kodak trix and portra films)

 

 
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Lowe Family


Often after I shoot a family with small children (specifically toddlers and newborns) I have to reassure the parents that although it felt like a tornado, we did in fact get some really great shots. Every hair won’t be in place and all faces smiling at the camera is a rarity BUT we get something even better. We get something with movement and emotion and smiles and tears. We get something real. We created something that you can all look back on years from now and say with confidence “that’s what life felt like”. To me, that matters way more than creating something fictitious, but then again, I have never been one for faking it.

Thank you to my friends Sarah and Alex for having me document your new family of four. So much happiness going on between all of you. AND Sarah is a stylist and has mad style. I am mildly obsessed with her nursery.

If anyone is interested in having me photography a lifestyle session with your family, email me at info@rachelthurston.com

(shot with a contax 645 on Kodak portra 400 film. Developed and scanned by the FIND lab)

 

 

Morgan + Brock’s Wedding- Salt Lake City, UT

Big time crush on this family.  Cousin’s, aunts, mom, dad, siblings…they are all super great and fun to be around.

And big props to Morgan and Brock for being so patient waiting for their wedding images. I hope it was worth the wait. Kind of impossible not to get great shots of these two. I seriously couldn’t stop shooting frames of Morgan’s hair blowing in the wind. It was like poetry every time.

Beautiful light and  good company makes for a great a few hours of shooting and celebrating. Thank you for having me play a small part. xo.

Ceremony at the Salt Lake Latter Day Saint Temple

Reception at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building

 

(shot on the Contax 645 and Canon eo3 with kodak portra film)

 

Meili + Damian’s Wedding- Salt Lake City, UT


Damian has been one of our closest friends for years. These photos do a pretty good job of showcasing his personality…but you really should meet him in person. He’s even more awesome in real life. He is one of those people that has a way of making everyone he’s around feel important. He’s one of the most creative, intelligent people I know but makes me feel like what I share & think is worthwhile and interesting. It’s a gift. Naturally, feeling the way we do, our expectations were set pretty high when it came to Meili. Within 5mins of meeting her, I couldn’t stop staring. She was too good to be true. The perfect match for our friend. Happy, artistic, affable, loves food, super down to earth, has had amazing life experience, sparkly eyes, stunningly beautiful in all the most important ways (and in the least important ways…babe town!). It is safe to say I fell head over heels in love with her. Right after Damian did.

Their wedding day was crazy fun. Waffles for breakfast, tacos for dinner, cakes and pies made by all their friends AND a reception with a Ferris wheel, carousel & a spinny-makes-you-want-to-hurl-ride. I will do anything for a good shot but due to extreme motion sickness I did spend a good 10mins after I made that photo with my head between my knees. Worth it.

Now I am making plans for camping trips, beach house getaways, holidays and backyard BBQ’s with my new favorite family.

Congratulations again and again. Love you both so much.

(Shot with a contax 645, canon eos3, canon 5d with kodak film)

Allison + Dante’s Wedding- Big Sur, CA

I am starting to develop a real thing for small weddings. Super small weddings. I love them.

I love how the whole day is centered around one thing, the couple. The getting married part, the being in love part. That’s all there is. It fills me up with so much satisfaction and excitement for what I can offer. It is also hard not to feel creatively energized when in a matter of four hours I get to shoot in the middle of redwoods, a field, a river and at the ocean. It was a photographic fairytale.

Also, absolutely fell head over heels for this couple. I wish every couple treated each other with the love and respect that these two did. Yes, they are young but so much wiser than so many when it comes to being in a respectful partnership. I learned so much from watching them love each other.

After getting ready at Glen Oaks and then the ceremony at Pfeiffer Beach at sunset…we headed to Big Sur Bakery where they invited me to join them for dinner. Allison and I couldn’t stop talking. Dante joked that we were the same person. It did kind of feel that way.

It was all meant to be.

So honored to have been there to witness it all and capture all the soft perfect Big Sur light.

(all images shot on film with the contax 645 and canon eos3 on kodak film)

 

Tristen + Jon’s Wedding

This wedding was extra special because it took place at the exact same locations as mine and Grant’s wedding. Including the private beach cove. It felt so amazing to be shooting this wedding and daydreaming about my own wedding day. This time, Grant wasn’t with me though. He was home with our two insanely adorable children. I love when it all comes full circle.

I wish you could hear what these images sounded like. So much laughter and yelling and happy talk. The last image is when Tristen yelled out the car window as they were pulling away “See you at my baby shower in 9 months!!!”. Loved that ending.

Little did I know it was an all white wedding…so of course I was wearing head to toe black. The opposite of blending in. It was pretty funny. Also, the lady in read pleather, who had promised Tristen as a young girl that she would show up to her wedding in red pleather. She might have stood out even more than me:)

Such a fun fun fun wedding. With a beginning that fun I can only imagine how they rest of their life will play out.

Lots of love and BABIES to Tristen and Jon. xxoo

Ceremony- Newport Beach LDS Temple

Reception- Private beach, Laguna Beach

 

(shot on the contax 645 and canon eo3 with kodak portra 160)

Tristen’s Bridals

I don’t shoot bridals all that often…but after this shoot I am thinking I always should!

First, the location was bonkers and second, I love the fact that we get a little dress rehearsal for the wedding day.

No words to describe what a knockout the bride to be was (photographic proof) and her man to be, model material.

It was kind of the perfect early evening shoot.

(shot on the contax 645 with kodak portra 160)

 

Darci + Michael’s Wedding- Santa Barbara, CA

This bride comes from a large family and one of my favorites part of this day was watching all the siblings dance with each other. You could tell they were all such good friends. Made me happy to see them all so happy.

This wedding was full of gorgeous sweet smelling flowers and the loveliest couple you could ever imagine. So gracious and kind and fun. It was a complete honor spending time with them on their wedding day.

Lots of love to both of you, Darci and Michael.

(shot on Contax 645, Canon eo3 and Canon 5D with portra160, 400 and trix. Developed and scanned by the Find Lab)