Rashmi Pappu is a portrait and editorial photographer based in Alexandria, Virginia.


The long story:

Rashmi Pappu was never meant to be a photographer. Her Indian upbringing meant she would study to be either an engineer or a doctor. She graduated from computer engineering school in 1996 and decided to head back to her parent’s home and not look for a job. Much to her parent’s chagrin, she watched reruns of Oprah, took long naps and whiled away her time till a small company called Apple Inc. came calling.

She worked as a software developer for Apple Inc., in India, for a couple of years and was enamoured by good design and the enthusiasm of her colleagues half way across the world in Cupertino, CA. Her software career path led her to the United States in 1998. It was supposed to be a visit for a couple of years to check out the land of MTV but as fate would have it, she ended up meeting her life parter and decided to stay put.

Soon after their wedding, Rashmi and her husband quit their jobs and drove from Denver, CO to Washington D.C in a green Toyota with a bonsai tree and a few other things. That was in August of 2001. We all know what happened on that beautiful, sky-blue morning on September the 11th. Rashmi was in New York City visiting her sister at that time. Her husband was working right by the Pentagon. Like so many others, Rashmi gained an immediate insight into how short life could be and made the decision to find something she really wanted to do with her tomorrows. She enrolled in some watercolour classes in Arlington, VA. Her classmates were all above 70 years of age and the entire thing was not quite what she had envisioned. She started using her computer, an old purple iMac, for her creative outlet. She scanned in her watercolour paintings and created cards for her friends, and starting designing (rather poorly) with Photoshop.

As a young child, the only aspiration that Rashmi had was to be a mother, just like her own mother. As she got older, she discovered the joys of using her hands to create art. But life and the competitive nature of high school and college in India got in her path and she lost her way. In 2003 her first daughter was born and she took copious amounts of photographs documenting her baby’s every first. Soon her husband gifted her her first digital camera and she no longer had to worry about the expense of getting film developed. She was able to share her little girl with her family who were all miles away.

Rashmi was always meant to create, be it ideas, writing, watercolours or photographs. At this time in her life, the camera is her tool of choice. She formally opened her photography business in the summer of 2007. She enjoys conjuring up new ideas, collaborating with creative professionals and networking with small businesses. Most of all, she loves to exceed her client’s expectations, by documenting their unique relationships with their children.

Rashmi was recently featured in Alexandria Lifestyle and Old Town Boutique District news. Rashmi flexes her writing muscles in a project called Letters to Our Daughters. She also works with Alexandria Stylebook, a group of six different stores in Alexandria to photograph their Street Style segment that is featured every Friday. She collaborated with Lauren Rothman, of Style Auteur to come up with some photographs that really represent Lauren’s brand and worked with Lara Ramos of the glossarie for a Refinery 29 article. In the winter of 2013, one of her dreams came true when she saw her work published in Broadway+Thresher magazine.

If you would like to commission a portrait session with Rashmi,  hire her for an editorial piece or collaborate with her on a new idea, please email her at {rashmi at rashmipappu.com} .