nazareth restaurant + deli

Some of you already know, I grew up in a restaurant. My father, Hany, opened a restaurant 6 months before I was born.  We’ve always joked (and sometimes cried) about the restaurant being my big brother. Definitely an interesting experience. I believe it’s where I learned to be a people person and got comfortable around strangers. When I was really little, I used to sit in a booth and color pictures for customers. My dad had a cup near the register that said “Rachel’s college fund” (see photo below). It’s where I had my social interactions, saved money to buy my first camera, travel the world and had many chances to see first hand the blessings and the curses of running your own small business. In the past years, Nazareth Restaurant & Deli has moved from Cleveland & 161 to Hamilton Rd. You’ll have to go and try it out, tell them I sent you;)And if someone comes to your table with a baseball bat asking how the food tastes, that’s my dad and I’m not sorry!

  • Leilah - Oh my gosh, just looking at these photos makes me hungry! Rachel, where is your dad from? This is the food I grew up on! I didn’t know we had this in common!ReplyCancel

    • - Yes! I felt super at home with your family and loved your dad (his speech at your wedding reminded me so much of what my dad’s humor is!) And the zatar pizzas we ate on our way out the next morning… so good :) He’s from Haifa, Israel.ReplyCancel

  • Joyce Hessler-Abele - These are great & beautiful photos of delicious, beautiful and freshly prepared dishes… Yes, Rachel you have every reason to be proud of your father’s successful restaurant + deli business.. Of course, he is equally proud of you and all the ways you have helped him to build his business, by working and recruiting clientele regularly, as well as charming the people you “served and satisfied”…………….God Bless the Nazareth Restaurant for continued success………….Love you all, Momma and Grandma Joyce .ReplyCancel

  • katy - I’ve been coming to your dad’s restaurant since I moved to Columbus in 1991. Love it…it is my favorite place to eat!! I wish I had the recipe for his chicken and rice and the awesome sauce. Oh, and the best hummus and pita around!!ReplyCancel

  • Gabriel Aristizabal - Been there and done that, over and over. Awesome food. And it’s about time I go by there again. ReplyCancel

  • Karen Turner - Great pic and great food! And thanks for the personal message about growing up in the restaurant.

  • Donna Jarvis-Miller - OMG you are all grown up! We used to come to your Dad’s place and enjoy the visits and his AMAZING food. We now live in Virginia but will be sure to stop by next time we are in Columbus! Please tell your father that Donna and Chris said hello!ReplyCancel

sara + brad

kate + josh

Kate and Josh are two of the loveliest people I’ve ever come across. It was a total wonder getting to know them (they wrote me out their stories of love) via email as they were living in California planning an Ohio wedding. When I finally got to meet up with Kate at a diner for breakfast a few months before the wedding, I felt so connected to her and her stories and sentimentality. So sweet. It wasn’t until wedding week that I met her handsome beau, Josh. Adam and I roadtripped to Kate’s aunt and uncle’s farm, where the wedding would take place days later. We feasted on breakfast foods once again (are you catching a theme?) and shot some beautiful photos of the two of them on the land, including on four-wheelers (which is the first sight I saw of them, when they met us at the end of the driveway that evening!) Check out their mini-session engagement shoot here. Their wedding was wondrous. Back at our first meeting Kate said it would be full of floral patterned sheets, a teepee, books, pom-pom necklaces for the ladies, homemade bowties on the guys; hankies and you may have guessed…. breakfast for dinner! What a sheer pleasure to spend the happiest day with these two. Enjoy getting to know them by hearing their voices at their story of meeting in Korea, in the video at the end of this post! 

kate + josh

Kate and Josh are two of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. They cooked us dinner when we made our way out to the farm the week of the wedding. It was my first time meeting Josh. We laughed and shared stories, then went outside for some photos. Beautiful autumn colors (early October) with these two lovebirds. 

chalita + matthijs

Chalita is a photographer in the Netherlands. During my last trip to Amsterdam, she contacted me asking about meeting up. When I did a bit of facebook stalking and saw how lovely she is (and her boyfriend, Matthijs) I recommended we also do a little photoshoot during our meet up. It was one of the windiest days ever, we couldn’t really do anything outside. We started in the library and then (after getting kicked out) we decided to get permission and then shoot at the conservatory next door! It was super great to get to know these two, they have hearts of gold and gave me the sweetest homemade thank you gifts. I hope to meet them again. Check out Chalita’s photography website! 

life together: emily + cuddles


This is one of my favorite weddings ever. The wedding took place outside of the bride’s family’s home, in Sunbury, Ohio. I loved the details, the bottles the family turned into candle holders, the bar built by her dad…. so many special little details. Brian (more often known as Cuddles) and Emily have such genuine and passionate hearts for life and each other. They use their words beautifully and it was such a celebration of two becoming one. Definitely watch the VIDEO at the bottom of this post! 

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  • Danielle - We have been friends of the Stranges family for years, in fact I had my wedding in their backyard a little over 10 years ago. We were not able to attend Emily’s but your photography and videography made us feel like we were! Your composition was a great mix of traditional and creative, your editing stayed true to their “style”, and the emotion you captured- incredible! You are a gifted photographer. Kudos. And thank you for sharing the images.ReplyCancel

    • - Thanks so much for your kind words, Danielle!ReplyCancel

engaged! sara + ryan

Okay, these two are really awesome and I’m really looking forward to getting to know them better. Sara and I met a couple of years ago, during a photoshoot with some dancers (she’s a dancer!). Not only is she a wonderful dancer, she’s also a photographer! We emailed around the time of both of our engagements and realized that we were both planning relatively offbeat, low key, low budget weddings and decided that we would do a little trading! So I’m excited to announce that Sara Long Photography will be photographing Adam and my wedding and we’ll be shooting Sara and Ryan’s wedding, coming up in less than 2 weeks! We’re so excited to be working with them and getting to know them more and more along the way! 

teaser! emily + cuddles

This wedding was amazing! On the beautiful land in Sunbury, where the bride’s parents live. It was full of the handiwork of the family, so beautiful. The groom’s sweet emotion and expression during the first look had me in tears! Stay tuned for the longer version!

The beautiful song comes from Jane Marczewski. 


teaser! emily + cuddles from rachel joy baransi on Vimeo.

allyse + jon teaser!

gloria, 8 years old

This is Gloria, she’s my 8 year old fashion inspiration. When she was 3, I was her nanny. We shared a room in our cute little flat on the Rijnstraat in Amsterdam. She’s got two brothers and her parents are two of my closest friends on the earth. It’s been so interesting to watch her grow up, when she was three she picked out a variety of pinks and patterns and put together the most amazing outfits everyday. She’s much more into blues, greens and fur now. I love it! She came down wearing the camo outfit and I asked her if we could go outside and take a few pictures. She and her brothers have always been my favorite to photograph (I basically learned how to use a camera while nannying them, so they were pivotal models). So fun to spend a few weeks snuggling, playing monopoly and just catching up with her and her family. You might remember the recent post about a project that I did with her brother and his project: Lucas’s colors.