You’re probably thinking, “How is this beautiful girl only a senior…. in high school?! I was not this cute when I was 17.” Yep, sharing a few of these photos with my friends led to us pulling up photos and reminiscing on the weirdness that was our senior photos- layered shirts, belts over belt loops, cowgirl vibes…. (okay, mine were pretty good…. taken spontaneously by a friend on a trip to Spain my senior year of high school in front of a Klimt mural on a garage you can see one here). The majority of my sessions are based on interaction among multiple people. Moms and babies. Couples. Humans and their pets. Photographing a single human for two hours can be one of the hardest jobs, but this shoot was so easy and so very fun, as we explored my new workspace building and the surrounding neighborhood by foot. Thankful for friendship with this lovely lady, Adaira, and her whole family (siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles). If you want some bonus pics, scroll to the very bottom- Adaira is the middle of three gorgeous sisters. I got to photograph big sister, Aubrei’s senior photos in 2013 and I can’t wait for little sister Ayden’s turn in a couple of years! 

Flashback to a VERY long time ago!! (I’ve known this fam since 2009).

 

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Over the holidays, Adam and I spent time in Cleveland with his family. We knew his dear Grandma Kay didn’t have much time left and wanted to be by her side as much as we could–telling her reasons we loved her, sharing stories of current events and fond memories, hoping to bring some joy to her last days, even if she couldn’t respond. My favorite thing about her is the first time I met her, this little tiny lady, she grabbed a hold of my giant 6’5” husband and said to me, “Now this is my little baby. You take good care of him.”

On Christmas Day, after a few hours at hospice with Grandma, we honored her 93 years by eating dinner at her favorite Chinese buffet.christmas1005christmas1011christmas1013christmas1014christmas1015christmas1017christmas1018christmas1025christmas1019christmas1022christmas1021christmas1023christmas1024christmas1026christmas1027christmas1029christmas1030christmas1031christmas1036christmas1032christmas1034christmas1035

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In the words of Deja one of the co-owners of replenish, “sometimes we think that we have to go to a mountain far away to experience peace… perhaps we can just change the way we think about peace … perhaps peace is coming in for a cup of tea and talking to a friend while you’re getting your nails done. maybe we simplify things a little bit and slow down…. Find beauty and magic in every day life”

I stepped foot into Replenish for the first time in June. I photographed one of my bridal parties starting off their day with a yoga class and then get their makeup done. It felt like a place that I wanted to be, something magnetic about the energy there. In October, I had the chance to spend the morning documenting a tribe building day (sounds a lot warmer than staff meeting, right?) they’re really good at making sure the staff practices what they preach by asking them how they are caring for themselves. It’s really beautiful and inspiring. I highly recommend joining them for a yoga class, massage, facial (I’ve had two now, Adam’s had one and we’re obsessed). Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the VIDEO that shares their very exciting announcement (our main project). Please go check them out for some self-care, you won’t regret it! You’ll also be supporting a women owned business! They also have beautiful space and ability to cater for hosting small intimate dreamy events.2016-11-25_00082016-11-25_00102016-11-25_00072016-11-25_00062016-11-25_0009

replenish spa co-op from rachel joy baransi on Vimeo.

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One of my foundational beliefs as a Christian is resurrection: God brings life out of death. This expectation of new life permeates everything I do–secular and spiritual. The season of Halloween–and its many cultural interpretations–is rooted in a tradition of honoring the dead. One way that Day of the Dead does this is by animating skulls, and filling representations of death with vivid colors.

In this shoot, Ashley and I felt liberated by our appearance. The vibrant color, and the handiwork of Annamarie, the gifted artist who designed our masks, empowered us to show emotion in unconventional ways. We did not need to smile or show our teeth to show the connection we shared to one another, and to practice, in a small way, resurrection.  – Chase

day-of-the-dead3381One of the first things I remember learning to draw was a skeleton. It was what my dad instructed most of his kindergartners when he taught art in Columbus. It made sense to teach a skull because that was the foundation for learning how to draw a face and no matter the differences in faces, our skulls look the same. 

Over middle school and high school, I took 5 years of Spanish. Something I really enjoyed about my Spanish classes was my teacher not only taught us about the language, but about the culture. She was from Cuba, so we learned about Cuban history, but also different Spanish-speaking ethnicities. We would also celebrate all of the Spanish-related holidays, including Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. I loved celebrating Day of the Dead. We would color sugar skulls and make paper flowers to decorate my teacher’s classroom. The background for celebrating was also something I was fascinated with. We celebrated life, instead of mourning a death. -Ashley

Read more of Ashley’s reflections HERE on her blog. day-of-the-dead3373day-of-the-dead3370day-of-the-dead3374day-of-the-dead3376day-of-the-dead3377day-of-the-dead3378day-of-the-dead3379day-of-the-dead3380day-of-the-dead3383day-of-the-dead3384day-of-the-dead3385day-of-the-dead3386day-of-the-dead3387day-of-the-dead3388day-of-the-dead3389day-of-the-dead3390
Floral crown by Bear Roots Floral Makeup by The Beauty Box 

“you can literally find anything in gold on the internet if you look hard enough”

“I’ve always been fascinated with gems and started a rock collection very early in life. Ironically my married name will become Erica Stone!” two of my favorite quotes from this lovely bride, Erica. I love that her and Trevor’s best bud, Omar (pup) was a part of their day. They really just reminded me of the cool kids. A little hip hop with their glasses, super stylish with their gold geometric shapes hidden in all places. Loved spending time walking around German Village with these two and capturing their fun spirits and wild group of friends! View full post »

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“Let’s do a shoot that involves cats … and motorcycles!” That was the sentence that began this project. Later we’d add to the list: deer teeth, parachute pants, and a grungy bouquet of flowers with roots still attached.

Those of us in the wedding industry work really hard during a chunk of the year we label busy season. Off-season is when we can catch up on shows in our Netlfix queue, visit our friends, take extended trips, and work on the back end of our business. It’s during this latter time I often feel the most artistic energy. Once those creative muscles have hibernated, coming back into the world to stretch them is one of the best things I can do for myself to kick off a new busy season.

Back to the shoot. A group of us creatives meet our perfect match–a young couple, married two years, who never had their wedding day in the sun. They married at a courthouse before moving abroad to teach English in Korea. No first look, no dress shopping, and no being doted upon. Even before we met our couple, we decided to stretch ourselves and what we consider possible by using one couple, one base outfit–but in wildly different aesthetics.

Whether married for two or twenty years, people are always coming up to me and saying, “I wish I would have known you when I got married!” So if you didn’t get the wedding photos you dreamed of on the day you said, “I do!” reach out to your wedding community. Because your dream is their dream. And if you’re planning your wedding now, don’t let the boxes hold you captive–details can take a vision to a whole new level! A few wild florals can transform a super simple room into a greenhouse, and a little moody make up and a leather jacket can make you some bad ass bikers!

“I just was doted on all day, it was really inspiring to me to just think about dabbling in my own personal creative endeavors. I like refurbishing stuff and decorating, and I’ve done a few projects lately inspired by the shoot. I’ve also started curling my hair more often now that I know it can look so BA.” Elaina, Bride

“The shoot allowed us to style cleanly and simply, but still create the dream scenarios we’ve always wanted to see with wedding days!” MStyle

Collaborating with friends has been one of the best things for my business. In our dream world, we’d work together at every wedding every weekend.

“I wanted to be part of the styled shoot because it seemed like something Elaina and I would have a lot of fun doing. I also thought my mom would be thrilled to see us dressed up in wedding clothes … I’ve learned more about event planning, floral arrangements, photography, hair and make-up in one day than I ever had before. It was just such an unusual day for me that when I think about it, it feels like a breath of fresh air” Bryce, Groom

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  • Kathy Piccari - Fabulous pictures of my niece and her husband!!!!ReplyCancel

“You make the goods great and the bads bearable” Brendon said to Shawn during his vows.

These two met working at Whole Foods a long time ago. He was a butcher, she was a baker. When I first sat down with Shawn and Brendon last winter, she recounted the beginning of their relationship, “ He’s the exact opposite of me. And his jokes were awful,” to which he responded, “They’re awesome.”

Shawn wanted to elope, Brendon wanted a wedding. “I had to go out of my comfort zone. He does it all the time for me. It was more important for him to have a wedding than it was for me to elope.”

Their wedding came together beautifully, the handiwork of their friends and family. They had a ton of ideas to make it a super-nerdy, totally-them affair. Included were their favorite toys, games, pop culture tributes, and much love for David Bowie. A couple weeks before the wedding, they hired my good friend Meredith of Auburn & Ivory to help with the finishing touches and their super clever signs. She did an amazing job researching and creating the most amazing signs, placed all around the barn. When Shawn walked in after it was all set up, she remembers thinking, “Meredith MADE the wedding. Going into the barn brought it up to a whole ‘nother level of realness for me.” After the ceremony, Shawn and Brendon had a mini-food truck fest, amazing dessert table with lots of vegan options, as well as a room full of games. The nerdage was on fleek.

Thank you, Shawn and Brendon, for sharing yourselves with me, letting me be there to witness and document and all the joys in between. You’re the coolest and I will gladly follow you around with my camera for the rest of our days.

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I didn’t realize how much I needed to get away for a couple days and glance back, with a bird’s-eye view of my life, until we arrived in Michigan. We’re in the middle of our busy season, so this oasis was all the more important–giving us a moment to rest, rejuvenate, and mentally prepare for what’s ahead.

I’m not always excited to pull out my camera for personal use because it seems to just create more work. But with the excitement of a new lens (hello, Sigma 35 Art) and Adam’s willingness to carry the camera in his bag, I am so thankful to have a few snapshots to document the days we spent with Andrew and Todd (even though the latter nor sailing made it into my big-girl-camera photos) in Traverse City. Thankfully, their handsome pups Ottis and Ollie cleared their schedules and let Adam and I bribe them into a photoshoot.

We had too much fun with boomerang, filling our dinnertimes with re-watching (and re-re-re-re-watching) the tiny clips which are so silly and yet so amazingly entertaining. (See Boomerang compilation below, if you so desire). Happy to have a mom who loves photography almost as much quite possibly more than we do and snapped a few photos of me and Adam (great job, mom).

On the way home, we got the invite from some cool used-to-live-in-Columbus friends to come check out their coffee shop, wildroot coffee, where we had the most delicious scones, rooibos soda, and my favorite, the iced maple latte. My mom freaked out with excitement because not only was her latte delicious, it was the first time she’d ever, “gotten a picture on my coffee!” (#latteart). To be celebrated. If ever considering taking a 15-minute detour to visit their shop in Flint, I urge you to do so.

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  • mads - Oh I LOVE THIS LIL POST.
    Seeing you with the fam made my face light up and s smile burst to my face when your mom’s photos with her arms wide opened appeared on the screen. I am so so glad you got a lil Sabbath time.
    ++ boomerang game is ON POINTReplyCancel

    • racheljoybaransi@gmail.com - thanks, friend <3 <3ReplyCancel

kevlin + billy1036

We loved starting the day off with a yoga at replenish, such a good way to bring minds to rest and for everyone to focus their intentions on the meaning of the day ahead. I was overjoyed when I arrived at Rockmill (a little bit before the bridal party) what a beautiful space. One of the most unique things about this wedding is that they hosted a pre-ceremony cocktail hour where Kevlin and Billy and their families were able to hug and greet their guests. Wedding days always go so fast and it’s hard to spend quality time (or even say “hi” to each person, so this was an amazing idea). The ceremony was lovely, it was followed by an amazing night of celebrating, laughing and crying during speeches and a super soulful dance party with the band Mojoflo. Kevlin and Billy, you created a dream world and we are so happy to share these photos and video from your day.

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