Zimmerman graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Photography. She established Rachel Zimmerman Photography in 1994 with a concentration on black and white printing and medical photography. In 2000 Zimmerman formed Studio Z which offers both print and web design, diversifying the services offered to clients and creating a team driven work environment.
In 1999 Zimmerman founded InLiquid to increase community and visibility for independent artists; the site now has approximately 316 members, which includes artists from across the country. In her role as Executive Director of InLiquid, she has created opportunities for independent artists and arts organizations, not only through the web site but through a series of curated gallery exhibitions in various locations (including the Crane Arts Building, International House, Painted Bride Art Center, the Nexus Community Gallery, the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, west elm, URBN, and the corporate offices of the Sundance Channel) and through events such as “Art For the Cash Poor," the annual Silent Auction, and CAF (Community Arts Festival). She has served on numerous committees, including Philagrafika, MANNA’s “A Show of Hands” auction, and The Print Center auction. Currently, she serves on the Fractured Atlas Council, The Night Market Advisory Council, and advisory committees for Design Philadelphia, Fiber Philadelphia, and the art advisory committee of CFEVA. She is a member of Arttable and is also on the executive board of the Old City Arts Association, the board of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and is an alumna of Leadership Philadelphia. In 2008 Zimmerman was named one of the region’s “Top 101 Emerging Connectors” and in 2011 was named one of the "76 Creative Connectors" through studies conducted by Leadership Philadelphia.
Zimmerman’s photography is held in a number of permanent collections, including the George Eastman House Museum in Rochester, NY. She has had exhibits at the LG Trip gallery and the Wallingford Community Arts Center.