In the world of interior photography, Raquel Langworthy has proven herself as a bona fide expert. The scope of her skillset goes beyond documenting impeccably designed homes—she possesses a professional style that merges light, texture, and mood with the intelligence of conviction and taste. While Raquel’s captures offer an invitation into the most exquisite spaces, today, we’re turning the focus on her. Join us as we sit down with the creative to uncover what a beautiful home and life mean to her.
Before stepping behind the lens, you worked in advertising. How does your former profession lend itself to what you do now?
Having a background in branding, advertising, and art direction has been instrumental in helping me collaborate with and lead my clients. One of the most important components of a photoshoot is the styling, but the styling direction is also a form of branding and storytelling. This is particularly true for those clients who also are retail businesses. In the case of commercial projects, having the ability to communicate effectively with a creative director is an asset. We speak the same language.
You’ve found your niche with capturing interiors and decor specifically. What do you love most about this métier?
My absolute favorite part of my career are the entrepreneurs and brands I get to collaborate with. I find that we are kindred spirits most of the time and that makes for a very enjoyable career. Being an interiors photographer means you are a bit of a nomad, and that suits me very well. I love visiting new places and being inspired by different designs. I hope one day that it takes me around the world.
We often see the beautiful results of a photoshoot. Can you give us a behind-the-scenes idea of what a shoot day looks like for you?
I do my best to make the vibe of my photoshoots fun and light. There is a tremendous amount of preparation put into them by my clients, and I always try to make the photoshoot feel like a victory lap as much as possible.
I would expect to be on your feet a lot at a shoot so dress comfortably. Often times we are moving furniture and shifting things. Its a very active day, but a good photographer is in the thick of it with you.
We’re both in the business of poring over perfectly styled homes and steal-worthy design moments. Do you find yourself dreaming up new ideas for your own home constantly?
I get asked this question a lot! As a person who is extremely detail-oriented, I can’t look at anything in my own home and not see how it could be improved. As my husband calls it, “The blessing and the curse” of my eye.
There have been times when having all that inspiration can be a bit overwhelming from a personal standpoint. Human beings are covetous creatures, and I am no exception! Most of the things I covet though are categorized in my brain for “future home”. We plan to upgrade in a few years to something with more space, and I would rather save for that future home than do major work to our current one.
My career has shown me how to make my starter home more livable and enjoyable for my family though without doing demo work. As my children have grown from little babies to bigger kids, my home has also grown up a bit. Especially from an organization and functionality standpoint. For those people who get overwhelmed by all the “inspiration”, I want to share what I myself have taken a lot of comfort in. Most homes are not created all at once. It takes time to learn how you live in the home, and so it makes sense that it should take time to make it just right. We aren’t all millionaires, and you don’t need to be to enjoy and love your home.
Piggybacking off of that last question, and something we love to ask our blog guests—what does a well-lived home mean to you?
My personal take on a well-lived home is one that is comfortable, inviting, and organized in a functional manner so that everyone knows where to put their “stuff”. Austerity in a home is not something I’ve ever been very comfortable with. I want everyone who enters to feel at ease and want to stay. Some elements that invite that feeling are artwork, layered rugs, textiles, and found objects. These elements transform a house into a home.
My home features my travel photography, and some commissioned paintings which allow everyone a glimpse into how I see the world. At the end of the day “well-lived” to me mostly means “well-loved”.
How have you stayed inspired creatively during this past year of change in our world? How did you adapt from a business standpoint?
The design world has seen a boon due to the pandemic. My career facilitates that boon, which means that after the initial March and April lockdown, I have worked quite a lot. Within any recession, certain businesses fumble, while others flourish. The design world has continued to flourish.
What inspires me most are the many women entrepreneurs I collaborate with. The way they juggle their lives and businesses through all of this has been incredible to watch. I feel fortunate to get to spend my days with them.
In 2014 and 2015, you toured the U.S. documenting the unique mornings and evenings of 30 different families—a contrast from impeccably styled interiors. Tell us about this project and how it continues to inspire your work and life now.
That time period feels like a lifetime ago, but it fundamentally altered me as a person and I remain in touch with several of the mothers I met. In the early years of becoming a photographer I worked with mom bloggers in NYC. I captured one of their “mornings” for a feature on another blog. Unfortunately, I did such a good job that she got a lot of criticism from her following that it looked too perfect. They felt that a morning with children is harried and stressful, and the pictures she featured only caused other women to feel insufficient. When she told me how this upset her, I said that they were wrong. There is beauty in every morning, and that all it takes is a good lifestyle photographer to reveal it. She asked if I’d be willing to prove that, and I did.
The purpose of those two years was to show women and families that there is beauty and love in chaos. Perfection does not equate to love. Love is your children sneaking into your bed first thing in the morning. Love is a single mom waking her family before the sun rises because she needs to go out and provide for them. Love is a mother who struggles with depression making pancakes so that her daughter and husband feel loved.
Each time I look at their faces on my website I am reminded of our time together. They remind me that I am all my family needs, and the rest is just in the “nice to have” category.
You’ve been featured in many well-known publications. What tips do you have for other creatives reading today who want to pitch their work and grow their brand visibility?
This is a tricky question because the answer relies a lot on the business owner, the projects they have, and what direction they want to take their company. It is most important to know that you can be successful without press. If you want to be more visible though, you need to show up on a regular basis to your social media accounts. That means meaningful engagement and dialogue with those that you admire, and the people who follow you.
You also will need to capture your own content, and predominately share your own work rather than inspiration from other’s work. Think about what publications fit your brand aesthetic and then reach out and ask what they’re looking for. This will help you tailor your photo shoots in a direction that is appealing to their following.
Do you have a mantra or mindset that has been powerful in your journey of being a business owner?
Yes absolutely. On my way to a photoshoot, I often pray that my work honors God and serves to bless the people and businesses that hire me. I pray that blessings flow from it for all. I thank God for the tremendous blessing of the way I get to provide for my family.
We each have down times as business owners, and experiences that cause us worry, struggle or insecurity. When I get overwhelmed, I turn to breath work. It helps calm my mind and refocuses my energy. I’ve never been very good at meditating, but I discovered breath work about a year ago and found it to be very effective in helping me release anxiety.
Above all, I work to focus my mind on gratitude and service. If I can embody these things in my life and work, then hopefully I can leave a legacy that my Creator and children will be proud of.