Reagan + Pip

While Reagan and I were driving on our way to this shoot, we had a really great conversation. We chatted about how different our mothering experiences are compared to each others and some mutual friends we have. The environments we get to mother in and the ways we get to mother are all different but they thing that amazed us was despite the differences we all had intrinsic similarities.  We were all 100% devoted and in love with our babies. We all worried about whether we were doing it right. We all wanted more time. We all deep deep deep down felt a connection that was now ours forever. It looks different from the outside but feels the same on the inside.

I only had 30mins to shoot these two and wish I had been able to stay for the entire day. I admire both of them so much.

Reagan is my all time favorite hairstylist and the world famous blogger behind Hairdresser On Fire. I found her blog years ago and was pretty smitten. Despite how much I wear my hair in a bun I am kind of into hair. I think when you have as much hair as I do and it's naturally curly you have no choice but to care. I loved they way she talked about hair. I contacted her about giving me a cut while I was in NY on work and found out we know a ton of mutual people. My love deepened. Then I found out she was a mother. I saw behind the scenes as she worked full time and took care of Piper. My jaw was on the floor. This woman was amazing.

Piper is one lucky duck to have her as a mom. And I am positive Reagan counts her lucky stars everyday for her sweet girl. There is just something about a mother and her daughter...and I think these images show a glimpse of that.

Thanks for letting me peak inside your world, you two. Wish I could give that Pip a squeeze and a kiss on the weekly. xxoo

Youngberg Family

One of my favorite families to photograph.

There is just something that happens when they are behind my lens.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate my clients opening up and trusting me so I can document how much joy they find in the relationships they have with each other. Each of these images is a little gift they have given me. I have thousands and thousands of these treasures stored away and they make me feel like the richest woman alive.

I get to immortalize love for a living.

I am thinking about doing a day of Spring mini sessions in this location next year. Good idea, right?

(if you are interested in having me photograph your family email me at




Martin Family- Oceanside CA

You know what's great about being a photographer? You have the best excuse to see old friends. They want you to take photos for them and YOU want to take photos for them. Win win win win win.

Erin and I became friends when we were both living in New York City. It is so amazing to see her now with a rad husband and three adorable kids. I photographed their wedding what seems like another lifetime ago and now they have a full on family. Time really never stops..does it? And that, my friends, is why photographs matter.

Thank you for having me be a small part of your vacation. Next time lets rent the beach house together and spend the whole week catching up.


Dean Family - Disneyland

I love watching families a little farther along than ours and imagining what it will be like when our kids are older and our family even bigger.

What is so cool about photographing a family on vacation is that even though traveling with young kids is exhausting and a lot of work for parents, I know these kids will remember this trip with fond, happy memories. I know the parents enjoy themselves too but I see the sacrifice to build these experiences for their kids. It's pretty cool to witness first hand and be able to document it for them.

Building a family is such an adventure.


Interested in having me photograph your family? Send me an email at





Bresette-Yates Family - Disneyland

Pretty sure photographing families in Disneyland will ever get old.

Thanks for inviting me along for a couple of hours!! It was so fun to see your sweet daughters eye light up.


Interested in having me shoot your next family vacation? Email me at


I really can't believe how many babies were born in the last couple of months. It must be my age..but seriously I at least six friends have had babies within a month of Fairbanks being born.

I shot these sweet little photos for baby Weston when he was just over a week old. It was a few weeks before my little dude arrived. It was kind of exciting shooting the same family dynamic I was about to experience for myself.

Thank you Tracey for having me shoot photos after both of your babies were born. Being around newborns never gets old.

Mom + Toddler Date- Disneyland, CA

I can't even describe how fun this short 30min shoot was.

I keep daydreaming about what it would be like to follow a family around all day at Disneyland...just documenting a really really great day, where the only goal is to have fun.

If you follow me on instagram you might have seen me post a photo of this little charmer giving me a kiss at the end of the shoot (and then wiping it off). He stole my pregnant heart and made me smile thinking about having my own little boy.

Thank you for having me come photograph this for you R!

If anyone else is inspired to have me photograph their day at Disney, email me at: I am only a hop, skip and a jump away and my film is loaded.

Some Favorites from 2012

Here are a few of my favorite portraits from this last year...shots that made me linger a little longer..

Not going to lie, 2012 has been a transitional year. It has been full of really really great moments and some challenging ones. I guess that is bound to happen when it's a year you move.

This year some of my photographic goals include shooting WAY MORE personal work. I really slacked in this area in 2012. I am going to put down my phone and pick up my film cameras and shoot my own life. I think it's deserving.

I also am excited to announce some changes to my pricing which will include some new Southern California only rates for my wedding clients. I will still be available for travel (and y'all know I LOVE to travel) but clients having me shoot close to home are worthy of some perks. So if you have inquired about having me shoot your wedding in 2013 and want to take a look at some of my new options, feel free to email me (

I really really want to thank all of my amazing and loyal clients AND friends and family for supporting me as a photographer and mother. It is a constant evolution of adjusting and changing to meet the needs of my family and my desires as a creative. I am going to be starting some new blog posts dedicated to being a working mother. I have so many thoughts running through my mind and sharing I know would help me and hopefully some of you dealing with similar life challenges.

I just feel blessed. Really really blessed.

Happy New Year everyone!



Nelson Family- Menlo Park, CA

I can't emphasize enough how much I enjoy shooting in peoples homes. If you haven't tried it already for your own family photo shoot, please do. It adds intimacy and a genuine quality that is hard to replicate outside of your home. Don't worry about the size or style of your room...none of that matters. Creating a true documentation of your family life is what you will care for most in years to pass. Trust me.

This blonde family was so sweet with eachother. I especially liked watching the older sister act with such patience and sweetness towards her younger siblings. I couldn't help having my mind wander to Nova and watching her "mother" siblings of her own someday. I often transplant my own family into the faces I am that I know what that family unit is starting to feel like I can't help feeling really REALLY grateful I am helping to create this for us. Nothing matters more than the connections you make with other people. Nothing matters more than the connections I am trying to make with Grant, Nova and the sweet baby boy growing inside me.

Thanks to the Nelson Family and everyone who lets me try and photograph your own connections. I don't take it lightly. I am not sure anything matters more.

Annison Family- Menlo Park, CA

Tis the season for shooting lots of families.

This sweet family was a ball of energy thanks to those three adorable boys. That last shot pretty sums up the general idea. I think they should do a whole wall of images comprised of only wrestling shots.

Thanks for having me Annison Family!

Bender Family

I felt super emotional working on these images today. Sure I am pregnant and get weepy looking at a carrot...but this sweet Dad and our good friend is shipping off to Afghanistan in a couple months for a whole year!!! I look at the four of them and the effort they make to care for each other and I wonder how someone can go missing? I also will have a similar foursome in a short few months and honestly can't wrap my brain around Julia being a single parent with two kids. What a sacrifice. I am seriously humbled.

Not only is Julia a friend but she is a talented creative...photographing and designing and crafting anything under the sun. I am so honored she has chosen me to document her family so many times. It seems like two second ago that they were only two. Families are such wonders.

Jan we will miss you! Be safe and know we are all going to watch over your sweet three.


(PS. I am going to be back in San Francisco for shoots this Saturday if anyone needs last minute photos email me

Brady Family- Santa Monica, CA

It's full on baby fever round these parts.

My sister gave birth to her son a couple days ago and I am waiting on another birth story I will need to rush to the hospital for any minute. Based on these situations I thought it appropriate to share with you these sweet photographs I made of the brand new Brady family.

This little guy was young when I shot these...10 days? Correct me if I'm wrong. What I am not wrong about is how yummy and delicious he was.

Like I said on instagram (follow me at _rachelthurston), the best days are the days babies are born.

Hansen Family- Pacific Palisades, CA

I am thankful families are a "thing".

Just a bunch of people taking care of each other, sacrificing for each other and being super in to each other.

There is something about being around the infectious spirit of a young family. Is it crazy? it just as it should be?...YES. I could have stayed in the Hansen's home for at least 3more hours (or forever).

So many wobbly knees, so many kissable toes....and lets not forget to talk about Lil Miss. I couldn't stop myself from taking more and more photos of her. Where did she come from?!

I will end by saying my new goal is to be as smiley and positive as this Mom is. I don't think I have ever seen her not smiling. Love that.

Thanks for having me!! xxoo.

Bacher Family


Tis the season for family photos.

If you need one give me a holler (or an email at

I will be shooting in Southern CA this next week, October 22-29th and then in Salt Lake October 30-November 9th.

The Hagen Family- San Francisco, CA

I never thought I really wanted to photograph families.

Nothing against families I just didn't know how I could do it and feel like myself...feel like I was photographing the part of a family that was important to remember.

I think smiling shots looking at my lens are important, I do. I just don't think you are usually in a perfect little group smiling at a camera. I want you to remember what it was really like "being" part of your family.

Once I figured out my family shooting grove, it was like the clouds parted, and a chorus of angels started singing.

Lifestyle family photography is my thing. Shooting in people's homes is so amazing and fun and just makes sense. I have found my love for shooting families.

This sweet family was one of my all time favorites. It doesn't hurt that they have amazing color and texture in their home..but way more than that I loved the dynamic of the four of them. Such a balance of everything. So much love and tending to needs and big sighs of exhaustion. Taking care of little humans is the most exhausting and exhilarating of all life's challenges. I am convinced of that.

I've said it once and I will say it again, thank you for letting me into your personal space. Thank you for letting me see what you four are all about. I really, really loved it.

The Cowan Family

I have known this gorgeous family for many many moons.

So amazing to see Rachel all grown up with a hunky husband , 3 model children and style that I am in awe of. Are Mom's suppose to be this good looking?

Love you guys! Thank you so much for trusting me to document your little family.

The Smith Family

I have really fantastic friends. The kind of friends you want to live next door to and give custody to your kids if you ever die. I am talking quality *quality* people.

The Smith's are some of our very best friends. I was friends with them in NYC. Grant knew Matt from college. Grant and I met at their wedding. Then we proceeded to try and spend as much time with them as possible (which is tricky since they live in Oklahoma). They made two of the worlds most adorable kids who I can't really get enough of.

I just love them so much.


The Stoker Family

Not only is this one of my favorite families of all time but now they have a home that I am not-so-subtly obsessed with. It has all the charm of an old farmhouse with Le Creuset pots in every color. Kitchen heaven. House heaven. And the kids, as wild as they are, are heavenly in my opinion. I prefer personality.

My favorite thing at photoshoots lately is telling the parents to scram when they are hovering while I shoot their kids. Can we all agree kids act different when their parents are around? I got some amazing individual shots of these littles with the window light from their reading nooks. Thanks for scramming Dave and Janet.

Can I just move in already?! (ps. Thanks for the Indian food. We love you guys. Glad we survived the wind storm).