Some people just have this intangible characteristic that draws people in. Maybe it’s charisma? Authenticity? Confidence? Whatever. It’s energetic and we can’t always put our finger on it. It pulls us in, builds us up, and leaves us with some serious warm and fuzzies. Rachael Patterson De Azevedo is one of those people.
This x-factor distinguishes Rachael and propels her work as a photographer. She extracts the best from her clients by inviting them to wholly be themselves. As a result, her photos are authentic, raw, and remarkable.
We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with Rachael and bring her on as an official AMI photographer. Over the next few days, we’ll be highlighting her most recent AMI swag shoot, so get stoked.
If you’re interested in purchasing any of the AMI swag featured here, head
to our SHOP.
To see more of Rachael’s photography and to connect with her for your next shoot, visit rachaelmayphotography.com. You can also follow her on FB: facebook.com/rachael.may.photography and IG: @RachaelMay1.
“I still remember the first peak I had my heart set on, the one that loomed outside my kindergarten bedroom window. I also remember the first thunderstorm I chased with my camera my junior year of High School. My heart has belonged to both ever since. I’m a mama to 4 kids whose stories I’m always documenting. Besides the consuming job of raising them I’m currently working towards summiting the 50 highest points in the US and anything else I can think of that gets me outside.” –Rachael D’Azevedo
How did you get into photography?
I’ve always been drawn to photographs, when I was little I would pour over the images in our National Geographics. I started with my first photography class my Junior year of High School and by the end of the year had my first film camera and dozens of prints. I continued to take classes every chance I could all through college. I didn’t major in photography because I never thought I could do anything with it). But like most passions, it’s hard to walk away from something that calls to you every day. Once I graduated I just started to take pictures for people…and then more people wanted pictures… and before I knew it I had my own portrait business.
What kind of camera do you shoot with and what is your favorite lens?
I’m a Nikon gal, I have been from the beginning. It’s hard to say what my favorite lens is, they all offer up something that works with a particular subject. I love my 85mm for portraits (especially adults) because it makes us all look so damn good. My 50mm is great for hiking with kids because it’s light and easy. The 24-70mm is my favorite when I work with families with little kids because it’s versatile and allows me to stay quick on my feet.
Tell us about your photographic style.
Genuine emotion. I really love to capture people in their moments. I’ll pick out a belly laugh over a perfect smile every single time. I love the depth in people’s stories and my aim is to help my subjects feel relaxed in front of my camera so they can just be themselves.
Tell us a little about your editorial process. How do you finish pictures before release?
The most important step in my editing process is culling the images. If I don’t feel something the first time I see it, it’s junked. After that I really don’t edit too much, a little color and contrast boost before I publish. I’m a get it right while shooting kind of gal.
Who do you look up to as a photographer?
You know it changes as my style and my desired subject changes. But I’m a HUGE fan of Alan Thornton. I was fortunate enough to take some lighting classes from him in Portland, OR and I really admire his work and HOW he does it. He’s a very genuine photographer.
What professional goals are you working towards?
I’d really love to start working towards a photojournalistic career. I have some personal projects I’m putting together for the next year and I’m really looking forward to working on those just for the art of it! It’s such a learning process and stepping beyond the family/wedding world is very new for me.
What is your dream photo shoot?
Being on assignment for National Geographic–that’s been my dream since my junior year of high school. I tell myself every day that it’s attainable even after I’ve had kids. It just might take a more creative path to get there.
How has motherhood influenced your photography?
I think raising kids has given me a perspective on the human spirit that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. To be THIS close to four little humans and watch them deal with their emotions, their wants, and their dreams has made me look at adults with more sincerity. We all have grand hopes and desires, even if we’ve stifled them in our adult life.
I also believe motherhood has put into perspective how important MY time is. Because personal time is so rare these days, I try to utilize it doing what’s really important to me. Before kids I had all the time in the world, and I definitely wasn’t as productive as I am now. Motherhood has clarified my values and goals.
What do you enjoy about collaborating with Adventure Mamas Initiative?
Oh god, THIS group…it’s what’s been missing from my last 11 years of mothering. I think my favorite thing about AMI is that it focuses on US, on MOMS, on WOMEN. AMI recognizes that we are persons, ambitious persons, outside of motherhood. The focus of the group is not on kids or family but US. But it’s a space where we all have kids and fully understand that the struggle is very, very real. It’s refreshing to have a place to fall back on that reminds me that I NEED to have dreams and I NEED to chase them.