Ali McLaughlin Photography bio picture
  • WELCOME!

    I'm a natural light photographer in the Northern VA/ D.C area specializing in portraits. I love Seniors, families, and children. When I'm not working I love traveling, antique shopping, wineries and spending time with my family. My dream is to get into styling sessions and making them fun to fit your personality and vision.

    I think each individual is unique and beautiful in their own way. I try and capture that in your photographs and let your personality shine.

Rachel & Jason { Old Town, Alexandria Engagement}

These two are so sweet together.

As we walked through Old Town Alexandria on a super cold Saturday morning for their engagement session, Jason told me the story of how they met. He always liked Rachel, but another one of his friends liked her as well. They ended up having chemistry and the two of them were meant to be. The rest was history. You can see how much they care for each other. Jason chatted with me a little about their wedding and even how he was building some vintage props for their wedding. That’s love.

I can’t wait for your Middleburg wedding in May. I know it will be beautiful!

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February 18, 2015 - 10:32 am

Jackie Phillips - What a cute engagement session & couple! I love the first location too, so charming!

February 18, 2015 - 11:36 am

Kelly Ewell - Y’all were brave in the cold, but you picked a great location for a winter session!

February 18, 2015 - 4:05 pm

Natalie - That takes bravery! It has been freezing out here lately! LOVE this entire session!

February 18, 2015 - 5:46 pm

Krysta Norman - Alexandria is always a beautiful location, I loved the ones by the water and the hanging snowflakes!

February 20, 2015 - 11:49 pm

Petra - Beautiful photos, Ali! I can’t wait to see their wedding photos! :)

The Petterutti Family { Winery at Bull Run, VA Family session}

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged this session, I had so many cute families this last Fall, I’m trying to play catch up!… I just loved, loved this little guy when I saw him show up in his aviator hat! Is he not the most adorable baby? I’m serious.. he gave me baby fever! He was so happy too! I think I told his mom he might possibly be the cutest baby I have ever seen. okay, really I love all babies, but seriously.

Oh and his name? Rory. I died a little inside.:-)

This was one of the first times I did a session at the Winery at Bull Run, it was perfect with all the green grass, beautiful trees, oh and that stone fireplace! It might be one of my new favorite locations.

I was a joy capturing this sweet family’s session!

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February 10, 2015 - 6:35 pm

Petra - That baby is totally adorable!! Great photos! :)

February 12, 2015 - 6:36 pm

Eddie - I just love-love-love this session. You’re right! The hat is spot on!!

Shauna & Brandon { Winery at La Grange Engagement, Haymarket, VA}

I met Shauna several years back at my church.  Wow has it really been five plus years ago?? We were both single moms at the time with boys close to the same age and we both took a Soul Restoration class at our church. She was so sweet and we kind of hit it off talking and sharing our life story and struggles… fast forward to a couple years ago, she met Brandon, and I was SO happy for her, and even happier when she asked ME to shoot their wedding! Shauna has such a sweet spirit and a heart for the Lord, so I loved when she included a Bible verse in their engagement session. I asked Shauna the story how they met, and these are her words…

“Brandon and I met on match. My username was ‘justisntsure’, because I had no clue what I was really doing on a dating website. After seeing my profile multiple times, Brandon finally reached out. He said my profile didn’t have enough information on it for him to get a clear feel for who I was. Haha. After chatting over email a few weeks, we decided to meet at the American Taproom on September 30, 2010. It was pouring down rain so he came over to my car and held an umbrella over us as we walked into the restaurant. We had a great conversation about our lives and I knew I’d want to see him again. Brandon and I both took our times getting to know each other and eventually we were communicating daily. During this time, Brandon was spoiling me with new adventures! We went apple picking, hiking, concerts, a haunted ghost tour, and so much more. We found out that we both have a love for Christian music which is pretty rare. We hold family and faith in God as most important in our lives. We’ve both grown immensely over these 4 1/2 years together and I look forward to growing as a family.”

Ahh.. I love their story, God is good. He gives us second chances at happiness..he knows how our stories end.

It was such a cold day when we did their session out at the Winery at La Grange, and it even started flurrying after! They were troopers out in the cold. I think I had about three layers on.;-)It was so nice to go up and warm up inside after and enjoy a glass of wine ( or two) together after. It’s so nice when your client is also a friend!

I can’t wait for their June Wedding At Marsh Mansion! I know it will be beautiful and Shauna will be a beautiful bride! Congrats again! You and Brandon are prefect together, I’m so glad God brought you two together!

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February 7, 2015 - 4:18 pm

Petra - Great photos! They look like such a sweet couple! Love the verse! ❤️

Jasmine & David { Winery at La Grange, Haymarket VA engagement session}

I was so excited when one of my former and sweetest brides, Ashley.. referred her brother  and his fiancé to me! I had met David a few times and Jasmine for the first time yesterday. She is literally stunning, and David, just as handsome. They make the cutest couple. They are one of those ideal clients you just love to have. So down to earth and so in love! They picked the Winery at La Grange for their engagement session. It was such a nice day! They said it was their first ever photo shoot together, and I think they looked like naturals right?! I was definitely feeling the love between them…

I can’t wait for their June wedding at the Carriage House at Morven Park! Congratulations to you two!

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January 21, 2015 - 8:35 pm

Brooke - Beautiful engagement session! I love the ones of them back to back. And her hair – wow! Stunning!

January 21, 2015 - 11:35 pm

Petra - So many great photos! I can’t wait to see the wedding photos in June! You’re awesome!!

Hello 2015! Goal and dreams for the year…{ Personal}

As I reflect back on 2014, it was a great year, I had many new clients along with some regulars who I love and am so grateful for! I decided that Portrait work was more where my heart was, although this year I am excited about a Summer wedding on the books, so who knows maybe I’ll do a couple intimate weddings this year!

I was also able to do quite a bit of traveling, I crave adventure and  can’t wait to carry that into this year as well!

There were also a few struggles along the way. I remember sometime around early Summer just feeling like I needed MORE. I wasn’t sure what that more even was, but God was speaking to my heart. I prayed that God would use my life and it was really on my heart to serve, I didn’t feel content just going along living my life the same each year, without feeling like in some way I should give back. My husband and I joined a small group through our church which was really nice sharing our heart with other Christians. I felt like we really both have grown from it. We learned to pray for each other, and I learned to give God all my thoughts and struggles and even if we needed something to ASK him.

Fast forward to the first day of January. I specifically prayed again that morning for God to use my life in some way. I got a message later that day from Elle, the leader of Pursuit 31, a group of Christian Photographers. She asked me if I would be interested in Co-Leading the Gainesville Group.Me? Really?? I knew in my heart God was calling me to be an encouragement to other woman. If you know me, you know I can be shy, I tend to stay in my comfort zone. With this comes planning and hosting events, and praying for these ladies. I can’t wait to start! I know it’s just a small step in a bigger plan God has for my life. If anyone of you photography ladies are interested in joining our Gainseville, Northern VA group feel free to get in contact with me! We would love to have you!

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Now on to Goals for 2015….

1) Put God first in my business and personal life. Sometimes I tend to forget that God is in control of everything, and do it myself. I have to stop and give God the glory for everything he gives me, be it clients or new opportunities. I have learned that when I trust him, he blesses my life so much!

2) Blog more, at least once a week, whether is is a session or just sharing something personal that is on my heart! This is always a struggle for me! I totally failed at this one last year!

3.)  Do more Personal work. I love shooting our travels, so I will continue to do that as well as document my family more. I am so bad at picking up the camera and grab my iphone instead. I also plan to do more personal work that I love. 

4.) Attend one Conference or Photography workshop. I alway tend to say they are too expensive but I know this is something I need to plan for. 

5. Travel to at least one new place I have never been. ( Hoping more, but at least one!) A few other travels on the list are Florida, Charleston, and St. Maarten. ( Because I love them!)

6.) Do one things that scares me. ( Hello Pursuit 31!)

7.) Continue to work out five days a week and take my fitness to another level. I did awesome at this goal last year and plan to continue. I love lifting heavier, taking fun classes and mixing it up. I got the UP band and along with my Fitness Pal, I’m starting the year making really healthy food choices and can see a difference.

8.) Cultivate more meaniningful relationships with other women and share my heart. Be real and honest and not afraid to put myself out there.

9.) Host a Style Shoot. I am already planning for this with my Pursuit 31 Group!:-)

 

Some Personal travel work from last year. Traveling always makes my soul happy! I can’t wait to see where 2015 takes me!

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St. Augustine, Sarasota, Tampa, Savannah, Maui, Cape Cod, Nantucket, Laguna Beach and Palm Springs.

January 8, 2015 - 5:51 pm

Petra - Love this! You are going to be awesome at leading the Christian photography group!! You are so genuine and naturally encouraging – sounds perfect for you!!
I wish I was closer so I could join you!! ❤️

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