Portraits of Rachel in Pacific Beach

“A photograph is a secret about a secret” is a famous quote from the also famous photographer Diane Arbus. Meeting Rachel is also like meeting someone who is both revealing and has such depth to her I can’t imagine how long it would take to truly know her. I always have the feeling with Rachel that I am both in on the secret and have barely scratched the surface. Rachel is one of our interns and I’ve loved every minute of getting to know her. She communicates with ease the most complex of emotions and I often find myself staring at her thinking “Who are you? You charming captivating puzzle. She is one of those people that my new age friends would say has lived many lifetimes and I hope that this lifetime falls at her feet.
Here are some of images that I just love of one of our intern shoots. I had such an awesome time mentoring Rachel and Claudia.
Cheers to unexpected delights! Suzanne

Can you feel it?

Hi my name is Rachel and I am a new intern for Shewanders! I am extremely excited to be able to write for the Shewanders blog and share my love of photography through written words.

It is common for me to feel a great wave of emotions while I look through photographs, but rarely do I cry. Looking through Drew and Johannas photographs moved me to tears as I don’t think I have ever felt so much love and connection through a photograph. Maybe weddings just make me emotional, but there is truly a incredible uniqueness to these people and their families that pulled hard on my heartstrings.

My initial instinct while looking through these photos was to try and understand the greatness of the connection seen throughout everyone at this wedding. As I scrolled through the thousands of photographs I was greeted by visual connections so strong I could physically feel them.

I hope these images evoke that same feeling of connection that I was able to feel so strongly through a screen.

xoxo Rachel

Photoshot with Lucy

Hello :)

It’s me again, Lea.

My time at She Wanders has been wonderful so far. My personal highlight was a photoshoot Suzanne initiated just for me, so I could learn how she directs models. This was something I really wanted to learn, naturally I was thrilled when Suzanne announced that we were going to do a photoshoot at Balboa Park and I would get to choose the model.

We met in the afternoon at Balboa Park with my friend Lucie and then wandered off to different spots to catch the golden hour light. It was amazing to see how Suzanne was able to read the light in a matter of seconds and could quickly decide which location would make for a great photo. While doing that and in the whole process of shooting she communicated with Lucie to get to know her and build a connection. The most important advice that I took away from Suzanne’s directing was that it is important to get a sense for the person in front of the camera. This way you can find the balance of directing and granting freedoms to allow room to capture the essence of the person.

It is incredible to realize how much multitasking a photoshoot requires. You have to read the light, find an interesting composition, set your camera and direct the model, all at the same time. A lot of this is practice, and this shoot motivated me to practice a lot more. It was magical to see the how Suzanne does all of that with an unmatched lightness, positivity and empathy for the model.

This amazing opportunity has sparked a new joy in taking photos of people and has inspired me to keep working on all my insecurities to become a better photographer.

These are my favorite photos I took of Lucy.


Mentoring : Paying it Forward - Lea

Maryanne and I talk about Lea all the time.  She's been gone a couple of months now and we miss her.  First she went to the Barbados to celebrate the end of the school year and now she's visiting family in Germany.   In a couple of weeks though she will be back In Sydney preparing for her final semester.  

Lea was our spring intern at Shewanders and since I often share work space with Maryanne they really had a chance to become fast friends and even shoot together.

I'm so invested in Lea's success.  I want the world for her.  She's talented, quick and kind.  Even though she's barely in her 20's she is one of the most grounded people I know.  I miss giving her advice and catching up on our days together.  I miss growing her up. So I'm going to share one of our mentoring sessions.  She set up a shoot with Ricky her roommate and we headed to Balboa Park.  I inundated Lea with questions before hand.  

In an ideal world would you photograph -1 person, 2 people, large groups?  What feeling do you want the background to have - industrial, architectural, natural, floral, water, desert?  What do you need tips on - how to move a person comfortably through a session, how to draw out a specific emotion from someone, your settings, experimenting with movement-exposure-gesture, how to pose? For a couple of weeks she would journal in the morning a list of dream shoots and then text it to me.  Over the weeks they were bolder and more specific.  

It feels so empowering me to be able to draw out someone's artistic ability.  To give them permission, to practice and grow.  I want to tell all budding photographers to put themselves out there and experiment.  To set themselves up for success and care about their fragile egos.  To make room for messes and understand why when something is successful.  

This shoot was pure magic.  Ricky has an energy that any photographer would love and Lea has a light and kindness to her that makes me miss her so much.  Lea learned to move around a lot and respond to Ricky's light hearted mood.  She also learned to just keep talking so that Ricky wouldn't feel alone when Lea covered her face with a camera.  There's so much that goes into every shoot and nothing that can replace real life experience.  Hopefully i'll be adding a video to this soon as well. =)

Q&A—the She Wanders magic

When clients connect with us we like to ask them what made them reach out to us. We often get the most beautiful answers. I love it when people are drawn to the emotional energy of our photos. That's what She Wanders is all about. 

Q. We'd love to know what attracted you to us and our photography. When do you plan on booking a photographer for your wedding?

A. I had seen your work on at least two or three websites when searching wedding coordinators. What I love so much is the sweet, peaceful feeling that I get when I look at your photos. You can actually feel love when you look at them. We are very much in love, with each other and with our kids. We love to laugh!