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  • Hey! I'm Rachel Fellig, a photographer based out of Brooklyn, NY....until the winter hits. Then you'll find me shooting in Miami, Florida & Los Angeles, California.

Not enough words to say thank you…

He handed me his iPad with an opened article and said, “Here you go. You can get to know a little bit about my wife before you meet her.” Stepping onto the hotel balcony, I took a minute to just take in the scene. The ocean was a perfect shade of blue, mirroring the cloud-less sky. I inhaled deeply, letting the familiar scent of salt and sea-weed fill my lungs. The sound of the water surging and retreating onto the sand made for a relaxing sound track as I began reading.

Everything around me became more and more muted as I fell completely engrossed by the words in my hands. I re-read each paragraph, wanting to take in every last word. I was trying so hard to really wrap my head around all of it. I read about a girl faced with challenges that surpassed my nightmares. I read about her unwavering faith in G-d while trudging through the hell and high waters of living with cancer. I read about her dance on a thin rope between life and death, all the while keeping her face towards life. I read about the heroes in her story…her husband, her parents…herself. I read about miracles. BIG miracles.

I was brought back to reality when I heard the faint noise of the hotel door open and sweet voices chitchatting. I got up to meet the awe-inspiring woman I just read about it. There was something about her energy that felt so gentle, so soft, so kind…so angelic.

 My goal going into every photo session is to tap into the vitality that drives the family in front of me and with this family there was such a massive, huge, incredible amount of it. I wanted to see it…I wanted to feel it when I looked at their pictures. I hoped I would be able to capture every bit of it.

As we pulled up in front of my home after we had spent the afternoon shooting, I was struggling to find the right words. I didn’t know how to properly say thank you to Zev. To Miriam. To Chana. I felt changed from meeting their family and I hoped the feeling would stay with me. Through them, I was reminded of the fragility of life, the strength of faith, the importance of family, the urgency of being present in each gifted moment of life. I felt grateful and humbled that I was able to take away such a tremendous gift from what was such an excruciating journey for them.

I encourage you to be inspired by their story. You can read Miriam’s article on Chabad.org by clicking this link.

 

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Brooklyn Family

There were heaps of snow still piled on the sidewalks, but people were running around in T-Shirts. It was like the apocalypse. NY has been seeing a brutal winter, but the day of our session turned out to be a record breaking 70 degrees. Although, it wasn’t the sunshine that day that was keeping me warm. It was the family I spent the afternoon with.

Stepping over the threshold of their apartment door, the havoc of the streets of NY fell silent. The environment felt so serene and warm-hearted. Being in their home felt like one big, giant hug. Looking around you could see life happening everywhere. In every corner of their home there was a space to create, a space to dream and explore.

They didn’t just encourage their children to imagine, they got into their imagined world with them. They crawled right into the forts made of chairs and flower pots and buckled their seat belts for their trip to Bangladesh.

I left their home with such a pep in my step. Getting to spend the afternoon in their world felt like it should have been wrapped in a big, red bow.

  

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The key to being happy is a grateful existence.

That one is all me. No really. I googled it! It’s an original.  As 2013 comes to a close, I’m just about finished putting together a photo book of all of my iPhone pictures from the last year. It makes me feel overwhelmingly grateful to relive all the amazing experiences and even the small, but equally important, moments from day to day life. With each picture I drag and drop onto a page, my heart feels an incredible appreciation of every memory that I get to fold into the story of my life and for every lesson that is allowing me to become a better person.

 

Along with filing away my personal pictures, I start a new folder for my families of 2014. As I go through all of your pictures from the last year, what I’m feeling is privileged. I feel privileged that you let me into your family’s world; that you let me peek into your lives with my camera to see a part of what it is that makes you feel grateful. It has made my world a more beautiful place and I’m so thankful to you!

(Click the image below to start 2013′s slideshow…HAPPY NEW YEAR!)

 

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