Things We Love: Rachel Baran's picks

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The Rachel Baran Photography page has 31,339 likes on Facebook, but Rachel Baran has never taken a photography class. Flickr featured her at the top of its 20 under 20 list, a spot envied by thousands of aspiring young photographers around the world, but one would never know by Baran’s humble attitude. The 20-year-old self-made photographer recently graduated from Capital University, and aspires to work in social services before she heads off to graduate school someday. These are a few of her favorite things. For the full list, head to


My favorite band of all time, probably. They are a spoken-word type of band, and it’s really awesome. Their messages are very universal, and they comment on the general state of being human. My favorite song of theirs is probably “Wooden Heart,” and it’s about how all humans are kind of like used rags that get beaten up and go through the same hardships, but we should all come together in the end.

Goodwill and Salvation Army

Usually I shoot with clothes and props that I just have lying around, but when I do need something I go to second-hand stores. I’m a big believer in recycling everything you can. I don’t like the feeling of buying new clothes when there are heaps of old clothes lying around.

Bexley Farmers Market

There is a farmers market every Thursday near my building at Capital, and I always try to buy fresh foods from local venders when I can. I’ve been trying to reduce my trash, so I never actually use grocery bags, I use my own. Even when I’m at a big grocery store, I take little steps like not taking the little baggies for fruit.


I get inspiration for my photos from things I see in the news that make me angry, and I was raised to take network news with a grain of salt — to not really trust any major news network. I don’t really have a solid, go-to news source, but I think I still trust newspapers more than anything else.

Art galleries

This is bad, but I don’t really know the names of any specific galleries downtown even though visiting them is probably one of my favorite things to do in Columbus. I love Gallery Hop, walking around and having a bunch of people out makes it a fun experience.

Kurt Vonnegut

He’s one of my favorite authors because he addresses a lot of special social issues that I find inspiration in. I’m trying to read all of his books.

Kanye West

I remember listening to him when I was like, 12, and being like, “This is it.” Everyone makes fun of me for loving him, but you can’t not love him.

Rachel Baran