Hello, and welcome to my little online home! I'm Rachael, a wedding and senior portrait photographer for the joyful & adventurous! I hope you'll grab a cup of coffee and enjoy viewing some of my latest work and getting a sneak peek into life behind the scenes! 


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I'm Rachael.

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                                 Hello, and welcome to my little online home! I'm Rachael Leigh and I am a wedding and senior portrait photographer in Southwest Ohio! I do hope that you will grab a cup of coffee and enjoy viewing some of my latest work and getting a little sneak peek into life behind the scenes! 

November 13, 2018

A Southern Bohemian Wedding at WhitLee Springs | Lee & Amanda


Lee and Amanda’s Kentucky wedding was the next to last in my 2018 season! I can’t believe this year has flown by so fast and we will be saying hello to 2019 soon! But in all of the weddings I have photographed this year, this one was special in such a different way. This was a family wedding! Lee is my cousin, so the day was filled with seeing so much family and getting to document this day not only from the lens of a photographer, but that of a cousin and friend. And at the end of the day, I not only hugged one of my #rachaelleighbrides, but I was also welcoming her to our family! What an honor!

These two met while on a camping trip with mutual friends. At first, they really didn’t like each other and parted ways once that weekend was over. But it wasn’t too much later that Lee came knocking and tried to get Amanda to go on a date. It took a day at Chick-fil-a, a few free ice cream cones and Lee’s love for her boys to convince her that she should give him a chance. Their journey toward love wasn’t an easy one and it was filled with a rollercoaster of things that tested them. But this summer, Lee decided to make their relationship a forever one. While on vacation with his family, Lee took Amanda out for a drive and they stopped at a friend’s house. He led her up to the rooftop where they climbed out and watched a lightning storm that was forming in the distance. Minutes later, he slipped a ring onto her finger and nervously asked her to marry him.

That same nervousness showed in Lee’s face when I walked down to see him on their wedding day. Tears welled up in his eyes as he gave me a hug and whispered, “it’s so good to be with family.” The tears were then coming to my eyes as I got to watch him open a gift from Amanda and read the letter she had written to him. I tried so hard to just savor that moment and not just photograph it. Soon after Lee fastened the new watch that Amanda had picked out, I headed up to tell her it was time to get into her dress! One of my favorite parts of a wedding day is being with the bride as she sees herself in her gown for the first time and then also getting to see the love in her mother’s eyes as she watches her daughter prepare to become a wife. Once the dress was zipped, Amanda hid away for a moment while we ushered the bridesmaids into the bridal suite. Amanda had requested that we do a “first look” with her bridesmaids so that we could capture their reactions! The door opened, Amanda stepped out and the cheers and smiles couldn’t have been bigger.

Excitement continued to build because, as soon as we finished the bridesmaids first look, I led Amanda out to the pasture where Lee was waiting to see her for the first time. I fluffed her dress, gave her a few instructions and then stepped away to capture Lee’s reaction! I absolutely love first looks and I think this one may be of my favorites that I have ever photographed! (Not that I’m partial or anything!) They hugged, whispered, twirled a few times (yes both of them!) and then they signaled to me that they were ready to begin portraits! And the first ones we took are some of my favorites because the raw emotion from their first look was still present and you can see it on their faces!

The rest of the day passed like a whirlwind and they were soon husband and wife! My Papa officiated the ceremony and there were even more tears as Lee and Amanda read the vows they had written to each other. Their ceremony was filled with tributes to family, a celebration of their new season and a culmination of the love and excitement for both of them!

Lee and Amanda, thank you for giving me the honor of documenting your wedding day! I absolutely loved every minute of serving you both and getting to become friends as well as family! Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Bush!! I can’t wait to see where the Lord will lead you both as you follow him! And let me just say again, Amanda, welcome to the family!!

Amanda, you’re GORGEOUS! And that dress was PERFECT for spinning! This moment was one of my favorites from the entire day. The tears welled up as I watched Lee open his gift and read the letter with the tears rolling down his face. This bridesmaids first look! They’re reactions say it all! One of my favorite first looks TO DATE! So sweet! Her bouquet was so pretty! Love those neutral colors and the greens! Love her smile! They could be on the cover of a magazine! It’s decided! The views at WhitLee Springs cannot compare! So pretty! Their sweet family! Just the cutest! Still can’t get over those fall colors! This bridal party though! The furs, the light, just perfect! That picture on the right is my Granny! She was such an amazing woman! I love how Lee & Amanda honored the family through their ceremony! My Papa officiated the ceremony! So special! The tears! That’s my daddy on the right, my Nana in the middle and my uncle on the left! Loved having all of my family there! Words can’t even begin to describe my love for these two! Thank you again for giving me the honor of documenting your day!

Thank you to all of these amazing vendors!

Venue: WhitLee Springs Weddings & Events

Hair: Kate Bush

Makeup: Taylor Fleming

Bridesmaids Dresses: Wednova

Jewelry: Farmers Wife Boutique

Groom’s Watch: Cucol

Flowers: Flowers on Main

DJ: Darin “Hartbeatz” Hart

Menswear: Dazi

Wedding cake: Dave Carney

Custom Wedding Signs: Wildheart Art

Officiant: Frank Curtis

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