Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Interview with Aspiring Images - Winner of the April Team Challenge

Meet Rachel of Aspiring Images

Who are you?
Greetings! My name is Rachel Abrahams, of the Etsy shop Aspiring Images by Rachel. I have a day job but in my off time I follow my creative obsession: photography. I am married and we own two dogs, a Otis (the Pug) & Pac (the Great Dane) - we call them the odd couple. They are both so funny and sweet.

How did you come about your Etsy store name?
I wanted something that was different than the typical [Insert Name] Photography. I listed several words I felt were positive & inspiring and using the Thesaurus eventually landed upon the word “Aspire”, adjusted it, and tacked it to Aspiring Images by Rachel. This, along with several other names, was voted on by my friends and family and Aspiring Images by Rachel was the definite front runner. I feel that for all artists we are constantly striving to get better at what we love to do. We have our aspirations and goals and I felt this was perfect to epitomize my journey I am taking to develop my photography skills in, what I like to call, my photography adventures.

Where does your inspiration come from?
Everywhere I look, I constantly am framing images in my mind and wondering “with this light/composition/location could I get a really amazing picture?” It’s something I’ve done for as long as I can remember. It kills me when I see something that I know would be an amazing shot and I can’t get it either because I don’t have my camera with me or it’s in a location I can’t quite get to.

How would you describe your creative process?
Honestly, I tend to be an all or nothing kind of gal. I will go through these, somewhat obsessive, bursts of inspiration and then it will cool off for a bit. Hot and cold. When I am being obsessive, I refer to my list I keep of places/things I would like to photograph and decide “I am going to shoot that tonight/tomorrow/this weekend” and then it’s all I can think about. I start planning it, looking up tips online, try to predict lighting & weather, what I will need, and then just go for it. Sometimes I come back with amazing stuff and other times, it’s more like “Eh, it’s ok”. Either way, I learn from it and that is the best part of it all.
Most of my time isn’t spent in the field shooting but actually on my computer backing up my files, editing, and organizing them. This can be very draining but it’s a necessary evil in order to ensure nothing is lost. That motivates me to make sure it is done correctly.
I am trying to teach myself to be more consistent and just keep plucking at it but that’s not easy for my true nature. When I am not feeling very inspired to find something to shoot I now fill that time with learning more about the technical aspects of photography & Photoshop. I also love using my RSS Reader and looking at the blogs of other folks who do amazing photography as well as the community I’ve created on Flickr. The inspiration there is endless.

When did you know you were an artist?
Me? An artist? That idea still amazes me. Growing up, I was super creative in everything, especially performing arts, but I never considered myself an “artist”. The idea of getting into photography was never obvious to me but everyone around me always tells me they knew someday this would be my “thing” because I was ALWAYS taking pictures of our events, activities, hanging out, etc. It made me so happy to share those photos with people but they weren’t really for a creative purpose. When I was doing study abroad in London, it hit me I wanted to take these amazing pictures but didn’t have the technical skill I needed sometimes. I still tried and came home with some beautiful pictures. It was then that I knew this was my true creative calling and I was now actively seeking to learn more about photography.
What do you enjoy "window shopping" on Etsy on your free time?
I can’t resist “window shopping” jewelry, especially earrings. There are such beautiful pieces on Etsy and I think my favorites list is 90% jewelry. It’s amazing the things that are on Etsy and I am so appreciative of how hard people work to create unique & beautiful items. There is something for everyone on Etsy, for sure.

What other interests do you have?
I absolutely LOVE to read. I read a ton of books, subscribe to multiple magazines, and always have way more blogs to read than I can possibly finish. We live near Disney and have year-round passes, so I am there as often as possible and it’s wonderful because there’s no pressure to do every single little thing because we know we can come back anytime we please. I like to make sure I have myself surrounded by inspirational music, food, books, podcasts, etc, so that every single day I am learning something new. The idea of settling in and saying “Ho Hum. My world is what’s on TV’s Primetime, my news is whatever the local channel tells me is important, & my food comes from the chain that sells that bland everything everyone likes” just kills me. If there’s a day that goes by where I haven’t discovered something new about this world, I feel I haven’t lived up to my own standards – and those standards are pretty darn high. Gotta keep things interesting, ya know?

What are some other sites to find out more about you and your art?
Blog: AspiringImagesbyRachel.blogspot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AspiringImagesbyRachel
Twitter: www.twitter.com/AspiringImages

What would be the title of your memoir? Why?“The Fantastical Adventures of a Funky Foreign Kid”
So, let me explain. In regards to the “Funky Foreign Kid”, I grew up living in the Middle East for most of the 80’s, so I always like to joke I missed the 80’s and am now trying to make up for it by listening to the music non-stop. Because of this, it always provides loads of entertainment to my friends when they discover I don’t know what a certain phrase means, never have seen a popular TV show/movie, or when I describe what was normal in MY childhood and it’s nowhere near what kids in the US encountered while growing up. As a result, I was nicknamed “Foreign Kid” or “Fez” (from That 70’s Show). For “The Fantastical Adventures” that definitely references one of my friends’ favorite pastimes, which is listening to a “Rachel Story”. Inevitably, it’s some crazy/wacky story of something that happened to me and it is never fails to be hilarious/crazy/unbelievable and provides loads of entertainment. What can I say, I seem to have a weirdo magnet attached to me. I love it though because my life is definitely an adventure – even for something as simple as grocery shopping!


  1. Rachel,
    You are a rare gem with a wonderful personality and spirit. This enhances your gift... of taking a picture and capturing its essence.
    Keep taking photos, your images are aspiring!

  2. Congrats on winning the challenge! Wonderful interview!!

  3. Great stories! The Teacups is one of my favorite of Rachel's.
    Great interview! And I'm not just saying that.

  4. I love the Teacup ride and that is a beautiful picture!

  5. Wow, that is a gorgeous photo.