The only photo of this Corvette not totaled was taken of me with it just two hours before the accident that changed my life forever.

The only photo of this Corvette not totaled was taken of me with it just two hours before the accident that changed my life forever.

About Shades of Rae

On October 16th, 2015, I was the passenger in a terrible car accident. Just one evening before I had wrapped my third day of contractual shooting for the dream job I had worked towards for nearly twenty years to earn, as host for Polaroid’s new education platform, Polaroid University. I was living a life I had dreamed of: career, fun lifestyle in tropical Miami, and was trying to conceive a baby with my fiancé to start our family together.

That accident put me in the hospital for two weeks and a wheelchair for three months with a broken pelvis. I lost the contract. I lost all independence as I couldn’t walk, drive, and was physically dependent on someone else helping me with even the smallest of tasks. I wasn’t able to work. And I had very large medical bills that the insurance didn’t cover. All of which made me feel pretty worthless and hopeless during the long span of forced down-time during my rehabilitation.

I had a lot of time alone in my home and took the period to rest and think about what it was I truly wanted out of this life. As my pelvis slowly healed, and I regained the strength in my body, I felt like a racehorse ready to bolt out of the gate and was ready to race towards the life that I had put on pause.

But God had other plans for me.

At the beginning of February 2016 I turned 40 which was a mind trip. A week later (just two weeks after I had been walking unassisted) my fiancé left me (two weeks before our original wedding date), and the ultimate kicker was that four days after he left I found out I was pregnant with my first child, a child we had been trying to conceive since the previous summer.

I found myself alone, knocked up, in the suburbs of a new city, left with $60K in hospital bills, $10K in mutual credit card debt, $3K a month in household overhead, a car that I couldn’t drive more than two miles, two cats, a dog, and without a job or cent to my name. What does one do when life throws all of that you at once?

You grow really strong. You become resilient. You learn to forgive. Your heart heals and your soul becomes fierce.

This blog is my story. It is the journal entries I took time to write since the accident, and new entries as I start to define who I am starting from scratch in this new place without a career and a job, and soon-to-be new role of motherhood.

It’s raw and unfiltered, brutally honest, and faithfully me. I’m excited and completely terrified facing life and admitting the truth every day.

And I’m really glad you are here with me.



Working on my pregnancy announcement video at Matheson Hammock Beach, Miami, FL.

Working on my pregnancy announcement video at Matheson Hammock Beach, Miami, FL.

About the Author

LaRae Lobdell is an portrait photographer, consultant, and online personality with nearly 20 years of experience photographing, producing exhibits, and speaking in the photography industry. Her images have been published in The Huffington Post, Broadway World, Yale University Magazine, and even aired on the Colbert Report. This multifaceted artist’s repertoire includes 21 photography exhibits of her own work, the curation of 15 exhibits for other artists’ and museums, and the production of 13 private and community events.

The early part of LaRae’s career was centered on photographing destination weddings in Seattle, Chicago, the Caribbean, and Europe. This work was recognized in popular bridal magazines and online resources such as Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, Caribbean Journey, and Style Me Pretty.

She stepped away from photographing weddings when BlackRapid asked her to help them create the world’s first camera strap designed just for women. Lobdell soon become the company’s lead of social media marketing and professional representative, and traveled to some of the world’s largest photography trade shows and elite marketing events where she associated with leading photographers, industry professionals, and camera companies.

LaRae’s online personality began shining through the interwebs as one of an elite group of professionals to have been contracted as a lead host on CreativeLive. Her position with the online educational giant gave her the opportunity to connect a live global audience to top renowned professionals in photography, video, design, business, audio, music, software design, productivity, and lifestyle.

While hosting at CreativeLive she expanded her photography and social media skills with a personal project designed to elevate other local artists in her community. The two-year personal project resulted into one of the largest and most celebrated solo photography exhibits in Seattle’s history. Her work not only changed the visual landscape of Seattle theatre photography, but has also influenced photography and performing arts communities around the world. A coffee table book “Working Artists of Seattle Theatre” featuring works from the personal project is releasing in digital and print format in 2015.

Currently, LaRae creates environmental and editorial portraits for artists, celebrities, models, and companies with a need of lifestyle and conceptual imagery for promotional use and branding.

Originally raised on a small family farm in Otis Orchards, Washington, this Pacific Northwest gal now calls Miami, Florida her home and enjoys a quiet life with her dog, two cats, and the many lizards brought in the house by her furry-friends. She is due to deliver her first child, a baby girl, in October 2016.

You can view her photography portfolio HERE:

And photography blog HERE: