Rachel Leigh Photography

Alina & Al - Sacramento, CA Engagement Session

On February 2, 2019, Alina found a lump in her breast at 33 years old. That next week, she was diagnosed with stage 2B Breast Cancer. She started her first of six rounds of chemo on March 8, 2019, the day after these engagement photos were taken and had her chemo port placed earlier that week. Usually, engagement photos are a time of joy during the “stressful” wedding planning process. Being with these two, watching them go through this journey and doing so while engaged, planning a wedding and life together definitely puts things into perspective.

Society places too much emphasis around weddings and not enough on marriage. There’s pressure to have the perfect engagement photo session, engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette weekend and to have the wedding of your dreams. What if for some reason, life gets in the way and doesn’t allow for that? I feel that during this season of engagement, we lose sight of the end goal, a successful marriage.

This shoot was planned in a handful of days and rain or shine, it was going to happen. We picked up her stunning bouquet made by the talented Walnut and Main, threw on our rain boots and walked around the beautiful American River Parkway Trails outside of Sacramento. My favorite memories of this particular day were seeing Alina & Al take everything in. I witnessed these two truly love and appreciate each other. They laughed, smiled and shed a few tears but most importantly I watched them forget about cancer.

Alina & Al; I wish you both a lifetime of love and happiness. It is my hope that during this journey, you never lose the light within you. That you continue to be brave. You are not fighting alone.

Photography: Rachel Leigh Photography | Film Lab: The FIND Lab | Floral Design: Walnut and Main

Arambula Family - Sacramento, CA

Meg and I had been in talks for quite some time to nail down a date for family photos. The thick smoke and poor air quality that resulted from the Camp Fire caused us to reschedule multiple times. We took a chance on a weekend in late November and crossed our fingers for no rain or smoke. What we got was well worth the wait. This family was so easy to photograph, and even easier to spend time with. I loved being able to capture their natural, light interactions. Plus, I’m a sucker for photo shoots that incorporate pups. Thank you, Northern California golden light and Arambula family for showing off.

Baby Cayden

It is always an honor to photograph your friends. Especially when they choose (more like insist) on you. I had the pleasure of meeting Monica at my first ever big girl job. In a very intimidating environment, she was so welcoming and helped me feel right at home. We bonded instantly over trashy tv (The Bachelor/ette), Target trips, dad jokes, dirty jokes and more shopping. It has been 5+ years since I have been at said job, but our friendship hasn’t skipped a beat. Each time we talk or see each other we pick up right where we left off, which can be tough when life gets busy. Not to mention when you live 2-3 hours away.

Monica & Joey have two little boys, Caleb and Cayden. They packed up their family and drove from the Bay Area to Sacramento to spend the afternoon for their photo session. Caleb spent most of the afternoon running up and down our stairs while Cayden snoozed away. Monica, it has been a joy watching you become a mother. You are completely in your element when you are around your kiddos. Joey, Caleb and Cayden are so lucky to have you.