Meet Rachelle Derouin, a wedding and family photographer from Northern California who specializes in images with stories, connection and soul.
There is a fine line between admiring the work of a photographer and yearning for the life of the family in front of that photographer’s camera. When that line blurs it’s because I sense that I’ve gotten to know the family through the photographer’s work. It’s a smooth cocktail and a testimony to the prowess of the photographer to put a family at ease while stealthily documenting their specific relationships and household details. After traveling through Rachelle images of the Galin family in her native San Francisco, I wanted to go in for a group hug. I mean, we’d been through something special together, hadn’t we?
Part of Rachelle’s success is in her clear plan and intent. She prepares her families for sessions by encouraging them to to come as they are. Meltdowns, messes and bruises are all part of their story and are welcome. Expected. She also clears her own mind before sessions with yoga and music so that she’s ready to be open to the unique stories presented in front of her and her camera. The shoots last either a morning or an afternoon with both indoor and outdoor time. Her intent is to make the experience more like hanging out and less like a directed photo shoot which she achieves by bouncing back and forth between being a fly on the wall and engaging with the family. All of these moments are expertly captured on her Canon 5d mark III with 35mm, 24mm and 50mm lenses.
This cozy and natural session features the Galin family at home in the sunset district of San Francisco. The images read chronologically from afternoon to sunset. The first image of their neighborhood from an outside perspective neatly and purposefully ties together the final image of a similar view from inside the home. In between these bookended images it’s as if I’ve stepped into a new world made of familiar friends. Rachelle described their home as a place to linger, talk, play, and eat. As much credit goes to her as a photographer who clearly, gracefully brings out the love and comfort visible in the Galin home.