Ali McLaughlin Photography bio picture

    Hi! I'm Ali, a natural light, on location photographer in the Northern VA/ D.C area specializing in portraits. I love seniors, families, and children. I also take on a limited amount of intimate weddings a year. When I'm not working I love traveling, antique shopping, wineries and spending time with my family.

    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.

Candice & Matt { Arlie Manor, Warrenton, VA Wedding}

Back in June I had the pleasure of second shooting this beautiful Arlie Manor Wedding with Stephanie Messick Photography. What a beautiful couple and the venue was just stunning from the gardens to the sweeping Spanish steps. I’m getting to see so many beautiful venues and getting the hang of the in and outs of a wedding day second shooting. I love it!

I loved Candice and Matt’s nautical details and the navy and orange color scheme.. I have to say too the reception space here is just gorgeous with all the twinkling ceiling lights. By the end of the night it was fun getting in the photo booth with all the vendors too!:-)

It was an honor to be a part of their day.Wishing this sweet couple a lifetime of happiness!





SBGettingready16SB17SBSb25Beautiful cocktail hour details..
5SB18SBSB201SBA few of my favorites from Portrait hour..SB4a2SB6SB8SB15SB9SB11SB

Building Our First Home { Personal}


It didn’t really happen until I hit mid-age where I really starting believing what you dreamed on paper, could actually come true. My husband and I like to write down goals at the beginning of the New Year. We had some personal and business goals, and we worked hard toward making them happen.  One of our personal goals was to build a house we loved. We’ve owned several resales, and loved them, but it’s not quite the same when you don’t get to pick what YOU love in your home. So last year I said, we should put building a home on our list for 2015! ( I like to be a little lofty in my goals).. my husband wasn’t quite on board at that time,  and a lot of the model homes we looked at were just out of our reach of our price range.. then one day my husband said, ” Why don’t we just drive into Fauquier CO and look? ” That’s SO far I said…” but on the drive there I fell in love with the countryside and the farms lined with horses along the way, and it was only 10 minutes from our last home. We fell in love with the MI Westmoreland Model. It was the outdoor living and open floor plan that really sold us. After two years of looking at model homes, this one just felt right.

Some things we learned from building our home…

Invest in what you love. For us, the outdoor living was more usable right away than the basement, so we will finish the basement slowly in a year or two. I know we will get so much enjoyment out of being outside! You can’t add that later, but you can finish a basement, and my husband is handy!:-)

Go with a great builder! We LOVE MI Homes, and the quality they take in their homes has been outstanding. We’ve had no issues so far.

Harwoods on the whole first level make a huge impact. Plus it’s easier to keep clean than carpet! We picked the wide plank slightly darker hardwood.

Invest in bump outs. For our house the it was the Princess Suite and Master bath Spa. For resale, those bump outs make a big difference!

Splurge on nice bathroom floors for the Master( See Below). We did the white plank whitewash tile and SO glad we did! We just picked what came with the house for the three other bathrooms. I really wanted the frameless shower, but some things I just had to give up to fit in the budget.


Know that you will spend so much more than you intended! So choose what you can live without. 

The gorgeous model… excuse the iPhone quality photos.


3I’m obsessed with this wine room in the model! How cool would that be someday?64Of course I can’t wait to decorate the house! If you know me, I  LOVE decorating! I’m also super OCD about a clean house.

I’ve been pinning several design ideas, and love the look of the modern farmhouse with touches of bold patterns and colors, but with a very clean all white kitchen and dark hardwood floors. I know it will take some time, but I can’t wait to make this home a home we love! I can’t wait for new memories in this house with family and friends. We plan on hosting Thanksgiving with family this year, and I’m So excited!

Most of all I’m just thankful for everything God has blessed us with this year. We owe him everything.

SBHouse1We finally have a mudroom! I can’t wait to decorate it!
SbHouse3I’m actually looking for to even decorating the laundry room.:-)Sbhouse2Now if I could just get Joanna Gaines to come decorate for me?:-)

July 21, 2015 - 11:19 am

Petra - Beautiful! I’m so happy for you guys and I can’t wait to see what you do with it!! You don’t need a fancy decorator — you’re the best already!!

Anna { A Spring, Princess Themed Session }

I love these princess themed sessions with Anna. We are on our third session, and she’s always so much fun to work with and SO photogenic as well! Since this is her side business ( she’s a school teacher by day), we plan on doing a few more shoots to promote her business. I love that she has these great concepts and visions for her shoots. Her business is taking off, so proud of her! If you need a wonderful, sweet princess for your child’s party, call her, Costume Teacher  on Facebook. The little girls love her!

We did this session at the lovely Meadowlark Gardens in Vienna. It was a hot, humid day, but beautiful with everything in bloom! Thank you to the lovely, Macy who assisted us!

Stay tuned for a beautiful Cinderella themed shoot at Arlie Manor soon!


Road trip to Boston, MA { Personal, Travel Photography}

Last Summer my husband and I took a trip to Boston and Cape Cod, and I fell in love with the Eastern Cape. It’s so beautiful! I have this dream someday ( maybe after the kids are all grown, and we are much older), to live in a Coastal town, or have one as a vacation home. Something about living near water and those cute coastal beachy homes and cottages just speak to me and make me want to stop and stare at them for days on end. My family can also tell you about my obsession for finding Lighthouses along the Coast, even if we have to climb around abandoned areas to see them.

So I was excited to go back and celebrate with family at Rodrigo and Tever’s wedding. It was such a fun wedding weekend, filled with love and family, baseball games, fireworks and B-bques. My mom flew in and was able to take the road trip with us. It was so great spending a week together!

On our way there, we stopped in New Haven, CT to spend the night, in the morning we took a quick trip to Lighthouse Point Park, and even drove right past the home of Justin & Mary Marantz. I love their little beachy home with the anchor on the door. Mary, I promised I wasn’t stalking you!:-)Funny story, because we passed their home on the way to the Lighthouse and I thought from pictures I had seen how familiar the house looked, so I made my husband google the address and sure enough it was theirs! You know you are a well admired photographer when other photos google your address! We also did a quick little tour of Yale. Loved the architecture!

We also got in a little sightseeing to see a couple lighthouses, and a Castle. Yes, a castle.. I felt like I was in Europe for a minute. It was so worth the hour drive to go see Hammond Castle. I really wanted to see Martha’s Vineyard this trip, but time didn’t allow it. I guess I will just have to put another East Coast trip on my do to list again soon! Maine is really high up on my list!



Quick tour of Yale in New Haven, CT…


8aSB9SBSome of you may recognize this cute little home. I promise I’m not a stalker! It’s the home of Justin & Mary. I love their cute home right on the water!7SBThe cute town of Gloucester, MA…5aSB5SB18SB11SB11aSB12SB15SB16SB13SB17SB14SBSuch a great weekend with family I won’t forget!


Gigi & Clayton { Oxon Hill, MD Wedding Photography}

Back in Early May I second shot this beautiful Oxon Hill Manor Wedding with Stephanie Messick Photography. I had NO idea this beautiful venue existed down by the National Harbor, so when we pulled up, I was a little speechless and in awe. It was stunning! Maybe one of my favorite venues ever. ( A Vintage lover, like mine= dream!)

Gigi was such a stunning, natural bride. I was so in love with her ivy floral crown and stunning details. Kim Newton Weddings did an Amazing job pulling her theme together. I was in love with all the Succulents, the clear tent, oh and those table scapes! All the details were just perfection together. Stunning. I took one of those little succulents home, and did you know, it’s still alive to this day.:-)

What a beautiful, flawless wedding day. I was so honored to be a part of such a beautiful day! Best wishes and a bright and happy future to Gigi and Clayton!


Love these moments!5139383553361428
















Getting Stephanie in action on the dance floor!47


Thank you to all of the vendors involved!!!
Caterer: Northwest Fresh Catering
Stationery: Etsy
Transportation: LIMOS INC.
Bridesmaid Dresses: JCrew

F a c e b o o k
T w i t t e r