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

Hi Rachel, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I love my job so much, so it is sometimes extra hard to balance everything that is important. I am the PTO president at my kids’ school, which can be pretty time-consuming. My kids are involved in a lot of activities and sports, so that combined with all of my daughter’s therapies makes for a pretty packed schedule. What I have tried to do in the last few years is to schedule time to work each day. I am generally in my office from about 9am to 1pm on weekdays. When things are busy with work, I head back into my office after the kids are in bed. Of course, I prioritize their activities and therapies, time with them and my husband, and then work comes next. I have my email and social media notifications turned off on my phone, which helps me stay focused on my family when I am not at my desk. I make an effort to get out and exercise in the beautiful Arizona desert at least once a week. I love to hike, mountain bike, and kayak. What tends to suffer the most in all of this is the cleanliness of my house!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Art has always been my outlet. Growing up, my older sisters were athletes and runners. I could usually be found in my room with a sketchbook. Although I started college in Chicago as a photo major, when I transferred to U of A I considered art therapy and art history before landing on painting as a major and poetry as a minor. During college, I suffered from some pretty severe eczema on my hands and neck. At the time, a doctor told me I was likely allergic to the photo chemicals. Years later I discovered it was actually food allergies, but I did walk away from the photo program. I’ve considered myself a photographer since I got my first camera, a Pentax K1000, when I was 16.
I think what sets me apart as a professional photographer is my ability to chit-chat. I am an extrovert, a people-person and I genuinely love my clients. I love watching them grow every year and I love being able to see their milestones and celebrations on social media as well as catching up with them at their sessions. So I think it is the mix of my years of experience behind the camera and my personality that has made Rachel Elizabeth Photography work.

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 love Arizona and I love when friends and family come to visit so I can show them all the things I love the most! If I had a week to show one of them around with nothing else on the schedule, we would definitely take our boat, kayaks, and a tent up to Roosevelt for a day or two of relaxation. I might also consider heading down to Puerto Penasco for a few days. We like to go down there with friends and rent a house on Playa Encanto. One of our favorite hikes that we love to take out-of-town guests to is the short but amazing Treasure Loop Trail in the Superstitions. I am a little obsessed with the Superstition Mountains and I love the view of them from inside Usery Mountain Park and the drive out to the Salt River.
Most of our guests are from New England and New Jersey so we always make sure to hit a few good Mexican food restaurants and everyone always wants to hit In-N-Out at least once.
And of course, every time we have a guest or two we spend a lot of time in our backyard swimming and barbequing.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband deserves a lot of credit for the success of Rachel Elizabeth Photography. When we met, I was his flight student and I was on the path to becoming a commercial pilot. Although I had studied photography in college and had a degree in Studio Art, I had decided that flying sounded like a fun career path. I spent my early 20s traveling and bartending. One day when I was working at the original Cheers in Boston, a young pilot and his girlfriend came in for lunch. I got to talking to the pilot and decided his job sounded fun…so off I went, back to Arizona for flight school. This is where I met my husband. For a few years, I trained as a pilot with him while running a bar in Tucson. It was during this time that I purchased a digital SLR camera and rekindled my love of photography. My husband supported me through all this crazy indecisiveness. When his career brought us to Nevada in 2009, I decided to return to the original plan and head down the photography road. I got a job making very little money photographing weddings in the hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. About a year into that, he helped start a stunt-flying operation in Vegas and brought me on as the photo and video department head. However, about 6 months later I had pregnancy trouble and was put on bed rest for 10 weeks. While I was stuck in bed I took online classes and really dove into learning about digital photography, which was a lot different from the film ways that I had originally learned. Soon after, my business was legal and very slowly started to grow. There were a lot of years that my business was not really a source of income for us, but my husband has always been a great supporter and a big help in its success.


Website: www.rachelelizphoto.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelelizphoto/

Twitter: @rachelelizphoto

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachelelizabethphoto

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/rachel-elizabeth-photography-mesa-3

Image Credits
Rachel Elizabeth Photography LLC

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