Celebrating Mothers :: Brooks Alberta Family Photographer ::

This is a bit of a personal post, and I am certainly not the best about writing about myself!
I love writing about how amazing you are dear reader and client, but I will take a moment to share about about me and my own life
and why I think photographs are so important.

All of the photos below are of me!
This is a little history of my adult life as a daughter and as a mother.

I was very lucky to have the very best mother in the whole wide world.
Yes, I am totally biased; she was kind of a big deal!
My Mom and I were great friends. We travelled the world together, along with my Dad and Brother and
later on in life we did a trip together to China and Tibet. We loved each other, we spoke almost daily and she coached me to find the silver lining in life daily.
She was positive, happy, motivating and also human, which means we had our fair share of fights and struggles.
She also taught me how to be brave, how to admit when I was wrong, or how to fight when I was right.

My Mom passed away almost 5 years ago and I think about her every single day.
That is not an exaggeration at all. I really do. I miss her, but I also think about how happy
I am that she was my mother, or I think of how much she would laugh at what my kids are doing,
and sometimes I think of how she might not agree with how little I clean my windows!

My Mom had this funny thumb, it was a bit double jointed, and the nail was wobbly on top, maybe from a hammer accident in her youth,
and her hands were well worn. If anything, she was a hard worker, and used her hands to garden, woodwork, haul furniture, and her
hands were a great expresser of her work. I miss her funny thumb. I miss her rubbing it on my temple when I couldn’t sleep at night when I was
younger. And hilariously enough, I love that I have a photo of her hand, and although not her funny thumb hand but I can feel the expression in her hand,
and the way it’s getting ready to steady me.

These photographs are treasures for me.
This is why I love being a photographer and capturing your life moments, your hugs, your kisses, your tears,
because I know how important they are for myself.
I believe in life’s authentic moments and being in the photo, and passing it on.
Which is why I know it’s important for Moms to also get in the photo.
The first photo of my Mom and I is actually one of my daughters favourite photos. I love that we are looking at each other.
If I’m telling the truth, we both started crying. It was hard to take these photos. My Mom was sick at this point, and we just wanted to hold
onto each other forever, and I am lucky to have a photo for myself of what that felt like.

Now being a mother myself, I think of all the amazing moments I get to share with my kids.
Their high moments and their low moments.
I try to raise them up and keep them organized and love them to bits.
I never really know what that looks like as I am usually the one photographing them being funny, candid, creative or wild!
Luckily I have some amazing and talented friends who have photographed us on separate occasions.
I now have my own story with my own children. Sometimes it’s beautiful, sometimes it’s raw but it’s my life and I love it.

My own story also includes my mother in law, because lets be honest, my kids wouldn’t be around with out her!
While I miss seeing my own Mom mess around with my kiddos, I’m always thankful for the loving relationship I have with
Trudi, my mother in law, and the love she showers on my kids and the kindness she bestows on me.
I know that when I have something totally silly to share, she will listen, and my kids know that when I am being
a total bear, Grandma will save them. We have a great relationship and a great life all together. I have included one photo in this mix of her
and her Mom, and Geordie ( my husband) and our eldest daughter, that I love from our time together in Manitoba some years ago.
Trying to find a photo of Trudi and I together is hard, so we might need our own session to fix that up!

To celebrate Mothers, I am hosting a Mothers Day Event in Brooks Alberta on May 13th, 2017
It’s Mom or Grandma’s chance to get in front of the camera with their own mothers, or their own children and create a visual story of their own.


Date: May 13, 2017 10.00am – 3.00pm
Location: Brooks, Alberta (at a local park, yet to be determined)
Cost: Sessions are $60.00 + GST and include 1 digital image.
Sessions are 15 minutes. You will receive 10 images in your viewing gallery.
Additional digital images can be purchased for $75.00/each or the whole session is available for $340.00 +GST.
Prints sold separately.

You must RSVP to book your spot by emailing rachel@rachelboekel.com or calling 403-363-7579

*Alternatively a Gift Certificate for a family session is also a lovely way to celebrate.

Photos below are by a bevy of lovely and talented photographers:
Brittany Esther, Dana Pugh, Roxy Grove & Niki Boon

BoekelFamily191Photos by Brittany Esther



Photo by Brittany Esther – I can just feel her hand on me, I love this moment, this frame this capture from my wedding day.


Maternity photos by Dana Pugh – sheesh that was a chilly dip in the river, but I’m so glad we did it!

Newborn Photos also by Dana Pughboekelheal-108


This is another favourite. Love our moment together with my Mom.


Photo by Brittany Esther.


Nothing like getting kisses from your mom to make you laugh!


Newborn Photos by Roxy GroveIMG_4805

This photo is also a favourite. My Mom passed away a month and a half later, but was there for
the birth of our second daughter!

I love this silly capture by my amazing husband.


Newborn Photos by Roxy Grove.084Parks

Boekel Family 2016 (52 of 455)

These classic ‘us’ moments were captured by Niki Boom during a family session in Canmore late last year.
I love that these really represent me as a mother and our ordinary lovely life!Boekel Family 2016 (108 of 455)

Boekel Family 2016 (352 of 455)

Thanks for checking in!

I hope to meet you behind my camera soon!

xx, Rachel

April 10, 2017 - 7:07 pm Debbie Berg - Rachel, thank you for sharing such deep special personal moments. The eloquent words and moving photo's expose your soul to us all. Love them all.

April 12, 2017 - 2:07 pm Lisa Ochowycz - Beautiful Rach! My heart is full (and my eyes with tears.) Oh, the power of photography!

April 13, 2017 - 10:16 am Ryan Kiedrowski - Amazing to have those memories! It's wild how an image can transport you back to a moment (we had that same wood coffee table, too!).

April 18, 2017 - 12:30 am Marlies Lammers - Dear Rachel, Once in a while I take a peek at your blog. I'm glad you're doing well. Beautiful pictures of you and your family. Greetings from Amsterdam! Marlies Lammers (your cousin)

Ice Queen Maternity Session :: Brooks Alberta Photographer ::

 Lake Newell at Kinbrook Island Provincial Park never looked so good!
Dressed in a blue and purple haze, with jagged ice chucks bursting through, the frozen lake provided
a brilliant backdrop for a collaborative maternity session.

To be honest, I was nervous. I had this idea in my head of what I wanted, but sometimes pulling that off is really
really hard. I have wanted to photograph a maternity session on the expansive Lake Newell, Alberta in winter for years,
but coordinating a maternity with winter, the right weather and a willing model isn’t something that just happens.

Lucky me, Aimee was game and the weather was amazing.
We actually held off one day, and we were gifted a calm, snowy, blue sky day.
When I spotted the jagged ice chunks, I felt like I had won the photo lottery!

I had photographed Aimee and Chris’s ranch wedding several years ago at Aimee’s family Broadview Ranch, which is just north of
Brooks, Alberta. So, having the chance to photograph this next phase of their life is such an honour.

When I told Aimee my ideas of a frozen Lake Newell maternity session, she mentioned she had her grandmothers Mink Stole that might
compliment the session and BOOM, my brain was buzzing.
Somehow, the idea of coloured smoke bombs came into the picture.
While we were all a bit skeptical and a bit unsure, I can say that what we accomplished makes me proud.

Smoke Bombs are completely new to me and I was lucky enough to have my friend Marise with me
to do all of the igniting, running, and smoke work. Who knew! This was too much fun!
(If you scroll to the bottom you can check out a behind the scenes image of smoke work in action)

What do you think of this session? I’d love to hear!

Aimee looks like the Ice Queen of Lake Newell.













A little behind the scenes shot! Boy did we have fun! Thanks Marise for your hard work!


Baby Branson :: Bassano Alberta Newborn Photography ::

I love a winter newborn session. When it’s snowy, or grey, or blowing outside, being inside with a little
baby is just about the coziest thing in the world.
This little boy was no exception. It took us a few moments to get to know each other, and after
that it was smooth sailing. This little guy was super easy and made for a fun afternoon, and his
parents were pretty great too!

Newborns can be tricky and sometimes it can be tricky if the new Mom and Dad are unsure of me,
but these two new parents have this show dialled and this little guy was just 4 days old. They looked like
old hats in the game and boy oh boy did I ever love their big laughs and loving gaze at their sweet boy.

It was awesome finding out that these two were married in Canmore, Alberta (my hometown!) and
getting to share some connections to the mountains while being firmly planted in the wild and wide prairies.
I’m always glad to veer off the highway into Bassano, AB and have a purpose there.
One of my favourite places to visit in the summer is the Bassano outdoor pool. Have you been? It’s a total win.
That’s only for the summer, and since it’s still snowy, wintery and well, Winter, grab a cup of something
warm and check out this cute, cozy and snuggly little winter baby.

Thank you Louise and Darby for inviting me to photograph your little beauty!











I’m totally in love with this painting, which I found out was by Justine Louis.

Brian’s 65th Birthday :: Brooks Alberta Family Photographer ::

Oh Boy!
Talk about ideal day and oh so wonderful session!
I’m not entirely sure the feelings were mutual when I showed up to photograph Brian early in the morning for his 65th Birthday,
but after a pretty cozy tractor ride, I think we found our groove!
It’s not easy to be photographed and followed so closely, and trust me, I get that.
Last year we had the most talented Niki Boon come into our home at 7am and start photographing us in our pj’s!
That was wild, and uncomfortable in the beginning, but oh so worth it when we saw our crazy life through her eyes.
So, technically Brian got off easy as I wasn’t there that early!!
Debbie, Brian’s wife, had organized this sessions as a gift for Brian and I was elated.

As you might have caught on from previous posts, I am very much loving my documentary work at the moment.
So, getting a chance to take in and photograph something as unique and beautiful as a morning on a ranch was like candy.

Feeding cows is a daily ritual for Brian and his family.
For them, all of this stuff is normal and ordinary. For me, it was extraordinary.
I loved learning about the land; hearing about their family history, where the blue herons set up camp for a summer,
where the creek was good for skating and watching bald eagles. There is richness in these stories and in this life.

I was very honoured to be trusted with the opportunity to take these photos.
I’ve included a slideshow this time as I feel like it captures the rhythm of the day nicely.
I would really love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you Debbie and Brian for including me in such a special day!

March 15, 2017 - 10:50 am Marise - LOVE IT!

March 15, 2017 - 11:17 am Julie - Awesome. Awesome. Awesome... LOVE the new video! What a GIFT to him and his entire beautiful family to have these photo's to treasure. Great work, Rachel!

March 15, 2017 - 2:41 pm Lauren - This is fantastic Rachel! What a wonderful keepsake for Brian and family!

March 15, 2017 - 5:20 pm Carmen wedman - Pride, love, and admiration. Love my Uncle Brian. You captured a morning in their home beautifully. I have been blessed to spend mornings with the Bergs growing up. Always a warm and welcoming home.

And baby makes five :: Brooks Alberta Lifestyle Documentary Photographer ::

I had the fabulous experience of photographing Ryan and Sarah at Sarahs families ranch before Christmas, and before
sweet P was born. That session at Broadview Ranch re-ignited a deep longing for documentary photography work
and I think it told a wonderful story of how this sweet family spends time together.

Fast forward to the end of December and I spent a lovely morning with them in their home in Brooks, Alberta
with their brand new baby girl. Oh boy is she ever beautiful.

I always feel so lucky to be a part of a families life photographically when a new baby has arrived.
When its’ your first born the session is definitely more organized, and moves at a different pace.
When it its your third a newborn session takes place in between combing a five year olds stuffs hair,
games of chop the tree or in the middle of a tickle fight. Times of calmness are filled with siblings dancing, singing and
racing around. These are the moments that I get so excited about, and these are the moments I’m excited to share with you today.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this session, you can leave a comment below.
Does a documentary lifestyle session interest you? Can you feel the fun, chaos and emotions and honesty of the day.
Does this session show you see how much fun this family has in their extraordinary ordinary?

Congratulations Sarah and Ryan on your most beautiful family of five!

xo, Rachel














February 7, 2017 - 7:14 am Carmen wedman - I love this family and love how you captured the little moments that makes you feel like you are right there with them.

February 7, 2017 - 7:52 am Julie - Rachel - I have been a big fan of your blog for a long time. Your new documentary work is excellent. I love watching families grow through your photographs. Keep it up!

February 7, 2017 - 5:48 pm Wendy Frank - Such amazing photos of the Summach family of five!!

February 7, 2017 - 6:15 pm Maggie Theiss - Love the beauty of the "ordinary" moments of living which through your eye become quite "extraordinary" and love this growing family! Captured blessings and joy!

Feature Friday :: Amanda Ozadczuk and Lindsay Hopp – Makeup Artists ::

I wanted to start a Feature Friday post ever since I did one a couple weeks ago, and then
joked with all of you that it “wasn’t a thing” But, maybe it could be a thing!

For awhile I have been wanting to highlight all of the fabulous wedding industry people that I get to work with
on a fairly regular basis in Brooks, AB and area as well as in Canmore, AB.
There is nothing as great as showing up to an event and seeing your friends working their magic.

So, I’m starting with Lindsay and Amanda.
I have had the privilege of working with these girls for almost 8 years.
It all started way back when Lindsay was married and I was hired to be her wedding photographer.
From there, it’s been a snowball of collaborations, weddings, family photo sessions and events.
I’m going to share some old work that we have done together below. It’s almost vintage!

Lindsay and Amanda are both Brooks, Alberta locals and have worked as estheticians for many years.
Before beginning families they owned a joint business, Adora Day Spa, in Duchess, Alberta and have since moved to home based businesses with
a strong mobile make up wedding business. They have a knack for creating a natural look, and I always know that when I get to work
with them, I don’t have to worry about editing out makeup lines or minor imperfections, they get it right.

I think one of the perks of living in a small town and working in a small town is the connectivity to people and clients on a daily basis and
I think Amanda and Lindsay would agree that it’s always fun to see familiar faces at events and to have the opportunity to
work with people over and over again. After photographing Lindsay’s wedding I had the privilege of photographing
several of her friends weddings and then their families as they grow and having the chance to see
the same people again really relaxed my role as a photographer
as I had already established relationships within certain wedding parties and I felt more freedom.

As a team Lindsay and Amanda have enviable connection. Friends and Business Partners. Dreamy!
I’ve loved watching them work together and just “get” what the other one is doing, or what needs to be done.
They create a very positive and relaxing environment for their clients and I am always lucky when I get to be
there as a fly on the wall, watching their clients reaction to their work on their wedding day.

So, I’ve giving them my first Feature Friday.
If you are a bride in the Brooks, Alberta area, getting married this year, or next year and looking for a reliable, natural, positive MUA experience,
here is how to get in touch with them….
Lindsay: 403-363-9420 and Amanda 403-378-4648

Happy Weekend!




I told you vintage! This is Lindsay & Amanda + Rachel & Vermelho (Canmore, AB)  hair collaboration circa 2007alex



Then Lindsay got married to Logan.


Then Amanda’s little boy arrived. 

Then Lindsay’s little girl.farrah_6210.bw

Then Lindsays little boy.hardy
And then everyone is in this new fabulous stage of their lives; raising families and working hard!


Boy that was a fun look back down memory lane!
Thanks for joining!

Canmore Pop Up Event – Mini Sessions

Last year when I hosted a Pop Up Photography Event in Canmore, Alberta
it had been super warm the week before, and then froze, so it was a very icy day, and I’m happy to report that
we had no injuries, but I had a lot of fun and have decided to host it again.

What is a Pop Up Event?
A Pop Up Event is a afternoon of Mini Sessions
Each Mini Session is 10 minutes long

How much does it cost?
The 10 minute session costs $70.00 +GST
Included in the price is 3 images that you get to keep.

How do I know which 3 images I get to keep?
You Choose!
In a 10 minute session I typically take enough images that you will
have between 10 -20 unique images in your gallery to choose from.

What if I want all of the photos you take?
I offer a very discounted rate to purchase your entire gallery.
$125.00+GST will get you your entire gallery.
Prints, Canvas or individual jpgs are available to purchase atregular price.

How can you take a FUN family portrait in 10 minutes?
I have a lot of experience in portraiture and actually find that my best photos for a more formal,
but still candid session, happen in the first 10 minutes.
Also, if you have children, their attention spans last about 5 minutes!

Where will the event location be?
I like to be picky and choose the location up to a day before hand.
Weather, and ground conditions change quickly so I like to choose wisely.
It will be within the Canmore, AB townsite area and you will be notified as soon as I know.

Sessions will run every 20 minutes between 11am – 3pm on Saturday February 4th.
You must reserve your spot.
Email me: rachel@rachelboekel.com or call me @ 403-363-7579 to reserve your spot.

I look forward to photographing you!


Feature Friday :: Canadian Lifestyle Photographer ::

This blog post is so loaded with good stuff.
Are you really ready for it all?

My Feature Friday
(which IS NOT actually a thing, in case you come back next Friday expecting this same awesomeness)
is so full of great things, starting with the Giveaway Winner….

A two hour documentary lifestyle session.

Thank you to all of you who took the time to comment on my blog with your extraordinary ordinary, and also those
who took the time to share my Instagram and Facebook messages.
I am looking forward to a year of photographing your true stories, and this is just the tip of an giant iceberg.

So… back to the winner, who was drawn randomly from a hat, last night, at my house is…..

Ryan Kiedrowski!

I’ll get in touch with you via Facebook!

Next up…
If you are from Brooks, Alberta, you are likely familiar with the Pink Ribbon Project a local event which raises awareness and provides education about breast cancer.
PRP as it is known as is part of the Full Circle Foundation (FCF), which is a local non-profit organization that does education, advocacy and fundraising for wellness,
including mental health and suicide prevention. And, why might you ask am I bringing this up?
Because the FCF is huge part of the Rutherfords families life, and they are my documentary lifestyle photo family featured today.
The FCF organization was founded by the Rutherford girls and a group of friends,
now turned dedicated board members who are committed to making a difference in Brooks.

I met the Rutherford family early on in my days in Brooks. Jody and Doug always had a friendly wave and a bright hello to offer and their
daughters, Ashley, Carmen and Tara share the same bright kindness.
I was more formally introduced to them all through Ashley and Dales wedding
several years back. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I had a bit of a friend crush on this family.
The speeches, love, care and attention that were a part of Ashley and Dales wedding is not something that I had seen often,
or have seen to the same degree since.
The longer I have lived in Brooks, AB, the more I have gotten to know them.
From photographing Carmen and Adam’s family when P was just a wee man, to maternity sessions and many large family sessions, I have had
the opportunity to watch this family grow and to see the love and appreciation and very importantly, the respect that they have for each other.
More so, they are supporters of each others important causes.
When Jody, was diagnosed with breast cancer, they took it upon themselves to use their information
as knowledge that could be passed on to others and they started the PRP which is a local town favourite event to attend every year.
(If you have never attended an event, I highly recommend it being on your social calendar this year)
When Dales brother, Dallas, died by suicide almost 2 years ago, they decided to bring mental health and suicide prevention to their mandate.
Their constant support of each other is strong and admirable.
I also love watching the men in this family support their wives and each other.
Dougs gentle and caring way is so large when you get to watch him with this daughters and grandkids.

Ashley, Tara and Carmen are a tight knit sister unit and are often seen together.
When they are not our running marathons as a team in support of the Movember Foundation,
they are building relationships at the Alberta Legislature for the FCF. (This makes me wonder what I actually got done last year!)
And, this weekend they are teaming with our very own Brooks Bandits Minor Hockey Team to “Break the Silence” during their charity jersey night on Saturday January 21st.
Game goers are encouraged to wear green in support of the Bandits, who are partnering with  the Full Circle Foundation and
Grasslands Innovation Wellness Team in Brooks for this years event with proceeds of the jersey auction going to the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Isn’t this awesome! Their energy is infectious!

This past December I asked the Rutherfords if I could come and photograph them again.
But this time, with a lifestyle documentary spin.
They invited me into their home during their annual
“Skate on Dougs homemade rink and decorate gingerbread in Jodi’s kitchen”
With 8 adults and 6 kids I was excited to see what would unfold.
I’ve made a video slideshow to highlight some of my favourite moments.
Enjoy and head out to cheer on the Bandits and this fine family at tomorrow nights hockey game.

January 20, 2017 - 11:22 am Ryan Kiedrowski - Oh wow!!! We are beyong excited! Thanks for this amazing gift - can't wait to have you visit our crazy crew!

January 24, 2017 - 12:39 pm Debra Berg - magnificent Rachel...you can fly. Love this concept.

Meyer Family :: Lifestyle Documentary Photography ::

I want to preface this post with a little story.

In November, Melanie asked me if I could come and do some family portraits for her family at their farm
and I was immediately excited, because, as you may know, my favourite sessions are home sessions. I was still expecting a formal portrait session.
I was just headed to the Real Life Conference, in Canmore, Alberta, so I was looking forward to having this session to come home to Brooks, AB to afterwards.
Fast forward to the day of the session and Melanie says something like this to me, at 8.30am as I show up to their house;
“We will get dressed for a couple nice portraits, but then we are hoping to just get playing in the yard, feed the chickens, start a little fire
and have you photograph us as is.”

If only my heart could make an audible sound.

This was like a gold nugget landing in my lap.

This, if you have read my previous post, is what I am talking about.

Melanie and Ben have a farm just outside of Brooks, AB, along the Rolling Hills HWY, they grow all sorts of crops and have a focus on potatoes.
They have a large backyard with a bright red chicken coop and the most intricately feathered chickens. I had to laugh at some of their names;
Kip (the dutch word for chicken). Little miss V was happy to show me around the coop, which had the cutest curtains hanging at the window, and
was also so kind and generous as to send me home with two eggs, which turned into tasty lunchtime treats for us in the frying pan.

Being able to just hang about and watch the Meyer family have a tickle fight in the leaves and then see R having a moment of discomfort as crunchy leaves fell down his back,
and witnessing the always glee filled moment of V jumping into the big pile of leaves was the kind of photographic fun I was hoping for.
When it became a little chilly, everyone huddled around the fire. Pinecones were tossed in, marshmallows were consumed and a little family moment was captured.

Enjoy this lovely November session.






meyerfamily_1884 meyerfamily_0050








January 16, 2017 - 1:23 pm Kerri Moeller - Love, love the images captured by the lifestyle photo sessions ❤️

January 16, 2017 - 1:57 pm Amanda Martin - Love the idea of real life pics! We live on a farm/ranch with cattle and have always wanted pics with cattle.

January 17, 2017 - 2:46 pm Kayleigh Paddock - I absolutely love this idea of real life photos!

January 18, 2017 - 3:56 pm Shelly Prins - This is so fantastic. Would love to have photos of our crazy family in action instead of hoping that they do a normal face for a "still" photo.

Oh, but my darling, What if you fly?

“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask, “What if I fall?”
Oh, but my darling,
What if you fly?”

- Erin Hanson

A dear friend of mine recently reminded me of this quote, which has circled many a pinterest and etsy board, and it feels so pertinent right now.

Once flying was in my head, I felt like everyone was flying… much like when starting looking for a red car, there are suddenly red cars everywhere.
I even began to see flying in my own work, so I have dedicated this end of year, beginning of the new year, post to flying and all of the flying
photos I have taken in 2016.

Oh, but the fall, the big bad fall!
Sigh, I think we’ve all been afraid to fall, but I’m learning that the flight is actually very amazing and if you do take the time to scroll down, you will see the
immense joy on every single child, family, husband and wife and even dog’s face that is in flight.
It struck me so hard when I realized, this simple simple thing. What. If. You. Fly.

So, the short version to a very long story is that I’m inspired. I want to fly!
I’ve been contemplating change in my photography work for several months now, but figuring out how to convince you dear reader, or
how to implement the change has been my hurdle. What if I fall?!!

The change I am after is authenticity.
I’m not going to bore you with my narrative about how I feel like Instagram, Facebook, and the social media world is hindering authenticity.
I’m inspired to start telling stories again, and more specifically your story.
I’m interested in the ordinary, how you spend your time, how you interact with your family, with your friends.
Who are you? As in, who are you really? Not who do you post, or share or curate, but what is truly a real moment in your life.
What makes you fly?!
What are your daily activities, how do you spend time with your kids, what do you wear when you are comfortable?
Who are you with when you are happy?

I believe that the ordinary is really interesting and worth remembering.

I am going to shift my photography focus closer to lifestyle documentary.
That is where my heart has been since the beginning, since I studied photojournalism at the now closed Western Academy of Photography with amazing peers like
Tim Smith, Jennifer KlementiMike Berard, Adrian Marcoux, just to name a few.
I also worked in newspaper in Squamish, BC and Canmore, AB and interned at Magnum Photos in New York City and studied at the International Centre of Photography in NYC,
and that past is really really important to me.

So, I’m announcing that I have come full circle, and I’m hoping you dear clients and readers trust me with your story telling.

2017 is going to be a great year of telling your real stories; your extraordinary ordinary.

 I’d like to do a giveaway for 2017, to inspire you to help inspire me.
I’d like for you to share below and comment on what is your extraordinary, what moments do you wish could be captured in your life.
Be honest! Lets all be a little more honest.
I will randomly draw a winner in 10 days, and that person will receive a 2 hr lifestyle documentary session with me.
Travel is NOT included in this giveaway, but I have some travel planned for 2017 (Newfoundland, British Columbia…maybe international) so please
enter and we will work to make the connection happen.















January 9, 2017 - 9:51 am Ryan Kiedrowski - This is actually a challenging question! I could settle on two scenes that hit me when I read your post. The first would be to recreate the family drawings our daughters design - all the vivid colours and askew angles; mis-proportions and general rule-breaking involved. The second was a scene my wife and I watched in a TV show recently. It was where a guy - trying to impress his girlfriend - invited the guests of her surprise birthday party to his house (following a brass band, no less!) where he had dozens of cakes - one for each year of her life. Then, the entire crowd proceeded to engage in the largest, most sticky food fight ever! Excellent blog post, and all the best in your upcoming work! You are truly a fantastic artist!

January 9, 2017 - 10:30 am Taryn Ramsay - I'm thrilled for you Rachel!! Documentary style photography is so beautiful, I can't wait to see all of the stories you will share. Our "extraordinary ordinary" is what I try my darndest to capture, the simple everyday moments that make up our lives. I hope to tuck away the memories of putting on their tiny sweatshirts, buckling on the helmets, handing out the water bottles and making our way to the old library, with our trusty chariot and their wobbly balance bikes. Crunching leaves with their tires, stopping to say hello to the earthworm making his way across the path, and parking our crew at the tiny outdoor table in front of steaming cup, for mango smoothies on our way home. That's a very typical day for us, and that's what I wish to remember.

January 9, 2017 - 10:35 am Jackie Minnaar - I always felt as though I was born to be a parent. I loved my babies through all their stages in life. I loved giving them room to be themselves. I loved learning from them. People always say how great it is to become a grandparent, and I've truly loved being one. But more than that , I love seeing my kids as parents. The choices they've made in the partners they chose, fills me with love and pride and admiration. If one could capture the love of our family, they will grasp what it means to fly.

January 9, 2017 - 11:32 am Heather Anderson - The greatest risk is not taking risks. Fly high and free!

January 10, 2017 - 2:01 pm Meredith Easton - What an awesome idea Rachel! Our ordinary is playing hockey in the basement, learning to skate on the lake, and the everyday ritual of supper.

January 11, 2017 - 7:50 pm Theo - I can feel your words spewing from your mouth. Love the concept. And I would love to capture resiliency in my life. I jumped on the "2016 sucks" band wagon and yet life goes on. And, when your heart is full of gratitude you don't have room for heavy things like guilt, resentment and anger. Can't wait to see where your brilliantly creative brain will take you this year.

January 11, 2017 - 8:14 pm Natalie Hull - Rach - you've always been one to pursue a flight path that deviates for the predictable routes. Great idea for your next point of focus. My extraordinary moment of the day is our sit down family dinner where we do a cheers to the Monday, to the Tuesday, to the sick days, to the ski days, etc.. My other extraordinary is being greeted every single day by two VERY enthusiastic dogs and one VERY enthusiastic 3 year old. High levels of stoke to see me, and it makes me very happy. xoxox.

January 11, 2017 - 10:02 pm Rhonda Jewett - Come hiking and skiing with us in the mountains!

January 12, 2017 - 2:26 am Alison C - Time with family doing the day to do. Not doing anything exciting or out of the box - going to the park, a quiet snuggle on the couch, giggling, wrestling, exploring our space.

January 13, 2017 - 9:13 am Amber Hudec - We will always trust what you want to do with that camera of yours. It always makes magic happen for us! Good luck and good for you, following your heart!

January 13, 2017 - 12:42 pm Alexis Syvret - Your talent for capturing the magic in everyday families is so awesome! As my family grows I look forward to your help in capturing the joy they bring me!

January 13, 2017 - 7:42 pm Natalie Sturch - This idea is amazing, and your posted shots are so intimate and fabulous! In our household right now, chasing our kiddo is almost literal flight, as well as metaphorical. It is so much fun! I look forward to a summer of playing and splashing in the yard, and gardening as a family. I hope we can get a chance for a session this year - as a contest or otherwise! Very inspiring!

January 13, 2017 - 9:22 pm Melanie Meyer - I love that you are choosing to fly. It's inspiring and making me think and pounder. We had so much fun with our life session and even my hubby thought it was pleasant and easygoing. My pictures are perfect. I have always wanted to have pictures of our normal life but done professionally and you did so with a lot of fun.

January 14, 2017 - 7:23 am Amanda Cross - These photos are all amazing! I'd love to have you photograph us again sometime....capturing our new normal ten years post-wedding!

January 14, 2017 - 11:27 am Lacey Flynn - Your photography is beautiful. I would just like to be captured as being a mom..,that is my most important job! I'm a single mom so everyday is challenging but I would never give it up...he makes me who I am!

January 15, 2017 - 8:03 pm Rosanna - My "ordinary" is me with my boys. We spend a lot of time outside, just playing. In all seasons. Wandering through the woods, at the playground, in the backyard. I take plenty of pictures of them, but I'm not in the photos. I want them to remember me being present in our adventures!

January 16, 2017 - 9:50 am Heather anderson - I would LOVE to have my family captured by The Rachel Boekel. If I win I think I would want to have cooking supper through bath time captured. I know I'll always cherish the memories of cooking with my kids and dancing with my husband while the music blares and the soup boils over. Bath-time giggles with a wet bathroom floor and squeaky clean kids. How awesome would it be to have photos of the everyday to treasure forever. A physical, tangible piece of art to display the memories that are forever etched in our hearts.

January 18, 2017 - 4:01 pm Shelly Prins - This seems so amazing! And the photos do seem authentic; it's like you're able to capture the beauty and extraordinary in the seemingly simple and ordinary. I love that!

January 18, 2017 - 9:41 pm Trina Pietersma - I love this idea! For me it would depend on the season. We love to play outside so in the spring (before fishing opens) it would be a bike ride to the spill way where we stop and have a snack while watching the pelicans fish and the kids throw rocks in the lake. In the summer it would be a walk down to the beach/ park where we swim and build sand castles. Fall would be a bike ride through crunching leaves. Winter would be skating on the lake and warming up with hot chocolate!

January 19, 2017 - 7:37 am Ashley McIsaac - Spending some quality time with my kids enjoying the little moments when they do crafts, or play hockey in the house, snuggling on the couch while we watch a movie. Would love to win this :)

January 19, 2017 - 9:04 am Alisha Johnson - Walking the coulees year round is my husband's favorite pastime. He is an avid hunter and it is his passion. The kids are just getting to the right age to join in his adventures. Capturing his ultimate treasure hunt with the kids in tow would be priceless!