Welcome!

A Few of The Many Things

Here is just a few if the many photographic services we offer from our little studio or on location.

Commercial & Fine Art Photography

Since opening her photography business in Los Angeles in 1995, Rachel has been doing portraits, headshots, editorial and commercial photography for hundreds of clients. Her latest offerings are fine art for families and underwater imagery.

Blogging & Brand Stories

Creating beautiful visual stories for her own blog or for brands to use in their social channels, Rachel has been creating content that stands out as well as stands the test of time online since 2004.

Photography Projects & Mentoring

Whether it is speaking at a conference about the importance of visual storytelling, helping girls to self-define in the age of social media or simply mentoring in a private setting, Rachel is excited to share the power of photography as a medium.

The Latest From The Blog

SesameEllis.com

Want More Information? How About The Evolution Of This PhotoBlog

1995-2004

From Humble Beginnings

Opening the doors of what was then known as Tiny Photo Shop, Rachel began her professional career photographing families and kid models in Los Angeles, California. She soon became the top choice for Ford Models and other agencies who wanted fresh and classic imagery for their clients. Her favourite memory from back then was photographing Miley Cyrus as she began her journey to fame as Hannah Montana.

Late 2004

A Digital Life Is Born

As the new age of digital photography was dawning, so was Rachel's new life as a mother. Sharing online her digital photos coupled with funny anectdotes of the daily family adventures as a founding member of Flickr saw the start of her career as a photo blogger. Things took off from there.

2008

It Was A Big Year

Moving the growing family from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia, expanding from one child to three and finally taking the visual storytelling of Sesame Ellis off Flickr to its very own URL was a lot of change at once. We came out of it all with a book deal and spent the next two years writing and shooting images that became Beyond Snapshots for Random House.

And Now

Content Creation For All

So much has happened over the years, a few more books were written, a dog and a cat joined the family and and we are still here, sharing visual stories on the internet. It seems like almost every day there is a new online platform starting or closing, but having a place that endures not inspite of, but because of the changes is something Sesame Ellis is quite proud of. Classic images, honest stories from the heart, all in a kind and welcoming atmosphere is what we are made of. It is what we will always be. We are looking forward to what the future brings and creating content for ourselves as well as working in partnership with select brands that bring value to my readers! 

Meet A Few Of The Main Characters

Welcome to our world. On this blog I am virtually letting you in to my everyday life and I am happy to have you here. It has been over a decade for me of sharing photos and stories of my family online and despite having a few brushes with trolls, I can say that choosing to live openly like this has brought nothing but wonderful opportunities and people into my life. Starting on Flickr when Flickr itself just started, I made friends with strangers. Those people were my buoys who pulled me through the depths of post natal depression and brought me back to the shore of life again. The online friendship circle grew to include those who cheered as we went round and round with IVF and finally celebrated the twins safe arrival. You guys have made me feel connected to the entire world as I ripped up our roots and moved from Los Angeles all the way to Melbourne, Australia. As things expanded to Facebook and Instagram, we stayed together and just found even better ways to keep connected. We made new friends and some parted ways with us. It is all the ebb and flow of life.

Reading this, you are not just a fan or a follower, you are part of my village and I am part of yours. Our lives might only ever intersect in cyberspace, but I firmly believe that does not diminish the importance or connection. That is why I love sharing here…my door is always open and there is a coffee, wine or water ready for you to enjoy. Let’s talk about photography, kids, life… And eyebrows…LORD have mercy, couldn’t someone have talked to me about my eyebrows?

The Kids

Inspiration and Motivation.

The biggest kid is Gemma, but she is known as Judy Devine online. Because Judy was her first pet and Devine is my maiden name. She is a tween which is a teen, but not as experienced. We are learning a lot together. She loves videos and will be sharing her opinions on beauty, fashion, tech, books, films and everything else because she has opinions on it all.

The twin set are our finale in the kid department. The girl came first even though she nearly did not make it at all and was referred to as Baby B the entire time. She came out red and screaming and has gotten a lot cuter since. Her name is Clover and she is allergic to honey (oh the irony!) and peanuts and has a mysterious metabolic disorder that adds to her charm. She collects treasures in her pockets and loses nearly everything she owns. She will have a stable full of unicorns someday. Her little brother is my buddy. I never knew how much I wanted to have a boy until he came along and stole my heart. He came out super quiet and has gotten a lot louder since. He lives with Sensory Processing Disorder and every day he convinces me that most people are living with sensory processing disorder. He calls them his “sensories” and is rarely without shoes and always without tags in his shirts. Smart as they come, he is a Minecraft fiend. These two like to be interviewed and want their own YouTube Kids channel so they can make videos of themselves playing. I just might make their dreams come true.

Sesame Ellis

Lead Everything.

My name is Rachel, but online I am known as Sesame Ellis. Choosing my screen name for Flickr was the one time I ever thought about privacy and well, see how that turned out. Sesame Ellis was supposed to be anonymous. It is my first pet and mother’s maiden name which I thought was my “porn name” and therefore no one would ever be able to link it to me and my professional photography. I had a long career of film photography behind me and as I was learning digital with some of the early (CIRCA 2003/2004) DSLRs, I was not meeting my own standards. Oh well, it is all one and the same now, so call me Rachel or call me, Sesame…it doesn’t matter to me. Heck, my friend, Lea, calls me Tiger. My kids call me “mum” now, but I still don’t like it and I correct them. I am MOM to you.

My husband is an Aussie and that is why we moved our family down under. On here he provides the tech, travel, financial and foodie content under his Mr. Devine column. He keeps us in order as well as ensures we get into the airline lounges when we travel and he does not like his photo to be taken, so spotting him is like seeing Bigfoot. He is a coffee snob and drinks espresso really fast.

Chilli Valentine

Resident Therapist

The little rescue chihuahua might not have any advanced degrees, heck she can't even read, but she has all the skills necessary to bring love and happiness to our home on a daily basis. Rescued from a slow and lonely death under an abandoned house, Chilli has settled right on into the lap of luxury with no problems. Our little infant replacement unit, she fits into an assortment of outfits from Build-A-Bear for hours of fun and great photos. She loves us, she really does. She fears the cat.

All that said, she'd easily sell us all for a lifetime supply of popcorn.

We all love to read books. I still like my books to be made of paper, but Mr. Devine would prefer only a digital library. How on earth do you make an online library organised into a rainbow of coloured spines? We stopped eating meat in 2013 and if sushi was not invented, I would be a full vegetarian. The tween occasionally eats Hawaiian pizza despite not liking pineapple nor eating meat.

Thanks for getting this far. I am sure there will be a lot more for your to learn about us, but I think you can pick it up through the photos and stories. Just remember that what you see is what we want you to see just like everything else on the internet and keep in mind that Sesame Ellis is based on actual events.

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