Work With Me



After taking a variety of art classes for her Art Therapy undergrad degree at Millikin University, Rachel Holden took Intro to Photography: Black and White Film 101 and 102 her last year in 2010. Thus her photography career was born. Rachel is now known for her raw, honest, down to earth, comical, expressive, playful, slice-of-life images that authentically reveal each subject. She borrows perspective from her faith toward her subjects since she meets them “where they are” and makes “something” out of “nothing”. Her work is original and custom as a result of her endless creative curiosity and client co-collaboration. Types of her work include lifestyle, documentary, editorial, portrait and styled shoots. She has done individual and commercial projects. She has published work with Looks Like Film and The Decatur Magazine. Rachel has shown work at Millikin University and The Blue Connection. She volunteers her photography talent with the youth group at Renaissance Church down town Decatur. Rachel was raised in Harristown Illinois. Straight out of college she worked for Bella Baby Photography and Complete Weddings for 3.5 years. She has done free-lance work for 5 years with the last year being full time. Rachel does the majority of her work in Decatur IL and surrounding areas.

Artist Statement

"I have always been humbled by the human form. It is fearfully and wonderfully made. That is why I do portraiture.  I try to connect them to figure. No detail of one form is the same as the next. I ask myself, “What is the model’s story? What is physically unique? Where is the light?” My work finds itself by my navigation through the environment as we shoot. I look for what's there as opposed to forcing what is not. I take what you are and celebrate that. I positively manipulate the scene by prioritizing light and using flash for a non negotiable background. I use the camera for what its made to do. Show light, motion, colors, textures, and depth of field. I try to pull charisma out of my models and get a variety of personality, gestures and expressions. I request movements that create an organic line never to be in existence until now. Sometimes it's a task and not a stationary pose. I try to expand my portfolio by adding new content. Developing my bedside manner with a huge black camera is a social experiment while I combat any anxiety the models may have. I try to customize shoots with narratives, documents, and concepts. Rules are made to be broken, but not if you haven't finessed them first. I do this work bc I dream about new ways of using my camera, visually communicating and playing."      

I STUDIED ART THERAPY AT ART SCHOOL-  I naturally and almost accidentally fused therapy and photography. Probably because I was giving myself therapy through photography and then simultaneously brought others into that world with me. THERAPEUTIC PHOTOGRAPHY is often a practice and set of techniques that you use on your own outside of a professional setting. It is also complimentary for any current work you're doing with a mental health professional.HOW TO DO ITTherapeutic Photography does not mean just only photo-taking. It also includes other photo-interactive activities, such as photo-viewing, -posing, -planning, -discussing, or even just only remembering or imagining photographs.ITS USES PRODUCE people’s own self-knowledge, awareness, and well-being, improve their relationships with family and others, activate positive social change, reduce social exclusion, assist rehabilitation, strengthen communities, deepen intercultural relations, lessen conflict, bring attention to issues of social injustice, sharpen visual literacy skills, enhance education, expand qualitative research and prevention methodologies, and produce other kinds of photo-based personal/emotional healing and learning.IN OTHER WORDS, I talk to you and see what you care about or what you're currently going through. I meet you where you are. Ill ask questions and make suggestions to see how you'd like to portray certain feelings or events. If you have tons of ideas, Ill help you bring them to life. If you have no ideas, Ill lead a creative project and its still very enlightening. WHO IS THIS FOR? Anyone who is interested! It's a healthy creative outlet!   ITS FUN!!!!!  Its good for yourself, your family, or a friend group. SPONSORING A SHOOT- I would love to give my work to individuals and orginaizations  who need it most, not just the people who have a certain amount of money. Likely groups may include youth, special needs, cancer treatment, incarcerated, shelters and rehabilitation centers. These groups may be associated with hospitals, churches, schools, and non profits. HOW MANY HOURS ARE WITHIN YOUR MEANS?




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