We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Sakakeeny and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rachel, what do you attribute your success to?
My main focus is to make every single client feel welcome and accepted, regardless of any disabilities or other challenges they may be facing. I am a firm believer that custom-tailored photo sessions result in happier clients, better photos, and a more enjoyable experience overall. Inclusion and accessibility are the main driving factors behind my brand. I work full-time in special education, so I know how important it is to foster a safe and inclusive environment. My hope is that clients will see me as a friendly, accommodating, and respectful photographer who is comfortable working with a wide array of clients.

What should our readers know about your business?
Rachel Sakakeeny Photography has been in the making for a long time. I first started teaching myself photography skills back when I was in middle school. My sisters, who were my fabulous “models,” helped me bring my crazy photoshoot concepts to life. The photos that I took back then weren’t great (they weren’t even good), but those photo sessions allowed me to find my passion at a young age. We all have to start somewhere, right?

As I got older, I finally began to take photography more seriously and started to think of it as a profitable craft rather than just a hobby. I learn really well through trial and error, but I also love learning from experts. I owe a lot of my success to Jenn and Charla at Develope Academy, who have helped me become so much more confident in my photographic capabilities, even when taking photos in funky lighting or bad weather.

My business is all about inclusivity and accessibility. Everyone is welcome at Rachel Sakakeeny Photography, regardless of their disabilities or special needs. I think that one of the things that sets me apart from other photographers is that I have designated Special Needs Sessions that are catered to my client’s exact needs. I offer a variety of accommodations that are put in place to make the sessions as stress free and enjoyable as possible. I am extremely aware of potential road blocks that may get in the way of a successful photoshoot, such as sensory processing issues or communication challenges. I work with clients before, during, and after their session to ensure that they are 100% comfortable throughout their entire experience.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I feel like the Fort Worth Stockyards is a cliche answer to this question, but I always love seeing the cool buildings and attractions down in that area! If you want to get creative, a great place to visit is Kendall Davis Clay. Kendall’s workshop classes are so fun, and you get to keep your creation afterwards. As far as food goes, I’d highly recommend Righteous Foods off of W 7th Street. Their meals are always fresh, healthy, and delicious.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I couldn’t have started my business without my amazing cousin, Hope Lukula (owner of Hope Gray Photo), who is also a professional photographer. Hope has spent countless hours answering all of my business questions and teaching me about the photography industry without asking for anything in return. Her mentorship has been invaluable throughout this entire process. I am genuinely so thankful for all of her expertise!

Website: www.rachelsakakeenyphotography.com

Instagram: @rachelsakakeenyphotography

Facebook: @rachelsakakeenyphotography

Image Credits
Rachel Sakakeeny Photography

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