I'm Jessica, the owner of Under the Sun Photography, most days you can catch me chasing my lil son on our family's homestead and fixing up a meal that'll stick to more than your bones., along with baby goats by my side. I love everything about my rural South Texas, our heritage and way of life makes it one of the best places to live, raise a family, and practice photography. Sit back, grab a cup of coffee and feel free to scroll through my blog. Mi casa es su casa. 

Meet Jess

The Myth of Perfection and the Truth about Celebration

Personal

Today’s blog post is some what unconventional and has been on my heart for several weeks to write. So here it goes, perfection is a myth. I said it and I’ll say it again, “Perfection is a Myth.” The idea of perfection has been instilled into our minds as we are provided more and more material as technology progresses. Which I am thankful for the inventions of the Instant Pot, Instagram, and Pinterest. However, I feel that it has hindered our society just a tad. I cannot tell each of you enough how much it breaks my heart to hear from someone, “I would love to have photographs done… but I am 30 lbs overweight” or  “I’m insecure about ___________” insert arms, legs, thighs, booty, bust, etc.

It breaks my heart to hear this, the endless idea that we have to be “perfect” in order to be photographed. In order to deserve portraits with our loved ones we have to appear as we have it all together. Let me tell you that we are all imperfectly perfect. You are imperfectly perfect. Today. Right Now. As you currently appear.

Now as a photographer you may think that my job is just to photograph the pretty. Which I do photograph pretty images but honey, my job goes far beyond just the pretty, it is to capture you in your best light. To expose your inner beauty that can be communicated to not only yourself but to all that are around you. It’s to make you feel genuine and beautiful all at the same time.

“Photography isn’t about capturing the perfect life, it’s about capturing your life perfectly.” – Jessica Rakowitz (that’s me)

There is so much to life we have to be thankful for, so much that we can celebrate! Photography has been the outlet that has allowed me to capture so many wonderful moments in my life and also in the lives of so many others. The moments after I had Parker the exhaustion, crazy hair, running eyeliner, but do you know what is the best part of those photographs? That despite I looked like a hot mess, there’s a photo of Parker and I looking at each other for the first time and bonding. Just pure profound love.

Emotion always wins.

This past year I made a resolution to not only photograph for myself more often but to also print my images. Photographs are not for the public they are made for me. They are part of my family legacy and for myself to enjoy. In also this mission I told Mom we needed to take formal family portraits for our homes. For our families.

And I am forever thankful that we did this.

Now don’t kid yourselves, this image here is downright gorgeous, but there was endless texting along with hours of online and in-store shopping for us to all match and coordinate! To find outfits that made us confident… that was fun! Ha!

But again, I was not allowing insecure thoughts or negative moments take away from what I deserved, moments like this for me to go back on and celebrate today, tomorrow or 25 years from now.

If you want a realistic image of us see below! HA! We are a crazy bunch and I absolutely love every part about it!!

I can tell you that I thought I was too heavy for these photographs but going back to my mantra, “Photography isn’t about capturing a perfect life it’s capturing life perfectly.” I am embracing every inch, every curve, and am printing up these images to be displayed in our home and to have in my keepsakes.

These were not taken to post on social media or leave on a USB drive somewhere, these were taken just for us.

This I absolutely loved!! This is our driveway on my parents home place. It’s where I grew up. It’s also where I wrecked my Mountain Bike when I went from a pedal bike (insert laughing with tears emoji), serious bruising went on here! HA! It’s also infamous for the numerous times we pushed “Ol’ Red”, “The Magic School Bus”, & “The Jeep” to get them started. I can hear dad shout, “Pop the clutch!” It’s also the background to the numerous calves born in the set of cattle pens, cattle worked in the pens, and now home to 2 fun and feisty little donkeys. Also to the endless Summers where Kristan & I took our beat up old red wagon and loaded it with tea sets and fishing supplies to head on down to the fishing tank below.

This driveway has served to so many memories and it’s special to each of us in our own unique way so it was only fitting that we are walking together here. The ranch holds so many wonderful memories and it’s where God planted us, he rooted us here to grow.

These are my siblings, Kristan & Brad. And you better bet when you get us together and talk of the memories here, about 90% of them result in laughter. Especially if you let Brad tell them all!

Our family grew from us three crazy kids to now this right here! IT’s crazy to see where life has taken us these past years!

And here are those moments that are just gold, and make me down right giggle.

Parker wanting to be in front of the camera out of turn. In turn doesn’t want to be in front of the camera. Oh the life of a 2 year old toddler! But this is so him!! He will do anything for his juice and cheerios! Love this nugget!

And more outtakes, Lordy. This is so accurate! You toddler moms out there, can you say, “Amen!”

Adrien of Pine and Blossom Photography did a phenomenal job and helping me fulfill this resolution of mine. I will adore these photographs for years to come and I celebrate these in my home now. Imperfections and all!

All that matters here is that Parker knows how much is adored and loved. When we have these in our home he always smirks and says, “Mama, that’s you. Mama that’s Daddy. Mama, that Parker.” and he giggles off to the next room. He doesn’t point out my flaws in his eyes love and emotion is all that he can sense and feel. When you break it down to this level, curves and inches and imperfections do not matter being present in the moment does.

“That my Nana. That Popo.”

These two I cannot begin to brag on enough. They are everything to me. The only portraits we had before were from our weddings and I wanted something semi-formal but on the ranch where we have so many memories. This I will always treasure. These two provided us with a childhood and life like none other. The ranch life that we have and had through all of it’s pros and cons was amazing.

Celebrating that we are all strong women and now mothers. Work has never scared us and we can do anything we set our minds to.

Can you hear us laugh?

I can’t even explain what this means to me, but I know you can likely feel it.

Rock on Uncle Brad and let’s not forget our newest member, Lexi!

Dad being dad, or now Popo, Lexi is called, “that ol’ pumpkin” and Parker is called, “Buddy, buddy, buddy boy”.  Yes, it’s only acceptable in his dialect!

I love us. I love that I was able to look past the imperfections and celebrate them! We only live one life and live each year once. It’s up to us to make the best of it. To celebrate it and to pass it on.

Mucho Love & Celebrate,

Jess

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  1. Brandy Martin

    August 2nd, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    Love this! You sound truly blessed and this was so heartfelt. You have a beautiful family and your writing is poetic.

    I remember when you did my maternity photos. I still look at them today and Whitney is 5 years old! You did a beautiful job on them and I need to get with you on taking some family photos for me. Thanks again for sharing your perfect imperfections!

  2. jrakowitz

    August 2nd, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    Thank you so much for your kind words Brandy!! They truly mean the world to me. If I even just helped one woman or one person today with this blog post I would be forever grateful. I of course would love to be part of your family portraits! I cannot believe how grown up and how beautiful your little family, 5 years? It still feels like this was not that long ago!

  3. Aamanda Stricker

    August 2nd, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    Yes girl! This used to be me! Before Ceniza, I would pick myself apart in every photo, but now…..I can tell you that the only thing I looked at in our recent session was how much happiness shines thru in our faces! I even look back at my maternity photos and I think about how happy I looked, because I was…..you captured one of the happiest times of my life! Tim told me once that he always wanted to have photos of our family around since he didn’t have any when he was growing up, so I made a promise to him that we would always have family photos, and thanks to you……we will always have the best! Love you amiga, and Thank You for capturing these beautiful days in our lives! <3

  4. jrakowitz

    August 7th, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    I absolutely everything about what you said and that I was able to be part of such a wonderful time in your lives!!Love you!!

  5. Melissa

    August 15th, 2018 at 10:54 pm

    I love, LOVE this story! And you are so right! It is always the right time to capture love and togetherness!! I love that you have images of your family and in such a special place for you.

  6. jrakowitz

    August 16th, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Thank you Melissa! Love your heart!

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