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.

Snapshots from Charleston, SC { Personal, travels}

We have this tradition where we head South every Spring break. It’s the perfect time to get away from Virginia after the harsh Winters we usually have. I was ready for some sunshine, a change of scenery and time with my family. We decided to stop halfway in Charleston on our way to Florida. I love this city! It’s so beautiful.. it may be one of my all time favorite cities! Usually it’s just a quick overnight stay.. I love to bring my camera and just take in the beauty of the city. This year I really wanted to explore King St. and I was able to capture just a small glimpse of how beautiful Charleston is. We found a beautiful cemetery tucked away amongst the Spanish Moss.. the Spring flowers were just starting to bloom, it was stunning. After we walked for a couple hours, we headed to the Waterfront to see all the gorgeous homes, caught sight of a few dolphins, then had a Southern meal of catfish and cornbread at the Hominey Grill, I even tried boiled peanuts for the first time and liked them! Be prepared if you ever want to get in to the top ten restaurants… there is really long wait!

The next day we explored Magnolia Plantation. It’s a must see! I really wanted to explore Boone Hall as well, but time just didn’t allow it… I guess I will just have to come back soon.. this time with a few more days to really take it all in! Charleston.. you are gorgeous!

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April 7, 2015 - 7:54 pm

Shaun - Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos of Charleston. My son will be attending College of Charleston in the fall and I have only seen a tiny area of downtown. It is nice to see why he fell in love with this beautiful city.

April 7, 2015 - 8:26 pm

alim - How exciting for your son! I’m jealous! I’m sure he will love living in such a beautiful city!

April 7, 2015 - 11:28 pm

Cindy - Wow – you need to send these to their tourism board! Get spring photos Ali!

Thoughts on Community and Serving Others { Pursuit 31 Gainesville, VA}

One of the plainest expressions of Love in Scripture is Fellowship or sharing with others. One of the most valuable things we can share is ourselves, our time, our talents and energy serving others. One thing I have learned this year is that to share yourself with others is one of God’s greatest blessings!

” Give and it will be given unto you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured unto you.”  Luke 6:38

When I was asked to take over the Pursuit 31 Gainesville group this year from Elle, it was a little scary, but exciting! Sometimes God asks us to take even a small step forward for him. What good are we if we hide our faith? It may be out of your comfort zone at times, but I really felt God whispering on my heart, you got this. At first I thought to myself,  what do I have to offer these ladies? Then God reminded me that serving others takes no special talent or ability. The reason most of us do not see opportunities to serve others is that we are continually thinking of ourselves. We have not learned that we are not to look at only our interests but the interests of others.

Competition has no place in the fellowship of believers.  Sometimes even the simplest act, whether it is to use the talent God has given you to speak, or maybe it’s just being an encouragement to someone else who is going through a tough time. I can tell you that God sees you, and he blesses you for it.

We are on our third meeting so far, and let me say, wow, what a blessing the Pursuit Community has been to me! These ladies have taken their time to speak, be a shoulder for someone who is hurting,  to sharing their knowledge with each other and just overall show the love of Jesus to each other. Some of the ladies, God bless you, even let me borrow props! My hope is that there will be no place for drama or jealousy in our group. I know that at times, we bring our personal hurts and feelings onto others, but we should always remember to treat someone else how we would want to be treated. To be a friend. I am so looking forward to gettting to know each of these ladies personally this year and can’t wait to see where the year takes us, and the memories we will make! We have some fun meetings planned!

Thank you ladies for the cupcakes, the coffees, the lunches, the dinners, the learning and everything in between! A big Thank you also to Stephanie Messick for sharing her business knowledge with us this week on Orginazation and Taxes. You are all Boss ladies and I am so thankful for each one of your sweet hearts!

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March 19, 2015 - 2:13 pm

Petra - Love this! And I love that you have found a place with this seemingly amazing group!! ❤️

A Frozen Themed Shoot { Manassas, VA Photographer}

I have to say I have never done a themed shoot before, so when Evan’s teacher from last year, Anna reached out to me about her idea, I thought it sounded like a fun shoot! Anna was one of my son’s favorite teachers, EVER! She loved dressing up and coming up with the most fun ways to learn in the classroom. I just loved her! So this last year, she decided to turn her love of dressing up into doing kids themed parties. She makes the Perfect Elsa, from Frozen, don’t you think? She also does other Storybook themes as well. If you need someone for your little one’s party you should definately call her! She is Costume Teacher on Facebook.

She is stunningly beautiful! Right?! I loved spending an hour before the sun went down shooting this session.. and the light! Amazing. Good luck on your new venture, Mrs. Collins!

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March 5, 2015 - 2:22 pm

Petra - Love these! Vega is sitting with me and she said “Elsa!!!” :)

Faeth Workshop { Culpeper VA Wedding Style Shoot}

I had the pleasure of scoring a last minute seat to Sarah Houston of Faeth Photography’s workshop a couple weekends ago, one of  the attendees had to cancel and I jumped on it. I follow Sarah on Instagram and I loved her vintage style and her heart for helping other photographers by lifting them up, instead of tearing them down. ” We rise by lifting others”~ Robert Ingersoll

She has a sweet  heart and I love how quirky she is! It’s VERY hard for me to spend money on workshops, but this year I wanted to stay busy during the slow season, so I went for it! We had a huge snowstown the day before, but this day was in the 40’s and it felt SO warm compared to the day before! The venue was absolutely stunning with the snow cover. Salubria is one of the most haunted places in VA, or so I’ve heard!

It was so great meeting Sarah and all the other 10 girls who attended. Every one was super friendly. I love networking with other photographers and meeting other people in the business..I always say it’s better to get out there and shoot in your down season and get to know others in this business.. its makes it life so much better and a less lonely place when you are supporting others.

We started the afternoon with a yummy lunch at Panera, then headed over to the venue for the Style shoot. I loved all the little vintage details from the typewriter, to the cake, the DRESS to the gorgeous flowers. It was perfect. The models Angela and DJ did such a great job as well!

Then we did headshots, and headed over to the little cottage for some learning time. Sarah answered any questions we had, as well as went over how to build your photography business and some tips on how she runs her business. All in all it was a great day and fun experience! Thank you Sarah for sharing your heart with us and thank you to all the vendors who made the shoot possible!

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Flowers: Emily Harmon of Love Blooms
Invites: Caitlin Troilo of KK’s Printing & Stationary
Rentals: Logan Powell of Real Southern Accents
Hair: Brianna Adams of Brianna B. Adams LLC
Cake: Sweet Reasons Cupcakes
Dress: Borrowing Magnolia
Venue: Salubria
&& our lovely models:
Angela Cuccherini Moberley & D.J Moberley!

March 2, 2015 - 4:24 pm

Petra - Beautiful photos, Ali!! Sounds like such a fun day! Did you get to eat the cake? :)

March 3, 2015 - 4:14 pm

alim - No, Petra! I wish!

Leilana {Haymarket, VA Newborn Photography}

Omg. I loved photographing this sweet little cherub! She was so easy and pretty peaceful after we got her warm! Her mom, Laura hosted a Sip and See but on this day we had a HUGE snowstorm which almost prevented me from coming out, but I’m so glad I did! Loved spending time with her. She is precious!

Since she was a Valentine’s baby, I may have gone a little overboard on the PINK! Congrats Laura and family!

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