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When You Find the Fern You Have Been Looking For...

Hello! My name is Rachel and I'm the owner and photographer at Rachel Figueroa Photography in Columbus, Ohio! I specialize in high school senior photography and fashion photography for models and clothing brands.


This particular session was inspired by this ivory dress I found it at a local discount retailer. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the perfect dress for Suzy! Suzy was a model for a fashion brand I had photographed previously, and we had been wanting to collaborate ever since.


For Suzy's first look, we wanted an ethereal look, sort of a mix between the White Witch from Chronicles of Narnia and Galadriel from Lord of the Rings. Joy Macke of State of Face Makeup gave Suzy a white-out eyebrow and white lashes to complete the look while Shannon Goode of Goode Hair gave Suzy soft, romantic waves.


I really wanted a fern crown for this session, but the local flower shop I went to was out of ferns. So, the night before I made a flower crown, but was still wishing I had ferns. By serendipity, I visited a local coffee shop the day of the shoot that had a florist shop attached to it. I was looking in the refrigerated case and noticed they had ferns. The florist said they were on their last leg and told me to take as many as I wanted! It worked out exactly as I had imagined.

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Suzy's personal style is vintage/retro, so we decided to do a 60's-inspired look for the second portion of  the session. Everything was from Suzy's personal wardrobe except for the crocheted tank. It complemented Suzy's ruby locks perfectly!

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One thing I wanted to challenge myself with during this session was to shoot in my neighborhood. It's easy to take gorgeous pictures at picture-perfect locations, but I wanted to explore the textures and character of my neighborhood, which was established in the early 1900's. I was pleasantly surprised by all of the amazing spots we found.

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I would normally have an assistant holding a reflector for this type of shot, especially since my subject was back-lit, but my assistant had to leave early. Fortunately, the sun was in the perfect position, and the gravel drive reflected the light nicely onto Suzy's face, creating creamy-looking skin-tones and perfect catch lights in her eyes.

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For Suzy's final look we went for a playful, off-the-shoulder floral dress, tall black boots and a top knot! Suzy's cute and spunky personality really came out during this portion of the session.

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As an artist, I think it is important to collaborate with other creatives regularly and to do things a little bit outside of what you normally do. Photographing Suzy inspired me to shoot in non-obvious places, it challenged me to find solutions for less-than-perfect lighting situations and pushed me to just have fun doing what I love to do!

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COMPANY: Rachel Figueroa Photography


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