Work is love made visible.
— Kahlil Gibran
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I used to aspire to be a writer. Perhaps I shouldn't tell you that as I've very much fallen out of the habit of writing, but I'll risk it anyway. The thing is, I love words and always have. They can be powerful and subtle at the same time. If a picture is worth a thousand words, one word can also speak volumes. If you've never looked up six-word short stories, do, and you'll see what I mean.

So, when I went to college at The University of Virginia, I carried my dream of becoming a writer with me. Though I loved reading novels growing up, I wanted to write lifestyle pieces for Vanity Fair or music and movie reviews for Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, or The New York Times. After falling deeply in love with the Italian language, I decided to major in Comparative Literature instead of English, along with maybe 30 other undergraduate students. My classes focused on centuries old viking sagas, Italian poetry that sounded more like Latin, and hilariously absurd plays from Ancient Greece to modern day. I always carried my camera with me whether it was my Dad's old Olympus or the entry-level DSLR that my grandparents gave me for my high school graduation, but studying photography during a semester abroad in Italy redirected my path from hobbyist to professional. I haven't looked back.

A lot of people ask me if I have a degree in photography. I don't. In between photo shoots for university publications and sports teams, I was delving into the darkest corners of the English language. I truly believe the two subjects work quite well together. Good literature focuses on the small details that make life beautiful, exhilarating, and worth living. Good photographs should do the same. They should be a curious mix of honesty and fantasy, little details and big feelings. Chasing that ideal is what I love to do when I work. I try to compose my images with just as much thoughtfulness as an author writes the first and last paragraph of a novel. Because everyone deserves to feel like they're living in an epic story.

If you'd like to work with me, please email me at rachel@amusephotography.com. Location and subject are the tiniest of hurdles. Let's chat.