The sunrise of my 30's. Upside down with my best friend Katy at 5am, on a mountain in Colorado, outside of the apartment we just moved her to. She is attempting to scurry out of the shot. But the thing is - is life is always better with Katy in it.
I wanted to make a video to go along with this project to explain how I came up with the idea. I may have become a little bit more sidetracked with the bloopers at the end. But thats just because I think I am hilarious and will always laugh first at my own jokes.
This is my favorite out of all of them. This picture captures my Rachel’y self the best. I have always loved flowers. Anytime there was a flower crown to buy at a carnival it was there on my head. The longer the ribbons, the better. Flowy dresses and bright colors. Yup, this is me. Cheers to the flower children. Don’t lose it. Its why we are awesome.
I found these crazy tide pools over in San Pedro. My friends and I set up and I went to flip my skirt over my head. It heated up under there pretty quick. I moved my legs all around. I did the splits at one point. The goal is to hold the headstand as long as possible in order to get the most shots in one flip over. In my living room I can hold it for 2 minutes. On a slanted mossy rock I can hold it for 45 seconds. I lowered my legs and whooshed the skirt over my head. And suddenly there was a field trip of middle schoolers looking at me. Only about a handful seemed notice me. And they were still about 100 feet away. I knew I still had to do one more. So I did, I went back over, Heather fluffed my skirt, I got my shots and sat back up. This time when I came up everyone had moved closer. A group of the girls clapped for me. Thank you ladies! You made me feel less creepy. Cheers to science and discovery, because that's clearly what the field trip was suppose to be about.
The light was perfect, the cacti were spiky, and the wind was blowing. Thank you Katy for letting me use your beautiful skirts for my project. This was another location I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with, but sometimes you see the shot you have to park the car and go get it. I’m putting this one at the top of the page with my favorites. Cheers to life for constantly presenting us with magical moments. You just have to be willing to slam on the brakes and pop a u-turn.
There is a funny knee shadow on this image. A little facey, and little batmanny, but mostly curious. I made the immediate joke in a low creepy voice to my friend about how it's my inner demons coming out. My friend Heather laughed. And then we talked like demons for 5 minutes. Cheers to recognizing and embracing your weirdness and lumpy flaws.
The LACMA light poles. I knew from the beginning that I wanted this shot. I knew even more when I found this giant orange skirt. This was one of the first images planned and one of the last images capture for this project. I knew I needed to go on a weekday morning when there werent going to be too many other people. There were once again field trips all over LACMA, but this time I know I didn't flash anybody under the age of 18. I was on the look-out. According to my friend Heather there was one horrified looking couple during this shot. But thats ok. It was worth it! I love this picture. Cheers to following though. It can be hard and it's pretty easy to get side-tracked. But totally worth it when you do.
I like doing headstands in the sand. It cradles around me a just a bit and I am able to really control and stabilize my headstands to hold them a touch longer. This was shot in Laguna, CA. As I was setting up I walked away from my camera and tripod for a moment. And in that moment a massive wave rushed up over the rocks and crash down onto my camera. A few people squealed in sympathy. I stood there for a moment just staring at my wet camera, still upright on the tripod. “Yup, that just happened, it's probably fine….” And it was. I wiped it off with my skirt and so far she is still shooting great. Way to go Beasty! Cheers to finally moving to the sea. There is way more wind than I was expecting. It is literally always windy.
***Beasty, the name of my camera***
Do you ever feel super and confident for reasons only you can kind of understand? Cheers to that! Just keep going.
Cheers to waking up early and watching the sunrise. It is so much better than a sunset. The air is better, the light feels better, and there is that little jolt of energy that comes from being outside and watching the day start.
This is the one image for this project that isn't mine. Because it is much better than the one I took. My friend Heather, who is also an incredible photographer, invited me to a beach bonfire on May 10th. 3 days before my birthday and project deadline. I had all my shots. Turns out another photographer brought a bunch of steel wool to light up. I told him and the other campfire guys about the project, and before I knew it they had worked to build a ring of fire for me to be in the middle of. Upside down. With a giant skirt over my head. Oh, and with the guys behind me swinging fire around. I was basically instructing Heather on how to post the project in case this turned into more of a sacrifice situation. (The ocean was just 15 feet away, so no real concerns except for the sharks) Thankfully everything worked and we were able to get this shot!! And thankfully Heather was also taking pictures on her camera because once everything was lit up, my exposure wacked out on my camera. And she gave me full permission to use it because she is a sweetheart like that. Thanks girl! You made this project so much better. Find her on Instagram @HeatherLemmon Cheers to years of practice playing with fireworks in Texas. Cheers to my new fire loving friends!
I can see myself living in a treehouse at some point in life. A super awesome one though. My sister came to visit when I started this project. We drove up to see the redwoods and they did not disappoint. As soon as I saw these two trees I knew instantly that this would be one of my favorite shops. I made her re-hike the trail with me to get this picture. Cheers to you Kelsey - you’re one of the best artists I know and possibly in the world. So it’s always easy to be creative and weird with you because that’s how your brain is too. Seriously, find her on Instagram. She is insanely skilled. @SeeKelseyPaint. Cheers to Meghan too because you’re always quick to encourage me and help me develop my ideas. We will have an awesome sisters weekend once I pimp out my treehouse. (pimp it out with cats)
Cheers to making any situation your dream and your story. Everything you do is part of your story. So find the positive, its way more fun on this side. Trust me.
This was another one I didn't know I was going to love so much. I will probably keep changing and updating the title as my feelings keep growing for it. Cheers to being proud of the things you make.
I have been told “Rachel, I am my loudest and weirdest around you.”
I have been told “You would make a funny cartoon.”
I have been asked, “What is it like inside your head?”
I stop and stare up at trees while walking.
I lay on the ground to take pictures up though the flowers.
I talk about cats a lot for not having one.
I always have crafty things happening in my room.
And I remember knowing as a kid that I was just kind of different. And for the people that have loved and embraced my oddness - I thank you. You mean the world to me :) Cheers to me. It's my birthday. I get all the cheers right now.
I still have my pointe shoes I play with every now and then. I had a love/hate relationship with dance class as a kid. I was pretty good at it, but I became burnt out and bored with the choreography after just a few weeks. So I would dance how I felt in class - which would waste everyone's time. I still love to dance. It happens mostly alone in the mornings when the coffee kicks in. One of my favorite stories belongs to my Dad. Apparently when I was 5 I had my first dance recital. I was in a black leotard, tap shoes, and sporting a top hat and a cane. It was a line of 20 five year old girls, and I on the end next to the stage curtains. According to my dad I leaned over my cane, propped myself up comfortably and watched all the other girls perform. To which he rolled his eyes. I had several recitals after that. In my prime I was an ice sculpture and my friend Clair was the Ice Queen who brought me to life. If only I saved that amazing ribbon LED wrapped hulu-hoop portal I made for that winter dance. I've always been great at crafts. Cheers to a decade of dance class. The grace it gave me is ever lasting.
I listened to the Miss Congeniality soundtrack a lot as a pre-teen. I thought it was the best movie. This is not a sexy project. This is literally the worst shot from this location. It turns out that holding a phone booth open with your foot is not an easy feat. Did I just make a bad pun. Yes I did. I showed this set of pictures to my roommate and my friend, trying to pick one. The progression leading up to this final struggle of an image had us in tears laughing so hard. We had a few margaritas at this point, so it was extra hilarious. I think that is what I will remember most about this image. I hope it makes yall smile too. Cheers to laughing until you cry. It doesn't happen enough.
I was lucky enough to visit the 14th Factory show. A walk through art experience. One of the rooms was a duplicated set from Space Odyssey. I haven't seen the movie. But I was instantly intrigued by this white room. While in line to to go inside of it, only 4 people are allowed in at a time for 60 seconds, I over heard the door man saying “you can do anything, just don't sit on the furniture or touch anything.” I perked up. Anything? I asked. He replied with “Oh yea, we had a guy run naked through here, a man proposed... “ I went back a few days later with my friend Heather. I got to the front of the line and explained my project to the same gentleman and he kindly waved me inside. Here’s to space travel and crazy future art. Cheers to Simon Birch and his creations at the 14th Factory. Thank you for letting me use it.
If I print a book, this is the cover. Cheers to living on the edge.
Oddly enough there have been a decent amount of Great White Sharks in Long Beach lately. Last time I check there were a total of 15 cruising around all of Orange County. Cheers to learning about our oceans instead of being scared of them. If its your time to be eaten, then its your time. Circle of life.