Rikki Rivera | Photographer » Wedding & Portrait Photography


Being discouraged comes around so easily in life. I am incredibly aware of this, therefore, I battle that cloud of self-doubt like it’s my job. I have made it my life’s work (thus far) to study and learn to how to pose myself and others to look their best, because most women feel exactly the same way I do (some men too) when in front of the camera. I can’t help but feel humored at how many times women jokingly (but seriously) mention photoshopping this part or that part of themselves. I won’t. But what I will do is do my best to get a beautiful laugh and smile to show you how beautiful you are and alleviate that dread, and hopefully, love a photo of yourself.

It’s a shame we are so hard on ourselves, but also, that we either don’t change it or accept it. I am all about making the best of situations, understanding and knowing that it could ALWAYS be worse.  “If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.” – Regina Brett

I might hate a photo of myself now, but I’ll be damned if I leave my kids with none. Photos of my parents when they were young are rare in my family. I’ve seen a few, and wow, I love them so much. I definitely don’t see them on a computer, and thankfully, they were printed and passed around. I love seeing what they wore, to see their style, how they smiled, and how they look exactly the same, just with a little more character. It’s so incredibly beautiful, and currently underrated. I take photos of my parents now like it’s cool. They hated it at first, tons of grumbles about this or that, but I didn’t see it and I didn’t care. I wanted to remember them that very moment. Now, they let me and they are all my favorite. They have the best smiles and when I remember that moment; I will remember how warm and safe they are to me, I will remember the sound of their laugh, I will remember my moms long hair and my dad’s curls. We should never allow photos of ourselves to not be printed or not exist. If you don’t like something, FIX IT. If you can’t or won’t, embrace it. Take that extra few minutes everyday to do your hair, put on a little makeup, think a little more about what you’ll wear, take an early morning walk and start the day off GOOD. It really can make all the difference.

When I am down and out, feeling miserable. I wear something I don’t want to, but that makes me look and feel good. I do my hair and I get outside. I might hate the process, but I always feel so much better when I connect with other people, or heaven forbid… I receive a compliment. Offering compliments are something we should all do more often. I may not be much into makeup, but I can appreciate it, and even compliment my doctor on that beautiful shade of lipstick she was wearing. Her smile beamed across her face. That teeny tiny little effort was so worth it! You should give it a try. Everyday.

Thank you all for reading along. View Day 1 + Day 2 + Day 3 + Day 4 + Day 5 of this blogging challenge.

  • Arica J. Clauson - October 21, 2014 - 6:04 pm

    Great post! I love the part about having pictures of your parents. My parents have been together since they were 16 and seeing pictures of them then is one of my favorite things, a little glimpse into their lives before we were here. Its great that you have that outlook and will make sure your kids have the same thing! 🙂

    Arica, xxo
    http://www.varnakandlollies.com Reply Cancel

  • Sashaographer Holloway - October 21, 2014 - 7:06 pm

    Definitely true and thank you for that huge reminder we all need it, especially getting in FRONT of the camera more. That is something I am finally doing more of, and it does feel good. Reply Cancel

  • Megan Grow McCourt - October 21, 2014 - 8:43 pm

    Absolutely beautiful post! Spot on!!! (Said the girl who just had family portraits taken this weekend and the 1st image I saw, the only thing I could SEE was my double chin. HA!) Reply Cancel

  • Random Little Faves - October 21, 2014 - 9:26 pm

    Beautiful!! I’m loving your posts and this is so spot on. My mom is slowly coming around to letting take her photo, but the second she sees it she finds something about herself to criticize and it just makes me sad that that is all she’ll let herself see! Hopefully she’ll come around like your parents. Good for them for getting more comfortable with things & hats off to you for opening the door for them to accept themselves a little more :). I love that quote too! Copying that into my quote journal! Reply Cancel

  • Torrid Boudoir - October 21, 2014 - 9:27 pm

    This is great! We MUST, as photographers, make sure to include ourselves in the memories of our little ones! There is no better time than now! <3 Reply Cancel

  • Sinead Cartwright - October 21, 2014 - 10:00 pm

    lovely ! i think a lot of photographers forget themselves behind the camera . xx Reply Cancel

  • Azahar - October 21, 2014 - 10:23 pm

    Such a great reminder! I love your quote – we love to compare when in reality everyone has ups and downs. I always have to remind myself of the same, just get up and go outside. It always feels better in the end! xo, Azahar Reply Cancel

  • […] you all for reading along. View Day 1 + Day 2 + Day 3 + Day 4 + Day 5 + Day 6 of this blogging […] Reply Cancel

  • Emily Allison - October 23, 2014 - 8:09 pm

    What a beautiful reminder. 🙂 Thank you for posting this! For so long I never wanted my picture taken. Hence the reason I was always BEHIND the camera. But I understand the importance of it now – especially after having my son. Thank you for sharing your sincere words and you are LOVELY and BEAUTIFUL!!! Lots of love to you. xoxo ~Emily Reply Cancel

  • Emily Allison - October 23, 2014 - 8:09 pm

    What a beautiful reminder. 🙂 Thank you for posting this! For so long I never wanted my picture taken. Hence the reason I was always BEHIND the camera. But I understand the importance of it now – especially after having my son. Thank you for sharing your sincere words and you are LOVELY and BEAUTIFUL!!! Lots of love to you. xoxo ~Emily Reply Cancel


Embrace struggle and mistakes. You can then learn anything.

I hear pretty regularly from friends and family, “It’s so cool you go to so many places, I wish I had time to do that,” or “I wish I had the money for that.”

I’m here to tell you, I am as busy as busy gets. It’s really all about priorities. We all have down time, it just depends on how we use it. Admittedly, we forego a lot of regular responsibilities to go on some of our adventures. By this I simply mean that we have a long list of household chores and projects on our list 24/7. There are always things you could be doing. Grocery shopping? Yeah, need to do that. Meal prep? Uh huh. Mow the lawn? Do the laundry? Schedule appointments? You name it, we have the same things to do! This isn’t all to say that we completely ignore our responsibilities, it simply means that we squeeze in our to-do list when we really have little to no time during our work week. Other things, well, they just wait for that rare time that we don’t go anywhere or do anything. Simple as that. The trade off is well worth it for us.

Adventures are our priority. Creating these experiences for our kids are so very important to us. I can’t stay in the city day after day, week after week without getting a little stir crazy. I NEED to breathe that wild air, be in those open spaces, feel the sand on my feet. It’s as much of a need as eating every day. No kidding. Of course, with that kind of traveling comes expense. As much as I would love to travel to Europe, THOSE kind of adventures are a little too much to put high on my priority list right now, but you’d better believe it is absolutely in the works! So for now, we compromise and go on trips within the United States, and even just as little as within our state. All you need to pay for then is gas and food. You can free camp in all kinds of places as long as you’re willing to do the research, cheap lodging is an option too. We often trade a weekly grocery trip with the food we need for a trip, no added expense there. We take our dogs to avoid boarding fees, etc… The list goes on as how we save money to afford our lifestyle.

So all I’m saying, is that you don’t have to have all the time in the world. You don’t have to have a luxurious bank account. And you certainly don’t have to live in the Pacific Northwest for fun local adventures! I’ve lived all over the US, and I guarantee there is more waiting a few hours from you than you may realize. It doesn’t have to be grand, it just has to be SOMETHING. An apple orchard? Historic site? Waterfront property? Mountains? State parks? A backroad country drive? It ALL has something to offer. I’m telling you my fiends, you can do this. You don’t have to go every week, but you can do it once a month (every few months?). Don’t worry about your kids getting dirty, don’t worry about three perfect meals a day… everything will be ok, and YOU will feel completely rejuvenated. It truly is good for the soul.

Need to shake it up even more? Get your kids ready the night before, carry them to the car before dawn, hold your loved ones hand and drive into the sunrise. It’s amazing. Be sure to grab a cup of coffee too, turn up the radio, roll down the windows (maybe just a little, it’s getting cold this time of year). The same can be done for sunset. Sometimes that change of pace and experiencing a different time of day can be a refresher too! So take some chances, break out of your comfort zone, and know that every little thing is going to be alright.

Thank you all for reading along. View Day 1 + Day 2 + Day 3 + Day 4. Serious fun in these little posts!

  • Lauryn Gutierrez - October 21, 2014 - 3:38 pm

    This is so so so great! I can relate to SO many things in this post. I too have made adventure a priority and have been asked similar questions. You are a wonderful writer – the last paragraph is so very lovely! And your photographs are stunning. Keep up the great work!! <3 Reply Cancel

  • Shreya Nag - October 21, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    Wonderful post. It’s relateable, and says the truth in a positive way Reply Cancel

  • Karen Yannacio Morse - October 21, 2014 - 6:12 pm

    SO true! Sometimes we forget what is RIGHT in our backyards. Love that you reminded us all of that! (www.GlamKaren.com) Reply Cancel

  • Jeana Moody - October 21, 2014 - 7:49 pm

    Great post. Yes there are a million things that are everyday stuff and needs to be done. I like the thought of its one life to live and I’m going to live it!! Reply Cancel

  • […] you all for reading along. View Day 1 + Day 2 + Day 3 + Day 4 + Day 5 + Day 6 of this blogging […] Reply Cancel

  • Emily Allison - October 23, 2014 - 8:11 pm

    “So take some chances, break out of your comfort zone…” Love that line – and you’re SO RIGHT! We’re so afraid to take leaps of faith, but the bottom line is, life is so short not to! Kudos to you for jumping right into life and embracing all of it! Love your photographs too! Absolutely breathtaking. xoxo Reply Cancel


One thing I absolutely love about people, are the details that truly make up that person. Things that you wouldn’t know unless you are their parents, best friend, or lover. From how grumpy they are in the morning, to their ‘I could eat this everyday’ favorite food, and their favorite music that makes their soul move. I love the morning, but I can be very grumpy depending on the fashion in which I wake up. Pizza – all day everyday. I am crazy about the piano, and also love guitar – I am not instrumentally talented, although I wish I was, and have a deep admiration for true talent.

I also love the quiet things that make up a couple. All the simple, yet intimate, facts that are only between the two of them. Dancing together, nick names, favorite places to visit, letter writing.. you name it. Every single couple is unique, and those treasured things are just the best. We are cuddlers, in fact, I have my ‘spot’ on my husband. We have a running commentary of our dogs (don’t judge), they’re thinking too! We absolutely have our favorite places to adventure to, and even though we always say we’re going to new places, at least half the time, we go to our favorites. We love to dance together, sometimes in the back of stores. I am a sucker for love letters and I love to write letters!

The relationships between families are amazing. I love how close a family can be, and realize what an incredible blessing it is to have a close knit family. Regular family dinners, to annual traditions, favorite drinks, and camping spots. Well, I don’t really have any of those things with my family, but my brothers will let me pour my heart out anytime I need to. My sister has the best comforting hugs, they’re just like our mom. My mom and I can talk about books forever, we also love the smell of old books. My dad will dance in the rain with my sister and I, any given downpour. And BBQ, always a good BBQ when we’re hungry.

Also see Day 1 + Day 2 + Day 3 of this blogging challenge.

Now that you know my personals, we’d better be friends! Click some of those icons below + let’s connect!

  • Ann Katrin R. Pedersen Photography - October 20, 2014 - 9:58 pm

    Beautiful post! I can tell you love to write 😀 Reply Cancel

  • Kimberly Rachél Aker - October 21, 2014 - 12:03 am

    I LOVE this. Totally feel like we could be friends!! Reply Cancel

  • Torrid Boudoir - October 21, 2014 - 12:06 am

    I love this! Thank you for joining the challenge and posting some deep stuff about yourself! <3 it's nice to meet you! Reply Cancel

  • Christina Vanvuren - October 21, 2014 - 12:35 am

    Beautiful post <3

    Xoxo, Christina Vanvuren Reply Cancel

  • Random Little Faves - October 21, 2014 - 12:35 am

    I love this! I love how you approached writing this your thoughts on things and then peeling back the curtain to expose a little of you & your husband. Very beautifully done! Reply Cancel

  • Shreya Nag - October 21, 2014 - 2:30 am

    Wonderful! I love the voice you write in- and I love how differently you approached this challenge. All your points are integrated, and flow so well. Reply Cancel

  • Lauryn - October 21, 2014 - 3:54 pm

    What lovely words. Amen to the special uniqueness of relationship! Love reading your posts. Reply Cancel

  • […] you all for reading along. View Day 1 + Day 2 + Day 3 + Day 4 + Day 5 + Day 6 of this blogging […] Reply Cancel

  • Emily Allison - October 23, 2014 - 8:13 pm

    Such a sweet moment in the photograph – and such TRUE words you’ve shared. <3 It's amazing how our connections - our relationships - help us sprout into the people we are - and were always meant to be. :) xoxo Reply Cancel

  • This Domesticated Diva - July 2, 2015 - 5:35 pm

    Beautiful and insightful. Peeling back the layers is the best way to get to know someone. Reply Cancel