Rachel has the eye! She took the photos for my band's last album, and they are absolute show stoppers. Somehow she managed to capture the feeling of our music AND the essence of our personalities - not an easy feat with band photography! It was actually pouring during our indoor/outdoor shoot, and toward the end of our session we started goofing off and jumping in puddles. She managed to capture the joy of that moment and gave us a candid photo that is so unique and eye-catching that we get constant compliments on it. Most band photography looks the same and we're really proud to have these shots. One word of caution - don't work with Rachel if you don't also want to make a new, super cool friend, because guaranteed she will make you laugh your face off and you'll be chatting it up by the end of your session. -Ty Greenstein, Mouths of Babes
Celebrate your art, tell your story
Musicians and music lovers understand: your songs are born in the truest, deepest part of yourself, and you put such care into every part of how you share them with the world. You choose your producer, your instrumentation, the mood you want to carry, the venues you book to sing in, the press releases you share, the fundraising you pursue. When your album is ready, its cover image should tell the story of the songs within it, and it should make your listeners want to reach out and pick it up in their hands. That’s where we come in.
At Rachel Smook Photography we craft our art as mindfully as you craft yours, and as music lovers ourselves, we know how hard you work on your songs. We also know how important it is for our work to tell your story. If you’re working on a new project, we’ll want to listen to your music beforehand to be sure we understand the feel of your album, and we’ll bring creativity and insight to your musician photography session to give you images you’ll be excited to integrate. And whether you’re looking for an album cover, marketing images, or merch for the folks who attend your shows, we’ll create images that feel like YOU: a visual representation of you and your music at this time in your career.
We’ll have a good time, too. We have yet to work with an artist who didn’t become a friend, and we’re always excited to collaborate with you. When we put our creative heads together, there are endless possibilities. Blending our images with your songs creates a powerful representation of who you are as an artist, and gives you a product that your audience will want to hold and have and keep.
You’re a creator. So are we. Let’s make something beautiful together to celebrate your art.
Your songs tell your stories. I design my images to do the same. Celebrate your talents and amplify your message with images that are carefully crafted to represent your music.
Music clients include:
- Anne E. DeChant Band
- Mouths of Babes
- Martin Swinger
- Edie Carey
- DK and the Joy Machine
- Mike Severs, Producer / Former lead guitarist for Dolly Parton
- Catie Curtis & Jenna Lindbo / Catie at the Cove Songwriter's Retreat
About Your Music Portrait Session
I want to know your story as a songwriter, and I want to hear your songs! The artwork on your album your publicity photos are designed to invite your listener in, and to begin to tell the story that you're bringing forth in your music. We craft a custom session based around your style and your message, and we take our time to make sure we capture the real you.
Our Music Photography Process
Your music portrait session begins with an in-depth consultation to design the session of your dreams. We talk about what your goals and hopes are, any concerns you have, session locations, and your desires for your finished artwork. I will ask to listen to your music and to learn the stories you're telling with your album, and I will design your photography to match.
On the day of your session, we’ll connect at your session location for an hour or two. We’ll capture a variety of poses and interactions to show you at your most authentic and beautiful. We have lots of tips and tricks to help you relax and feel your best!
After your session, I will take 2-3 weeks to do full custom editing of your images and to curate a set of finished images that tell the complete story of your day. You’ll have plenty of images to choose from without having to wade through duplicates or missed shots. Everything we show you will meet our standards for image quality.
We will finish your custom photography experience with a reveal session. This is where you will view your images and make your decisions. We have easy to use software to help you narrow down your choices and select your artwork with confidence. We're also happy to work with your graphic artists to bring your vision to life.
I’ve been out on shoots with Rachel. She has amazing gifts. It’s not just her photographs that are beautiful, but the way she arrives at the end result, stunning image after image, is a thing of beauty itself. Her ability to connect and make others instantly comfortable shines through in each picture. Rachel has that special “something” that cannot be taught. High recommendations for this talented photographer. - Patti G.
A world-class photographer, and a pleasure to do business with—a truly great combination! - Leslie C.
It is our honor and purpose to tell your story in beautiful keepsake artwork. We will craft images that capture the unique little details that make you YOU, and we’ll show you the beauty and joy of your family relationships. We’ll help you relax and enjoy yourself so that your images show your truest and most authentic self. After your session, we’ll offer you a selection of carefully curated products to preserve your images, including archival photographic prints, heirloom albums, and wall art that will last a lifetime. We stand behind our work and our products and are proud of our signature experience. Our goal is a happy client, every single time.
Your music session is inclusive of all of your favorite images! We are happy to help you make selections for your promotional materials as well as your album covers if you need input, and we're glad to be in touch with your designers as well. Your portraits should tell the story of you AND of your music, and we work hard to make it easy.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have lots! We don’t reveal our locations until you book with us, because we have chosen them carefully and don’t want them to get crowded, but you can get a sense of our options from visiting our Instagram page. We’ll talk to you when you reserve your portrait session to find out what kind of look and experience appeals to you, and we’ll tailor our locations to your needs. While we love working outdoors in beautiful places, we can also do studio work if it’s a better fit for you.
I have some resources for choosing clothing that I will share with you when you reserve your session, and I’m happy to look over your choices before we start if you’d like. Generally, what I want to pay attention to is your face, not your clothes, so soft colors and neutrals work very well. We ask you to avoid busy patterns and graphics so that the focus is all on you. We’re happy to share lots more details when we begin planning your session!
Yes, we will do an in-person design meeting to plan your session, share our product samples, and get to know one another. This will help you feel more relaxed and comfortable during your session, and will let me design your session around your wishes and needs. It’s all a part of our signature custom approach!
We customize everything we do, so what you spend depends on your dreams and wishes. Once we have our consultation to identify your goals and desires for your portrait session, we will go over our investment menu and help you choose the package that most fits your needs.
We’ve got you! If it’s pouring, that’s too much of a risk for our equipment, and we’ll be glad to reschedule. We don’t generally cancel if it’s sprinkling, and some of the photos our clients have loved best have happened when there are occasional drizzles. We’re capturing your personality and your relationships, which shine through in any weather. Plus, the light right after it rains is absolutely magical. We’ll keep an eye on the weather together and will be in touch the day of your session to make decisions with you about whether to proceed if the skies are dicey.
Well, yes and no. We know how to take beautiful natural light portraits, and we are also confident and comfortable using supplemental lighting to create extra depth and dimensionality in your portraits. A photographer should never be limited by lighting conditions. We’ll do whatever we need to do to give you gorgeous, well-lit images no matter what weather or locations we’re working in.
Your session retainer covers the consultation we have to design your custom session, any assistance with choosing clothing, the session itself, custom editing of your images, and a reveal session where you will view your images and choose any that you’d like to purchase.
Absolutely not. I hate that, and I would never do that to a client. At your reveal session, I am there as your consultant, answering questions, helping to sort through the merits of one image over another, designing your wall art, and mainly just enjoying your reaction as you view your images for the first time. You are in total control over what you invest and I will never push you to spend more than you want to.
Oooh, you’re our favorite. Most people hate having their picture taken, and we are committed to making it fun for you to work with us! Most of our clients wrap up their sessions and events by saying, “That was more fun than I expected it to be,” and we love that. We have lots of tips and tricks to get you looking and feeling relaxed, and we take our time to make sure we capture beautiful images that leave you feeling good about your time with us.
First and foremost, we believe that photographs are meant to be seen. We want them out in your house, in your hands, in your daily experience. Also, technology changes so fast, and we don’t want you to look around in ten years and realize you can’t open your images anymore. Printed photographs are why we know what our grandparents looked like as newlyweds. We want the same for your family in later generations. This is also why we choose our labs so carefully. We only work with labs that are exclusive to professional photographers, using careful construction and archival papers and inks so that your artwork lasts. Our labs guarantee their products so that we can guarantee yours.
As soon as you know you need a photographer! While it’s always worth checking to see if we’re free at the last minute, it’s not uncommon for clients to book us a year or two ahead of their event dates and months before their portrait session dates.
Nope! Nobody wants a photo of Uncle Jim with one eye closed and food in his mouth. We carefully curate our images to present you with photos that you’ll be proud to display and share and keep. While you’ll have plenty of images to choose from, we’ll only deliver those that meet our high standards for image quality.
No, we only deliver fully finished images. Unedited files are like cake ingredients at a bakery. The finished product is what you hire us to produce, and we put time and energy into delivering the best images we can offer.
With pleasure. We support you, whoever you are, whoever you love, and however you’re celebrating, and we can’t wait to tell your unique story. Love has no limits.
Our products and packages are carefully curated and priced according to their value, so the short answer is no. That said, we want you to have exactly what you want, so we’re happy to create a custom package just for you. No matter what you choose to spend with us, you will receive our signature service and will receive heirloom products and images that will last for a lifetime.
Yes! We have worked in recording studios before and love to capture those behind-the-scenes images that help you with fundraising and marketing.
I start by listening to your music! I want to get a feel for the mood and message of your album and especially your title track. Your album artwork should complement all of that and should be a visual enticement for listeners to pick up your cd or click on your album in their music apps. We’ll make sure that your cover art serves to illustrate and enhance your message.
Your Reveal Session
We’ll view your proofs together and I’ll help you narrow down your favorites. If you want printed products as well as digital images, I’ll go over available sizes and product options with you, and you can choose the artwork and display options that best suit your needs. I will never pressure you to purchase more than you wish; I want you to be happy with your choices!
Rachel is amazing. Her shots aren't just "pictures" - they capture the emotion and the life of the subject and the moment. Truly special photography. - Tylan G.
How to Create the Perfect Gallery Wall for Your Home
How to Create the Perfect Gallery Wall for Your Home Read More »
The Psychology of Holding a Printed Photo
Top 8 Reasons to Hire a Professional Photographer
Top 8 Reasons to Hire a Professional Photographer Read More »
About Rachel Smook Photography
I’m Rachel, and I’m a wedding, portrait, and Bar Mitzvah photographer based in Massachusetts and willing to travel as far as your dreams will take you. As the parent of teenagers, I’ve learned that everything is better with some humor thrown in, and I’ve also learned how FAST life goes by. Photography gives me a way to stop time, both for my family and for yours. I’m a sucker for the little details: those tiny fingers wrapped around yours, the way he looks at you when you come down the aisle, the way you laughed at that little shimmy she did on the dance floor. It’s the little moments that make the sweetest memories, and I’m a feelings junkie, so I am THERE for them. I believe that laughter is good medicine, that love is love, and that memories are worth keeping.