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Here’s the crazy thing about my job as a photographer. It’s also my hobby. I love photography, and will continue to photograph life if my business is taken away from me. I was the girl with the camera in college, so I know that this is just the reality. I’ve spent the past two years picking up on my tendency to refrain from documenting the ordinary. I am so amazed at how photographers can shoot their normal lives and make them eligible for a travel magazine or some fine art print I could hang in my house. An example of that is my good friend Anna Shackleford. [You have to check out her work - especially her personal work]. I put the pressure on myself to make each photo beautiful that sometimes I miss the little moments. I even tell my husband “no!” when he says, “Take my picture,” and then he does something super silly.

What is wrong with me?! Am I so caught up in pretty things that I can’t even appreciate the hilarity that is my husband? While in St. John, I noticed my tendencies and decided to challenge myself to capture these moments. I’m so excited to look at these photos down the road and fall even more in love with his amazing personality. He makes me smile and laugh, and I now have photos that remind me of that!

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Katie and Doug met me in Richmond for a sunrise session at Belle Isle. It was the first of a series of warm days, but sunrise was still a little cold. But I like a little cold as it encourages cuddling. I was hoping to have rocks to shoot on, but you know? 4 days of melting snow makes for an angry, high river. So we got creative, and I LOVE these photos. One of my new favorite sessions!

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  • These are awesome! I love her outfit. And the lighting is perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Betty

    Love was in the air on Belle Isle and you captured it beautifully with your camera. Thanks for sharing! Love your creativity.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren Lockhart

    Lovely! Absolutely beautiful! So excited for everyone!ReplyCancel

It was all girls in the studio this month. I help a few studio sessions and had some amazing women join me! We started each of their sessions with make-up from Emily Hudspeth, and she made the girls look beautiful before they jumped on set. Thanks to these women who spent a few hours with me – we had a great time!

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The island of St. John grew on me daily. It’s so different than any place I’ve ever been. First impressions were overshadowed by the driving. On St. John you drive on the other side of the road, but the roads are crazy. You’re either on a massive hill or gnarly switchback… or both. It took me longer than expected to appreciate the beauty of this island, but once we arrived at our villa in Chocolate Hole, my breath caught in my chest. The view, colors, water, topography… my first thought was that God had a blast designing this place. Second thought? “Can’t.Look.Away…”

We stayed at a villa called Blue Agave, a typical villa on St. John that has a main living area and separate buildings for bedrooms. You have to go outside to go to your room which really keeps you connected with nature.┬áSpeaking of nature, 60% of the island is a National Park making the entire island feel remote and private. Also, the island has many random animals. I loved seeing the wild donkeys, herds of goats, chickens… and of course the abundance of sea life about which I could go on forEVER.

On the typical day, we’d wake up early and leave the house by 8:30 to head to the beach. We would either stay until later afternoon, or leave to eat lunch and then go on to another beach. We ate out and cooked in the villa a few times. We did leave the island for a day trip to Virgin Gorda [photos with the big rocks]. I can’t say enough words about the beauty of that place. I’ll just say that when we go back to the Virgin Islands, that will be a place we stay longer.

If you’re interested in visiting St. John, don’t hesitate to email me for restaurant ideas, beach overviews, packing tips, and travel advice! Otherwise, enjoy the views!

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  • Ali, these are gorgeous!!! It makes me almost feel like I was there!!ReplyCancel

  • Ali, your film looks SO good!!! And I’m incredibly jealous — that water! Glad you guys had fun :) ReplyCancel

I’ve been wanting to photograph these two for years now. They share my love of the ocean, so when we set up the shoot, we had to include that. I’m so glad we shot down by the shore in Norfolk. Helen and Thomas have such a laid back attitude, keeping things mellow. I’m glad these two were up for anything because it was a crazy day! We had rain, snow, sunshine, and wind… maybe January is a crazy month to schedule a beach shoot, but we had a blast. However, the results look like the perfect day with the most gorgeous warm couple. I’m so happy to share these photos and say that I think my fingers are finally thawed!

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  • LOVE her dress and this session!! You can’t even tell they were freezing :) :) Amazing job, Ali!ReplyCancel

  • These are gorgeous, Ali!! One of my favorite shoots you’ve done!!!ReplyCancel

  • I agree with Lauren! This is one of my ALL TIME favorite sessions of yours!! Those trees, that light, the SEAGULLS!!! Totally epic and totally you. I love it!ReplyCancel

  • SO beautiful!!! You killed it even in the freezing cold and wind! The shot with the birds is my definite favorite!!!ReplyCancel

  • Katie

    Ali you’re seriously amazing!! This couple is gorgeous and these photos are lovely!ReplyCancel

  • Kendra

    Ali!!!! This is beautiful!!!! Great job and great job to you too Helen! Doesn’t look like you’re cold! ??ReplyCancel

  • Candra Bell

    Such a beautiful display of true love. I love all the pictures.ReplyCancel

  • AH! I loveeeee these! Helen’s dress and this beach setting!!!ReplyCancel

  • Meghan Gangel

    Beautiful. And where did she get her scarf and booties? Seriously love her outfit.ReplyCancel

  • Oh my goodness Ali! That one of her in the blue dress with the wind blowing, I want to hang it up on my wall!!!ReplyCancel

  • These are all so perfectly gorgeous! Great work!ReplyCancel

  • Corinne Barnes

    Gorgeous, Ali! That one under the tree with her dress blowing and the sun peeking out–stunning!!ReplyCancel