California Wedding Photographer » Wedding Photographer serving Carmel, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Napa, San Luis Obispo

Already July! Where does time go? Last month was filled with all sorts of fun shoots, afternoons at the pool (we don’t have AC, so the pool really is the only way to cool off on hot days), camera troubles and lots of flowers. My beloved Nikon D700 was having issues in early June. You have to understand, even though technology has improved by leaps, that D700 and I are a perfect team. We know each other inside and out. Yes, it’s THAT serious of a relationship! My baby was fixed, but in the meantime I realized, it was about time to upgrade. So the comparing began. I decided on a D750, which I have to admit, is a pretty darn great camera with amazingly fast focus. We’ll see which one wins the race. I have a feeling that I’ll be switching cameras throughout weddings – using the fast D750 for action shots and the D700 for details and romantics. Oh well, we’ll see… Enjoy ♥

.

Wedding Photographer

.

1 Loved this wedding of Jillian & Robbie at Radonich Ranch! // 2 I got to play around with lovely stationary by Heart Paper Soul // 3 And then there was Amy & Josh! Cannot wait for their 2016 wedding!!

4 Styling stationary takes TONS of time, but the reward is oh so gorgeous… // 5 Meet Kyrstannie! She’s a lovely model I got to work with for a Beauty Shoot – to be shared real soon! // 6 Baby Girl Leya ♥ Love that dog to the moon and back!

7 Okay. Seriously. Sarah of FionnaFloral outdid herself on these AMAZING bouquets! // 8 This lovely couple – Emma & Paul – got eloped in Hawaii and had me photograph their pre-wedding pics at Baker Beach in SF // 9 There’s no better combination than pretty flowers, silk ribbons and antique metal trays…

.

xoxo, Rahel ♥

I’ve hit rock bottom. And it was good. Swimming back up to the surface and taking a deep, life giving breath. I’ve been hiding it. Not wanting to let anyone know. Really, I even kept it from myself. Until I realized that something was fundamentally wrong. And so the ramble begins…

When I started my wedding photography business, I was ready for a straight road to success. You know, when you’re young and inexperienced, you’re also (very – in my case) naive. I thought that within a few years I would be amaaaahzing at everything and that there would never be a bad day in my life. After all I was going to do what I love most. Make people feel beautiful.

.

2015-06-12_001.

You see, that straight road of success turned out to be a windy, rocky, dangerous, six inch trail. No paving, no safety rails, no lights at night. As I’m writing this, I remember our Oregon Trip and the small little paths that would lead to waterfalls. My photography journey turned out to be just like that. Hard. Slow. Difficult. I’m the kinda person that wants to race to the end. I don’t have time to wait around and slowly build success. And by the way, what is success anyways? A certain amount of money? Happiness? A house or a car?

Money has never really played a big role in my life. Yes, you need it to survive, and yes, it’s nice to buy pretty things. But I know I can live off beans and rice as well as organic chicken and ground beef. So what else would measure my success?

.

2015-06-12_003

.

So I fell into a hole. In 2014 I had booked double the weddings that I had in 2013 and I was quite happy with myself and the world. Then 2015 came along. I was in for another great year and had a bunch of weddings lined up, but not much happened after Thanksgiving. Almost no inquiries. And the few that came fluttering into my mailbox seemed to be price shoppers. I know my numbers very intimately and I know that I cannot compete with low-end photographers. Nor do I want to. Because I treat my couples like friends, giving them my full attention. So I started to sink into this hole, wondering what I was doing wrong that could be fixed. I tweaked the text of my website here and there, changed the pricing strategy and nothing worked and I sank deeper and deeper. Until I hit rock bottom.

I decided that photography might just not be for me after all. I had fallen out of love with it. With the struggle of survival, not the wonderful couples I got to work with. I was tired and depressed and it all seemed to come straight back to me. I was the reason no-one wanted to book me. I alone. Ouch, that hurt. So much.

.

2015-06-12_002

.

Somehow that realization hit me hard. It had become very personal. I cried. Often. I felt like a complete and utter failure. And I felt like quitting right then and there. That’s when this wonderful thing happened. All of a sudden the pressure of outwardly success was gone. All of a sudden I didn’t really care about goals or what people would think of me and my photography. I finally realized that I don’t have to become the next Jose Villa to create art that matters. The pressure was gone. And forth came the real me. The way I love to photograph and tell stories. The way I love to make couples look and feel absolutely gorgeous. That’s my core. And once again this desire to give people this feeling is burning brightly.

The funny thing is, that simultaneously as I was starting to come back up from rock bottom and feeling free and refreshed, people have been making these comments. About the natural romance. Of how the couples look so at home in my images. How perfectly soft and dreamy everything looks. About the brightness and natural light that is captured so beautifully. How magical and fairytale-like the stories are told.

I’m sharing this with you, because I’m so excited to see what the future brings. I’m humbled by this experience and so thankful to all the people that have been in my corner lately. I’m back in love with it all, but on a different level. It’s not about the success, it’s all about making a difference in peoples lives. By creating beautiful photography.

If you’ve made it until here – thanks so much for reading! You have peeked into the deepest depths of my heart. Thanks.

xoxo, Rahel ♥

May I introduce the sweetest couple from Manchester, UK – Emma & Paul! Seriously you guys, these two – adorable! Emma had contacted me a few weeks ago, telling me her story about getting eloped in Hawaii and stopping over in San Francisco. She wanted to book a lifestyle session on the beach. Yes please! Did I ever tell you how much I love to shoot at the beach? I probably have. The day arrived and when we got to Baker Beach, hoping for a beautiful sunset featuring the lovely Golden Gate Bridge, we were greeted by thick fog. Now, there’s a secret to be told. Fog is not bad. Not at all. Fog is gorgeous and if captured right, it can look oh so magical and fairy-tale like. Stunning, really! Enjoy ♥

.

San Francisco Baker Beach | Wedding Photography San Francisco Baker Beach | Wedding Photography San Francisco Baker Beach | Wedding Photography San Francisco Baker Beach | Wedding Photography San Francisco Baker Beach | Wedding Photography San Francisco Baker Beach | Wedding Photography

.

Emma & Paul, congratulations!! I hope you are having a beautiful day while eloping! I’m so happy and grateful we got to meet and hope someday in the future we will get the chance to do another shoot, preferably with a sunset and the Golden Gate Bridge in the background!

xoxo, Rahel ♥

In early May we celebrated 5 years of marriage! FIVE YEARS!!! It sure doesn’t feel like that long. Maybe like two years, tops. To celebrate we decided to rent a tiny little RV trailer and drive up to Oregon. We’ve been eying trailers for a while and we couldn’t have imagined how wonderful a road trip could be this way! We do lots of road trips. Lots. And overnighting at different hotels each night really isn’t all that amazing after a while. And don’t even get me started on noisy neighbors. Living in such a little camper is so cozy and fun! Since it was raining most of the time we had lots of reading time, cooked up a few storms (our fave was a BBBLM – Bacon Bacon Bacon Lettuce + Mayonnaise) and just relaxed like lazy cats. Oh, and of course we visited just about each and every waterfall up there. Really, there wasn’t much else to do other than hiking to waterfalls, snapping a few pics and hiking back to the car, only to repeat at the next waterfall LOL Enjoy ♥

.

RahelMenigPhotography_243RahelMenigPhotography_257RahelMenigPhotography_245RahelMenigPhotography_248RahelMenigPhotography_249RahelMenigPhotography_252

.

I have a feeling that there will be a little RV camper in our future. Just a little gut feeling. And if that ever happens, then there will also be lots of pretty wallpaper, paint and Italian lights. Is it sort of crazy that I’ve got it all visualized already…?

xoxo, Rahel ♥

 

We were at the most gorgeous location of Rancho Soquel close to Santa Cruz when I said ‘Look at each other softly…’ For a second they looked at each other and then Honey, dressed in a lovely ombre maxi dress burst out in laughter asking ‘How can I look at him softly? Can one look at each other harshly?’ More laughter. That was exactly what I wanted. The gorgeous, natural giggles Honey & Cody share. During the Mini Session almost a year ago I noticed that. They were always giggly and super cute together. LOVE!

.

Rancho Soquel Wedding Photography by Rahel Menig PhotographyRancho Soquel Wedding Photography by Rahel Menig PhotographyRancho Soquel Wedding PhotographyRancho Soquel Wedding Photography by Rahel Menig PhotographyRancho Soquel Wedding Photography by Rahel Menig PhotographyRancho Soquel Wedding Photography by Rahel Menig PhotographyRancho Soquel Wedding Photography by Rahel Menig Photography

.

Cannot wait to see these two lovebirds again this summer! I just know it will be a wonderful day, filled with so much love and joy!

xoxo, Rahel ♥