New Websites!

If there was one project I needed to finish in the last couple of months it was this...and let me tell you it feels great! After months of editing and choosing and years of putting it off, I finally have two brand new websites to showcase my most current work.

The first site is a revised version of my wedding and portrait site. The second site is a brand new beauty showcasing some of my commercial and editorial work.

Both can be accessed through

Want to reach just my wedding and portrait work? Visit here: Want to reach just my commercial work? Visit here:

Hope you like what you see. I am sure there will be little tweaks in the coming weeks...but for now it will do.

Ah. Posting this feels SO good. Now I am going to go kick my feet up and try to find something to eat with whipped cream.

Portrait + Linen Books- Madera Albums

You guys, I really really like these custom books that I offer to my clients.

I have posted images of the leather version here...but wanted to show off the portrait book (with a printed cover) and the linen book that I offer as well.

Clean, simple, classic. Handmade. Not going to be outdated tomorrow. The pages are thick and with these books there is just a folded gutter...which some like more than a split gutter (which comes with the leather books)...I like both for different reasons.

Most of the time I am laying these out for wedding clients but holy moly they would be beautiful books for family sessions or a birth story.

I am running a print and product sale for 30% off through this Sunday. Email me if you are interested in printing out those images living on your computer. Let them escape and live in a book instead! Books last longer than computers, FYI.

Waiting & Missing

We went to Kauai in June and I am missing it.

Most of you have figured out by now that we are super close to closing on a home in Anaheim, CA. Because of this we have been in kind of a spending lock. So naturally all I want to do is plan vacations, buy clothes and get eyelash extensions.

The last 4 months have been some of the roughest. I feel selfish and bad even admitting that. I mean, we are buying a home and I am pregnant with another perfect babe. I have Nova...I have Grant....but has not been easy. I have not felt good for months. I am tired and emotional and stressed and overwhelmed by lots and lots. I am sick of being guests in others homes. All this just makes me want to lay on the beach near Hanalei and eat as many papayas as my troubled heart desires.

I know I haven't been blogging as much personal stuff as I have in the past. I want to again. I need the release. I am thinking of doing regular posts on being a business owning Mom/parent. I think talking about stuff outloud is really cathartic and good. I have been far too quiet. I am ready to say a bit more.

Buying a home is exciting and terrifying. I think the hardest part is all the compromises we feel like we need to make to get into a first home. Didn't think we would live in this exact area....and to be honest if it was just Grant and I, it wouldn't matter. Kidlins change everything. Will I find my "village"? What about play-dates? Other families we can trust? Will Nova be happy? Can I be a good Mom in Anaheim? Are we making all the right decisions?

So many questions and underneath it all, I am grateful. First homes aren't suppose to be perfect, right? Mom's aren't suppose to be perfect either....I am learning.

We will be super close to D Land! Because of that I keep joking that our new home will be nicknamed "the happiest place on earth". Maybe it won't be a joke. I hope. All I can do is hope.

Tuesday rant over. Life goes on.

Madera Books

I have been a busy little bee designing and laying out books for clients. I think this last month I designed 9 different books! It is so gratifying to print my images, bind them and hand a family heirloom over to eager eyes. Don't discount the importance of printing your photographs. Photographs are something that increase in value over time..until there really isn't a price you could put on them... because they are worth everything to you. All of the weddings and portrait sessions I shoot now include prints or albums. They have to! It's too important.

So, back to the point of this post...I started using a new book binding company for some of my high end bound books, Madera Books. I am so in love with the simplicity and quality of this book. Shown are a 12x12 size book and a 8x8 size book. The books feature a lay-flat page with an itty bitty crease and the printing is flawless.

I am so excited for Ryan and Carol to have this beauty in their hands. I am getting ready to send a big box of albums and prints to them in Australia!!

If anyone is interested in having me create one of these beauts for them, send me an email or give me a call. I would love to help you check that off your list.

2012 Lookbook

I am so excited about my new lookbook for clients...I don't even care that I am sharing snippets of it shot with an iphone of my computer screen! Even though the images are sub-par I think you can get a feel for the colorful crazy circus of love.

I have so many more fun packaging and clients gifts I am putting together right now. I just want the presentation to be worthy of the images.

Hope everyone is having a great week. I am. I work a little, mom a lot and this week in particular I am just content with the pace we have going. Life is good.

Happy Valentines Day

I don't care if it's a holiday made up so greeting card companies can make money...I like thinking about love and I like it when love thinks about me.

My Dad had this tradition where he would give my Mom a big bouquet of roses for Valentines day and each of his three girls 3 roses. I loved it so much (I have no idea if he knows that). I just loved being spoiled by "our" man.

We don't have fancy plans but Grant did bring us home these gorgeous flowers and I think all three of us are going out for an early dinner. I still enjoy being spoiled with lovely blooms.

Do you have any Valentines traditions that you look forward to?


The Little Blue House

I had an idea for our family. A tradition of having a painted piece of art of each of the homes we live in. So this year I commissioned talented artist Lisa Crosby  to paint her rendition of our first home together, The Little Blue House.

I wrapped it up and Grant opened it on Christmas morning. He loved it and so do I.

Don't you think this will be a fun tradition? I can already see a wall covered in paintings of the places we call home.

Thank you Lisa. The painting was more than perfect. I'm not sure how you captured lil' blues essence so perfectly. You are so talented.

If you are interested in commissioning Lisa contact her @

Best of 2011

...and this is only what I actually blogged. I still have more 2011 images yet to come.

The interesting thing about this year was I only worked half of it...June through December. Those 7 short months were so amazing for my business that Grant joined up with me. In 2011 the word "family" took on a whole new meaning for us.

I was tempted to only show one image..which wraps up the whole year for of my sweet Nova. Really she was the focus, the center, the star. BUT then I realized without the trust and work my amazing clients give me, we wouldn't be in the same situation , we wouldn't be able to focus so much on what really matters the most to us.

So from the bottom of this new mothers heart, thank you. Thank you for letting me be a part of your celebrations and challanges and newness...and thank you for being a part of mine.

My prices have been raised for 2012. My time is more precious and my family more needy. I will only take select weddings and commercial jobs. I want to give only my best to my sweet clients and to my family.  I am so exited at the new opportunities I'm sure await me in 2012. The new relationships, the new images I will create and the new changes for my family.

I have so many amazing ideas swirling in my head. Ideas that 2012 will bring to the surface.

Happy New Years!!

Love, Rachel, Grant and Nova

Giveaway #5- Mini Shoots!

I have been dying to shoot against this gorgeous ivy wall in my yard that is starting to change colors. I look at it and think "October".

Giveback #5:


Send me an email at with your desired time-slot. It will be first come first serve based on the time I receive your email.

I am planning on doing these type of shoots more often and already have some other ideas brewing in the back of my mind.

Wow. What an amazing week. I have loved offering you some of the things you've asked for and some of the things I have been wanting to give.

Giveback #4- Albums

"We are in danger of having a whole generation that has no family albums,

because people just leave them on their computer,

and then suddenly they will be deleted,"

- Martin Parr

This is no bueno.

Things are going to be changing around here.

I haven't always included prints with certain options I offer clients, but no more. This is too important. I completely 100% believe the photo albums will be the best way to pass these images on to future generations. They need to be printed and I need to take my own advice.

My personal images pile up on hard drives and sometimes I print them for my house or to put in books but from now on I PROMISE I will be compiling at least one personal book a year. Probably more. You need to do the same. Think of it as journaling. Some of us are better with words, some of us need words and images and some of us have thousands of untouched images waiting to be a story.

Giveback #4

All books 30% off this week only.

Maybe I shot your wedding but you never ordered an album.. Maybe your family images are sitting on a disc but not in a book? Maybe you had a sweet little newborn who needs images of his 1st moments put in a book for him to a prized treasure.

Send me an email at with your name, the month and year your shoot took place and the album you are interested in. I will email you back with more information. Offer good until 11:59pm Thursday, Oct 13th.

All books will be guaranteed in your hands before Christmas!! This would make an amazing present.

Album Pricing: (Vegan options available for both books)

*Book Bound/Flush Mount Albums (as seen here:

8x8-10pg album- $560 (regularly $800) 8x8-15pg album- $630 ($900) 10x10-10pg album- $700 ($1000) 10x10-15pg album-$840 ($1200) 12x12-10pg album-$980 ($1400) 12x12-15pg album-$1120 ($1600)

*Contemporary Image Portfolios (hard or soft cover books with paper weight pages...think coffee table book).

5x5-10pg-$140 ($200) 5x5-20pg-$175 ($250) 8x8-10pg-$280 ($400) 8x8-20pg-$315 ($450) 10x10-10pg-$420 ($600) 10x10-20pg-$490 ($700)

Discount for multiple copies. If I have designed a book for you already but you want duplicates for gifts, these have discounted rates as well.

(I can quote you a price if you want more than 30sides, 15pgs or if you want an 11x14 size book)

*flush mount designed albums require a selection of photos chosen in order to start album design. For 10pg-20side albums approx 25 images should be chosen. For albums between 15 and 20pgs or 30 to 40 sides, approx 30-40 images should be chosen. Since these albums are flush mounted, the photographs are mounted to the book and can not be removed.

Let's get these images in books!!!

The Crazy Ones


Reminded of this by seeing it on Jon's blog today.

This commerical for Apple just might be the best commercial ever made.

Here's to Steve Jobs for changing the world and here's to all the other misfits that we can't ignore.

It's a lesson....don't be afraid to be who you are. Don't be afraid to change things.

xxoo to my lovely rebel readers.

Giveaway #3- SUPER 8

[vimeo 30085937 w=600 h=450]

YES! We are adding Super 8 films to our arsenal!! The above reel is just a taste of amazing super 8 adventures to come.

Giveback #3

Any existing wedding we already have booked, can add a 3-5min highlight super 8 film to their wedding package for only $1000! This includes the raw footage.

New weddings that books within the giveaway time frame can also take advantage of this offer. Regular rates for super 8 films start at $1500.

This offer can be applied to non-wedding shoots as well as long as they are booked in the next week. I think it would be amazing to shoot super 8 of a family or a newborn....or a promo piece for your business...the options are endless.

Send me an email at with your name, to reserve Grantypants filming super 8 on your big day. Offer good until 11:59pm Wednesday, Oct 12th.

We are so excited to add this new addition to our business. We just love the nostalgic feeling super 8 films gives.  New updates with more information on this will be on the website shortly.

So far giveaways this week have included; $500 credit for newly booked weddings, highres files for pre-2010 shoots for only $350 and now super 8 films!!!

Wednesday has never been more exciting.

Giveback #2- High Res Files

(Sneak peak from Mike & Failop's Malibu wedding. You wish you were a guest. Trust me.)

 Thanks for all of the excitement and well wishes yesterday! I have to admit I am feeling a bit overwhelmed..and it has only been one day!!! Good news; we are still in business. I am sure it will take a few months for us to find our perfect groove..until then I will ride the wave.

Now on to the goodies...

Giveback #2

Any photoshoot pre-2010 (weddings, engagements, families, newborns...) who don't already own all of their images, can purchase:

high resolution jpeg/files for only $350!!

This is unheard of. My current a la carte price for a disc of high-res images is $1200. This would give you all of your images to print and archive.

Send me an email at with your name, the month and year your shoot took place and I will get back to you with a link to pay. Offer good until 11:59pm Tuesday, Oct 11th.

I will never offer this again. So if you are thinking...hmmmm if I just want a few years I can purchase my images discounted...won't happen. We have mouths to feed.

Starting January 2012 my new contract will state that I will guarantee storage of your images for 1 year, or until you receive a copy of the high-res images (whichever comes first). Of course, I still have every image stored that I have ever shot. EVER. But storage is getting out of control and once you all have the images it makes sense that the responsibility be transferred to you. Make copies, back them up or better yet PRINT THEM. Having tangible prints will be the #1 best way to save those memories for posterity. Trust me.

Yay for day 2 of Giveback Appreciation Week! This is fun.


Big Changes- Giveback #1- $500 Wedding Credit

(All with our current favorite cameras. Nova's is a limited edition vintage variety called the "nutty cam". It's in very high demand.)


I have (not) so patiently waited to share this stupendous news with you...

After years of us talking about it, Grant has decided to partner with me and join our photography business. As of today he is officially part of the crew.

This is HUGE news. Our excitement and gratitude at us being able to do this is pretty much through the roof.

Any of you who own your own business know that, whether they like it or not, your family is involved. I do not have a 9-5. I bring my work home with me. My work is at my home. I am my work.

As of now the changes will mostly be internal and things will mostly appear as the always have. We aren't changing the business name. You can still find us at "Rachel Thurston Photography". I will still be the one shooting. I will still mainly be the one you hear from via email or the blog. No need to worry, this change will only affect our dear clients in the best of ways.

Those of you we've had the privilege of working with the last couple of years might have noticed our growing pains. With the increased, and delightful, demand for my shooting time my days have been shortened and my turnaround times slightly increased. Then I went and had myself a my days felt less like 24hrs and more like 2. Things needed to change. I needed help. The timing was right. Nova and I batted our eyelashes and made our goodbyes to Dad as he left for his "job" more and more pitiful. Like the sirens we are, he had no choice (actually it was ALL his choice...but for the sake of my story)..he said YES.

This is the most important part...We are only able to do this becuase of all of the people, clients, friends and family who have supported us, trusted us, my photography and helped it thrive. We feel like the most blessed family there ever was. It will be a lot of hard work. It IS a lot of hard work. But we are up for it. We are ready and we are thankful for the patience you have all shown as we have gone through these growing pains..and we want to show our gratitude.

Today through Friday will be:

Giveback Appreciation Week

We will be offering a different Giveback daily, announced here on the blog and on Twitter. They are based around what my clients are asking for, have asked for or if I was looking for a photographer what I would want.

They will only be available for a specific time range, so check in daily to see if any of the givebacks are something you would want to take advantage of.

Let's start things off with a bang:

Giveback #1

Any new weddings booked in the next week that are taking place between today and April 30th 2012 will receive:

$500 credit to be used towards ANY product.

Albums, album upgrades, prints, engagement inserts, prints to display at your party/reception, upgrading your disc of images, a huge custom canvas print of your mother-in-law's face. ANY product.

Wedding contract must be signed and in our inbox by midnight PST on Oct 10th (next Monday night).

Shoot us an email for more information and pricing... and send inquiring soon to be newlyweds our way (hint: referral giveback later this week).


This is going to be a great week. Feel free to give Grant a warm hello.

Days Shorter

"A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights

longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier,

the past forgotten, and the future worth living for."

- Author Unknown

Summer 2011

Two of my most favorite things; summertime and eating outside. Today is the official start to the best season so I thought I would share a few iphone photos from our Father's Day dinner. Ever since the Kelly's came to visit we have been pretty obsessed with this strawberry custard dessert. My favorite vanilla custard recipe here and my go to crust recipe as of late, here.

We also recently bought a Traeger Grill and have already gotten our moneys worth. We've smoked a whole chicken, grilled steaks, cooked a prosciutto and sage wrapped pork tenderloin...and on Sunday Grant requested pulled pork. We slow cooked a pork shoulder for 8hrs and ate that baby with coleslaw and buns.

For two folks who aren't very into meat we sure have been carnivores lately.

..and I am starting to realize all of my food shots are on my iphone. I should start using a big girl camera to photograph something I love so dearly..FOOD!

National Midwife Day

Best decision I made for my daughters birth was being surrounded by these women...

Molly, Juli and Debbie, we love you and are so grateful for the safe, caring entrance you helped to give our Nova. You are all angels.

Bless all the Midwives that sacrifice and work so hard so women can choose how and where they want to birth. Thank you to the whole staff at the Sanctuary.

Happy Midwife Day.

(In honor of my 1st official Mother's Day, birth story goes live Monday.)