photograph by Rachael Spiegel

photograph by Rachael Spiegel

Even before becoming a professional photographer I was always surveying the scene at weddings. I paid more attention to taking the next shot than to my date. I probably wasn’t the best date at weddings. Eventually I started bringing my camera as my “plus one.” I even wrote my camera model on the RSVP card. I gave the images as gifts to my newly married friends. Soon, their younger siblings and then friends of friends asked me to photograph their weddings. In 2005, I left my “day job” at the White House Office of Management and Budget, where I’d been a budget analyst working on Federal low-income housing programs, to pursue photography full time.

 

I take a documentary approach to photography, meaning that I prefer not to interfere with a scene. I want to capture weddings and other events as they naturally unfold. I like to think of my role as a visual historian for the day: documenting, not dictating events. My approach to photography reflects how I am in life in general. I’m more of an introvert who prefers to watch and listen than to stand out in a crowd. At weddings and other events, I try my best to blend into the background. The less people are aware of the camera, the more they are themselves. As a result, my approach produces intimate images of casual, fun, and intense interactions between people. One of the bigger compliments I can receive is not just people loving their images, but that they don’t recall me taking them. I’m probably one of the only people you’ll meet who is actually flattered, and not offended, that you don’t remember me!

 

I like to say that I have the pleasure of calling both Washingtons home. I have lived in the Washington DC area for the past 15 years, but grew up in Washington State. In between, I received my Bachelors of Arts in Politics from Mount Holyoke College and my Masters of Science in Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. I guess it’s no surprise I ended up in Washington DC! When I’m not photographing portraits, weddings and other events, I enjoy spending every minute I can with my daughter who has become quite the independent four year-old! 

info@observatoryphoto.com

703 596 5260