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.

Pursuit 31 Gainesville Retreat 2016 { Personal, Faith}

One thing I have learned in the last year is when God is calling you to something to listen. When I first started leading Pursuit 31 Gainesville, it was scary to step outside of my comfort zone and lead, and when he called me to join a couple small groups my faith was strengthened by reading the bible and praying for others. God put it on my heart to lead a retreat this year and what a blessing the weekend was! Little did I know when I rented the house the owners of the Joshua House were also Christians, and when I walked in I loved seeing all the framed art with bible verses. It’s amazing to see God work. I have tried living life for far too long in my own strength, miserably failing many times, and I can’t explain the joy it is to give God your heart!

Not only did we have a blast, the girls shared their hearts, shared testimonies, formed friendships and thanked God for all he has done. My favorite part of the weekend was sitting on the dock doing our small group bible study on ” Lord, teach me to pray” while taking in the beauty of his creation around us. We baked, we worked out, we did headshots, Candice taught us a mini class on posing, we ate way too many cupcakes and cookies, and we finished the night by watching ” War Room”. If you haven’t seen it what an amazing movie on prayer! I was so encouraged by each of these women, and am thankful for new friendships. When it was time to leave I felt a little sad, leaving this amazing house and wonderful women. I can’t wait to do it again!

” Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3;5-6


April 18, 2016 - 3:02 pm

Petra - Beautiful ladies, scenery, and photography! Great post too – very encouraging! ❤️❤️❤️

Springtime at the Biltmore { Personal, Travel Photography}

Asheville has always been on my list of places to visit. Especially the Biltmore. It’s such an exquisite Mansion. When you step on the grounds you feel like you are transported to Europe! Everything was just starting to bloom in the gardens, which was gorgeous. The theme was Wedding Gowns on Film and the mansion was filled with fresh flowers, wedding gowns and the history of actors from famous films.

We took a little detour for the weekend on the way to Florida to spend the weekend here in Asheville. What a beautiful city! It was a lot smaller than I thought it would be for some reason. I loved the artsy vibe of the city. Oh, and the Southern food? So good! The first day I had already blown my healthy eating habits on fried chicken and biscuits. So worth it.

A little history behind this mansion, It was built by George W. Vanderbilt in 1889, and was the largest private home every built in the United States. It was just he and his wife and daughter who lived here. Can you imagine a house this large? It was home to many lavish parties and events back in the 1800’s. I can imagine stepping back in time and being a fly on the wall for something so grand! Due to the Depression it was sold and later opened to the public  as a National Historic landmark.

I highly recommend a trip to the Biltmore, its just a 6 hour trip from D.C and so worth the visit! A few more favorite things to do in Asheville:

The Antique Tobacco Barn ( If you love antiques like I do! there is a huge wharehouse full!)

Early Girl Eatery and Tupelo Honey Cafe.

Breakfast at the Corner Cafe.

Drinks at the Omni Hotel ( the views are amazing!)

Walking through downtown, loved the cobblestone streets. Super dog friendly!

River Arts District, shopping in Biltmore Village.

Next time, I will explore more of the scenic parks and waterfalls, there just wasn’t enough time. Till next time Asheville!



March 29, 2016 - 6:07 pm

Petra - Beautiful!! We always talk about stopping at the Biltmore on the way to or from TN, but never seem to find the time. It’s on the to do list. Love the photos!!

Rachel & Adam { Old Town Alexandria Engagement Photography}

Rachel & Adam are engaged to be married Oct 1, 2016 at Amp in Bethesda, Maryland. They both enjoy city living and wanted their venue to reflect a more urban feel, and it’s even within walking distance from their home which made it an easy choice.

We met last weekend for their engagement session in Old Town Alexandria, it was still a bit of a chilly day, before this warm Spring like weather rolled in. I love getting to know my couples a little bit more from their engagement session, we chatted a bit about how they met while working together and some of the things they enjoy, while exploring Old Town. They are such a sweet couple, and I am so excited for their beautiful wedding!

Congrats again Rachel & Adam!




March 14, 2016 - 4:12 pm

Petra - Love the photos! You are awesome. As usual.

Rixey Manor Winter Style Shoot { Culpeper, VA Wedding Photography}

This last January I photographed a lovely style shoot put together by Kayla Dreesen. This girl impressed me that she pulled this off in just a couple weeks! Her goal is to one day get into wedding planning and she has a heart for military couples, I know she will be successful! We worked with the super talented Maribel of Eight Tree Street for the florals, I just love working with Maribel. She is amazing! I also got to meet Rosanna from Bella Villa and fell in love with her fun personality and everything she has in her vintage shop is just spectacular if you ever need rentals for a wedding or style shoot she is your girl!

I had never been to Rixey Manor, and was stunned when I pulled up to the lovely views and rolling mountains in the distance. Ben and Isadora are just the friendliest owners of the manor and gave me a quick tour when I arrived. It was a SUPER cold, windy day, so most of our shoot was indoors, but what a great day it was, despite frigid temps. It’s fun to do a shoot just for the creativity, when the pressure if off like on a wedding day.

I’m sharing a few of my favorites. Thanks to all the wonderful vendors who came together to make this shoot happen, and to our wonderful models who braved the cold!



Venue- Rixey Manor

Florist- Eight Tree Street

Planner- Kayla Dreesen

Rentals- Bella Villa

Hair- Kayla Dreesen

Makeup- Alexis McLaughlin

Dresses- Soliliquy Bridal

Models-  Mallory Bryan, Stefanie Hoerner

Cake- Sweets By E.


March 14, 2016 - 4:15 pm

Petra - So pretty!!

Best of 2015 Weddings

2015 was the year of weddings for me! I usually shoot portraits so it was fun sharing in my bride’s special day! It can always be a little nerve-wracking shooting one of the most important days in a couple’s life. I felt like the ones I did take on, where SO perfectly suited to me! Thank you all all my brides who trusted me to be their photographer last year!

I also loved second shooting this year. I was a learning experience shooting along side Stephanie Messick Photography and was so thankful for the opportunity she gave me! I learned so much about not just capturing the moment, but learning to capture emotion as well! Also a big thank you to Alicia Lacey Photography, Norman Photo and Paper, Bridgette E Photography and Precious Posh Photography for letting me shoot alongside you talented ladies!

My funniest memory of the year had to be the farm wedding I second shot with Stephanie. Somehow I got chiggers from sitting on the hay bales. All over my BUTT! It wasn’t funny at the time, but it makes for some good memories! What a great year it was….

Here are some of my favorite Wedding images of 2015! Next up are some of my favorite Portraits from the year.

Jasmine & David { Morven Park}





Shauna & Brandon { Heritage Hunt}

Sb65Sb50Sb46Sb25Sb21Sb10Rachel & Jason { Middleburg C.C}


Spring & Jordan { Washington D.C}


Sb30Sb22Sb28Sb29Sb6Sb5Sb7Sb25Sb15Megan & Hunter { Winery at Bull Run} Second shooting with Bridgette E. PhotographySb22SB19Sb10sb11

Sb27 Sean & Zari { Heritage Hunt} Second shooting with Stephanie Messick PhotographySb9

Sb8Sb45SB35Sb9aSb41Sb14SB3aSb5Gigi & Clayton { Oxon Hill Manor} Second Shooting with Stephanie Messick Photography


Candice & Matt { Arlie Farm} Second Shooting with Stephanie Messick Photography

SBARLIEFARMSBARLIEDETAILSSBARLIEREADYSBARLIESPIN18SBSb2aSB4aBrianna & Matt { Private Residence} Second shooting with Stephanie Messick Photography





Courtney & Brian Second shooting with Stephanie Messick





Sb6Second Shooting for Precious Posh Photography76521Kelly & Drew { Arlie Farm} Second Shooting with Alicia Lacey PhotographySb22Sb15KellyanddrewSBsb12Sb35SB40Kristen & Nick{ Whitehall Manor} Second shooting with Stephanie Messick Photography
4229131516Mandy & Taylor { Salamander Resort} Second Shooting with Norman Photography and Paperie


Sb4Sb2Sb8Sb5Sb7Sb9Jaricia & Jon  Second shooting with Stephanie Messick


March 14, 2016 - 4:31 pm

Petra - LOVE seeing all these wedding photos together! So beautiful!

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