i just want to point out that it's only been a month since i last blogged and for this girl that wasn't sure if she was gonna be able to blog more than once a year....once a month is BALLER STATUS.

i'll wait while you clap for me....

....if you're done, we can continue {oh man, flashback to mrs. chamberlin's 8th grade math class when she'd stop teaching as i failed at whispering to my best friend}.

i know that i'm a wedding photographer and that this blog should be all about that and should have lots of keywords like cincinnati wedding photographer {my SEO guy is so happy that i got that in there} but i've told you before, i'm just not cut out for that. i'll be sharing tips and that kinda stuff on our IG instastory and always sharing beautiful photos on IG and FB but this blog - this is mainly for you to get to know me.

cause with what i do for a living? man, do i get to know you. {it's like, the coolest part of the job, by the way.}

SO. 

i went to Mexico last week. 

now i've been to Mexico before - to the Atlantic side - white beaches, blue water, souvenir shops a'plenty - and in it's own right, it's wonderful. but the west coast? where i went this time? holy. HOLY.

do you watch bachelor in paradise? of course you do. apparently, we were just a few miles from the private beach they shoot at. you know how it's this incredible mix of jungle and beach? how it looks mostly untouched and not americanized? yeah. 

yeah.

it was amazing. the Pacific is COLD but incredible and i not-very-gracefully snorkeled in it's deep deep waters. i followed a jungle path up the side of a mountain to a spa tucked in the trees and had one of the best massages of my life {also. one of the funniest stories of my life. but you'll have to ask me about that one in person}. ate incredible food, saw incredible views, laughed until i cried with my favorites and new friends, broke two toes and fell a few times {doesn't matter where i am, guys, i'm still me}, and got to experience a place for the first time.

which is my absolute favorite thing to do. a passport full of stamps is like a badge of honor for me. even within these fifty states - getting to experience a new one is a high for me. guys. even within this big/little city of ours, finding a gem in a suburb that i've never been makes me happier than a kid in a candy store {unless the hidden gem i found was a candy store and THEN, it makes me, well, just that happy}. 

i've been a good amount of places but there's still a majority of the world i haven't seen, a lot of world i may never see. but i'm going to try my hardest to see as much of it as i can while i'm here - from neighborhoods in Cincinnati, to the Grand Tetons {bucket list}, to Poland {major bucket list. it's happening}. 

why?

well, cause for one - that creative, aesthetic part of me just swoons. i notice every detail. one of my favorite photos i've ever taken was at 15,000 feet in the Andes Mountains. the picture is beautiful to anyone's eye. to me? i remember everything about the experience when I see it- the smell, the jokes we made on the hike, the cow that charged me...

 Huaraz, Ancash, Peru 

Huaraz, Ancash, Peru 

but the biggest encouragement i could give you? seeing a world outside of your own reminds you how small you are. meeting people from different places teaches you. it teaches you a lot. last Saturday, we took a 6:30am van ride to a marina so we could go to a private beach and have fun. i looked out the window on the drive through the city and to my surprise, there were quite a lot of people out in the dark of the morning. i watched them. and i was reminded that they are loved, broken, and have a purpose. these people outside of rachel's little world have meaning, have worth. people are not statistics, they are not narratives. they are important.

nothing teaches you to love better like experiencing this world. i'm grateful to my friends for the experience to explore a little piece of it i hadn't before. if you can, travel. explore. learn. and if you can't leave the city you reside in, learn a little more about it. go to dinner in a neighborhood you avoid. volunteer in an area you criticize. google 'things to do' in your city and find out there's some really cool things you never knew about it.

 Las Caletas, Jalisco, Mexico

Las Caletas, Jalisco, Mexico

i'm bad at 39580238593285 things. but i try to find ways to be better all the time. evolving as a person is the best thing i can do for the people in my life - both personal and professional. no experience is lost on me. and i'm eternally grateful for this one.

xo,

r

 last night in Mexico. crappy phone pic, amazing people.

last night in Mexico. crappy phone pic, amazing people.