Reflections on Motherhood

I set a goal to take a self portrait every day for the month of February. Yes, it was nice that February was the shortest month because getting set-up to take self portraits is a lot of work (and I did miss a few days)! I knew that not every image would have the strongest composition or the best lighting, but together they would tell our story. 


Going from working outside the home full time, to part time, to leaving my corporate job completely has been an adjustment. I told my husband that even though it was what I wanted, I'd still complain to him all the time about how hard it is being at home. Many days seem to drag on and blur together, especially during the winter. I lose track of the day of the week and the last time I showered. 

Some days I feel as though I can get nothing accomplished. The house is messier than when the day started. It's a game to see if I can load the dishwasher faster than Theo can empty it. More dirty laundry gets created than gets washed. Quite often Theo eats his leftover breakfast still on his tray when I sit him down for lunch. But every day I love these tiny humans of mine. I do my best to teach them new things and influence the type of people they grow up to be. So it might not be a clear accomplishment I can check off of a to-do list, but I know as they grow up they will continue to make me a proud mother and they will be my greatest accomplishment.


I can't shower with out little man pulling back the curtain crying (and getting soaked). Going to the bathroom alone is now considered a luxury. Cooking dinner while holding a squirmy baby is no easy task and I don't know how Theo hasn't gotten burnt yet. It is really hard to put heart into reciting Frozen lines when it's the 10th time in a row we are acting it out. But how awesome is it to be loved that much by my kids that they don't want me out of their site? And it is the best feeling when Mackenzie tells me I'm her best friend. I know the time will come when they won't want to be around me all day everyday. So for now, I'll work on savoring it. 


I frequently lose my patience. I lash out and am not proud of it. But  my kids forgive me even without being asked. Just as I'm about to hit my breaking point, Theo will smile at me. Or Mackenzie will tell me it's ok and that she's here to help me. They seem to know exactly what I need exactly when I need it. As much as I am trying to teach them they keep finding ways to teach me. When my husband watches the kids so I can have much needed "me" time it doesn't take long until I'm wishing I was back with them.  


Motherhood is the hardest and most important job. No one provides you with an annual review telling you where your strengths are or where you need to focus on improving. There's no bonus tied to a job well done. I don't think it's possible to completely "figure it out." I have to trust my maternal instincts and believe that "mama knows best." It's a constantly asking myself what's best for my family, what's best for my kids, what is best for me. And the answers change. Finding balance is a never ending struggle.


I am grateful for a strong group of mom friends that provide me with reassurance that what I am going through is similar to the ups and downs they experience too. I'm also grateful to have this creative outlet to use to tell our story and to be able to look back and remember this season of life. Wiping snot and cleaning up spilt milk is far from glamorous work. Most days I don't know if I'm laughing or crying - it's usually a mixture of both. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

To all the mamas reading, your every day is perfectly imperfect. And your chaos is beautiful in its own special way. 


And I promise this will be the wordiest blog post I ever write :) 



A Special Occasion for Daddies and Daughters


I was watching the weather all week, and every fifteen minutes the day of. The rain decided to stop just in time to set-up outside. I had so much fun documenting these dads and their daughters before the Quantico Daddy Daughter Dance. It was an evening full of...





and sweet moments.


It was special to see the dads look at their daughters with such pride and love. And to see the daughters look up and at their dads with admiration.

Sparkling juice, snacks, and some Disney music made taking pictures fun for everyone. I am grateful for my neighbor who helped me host a successful event!


Military men and women serve both their county and families with such dedication. It was an honor for me to get to capture these memories. 

I can't wait to document more occasions in the future!



Ugly Locations, Pretty Pictures

One of my favorite things about being a photographer is being a part of various communities. It’s exciting to connect with and be inspired by photographers living all over the world. One particular group I am a part of does monthly challenges. For the month of January, the challenge was to find ugly locations to turn into awesome portraits. Here are the 3 locations I used:

1.     Random Building

I’d driven by this building numerous times. I have no idea what it is, but the colorful graffiti caught my eye.



2.     My Laundry Room

If I had to pick the ugliest room in my house, it would  be my laundry room. So much junk gets tossed in it. I thought it would be fun to play with the reflection from the washer and dryer even in the middle of the mess.



3.     Quantico Obstacle Course

My husband works as an instructor at The Basic School for the Marine Corps. It is an ugly work location. But I thought it would be fun to document my kids at his work. And the obstacle course used for training was the perfect spot. Plus, I got a lot of sweet images of my little ones with dad.



I love this art because there are always new challenges to tackle, new concepts to explore, and new ways to be inspired!

4 Reasons to Invest in a Lifestyle Family Video Session

Here are 4 reasons why you should add life, sound, and motion to your family portraits by investing in a video session.

1.     Tell your story

Every family has a story to tell. Let me help tell yours. Let’s document your everyday moments! Children are growing, learning, and changing every single day.  A video session is a perfect way to bottle it all up. It is a way to remember how they are today, forever. I want to authentically capture you and your perfectly imperfect life.

2.     Connect on an emotional level

A video session brings motion and sound to your family portraits. It allows you to feel the connections and love between family members. A family video pairs the sound of your children’s laughter with music.

3.     Capture the details

A family video is a great way to remember life’s little moments. There are some details about our kids that we become so used to in the hustle of our everyday busy lives. But when you can pause, and watch it played back you’ll have a whole new appreciation for those special details.

4.     Watch it over and over

A family video is something your kids will be able to watch over and over. It is a keepsake they’ll have for the rest of their lives

I can’t wait to capture your memories in motion! Contact me now to start planning your session!

Enjoy the Nolan's family film!


To view more Rachael Laurin videos go to

Welcome Baby Charlie // A Lifestyle Newborn Session


In home newborn sessions tell a story of what life was like when bringing home a new baby. They show where a family lived, how the nursery was decorated, the way an older sibling interacts, and the happiness a tiny baby brings a family.

The story you may not know from these pictures is that this mama managed a move, getting ready for the holidays, and preparing for a new baby all while on bed rest. Enjoy these images from a recent lifestyle newborn session!