more about the photographer
I'm Rachel Ashley Hoops, a lifestyle, elopement, branding, + real estate photographer, as well as, a cat mom, plant enthusiast, day dreamer, a bit of a hopeless romantic + food lover. I currently live in Long Beach, CA where I recently moved from Palm Springs.
When I am not out + about with my camera in hand you can find me with a top-knot, lounging at home in sweatpants with my two grey kitties (Piper + Zoom), reading a book, at the beach, open desert, or up in the mountains, hiking with friends, learning new ways to improve myself + my work, or binge watching The Office on Netflix. You might also catch me mastering a new recipe/cooking for my loved ones in the kitchen, getting sweaty with a HIIT workout, on the hunt for a new plant, or taking a long drive just to rock out to all my favorite songs.
Likes: exploring our planet, all the animals, slightly chilled water, plants, open windows, the smell of clean linen + incense, smiling until my cheeks hurt, home-cooked meals (but also taco trucks + ramen), clouds, sunsets, reflections + rainbows, apple products, sappy romance movies + novels, giving gifts (purchased or home-made), looking up at the moon + stars, + margaritas.
Dislikes: being late, clutter, sudden loud noises, when my phone is charged less than 20%, folding laundry, soda + other bubbly beverages, living far away from my closest friends, + the cost of my photography equipment.
HOW DID I GET HERE?
This might be silly, but growing up I wanted to be a spy. In first grade, I remember going around + telling everyone I was a secret spy (obviously not something a real spy does but I had a good time with it). That dream lived on for a while until I became immersed in fictional stories, poetry, + movies - anything filled with romance, quick witty humor, + horror were my go-tos. Along with my new interest, my career dreams shifted to being a writer of stories, poems, and maybe even to direct a play or film. I wanted people to be completed captivated by the stories I dreamt up + after writing for a while, I wanted to pair my poems with photography that represented the overall portrayed emotion. I quickly grew obsessed with light + shadow, framing + composition, raw emotion + the energy it all constructed together.
Once high school began + was allowed to pick my electives, I was disappointed to learn that photography was only available to the upperclassmen. Regardless, I went to my counselor and begged to be let in because unless you ask for what you want, the answer will always be no. Well, I showed her some of my work + her answer was YES! I was the youngest yet definitely the most excited to be learning more about photography. After a short time in class, my teacher took me under his wing by giving me more responsibility regarding the photography equipment, assisting other students with the programs, + he even scored me some gigs as a young, bright-eyed girl with a dream.
Shortly after this, my mom who ran a venue, needed a photographer to create content for their social media + online presence. She took the chance on me and one of her brides requested that I photograph her wedding! I was only 15 at the time, but I was more than up for the challenge. I photographed a few weddings, photographed food for magazines, + joined a real estate company to do photography before realizing I wanted to take a more intimate approach with my photography by capturing the natural + overlooked beauty of the mundane. So, I ventured into family photography, obviously fell in love + have not wanted to change direction since. There is something so special about family, love, motherhood, + life that I cannot simply put into words - genuine connection is to be cherished over everything else.
I have now been running my lifestyle + real estate photography business for 7 years, but I will always be growing + perfecting this craft of authentic storytelling. I am also the newborn photographer at Redlands Community Hospital where I am so blessed to welcome new life + document the first moments of so many growing families. To say my work fills me with joy is an understatement, there is nothing else I would rather do in this world + I am forever grateful for every soul whos story I get to capture even just a moment of.