Monday, July 12, 2010

Meet Rachel Leib . . .

Rachel Leib

"You don't have to be the best, just better than last week"

Location: Fishkill, NY (Yeah, I said FISHKILL)

DOB: 12/28

Children:2, Caitlin 6 in Aug and Julia 3 on the 26th

Husband: Frank

Animals: Dog, Troy


Name of Business:  Rachel Leib Photography


Blog: I'm a failed blogger




What's in your bag? (if you are building your bag, what do you desire for your bag?)

Canon 20D

Canon 50D (Technically it's my husbands)

420EX flash

50mm 1.8

24-70 2.8


10-22 3.5-4.5

My very 1st lens Sigma 18-200 3.5-6.3

& a reflector I don't yet know how to use yet

What's your favorite editing software?

LIGHTROOM 3!!!!!!!!!!

Favorite Food: Japanesse

Favorite Color:  pinkish/purple

A few of your favorite things:

Coffee, gadgets... I love technology! I Hope to get an ipad but will wait for version 2 or 3, the laugh and smile of my kids!

What or who inspires you?

My kids inspire me because I want to be a good role model. I have two little girls and I want them to see from their mom that they can do anything they want at anytime in their lives. Life just also inspires me, you never know what you're going to see and where and I love when I am able to capture an image that makes me feel something.

Name something you just have to have everyday:

Coffee and my itouch

Tell us all about your journey into the world of photography. When did you realize that this is what you wanted to do and why.

Talk about making a long story short! I've always been into photography my entire life. Like many people I got my DSLR when I had my first child.  I tried to work with a school sports/studio photographer so I could learn, but that didn't work out because our schedules didn't mesh. So I did a few jobs here and there while teaching myself, but used a program mode or the green box. It wasn't until a few years back I even tried manual and was really intimidated by it so I stayed with my safe modes. I did have a website but never told anyone about it becuase I wasn't confident in my "ablilities" and would never have called myself a photographer!! It wasn't until I found MeRa while googling "manual techniques" that any of it made sense! Her way of explaining things made it click for me and so I tried a little here and there. Even with MeRa's blog I felt I was alone in my efforts and didn't really have anyone to actually talk to and ask questions, so my growth was slow and painful. It wasn't until the SOAR Scholarship that things really turned around. The group of women that I "met" and have gotten to know have literally changed my life! I would not be even close to where I am without them (you). With their guidance and support I have continued to work (and get better) on manual (the only way I shoot now) and have a new website, confidence and I actually call myself a photographer!!!! As I continually learn about technique, I am now also teaching myself about the business side and I know I can always count on my "Soar Sisters" to be there to answer my questions. So that explains the journey into the world of photography....The "why" part is much easier and shorter :) Because I LOVE to take pictures!!!! I love trying to capture moments that can instantly bring you back to that time and evoke some emotion. Video is fun and fine but I prefer photos for my memories. I would get some nice compliments on my pictures so I decided to try and make a small business out of something I love to do :)

If you already have a photography business please tell us about it, type of photography you do, how long you have been doing it, etc...

I have a 'Business' (is it a business if you haven't yet turned a profit?). I've been doing mainly portraits of children and families and hope one day to include weddings. The new website and my official coming out as a photographer (see I said it again) has been since Feburary. I've done a lot of freebies to have new photos for my site and a few modestly paid jobs. With the help of a "sisiter" or two I now have collections to offer my clients!!!

Who is your favorite photographer that you follow and why?

Well MeRa Koh for the above reason :) I'll check out Jasmine Star and Melissa Jill when I have time but I MAKE the time for MeRa and (ladies that were at MeRa's workshop with me know the next say it with me) Jerry Ghionis!!!! What he does with natural light or a video light is just amazing! He makes ART! My long term goal is to take MeRa's lessons on technique and Jerry's style and take my family portraits to a different place...really find and define my own style. They both really inspire me to do and be better and I thank you both (Not that I ever met Jerry Ghionis).

Besides photography, what else do you do , i.e. work, domestic engineer, volunteer?

I'm a stay at home mom - my kids and husband are my full-time job and I try to find/make time for my passion which I have gotten better at doing as well. I have done some volunteer work as a photographer, in fact I have a volunteer job coming up on the 23rd with two radio stations doing a charity event for St. Judes.

What are some of your other hobbies and/or things that you like to do besides photography?

Honestly....this is it! Other than being with my family and friends of course!

Do you have any other businesses that you are incorporating and/or combining in your photography business or that is separate other than photography?


If there is one thing in the world that you would like to change, what would that be and why?

Hum, there are a lot of things I'd like to change but I think first and foremost....I'd like people in general to be nicer and the world safer.

Name three things you would like to do before you die?

Have the finacial freedom to travel more, give my children life experiences/adventures to help mold them into the awesome adults I know they'll be, have a successful career as a photographer.

List three goals you would like to accomplish in 2010:

Have at least one session a month, a wedding (pereferably small) by the end of the year and to be able to consistently produce sharp images. With that said, I know not all great pictures are tack sharp but I'd like to be able to produce them as it says to me I know how to use my camera.

Please tell us about the photos you are submitting and why they are your favorites.

 One my first attempts at shooting on manual a few years back and I think it looks really cool.

Cailtin 1year old (now 6)-I got one of my all time favorite shots with a point and shoot! I think it has an old feel to it and she looks like a doll.

This is from our last vacation to California where I took A LOT of pictures. I shot in manual and had the time to just sit there on the beach and play with my settings as the kids had a good time. When I look at this picture, it reminds me to "slow down!" I also liked catching Caitlin just enjoying the ocean and not knowing I was taking her picture (she gives the 6yr old pouty face a lot now)

We had a family BBQ over the holiday weekend with family I don't get to see often. My cousin wanted a silly picture of him and his new wife but I got this in between. It shows me promise in my efforts in pursuing this dream....still have a long way to go though.


Thank you Rachel for participating in the Spotlight!  You were one of the very first women I started conversing with during our journey with SOAR and I am so grateful for the friendship we have developed.  I am so excited to watch, learn and grow along with you in this fantastic journey we are on.  I know you will be a very successful photographer.  I really LOVE your spider web image, it's awesome!  Thank you for all that you do, you're an amazing women! 


  1. Rachel, believe it or not, I've been to Fishkill, NY! My husband worked there for 6 weeks about 3 1/2 years ago and I came with him. I grew up in Elmira, NY (3 hours West of Fishkill.) Anyway, it was fun to read your spotlight and get to know you better. Keep up the great work! Live, laugh, PHOTOGRAPH :)

  2. So great to read more about you Rachel. And I haven't said it before, but I love that picture of you.

  3. Wonderful Spotlight feature...Good luck on your endeavors and where did you find that totally awesome spider web filled covered in dew? Amazing!

  4. p.s. I agree with Rhonda, your photo is beautiful!