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.

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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!

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