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Monday, April 27, 2015

Short Family | Rachel Smith Photography | Statesboro, Ga

Loved having the opportunity to photograph this super sweet family! They were so much fun to work with! I was super excited to take their photos because they have never had family photos done before, EVER! So needless to say, I wanted them to LOVE every single one! 


Mother's Day Giveaway | Rachel Smith Photography | Statesboro Ga Photographer

About once a year I get a burden of some kind to do a giveaway for a certain type of individual. One year it was first time mother whose husband was deployed during birth birth session, one year it was supermom contest, and so forth. [I think you can tell where my burden lays lol] Motherhood. Such a beautiful yet difficult role to play yet so many of us play it daily. I love so many things about it but there are so many difficulties about it. Mommy & me photos are some of my favorite shoots in sessions I do, here are just a very small few of the beautiful mommy & me shots from some of my sessions....

So this year, I am doing yet again a giveaway contest for a FREE Mommy & Me [or us!] session. This is free session for a mommy & her babies. However, this is more exciting than your average session like the mommy & me photos above....not only is this going to be a FREE session, but a styled & pampered session!!!! 

I have teamed up with some amazing vendors/business' who are going to help make this great! I am going to style this mama and babies [if girls] with floral headbands from the local Statesboro shop: The Flowergirl. The mama will also be pampered with hair done by the local Bobbiejo Brannen from Haircuts & More and makeup done by the local Younique by Georgia. You will be styled with a dress provided by the local Frills by Scott and if someone with a daughter wins we have a dress provided by Lilli Rose Designs as well! If someone with a son wins, I will be assisting with the outfit for that as well and styling him to be sure he matches the look of the styled session. All in all, you as a mother will be pampered & styled for a beautiful session of you and your babies!







***sharing contest publicly on your page - 1 extra entry per share***
[contest is on Facebook page so there is a share button, be sure to click "public" so I can see]

***comment on contest album that you liked ALL listed vendors - 1 extra entry***

***have your friends and family like your photo in the contest album - 1 extra entry per 50 LIKES***
[so be sure to ask your friends & family to like your photo in the contest album so that you can get extra entries in the contest for the drawing!!!]




Good luck to all of you AWESOME mommies and HAPPY almost MOTHER'S DAY!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Moms, you are not alone...

I want to start this off by saying that I am NOT a writer and English writing is not my strong point so NO JUDGING! ;) I also am doing this for the simple fact of hoping others can feel & relate....so, here it goes...

I have done many things in life of which I am proud....went on a missions trip, went to university and earned my Bachelor's degree, got promotions in various jobs, run and maintain a successful photography business....yet, my greatest accomplishment is none of those things.

My greatest and proudest accomplishment isn't even something that's one of a kind. It's not really something that I can brag about nor get a trophy for. It's really not even something that gets appreciation for most of the time. I'm not even the only one to accomplish this in this world, or in my state, or in my city. As a matter of fact, millions have accomplished this very same thing all over the world. However, it is still my proudest accomplishment. It is the thing I pride myself in most. The thing I find the most success and joy in. The thing that I know is a huge part of who I pride myself in.

That thing is the crazy yet beautiful ride of being a mother.
Who knew that motherhood could give one such a headache feeling of accomplishment. ;)

While motherhood is indeed my proudest accomplishments, let's be real here - there are days where it makes me want to pull my hair out, hide in a closet, cry and drink lots of wine, scream, act like a two year old myself, run away.....should I keep going?

However, there are days where motherhood also makes me sit and think how blessed I am to have the opportunity to have birthed such a beautiful gift.....a gift who fills my heart with emotions, feelings and a love I didn't know was possible to have. There are days where motherhood makes my eyes well with happy tears because I can't even control the feelings of love I have for the little rascal who just came and kissed my arm and said with a sweet smile, "I love you, mommy!" 

Since becoming a mother and seeing how much goes into being a mother, my new favorite holiday has become Mother's Day. It's a day I really feel pride in because it's a day all the hard work of motherhood that goes un-noticed all year long is celebrated. [even if men forget half the time or our babies are too young to tell us Happy Mother's Day lol] I still feel like flexing and saying "YA! This is a day to celebrate ME!" Not because I am selfish, [I mean, I am at times lol], but it's because I feel so much pride in being a mother and all the work that comes with it. 

As beautiful as this roller coaster of motherhood is, let's get down to the nitty gritty. It is what it is....a roller coaster and each and every single mother out there has felt the ups and downs of this ride. And as you know, the highs can be super high and the lows can be super low. 

I read an article not long ago about the internet [Facebook, Instagram, etc.] portraying only the good sides of motherhood, photos of children smiling perfectly at the camera, photos of Pinterest activities that look like they took 857 hours to do, photos of cute Sunday outfits with shirts all tucked in, hair all done, shirts stainless. I mean, who wants to share the photos of their children throwing spaghetti all over the walls in a raging fit? Who wants to share the video of their child kicking and screaming because they just got in trouble for throwing a toy? Who wants to share the story of their kid being a total brat for no reason at all? That isn't because that doesn't happen. It's because those are the photos, videos and stories we don't want to remember. Those are the stories you share with wine & tears to your best friends or your mother - but not publicly. That would mean your child isn't as perfect as you want to portray him, right? Wait a second...nobody has a perfect child. Not even seemingly perfect Pinterest & Pearls mommy who patiently counts to 10 before losing her you know what EVERY SINGLE TIME with a smile. Or maybe she never loses it, we will never know. ;) However, I am here to tell you that I LOSE IT. I lose it a lot.  Why? Because I am human. My son also loses it, he loses it a lot. He isn't always as smiley and cute as he is in the photos + videos I share. Why? Because he is a tiny human. I don't like to capture those bad moments as much because who wants to remember that? Not me! I like to take them as they come, learn from them, and move on. If there happens to be a moment of cuteness and smile in-between the crazy that brings me back to sanity, then heck yes I'm going to snap a pic and share it. My main reason for sharing is to update family + friends who don't live near by. We are a military family so we move a lot which means so do our friends. So not only do I enjoy uploading pics to share with our friends & family, but I also look forward to my friends & family sharing pics of their littles and lives as well because it reminds me that I am not alone in this roller coaster life of motherhood. I know full well when someone posts only pictures of their kid being an angel that like my kid, it doesn't mean that their kid is always an angel. There is no way I would ever post the videos of my son when he was in his HUGE temper tantrum throwing stage. It made me feel like a failure.  But, seeing other moms posts/photos of their children helped me remember that I was not alone in wanting to cherish the good/sweet moments and capture the essence within those moments in hopes of it helping overshadow all the moments that make us want to pull our hair out. Because those moments aren't shared as often [if ever] as the happy ones, sometimes us moms feel alone in our struggles. 


[I don't feel alone because everyone posts happy pics with their babies]

REAL US.....
[when I feel alone because I'm going crazy and nobody posts these things!]


I'm here to tell you....amongst feeling crazy 23/24 hours of the day, you are NOT alone.
To the mom who just gave birth in the hospital room and is excited yet confused & scared, you are not alone.
To the mom who just arrived home for the first time and your baby won't stop crying & you feel helpless, you are not alone.
To the mom who hasn't slept in 48 hours and you want to hide in a room from your baby for just 5 little minutes to close your eyes, you are not alone.
To the mom whose baby is teething and you feel helpless because you can't help their pain, you are not alone.
To the mom whose toddler just screamed so loud in the restaurant you are pretty sure you are 5 seconds away from being kicked out, you are not alone. 
To the mom who just emptied the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen, but found 27 tupperware and wooden sticks spread out all over the floor amongst a smiling toddler, you are not alone.
To the mom whose toddler laid down on the ground and kicked and screamed because you wouldn't buy them the $500 toy they saw in the aisle, you are not alone. 
To the single mom who works two jobs to provide for their little ones, you are not alone.
To the mom who stays home every single day with their little ones and dreams of even just an hour of me time, you are not alone.
To the mom who works 40+ hours a week and yearns to just have one day at home with your baby, you are not alone.
To the military wife/mom who has to explain why daddy is STILL gone after 6 months of being away, you are not alone.
To the mom who lost her baby and yearns to smell their scent just one more time, you are not alone.

On a more personal level...
To the moms who have struggled with breastfeeding, I've been there.
To the moms who cried out of pure exhaustion off/on the first few weeks of being home with a new baby, I've been there.
To the moms who have cried because you can't figure out why your baby is crying and all you want to do is help but you can't, I've been there.
To the moms whose toddlers have thrown a fit in public so bad you've had to run off to the nasty bathroom just to get him/her to calm down so people will quit staring, I've been there. 
To the moms who have cleaned up throw up off more than 1 shirt in 1 day, I've been there. 
To the moms who lose their mind after hearing 'mommy' 857 times in a row, I've been there. 
To the moms who have been at their wits' end but can't even put into words why, I've been there.
To the moms who work from home and feel like even though you worked 8+ hours, you got nothing done, I've been there.
To the military wife/moms who have cried with their little ones that they miss their daddy, I've been there.
To the military wife/moms who have had to move and feel alone with nobody to relate, I've been there.
To the military wife/moms who don't have family near for support when you just need a break, I've been there.
To the moms who have dealt with the tantrum stage and felt hopeless on how to fix it, I've been there.
To the moms who struggle with their body image after seeing what carrying your blessing has done to your body,  I've been there.
To the moms who can feel so much love one minute then so much anger the next, I've been there.
To the moms who want to scream at the top of their lungs sometimes because you've had enough, I've been there.
To the moms who have looked at the clock and see it's 6pm and they haven't even washed their face, brushed their teeth, nor put on a bra and your hair looks like it went through a tornado, I've been there. [and am there still, a lot lol]

MOM SELFIE....the look we want to portray
[or, I put makeup on for the 1st time in months selfie is more like it]

HOW I ACTUALLY LOOK MOST OF MY DAYS....this is the realistic portrayal lol
[I call this realistic mom selfie....usually accompanied by yoga pants + a hoodie + flip flops]

I could go on and on but I wont lol, but I ramble all this to say to you mommies who may be struggling every now and then, that you are not alone and so many other mommies have been there too, including me. Remember it's ok to take some time to yourself now and then and it's ok to feel a little crazy at times. I think it's perfectly healthy & normal. :) 

For me, there are way too many different adjectives to describe motherhood and I can guarantee you that not all of them are positive. I love being a mommy, but I can tell you in pure honesty that I don't always like or enjoy it because there are moments of absolute helplessness, torture, pain, weakness, etc. To say anything else would be a lie. Yet as many hard times as their are, I wouldn't trade being a mommy for the world. My little man is irreplaceable and I love him more than words can say, even if I do hear mommy 857 times a day, over and over and over and over and over and over and WHAT!?!!??!?!! Please tell me I'm not the only one who reacts like that sometimes?!?!? lol

With all of that being said, Happy Mother's Day to all of you beautiful mothers! Remember it's ok to struggle at times. It's ok to cry at times. But when you do, remember....you are NOT alone! And remember, be happy in your situation and be thankful you have a blessing to even drive you crazy at times. Some pray for such a blessing daily. And remember, in the future, you will miss the crazy. So be happy in your here and in your now. 

Feel free to share! <3

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Investment Info | Rachel Smith Photography


All photo packages require a non-refundable $100 booking fee/deposit to book your date. This deposit will be required within 24 hours of booking your date via paypal or delivered/mailed check. Your date will not be held until the deposit is received. The $100 booking fee will come off of your total balance so you will only owe the remaining balance the day of your shoot. Monthly payment plans are available if needed but all sessions must be paid in full by the day of the shoot/at the shoot. All sessions are priced for a 20 mile radius of my home address in Statesboro. Shoots outside 20 miles will have a travel fee per mile.
***All sessions are subject to 7% tax**

Please note when picking your session that each package comes with the talent and time of the photographer during the session, but also several hours of post processing after your session is complete to be sure that the best is brought out and made out of each and every image from your session. Also know, that while you do have the rights to print elsewhere, that each gallery will include the opportunity to purchase professional quality photos directly from the link that can be shipped directly to your home. You will also have the opportunity to pick the images you want from your session/link up to the amount that comes with your package so you are getting the images you choose. You will also have the opportunity to purchase additional images should you so choose. Please inquire if you have additional questions. Thank you!

Portrait Sessions: Family, Children, Individual, Maternity, Couples/Engagements
Prices in packages 1-3 cover up to 4 people, $20/per additional subject

Portrait Package 1 - $400
60 minute session
Up to 2 wardrobe changes
60 images professionally edited & enhanced
Online gallery of all images for ordering downloading, sharing, & ordering
Digital Files with print & web share rights

Portrait Package 2 - $350
60 minute session
1 wardrobe change
Up to 40 images professionally edited & enhanced
Online gallery of your images for downloading, sharing, & ordering
Digital Files with print & web share rights

Portrait Package 3 - $200
***[this package is also best for the FRESH 48 session]***
30 minute session
Up to 20 images professionally edited & enhanced
Online gallery of your images for downloading, sharing, & ordering
Digital Files with print & web share rights

15 minute session done at my home outdoor location only
Up to 10+ images professionally edited & enhanced
Online gallery of your images for downloading, sharing, & ordering
Digital Files with print & web share rights
*this package is only allowed for up to 2 people, exceptions may be made, inquire for details*

*option to purchase entire galleries post-session will be available at a discounted rate*
What is a Fresh 48 Session? It is where I come do a "fly on the wall" type of session in the hospital room with just your new addition 48 hours [give or take] after you give birth. This gives you time to freshen up, relax a bit, yet still capture the most sweet and memorable first times with your new addition in the intimacy of your hospital room. 


Other Packages [Military homecomings, Newborns, Births, Events, Weddings, etc.]

Military Homecoming - $400
[discounted rate for military families]
[includes travel to Fort Stewart + Hunter Army Airfield, inquire for price on other bases/locations]
Up to 2 hours on location [$50/hour if additional hours are needed]
Unlimited photo + video professionally edited & enhanced
Online gallery of all images for ordering downloading, sharing, & ordering
Digital Files with print & web share rights
Personalized YouTube video of photos + video set to music of homecoming day

Lifestyle Newborn Portrait Session - $450 [at your home location]
Up to 60 minute photo session done in the privacy of your home for a more raw & natural session
Limited amount of props from photographer [just headbands, wraps, etc. - no backdrops]
Unlimited images professionally edited & enhanced
Online gallery of all images for ordering downloading, sharing, & ordering
Digital Files with print & web share rights

Birth Sessions are customized packages beginning at $600 and are built per birth session, inquire for details
Maternity/Birth/Lifestyle Newborn Combo discounts are given
Event Photography – varies per event, inquire for details
Wedding Packages – beginning at $1600, inquire for details
Small ceremony/beach wedding packages are also available and built a la carte style

Destination | Travel available, inquire for details

A la carte | Add on options available [albums, prints, canvas', other personalized items]
Print Packages available

What are digital files?
Digital download files are downloaded directly to your computer from your personalized online gallery site that will be given to you after your photos are finished. It is the same site where you can order professional quality prints if you so choose. Please feel free to email me with any additional questions. I look forward to working with you! Thank you and I hope to capture your memories to last a lifetime!

Monday, April 6, 2015

First Baptist Church, Northside Campus, Jacksonville NC | Rachel Smith Photography, Statesboro Ga

When I was asked to take some photos during my North Carolina visit of the Northside campus of FBC Jax, I couldn't have been more happy to have said an enthusiastic YES and give back to a church that has given so much to my heart while we lived in North Carolina. I started going to First Baptist in Jacksonville when I first moved there in 2010 and eventually made my way over to the Northside campus in 2014. This church has given so much to my heart & to many others as well and it was the biggest reason I was so sad when my husband volunteered for recruiting duty and we moved to GA for it. I miss every single thing about this church and Pastor Jason's amazing messages.  I grew up in a Christian school, went to church 3 times a week, and even went to a Liberty University, the biggest Christian university in the country, and never had I gotten so much from a pastor's messages than Pastor Jason's. His messages speak deep + are down to earth, realistic, and relatable. They speak the truth of God's word in a way all can understand and relate to. Plus, he's pretty funny too! ha! The people there are great! They serve God through action and really want to make a difference in the city, not just the church! Whenever I come to town, I will definitely be visiting this amazing church. I am so glad I could capture some of the action that takes place at their Northside campus. This is a little peak of what the Northside campus of FBC Jax looks like! 

Check out the church's website + Facebook below to find out more information about their locations + service times. Deployed or not sure about the "church thing"? Check out Pastor Jason's sermons online on their site. I promise you, you will not be disappointed! God is doing BIG THINGS at this church at both campuses. So, if you are in the Jacksonville, NC area - check them out!

WEB | http://fbcjax.net
FACEBOOK | https://www.facebook.com/FirstBaptistJAX

MAIN CAMPUS | 1985 Gum Branch Rd, Jacksonville, NC 28540
NORTHSIDE CAMPUS | 365 Commons Dr S, Jacksonville, NC 28546

SERVICE TIMES & LOCATIONS | http://www.fbcjax.net/pages/page.asp?page_id=226087

Parker - Sibling Session | Rachel Smith Photography, Statesboro, Ga Photography

I am in love with this sweet little sibling session. This session was done on my recent trip to North Carolina on these kids family farm. The pink trees near the end were part of their peach tree farm. I was in LOVE with those. Super gorgeous! These kids were so easy to work with and the little girl was already a little model, she did all the poses/faces almost all on her own which was adorable! These siblings were a blast to work with and were so well behaved despite the cold weather!


Friday, April 3, 2015

Baucom Family - Session #3 | Rachel Smith Photography, Statesboro, Ga Photographer

This sweet family has booked a session with me every time they vacation in Topsail Beach, NC since 2012. They had a session in 2012, 2013, and then 2015. When this mama found out I was moving to GA she was bummed she would have to find a new photographer and booked her vacation for August. Then she coincidentally saw that I was going to be visiting NC in March and taking sessions while I was there so they moved their vacation to the weekend I was coming so we could get in a session! I was super excited when she told me those were the dates and they matched up! It has been so neat to see this family grow! The first photo is a photo from their first, second, and current session.  It was a super ugly day out but everyone were troopers and we made the best of the session anyways!


Facebook Fan Page


So happy to have found Thumbtack! I receive requests for quotes from clients in my surrounding areas for their photography needs. It really helps me market to potential clients and have an opportunity to be hired by people who I may not have found had I not joined Thumbtack! If you click below you can view my profile there and even leave me a review if you have had a session with me in the past! Rachel Smith Photography