Hope Springs Resort + Joshua Tree

If only we could celebrate our anniversary every month.

For our 5yr we spent two nights swimming in our favorite mineral pools at Hope Springs Resort in Desert Hot Springs (near Palm Springs).

Not a care in the world except soaking, sunning and making life plans. Kind of felt like we were dating again. It was nice.

We spent just a few hours at Joshua Tree to watch the sunset on our anniversary and while we sat in a rock-nest we found we recommitted for another 5yrs. Glad that was the decision we came to. So grateful that amidst the ups and downs of life and marriage we both want to work at it, fight for it, improve it and be grateful for it.

Love you Grant.

(all shot with the contax 645 on Kodak ektar film)

South Island- New Zealand

Remember when we traveled to New Zealand over a year ago? Yeah, me too.

Better late than never is becoming a mantra over in these parts.

After having my images and our story featured in Wayfare Magazine this last summer, I have been meaning to share a few of my favorite images from the trip. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Lately I have been having a serious itch to travel far far away...and I'm due to give birth in about 7 weeks :/ So, instead, I will look at these photos, close my eyes and try with all my might to imagine I am within a arms reach of that magical glacier water once again.

This place was incredible.

(all shot with ektar 100 film and a little of portra 800 with my contax 645 and canon eos3)

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 still....life 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.

Published in Wayfare Magazine!

Remember when we took that roadtrip in New Zealand? Wayfare Magazine shared our adventure in their summer issue! You can see the goodness here.

I shot all of the images shared in the issue with my contax 645 and kodax ektar 100.

I have been dying to share these images with you and now I finally can. Look for more New Zealand posts coming up.

Big thanks to Wayfare Magazine for sharing my images and words. I was so in love with their pilot issue...it is such an honor to have worked with them and be featured along side so many other talented photographers and writers.

Can you tell I'm excited?!

Apple Pickin'

While we were in Boston we thought the proper fall activity would be to pick ourselves some apples.

Not exactly as pictured in the movies with ladders and woven baskets and such but it was still a good time.

The apples were delicious and the apple cider and apple cider donuts we bought were even better.

Next time I do this I want to press my own apple cider..that would be amazing..and tasty.

(all of my Boston images were shot on my new contax 645 w/ portra 800 film. I am loving that camera hard.)

Orange You Glad


Maybe my favorite photo ever.

We were visiting The Institute of Contemporary Art while in Boston..and this auditorium had huge windows looking out on to the water, WHICH produced amazing light on these chairs and my child.

Check out that tongue.

Boston + Nutty

Boston really was about cool backdrops for taking photos of my true loves. G & N, of course.

A little Boston Commons, Neptune Oysters (for a lobster roll) and ending with some shots of her with her auntie in Waldon Pond.

I think Boston is one of my favorite cities.

Gimme That Camera!

We are on our way to Boston today. Spending a few days with an Aunt and Uncle who haven't spent much time with nutz yet. We are all looking forward to it. Especially Nova. She loves 5hr flights.

This week has been busy and our to-do-list keeps getting increasingly longer but we are happy. Life is good.

Anyone have any last minute insider tips for Boston? The most important question I have is whether or not there is a fantastic lobster roll there? I need one in a bad bad way.

Happy weekend.

Travel Schedule

As of now this is a list of the travel we will be doing between now and the end of the year:

  • Boston- Oct 7-11th
  • New Orleans- Oct 20-24th
  • Salt Lake City- Nov 3-5th
  • Sydney, Australia- Nov 10-13th
  • Byron Bay, Australia- Nov 14th
  • Christchurch/South Island, New Zealand- Nov 15-23rd
  • New York City- Dec 1-5th

Of course I already have some shooting days booked but have a few free days open if anyone is interested.

Email me at info@rachelthurston.com with inquiries.

Maui Babe

Our native Hawaiian princess

Papa gathering plumeria for his girls

Buttermilk banana pancakes with macadamian nuts and coconut syrup

Loco moco, fried rice and 2 eggs over medium (w/ hot sauce)

Road side grilled fish sandwich with pineapple!

Anything we put near our mouths you want in yours

Yes those are boy shorts, no we don't care

You thought you liked it....

..but then you didn't. I'm sure me smothering you with kisses totally helped.

Piggys on a sleeping babe

Thanks Harper for the swimsuit hand-me-down!!! We love it!

Your 1st Hawaii friend, Ella. Born 2 days after you.

If you haven't noticed, we kiss her A LOT.

Jr. IP (island princess).

The view from our hotel room

The view from the hotel bed..

Can you guess which one we liked better?

Maui was great and we always love spending time in the islands...but this trip there was only one sight we cared much about.

Boipeba, Brazil

We took a barge to a taxi to a speedboat from Salvador to this tiny island where we stayed in a treehouse. We spent 4 days swinging in hammocks on our deck reading books. Sometimes we ventured off to swim in the ocean or eat fresh lobster on the sand. The stars at night were insane. One night we layed on the beach in the pitch dark and stargazing and talking about future children. Seems fitting we named our daughter after one of those bright stars.

We stayed at the Pousada Santa Clara. If you stay there ask for the two story treehouse. The food was amazing, the best we had on our whole trip.

(all images shot with the canon AE-1)

Salvador, Bahia Brazil

Remember when I went on my honeymoon OVER TWO YEARS AGO? Still haven't posted all of my photos. Sigh. Better late than never right?

A friend requested one of my Salvador images in print for his home and it was like, "I should blog those!" So here they are.

I shot all film on my honeymoon and these were all shot with the canon AE-1 (That I don't really shoot with anymore) and a bunch of expired film.

Reason to Celebrate

[vimeo 20760015 w=800 h=590] Today is our two year anniversary of marital bliss.

In the last two years I have become a wife and a mother. A wife to a perfect partner and a mother to the pookiest of all pooksters.

Today there are so many reasons to celebrate.

As a surprise for Grant I did a very rough edit to our super 8 footage that we took last year during our trip to Europe. I have to apologize upfront for being in so many frames. When we travel I am usually the still footage photographer and Grant is usually the motion man.

We took this trip pre pregnancy and pre parenthood. As much as I love being with our Nova, I will always treasure all of the adventures we had with just the two of us before she arrived.

I love you Grant! I can't believe it has only been  2 years....It seems like we have been together forever.

(Music by White Hinterland, Song: Icarus)


I need to blog MORE.

It's not that I don't have work to share...actually it's quite embarassing...I still haven't shared all the photos from our honeymoon (2yrs ago) to Brazil AND I still have some favorites from our trip last year to Europe that haven't been shown.

Well, even if shooting slows slightly while I Mother the next couple of months, we all know there isn't a shortage of images to show...now just if I could find the time to be the blogger I know I can be.

My Kauai

1. kuhio hwy  2. kalihiwai beach  3/4. ke'e  beach  5. princeville ranch  6. ke'e beach  7. hanalei bridge  8. secret beach (family name, I refuse to call it by it's "real" name)  9. banana joes  10. hanalei bay  11. hanalei tara fields  12. ke'e beach

(Photos taken on the 330 land camera w/ Polaroid 690-100iso film)

Solitary Inspiration

If this would have been the only image I shot while in Kauai last month, I would have been content.

Some of you may look at it and think, "What's the big deal?" "A landscape with some horses?....this is #1 image you shot?"....and if you are thinking those things fine! Really. I didn't shoot it for you. I shot it for me.

I am tired of shooting when I don't feel inspired...so I don't. If I don't "see it"..if I don't "feel it", then I don't take 1000 frames of it that I later open up in photoshop and HAVE to dig through.

Ask yourself when you shoot, "Why?'. What are you going to do with that image? What does it mean to you? Why does it matter? As long as you have an answer SHOOT. And even if you don't, you can ignore me and still shoot it. Just don't come crying to me when you lose all feeling.

My life does not happen in front of screens or behind them (at least not all of it).

This image is purely sentimental. It reminds me of begging my family to pull over when I first laid eyes on that wide open space. I think I was 14yrs old...and I had to run through it. I HAD to. So they stopped and we jumped fences and were free. I hold my breath every time I see it. It reminds me of innocence and change and love and family and solitary inspiration. It is always blessed with magic light. It is my field. It's where I go to in my mind when I just need to run free.

I had my polaroid land camera and 2 frames left to get it right. Always guessing on exposure with that camera, since your options are "lighter or darker"...I was fiddling with the settings and focus etc..when I saw horses running strait towards my framed image. Could it be?!  No time to think. Say a prayer, finalize settings, push the shutter. It could be great. It could be a mess. Grant and I leaned over the white little sheet, peering at the first peeled corner. Oh please oh please oh please...60secs later and there it was. My favorite image of the whole trip. Just one shot...perfect to me.

We looked at each other. I'm not sure if we even said anything at all. He knew. I knew.

Guess we better head to the beach and think about how great our life is. First a stop at Banana Joe's.

(image shot of the Princeville Ranches, north shore Kauai)