I'm Jessica, the owner of Under the Sun Photography. I'm so glad to have you here! Welcome to my blog! 

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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 says:

    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!

    • jrakowitz says:

      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!

  2. Aamanda Stricker says:

    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

    • jrakowitz says:

      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!!

  3. Melissa says:

    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.

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"We have the most beautiful moments of our lives    "

captured

- Jessica & Austin 

"Beyond Incredible! We really hate getting our picture taken but Jessica made it feel so natural and not scary at all! We knew for our wedding it had to be done and done right because you only get 1 chance! How did she make us look so good and not awkward? She's truly great at what she does and I will never pick anyone else after the experience we had."

- Brandi  & Joe

"I will never pick anyone else after the experience we had"

Jess is the best, from the moment we met her we knew we made the right decision. We had to make major changes to our wedding due to covid, Jess addressed all our concerns, and answered all our questions along the way making all the necessary changes effortlessly. Jess captured our engagement, bridal and wedding day photos each every photo is absolutely amazing. We have the most beautiful moments of our lives captured so beautifully because of Jess.

Jessica & Austin

"We have the most beautiful moments of our lives captured"

"Jessica was right there with us getting ready and capturing some very sweet and intimate photos that I know we will forever treasure. She knows exactly what to say and when to say it to get that best smile out of a very nervous bride! We had a perfect ceremony and I've seen a sneak peek of my wedding photos and am just speechless! Jessica was with us for our entire FIVE hour reception and was the perfect combination of photographer and dance partner! Jessica very quickly became a guest favorite and a family member for life! I would have her as my photographer and friend 100 times over! I will never be able to thank Jessica enough for making my day even more special."

Katie & Derik

 "I would have her as my photographer and friend 100 times over!"

"Jessica is so much more than a photographer! She is a planner, friend, someone who listens, and such a beneficial asset to any wedding! I cannot recommend her to enough people. She exceeds any bride's high expectations - all with a smile on her face. It is impossible to feel uncomfortable around her, she is goofy and will constantly keep you laughing. She does anything for her Bride and Groom and will not stop until you are satisfied."


- Kayla & Derek

"Jessica is so much more than a photographer! "

I love Jessica and her work!! She took mine and my husband’s engagement pictures, wedding pictures and bridals and did an outstanding job. My husband is not very happy when it comes to taking pictures (especially with PDA ) but by the time the first session was done she turned him into a pro. The night after our wedding he was telling me he was ready to see how all the pictures turned out! She definitely knows how to help you feel comfortable in your own skin while in front of the camera. Highly highly highly recommend her for your wedding! I cannot say enough good things about her work!

- Melissa & George

My husband isn't happy when it comes to taking pictures, by the time the first session was done she turned him into a pro.

"Would recommend to any and everybody! She did an amazing amazing job with our wedding and engagement photos. I couldn’t feel more grateful and thankful that we found Jess! She is amazing and funny and finds all the great moments that we take for granted. Thank you so so much for taking care of us and our crazy family!"


- Kaitlyn & Chris 

I couldn’t feel more grateful and thankful that we found Jess! 

"Jessicas passion for photography radiated from her soul the moment I met her. When looking for a photographer, We decided that we would call a few to get a feel for the type of people they were and if they (the photographer) would fit into what we were looking for in our wedding vendors. We saw your work, we LOVED your work, but we didn’t know you. From our first conversation up until now you made us feel like you were meant to be apart of our big day! On my wedding day you made me feel like the prettiest bride to ever walk this planet! Your photos blew my husband away! You captured the uniqueness and beauty of us, our surroundings and our guest! This review, nor my “thank you”, will ever be enough to show you how grateful we are for your talent!"

- Eliza & Bradley 

 You made us feel like you were meant to be apart of our big day!


I can't say enough great things about UTS. Jessica is the BEST photographer, not just because she makes you look great, but she makes you feel great! She fills the shoot with funny jokes, music, and laughs to make sure you feel comfortable because not everyone is a super model. Each and every time I get our photos back I am blown away by great they look! She went way above and beyond anything I ever expected from a vendor. She helped us out on the wedding day in so many different ways and worked side by side with our other vendors to make our day successful and perfect. The sneak peak was incredible! She also brought a partner with her who was equally as fun as Jessica. I loved how they both worked and made the pictures fun. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. My husband & I will be using UTS exclusively for all of our photography needs. 

- Bailey & Doug

She went way above and beyond anything I ever expected from a vendor!


"Jessica is so passionate about photography, not only does she take amazing pictures BUT she also makes you feel so beautiful and comfortable while you’re with her! She’s very professional but FUN!! I used her for my engagement photos and my wedding, beyond happy with her!


-Kailey & Garrett

she makes you feel so beautiful and comfortable while you’re with her!