virginia photographer

Wedding Inspiration // Lowndes Grove, Charleston SC // Rachiel Q Photography

I had been very interested with film photography for over 6 months now. So when I learned about a workshop hosted by a hybrid photographer, Carlos Hernandez, I quickly jumped in. And, let me tell you, I am SO glad that I did! The workshop was such a great experience. Not only we got to learn from an established film photographer, but we also got to use those techniques right away and able to photograph a lovely set up designed by Tristan of Tristan Needham Design.  Here are some of my favorite images from the workshop.


The details are to die for...



Getting close to the golden hour!

Mentor : @carloshernandezphoto

Designer / Stylist : @tristanneedhamdesign

HMU : @ashandcobridalhair

Florist : @earlyginny

Dress / Earrings : @BHLDN

Suit : @altonlaneweddings

Shoes : @bellabelleshoes

Venue (Lowndes Grove) : @pphgevents…/lowndes-grove-plantation/

Model : @millielewischs

 Jewelry : @susiesaltzman

Cake : @tessapinner

Rentals : @eventworksrentals

Paper : @victoriakrav


Asha + Lance // Great Falls National Park // Rachiel Q Photography

I was thrilled when Asha contacted me last January to do their engagement photos. When I asked her if they would be interested in a sunrise session, she quickly got excited! She asked Lance, and of course, he agreed!  I knew instantly I was going to have fun with them. No distance or time could stop this adventurous couple to have their love documented in a setting that fits their personalities.  

These two met in Spring of 2015 at a homeschool convention. They both exchanged email addresses, but did not really keep in touch until Summer of 2016, when they met again at a Summer camp. This time, they spent time with each other; "sat out under the stars one night and talked about life. And then the rest is history", as Lance would say. Their favorite color is blue. They both love going on walks, hiking, and watching a lot of movies together.

Lance describes Asha as beautiful, with a deep mind and spirit. While Asha, describes Lance as "loyal, kind, deep, and gentle but strong". She says he has a heart of a five year old who loves to make puns and tease her. She added, "He is someone who genuinely loves me." 

When I asked them to describe each others sense of style, he describes hers as "definitely more modern and in the loop than mine is". Asha, on the other hand, describes his as "casual but he likes dressing up".  In other words, "half lumberjack-half milord"! :D

The day of their session is nothing but an adventure. They hiked down a steep and icy path in a bitterly cold weather.

Here are some of my favorites from that session.



A Start of a New Journey with Film

I am not much of a social media person but it is definitely a must when you're trying to run a small business.  Since you're going to be seeing a lot of film photos here, it just make sense to write my very first blog post about how and why I fell in love with film photography.

Here it goes!

My interest in film started about 5 months ago when I joined an online group full of talented hybrid photographers. Didn't know what "hybrid" meant in a photography standpoint, but I eventually caught up. I was mesmerized with their work that I eventually wanted to try it out. So one day, 5 months ago, I went to my local thrift store to see if they have some old analog cameras. Lo and behold, inside of a gleaming glass casement, I found an old Ricoh camera with a lens for $14! Yay! My first thought was, “Who's Ricoh?” Nevertheless, I was very excited that I bought it without knowing whether it worked or not.  I went to my local pharmacy and bought a box of consumer film. (Yes. They still sell film at CVS!)

Ricoh XR-10 with Rikenon P 50mm 1.7 and Fuji Superia 400

Ricoh XR-10 with Rikenon P 50mm 1.7 and Fuji Superia 400

So what would a normal person do when they want to learn something? That's right!  I watched a TON of YouTube videos about "how to load film" and "how to use an old film camera". The next day, I brought the camera with me to a botanical garden to practice with a goal of shooting just ONE roll. But, boy oh boy, was I wrong! The moment I first took that photo and advanced the shutter, I fell head over heels. The sound of a mechanical camera makes was music to my ears. There is something very intimate about it-- by knowing you can only take certain amount of photos, you slow down and think of what you’re going to capture. No complicated settings to toggle back and forth. It was so simple, yet so much fun.

Any how, my intention of shooting with just one roll went to the garbage. I shot the whole box. (That's 4 rolls of film!) I completely ignored the fact that the camera might not even be working, it was just that addicting!

Fast forward, I sent the rolls to a film lab to be processed and scanned. I remember being so anxious to get them back that I checked my email 10 times a day. 10 days later, the moment finally arrived, I got my scans back! I opened the email with so much anticipation, I was shaking.  I dissected every single image: some were good, but many of them were bad! I found out that my camera had some light leak and in need of new seals. (See orange band on images)  

The first few rolls were disasters.

But it got better with the 3rd and 4th rolls.

Even though the images were not what I had hoped them to be, I'm still glad I gave film a go.  I bought a much better film camera since then and I enjoy every moment I use it.  

Until next time!


P.S. Even though I was a little discouraged with my first scans, I found new appreciation to them 5 months later. I don’t know how, but I love them even more now and I am so proud of them.