Rachel Cobb

Ceative Direction | Photography | Digital Media | Weedy Acres Hometeading

Bio in Brief....
Rachel is a photographer, print, and digital services designer for several garden-based publications and organizations. Rachel feels fortunate to be able to live her life documenting her love of nature’s simplicity and magnificence, stating: “I have found my niche, and am so lucky to share my life’s passion with so many wonderful people.” A few of her current clients are The American Ivy Society, The Holly Society of America, San Diego Botanic Garden, San Diego Horticultural Society, California Garden Magazine, and the San Diego Floral Association and other independent people and businesses. 

Rachel's work does span beyond just horticulture. She has worked with many lifestyle publications and historical organizations. Her work has been published in numerous national and international books, calendars, and magazines.

"And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." --T. S. Eliot

Rachel Cobb Photography in Norway

See NEW Position at California Garden Magazine

Reprinted with permission from March/April 2021 Vol. 112 No 2

Rachel Cobb

San Diego Floral Association Names New California Garden Executive Editor: Rachel Cobb Assumes Expanded Role

The work of Rachel Cobb has been featured in California Garden for more than a decade. She has served as Art Director and provided stellar photography for covers and story illustrations. In January 2020, Rachel’s role was expanded when she was named Executive Editor/Creative Director of California Garden.

In accepting the new position, Rachel said, “Everything I have been doing in my professional career over the years has somehow found its way to this moment. I am extremely proud of the 12 years that I have been Art Director of California Garden. As the new Executive Editor, I will continue the design and layout of the magazine, along with photographing stories from time to time.” She joked about the “lucky year” ahead, her 13th with the magazine, but added, “I am very excited to work with the SDFA Editorial Board and the full magazine team. When you love your work and the people you work with, it shows.”

The SDFA Editorial Board, charged with overseeing the publication of California Garden and appointing its executive editor, is well acquainted with Rachel Cobb’s talent, work ethic, and high standards, as well as her wealth of professional experience. We are confident that the magazine is in capable and creative hands.

About Rachel Cobb

Rachel was asked to share some personal information about how she started on her professional path, about her busy years in New York City, and about her current work and life. She provided the following story.

I have always wanted to be an artist. I was given my first camera at age seven and started private art lessons at age nine. When I was 10 years old, I started a magazine to sell to my neighbors for five cents. The magazine was called the Grumpy Grouch. I interviewed neighbors, drew all the images, and then handmade original copies to sell. No personal printer-copiers in homes in 1968. I have no idea where the idea came from at such a young age. Neither parent was in the business, but we did get Life magazine in the mail. 

After art school, I moved to New York City following a lead of promised work. I ended up freelancing at the Time & Life Building with many great photographers. These were top professionals that I thought I would only know from their books. To name drop a few: Alfred Eisenstaedt was a dear friend, as were Carl Mydans and Gordon Parks, and so many more. They all called me “kid.” I was in my 20s.

I would pinch myself some days when I was actually editing film for Life magazine’s famous staff photographer, Ralph T. Morse, who covered the American space program from the start. Ralph would return from a space launch, come into the photographer’s lounge, spread boxes of 35 mm transparencies across a large light-box, and say, “Kid, pick out the best 10, mark them, and tell me why they are the best.” I was reviewing his images before the Life magazine editor and even before Ralph himself. I saw his worst shots and his best. I learned how to edit and think about the images I was seeing and how they would work in a magazine. Life, of all magazines—the one we received in the mailbox when I was a child!

This early photo editing experience led to my subsequent career as a professional photographer, art editor, and graphics designer. Some of my many clients over the years have been Time Warner Publications, American Express Publishing, Hearst, and Publishing Group of America. And I can’t forget singer Patti LaBelle, “the Godmother of Soul.” I traveled from venue to venue with her tour for almost two decades. During the live concerts, I took photographs later used on two albums and in a PBS special, as well as in her concert program and for other special events. My photography has been published in National Geographic Small Books, Travel & Leisure, Country Living, American Profile, Sierra Club Calendars, Horticulture, California Garden and many other publications. In recent years, I have designed print materials, provided photography, and created and maintained websites for various garden-based publications and organizations, including The American Ivy Society, The Holly Society of America, San Diego Botanic Garden, San Diego Horticultural Society, and San Diego Floral Association.

How did a girl from New Jersey who carved out a 20-plus-year career in New York City end up working in San Diego? Easy. My dearest friend, Pat Hammer, moved to San Diego. We go way, way back; our grandparents were friends. I would fly in for a few days, and if Pat had a meeting, I tagged along. The meetings happened to be with the San Diego Horticultural Society. At one point, they needed someone to produce their newsletter and I took it on. That is how it all started. My trips became frequent and longer, and I gained other San Diego clients. I am sure some people still have no idea I work bi-coastal.

I live, with an array of animals, on my family’s small working farm in New Jersey, which I named Weedy Acres. My family has deep roots in this area, and I have a love of history, so I am the current president of the nearby Port Norris Historical Society. I love gardening and am a vegetarian who grows and eats much of the food from my garden. I love plants and seeds and all things gardening, especially the people I meet!