Ali McLaughlin Photography bio picture
  • WELCOME!

    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.

A Vintage, Garden Inspired Style Shoot, { Poplar Springs Inn, Warrenton, VA Photography}

This last August, along with a couple other great ladies, I planned my very first Summer style shoot and It was so much fun. I wanted to host an affordable style shoot for the girls in my Pursuit Gainesville group so they could get a little hands on practice, and who doesn’t love a gorgeous couple and beautiful Vintage details? I may have had a few nightmares leading up to the shoot, I had hoped and prayed everything would come together like I imagined it and I wanted the girls to love it! It turned out more beautiful than I had even thought! Giving God the glory for answering my many prayers after leaving it in his hands. It definitely takes a whole team to plan a style shoot!

Our couple Julie, and Caleb were just stunning and were SO sweet together! You wouldn’t know they’ve been married seven years, they were like newlyweds!

Eight Tree Street Did an Amazing jobs on the florals. They literally took my breath away! I love working with Maribel, she’s incredibly talented! A huge shout out to the other amazing vendors as well!  Carolyn Thombs, Lipstick and Chiffon, for the amazing hair and makeup. Splotch and Line for the amazing calligraphy, Cassel Designs and Daisy Saulls Photography for all your amazing ideas and table set up, those vintage table and chairs.. swoon.  I couldn’t have done it without you. Love you girls!

It was an amazing day, I was so thankful for the girls that came out and how much God has blessed our Gainesville Pursuit group as a community. I feel so honored to be leading these wonderful Creative ladies. The road to being entrepreneurs can be lonely and hard at times.  I’ve made some amazing friends and connections through this group. They all have the best hearts!

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Sb13Sb107SB2a51SB124SB33Sb15Sb2Sb9910Sb24Sb21Sb8Sb20Sb7Sb5Sb22A huge thank you to all the vendors who contributed!

Florals: Eight Tree Street

Venue- Poplar Springs Inn, Warrenton, VA

Hair and Makeup : Carolyn Thombs of Lipstick and Chiffon

Vintage Car: Chris Overcash with the National Cadillac LeSalle Club

Calligraphy : Splotch and Line

Table set up : Jennifer Buracker of Cassel Interiors, Daisy Saulls Photography

Cake : Daisy’s Dad

Models : Julie and Caleb Epperson

August 25, 2015 - 7:04 pm

Petra - Beautiful!!! Love the setup and the photos!!

St Maarten & Anguilla { Personal, Travel}

After a busy Summer of shooting weddings it was nice to take the month of August off for some sun and relaxation!

One of our favorite family traditions has become vacationing in St. Maarten. My in laws have been coming for over 25 years, they have a timeshare on the island, and are nice enough to share it with us each year. I have so many awesome memories here. In fact, my husband asked me to come with him after the second month of dating. ( I knew he was a keeper!:-)

I never tire of the beautiful clear blue waters and beautiful beaches here. Each year I like to try a new restaurant or a new place we haven’t been, since the island is only about  14 miles long, it’s great to mix it up! I found this little beach bar called Kokomo this time and fell in love. I could sit here for hours and just enjoy the view with a cocktail in hand.

I also explored Pinel Island on the trip for the first time. I didn’t bring my Nikon with me, I’m always nervous of beach days and sand, but it was another of my favorite days just with the girls, sunbathing, seeing all the huge iguanas, and enjoying a fabulous lunch.

I love that St. Maarten has become a tradition that I cherish the memories with my family. My kids even say it’s one of their favorite places to visit. I can’t wait to go back and make new memories each time.

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The Cute little town of Philipsburg. Great for shopping, the best chocolate, gelato and amazing restaurants!SB1Sb1aSb17Sb43Sb20Sb10Sb5SB2Sb9Sb38Sb37Sb18SB6Sb22SB7Sb16Sb24Sb31Sb32Sb46sb39Sb40Sb34

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Dinner at one of our favorites, Bamboo Bernies. The sushi is amazing here, and the edamame and seaweed salad.. I could go on and on.

Sb28Sb29Anguilla 

This was one of my favorite days, the beach here was amazing, the sand so white and soft. We got to try a delicious Anguilla meal as well local to the island, chicken, with rice and peas. It was a relaxing day. The boys had fun paddle boarding and snorkeling here too.

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August 19, 2015 - 9:01 am

Petra - Love the photos! Looks like you guys had a fabulous time. Your photos make me want to go there! :)

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!

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SBARLIESBARLIEDETAILSSBARLIEROPESBARLIEFLOWERSSBARLIESETAILSROPESBARLIEREADYSBARLIEBOQUETSSBARLIEBSSBCandiceSBARLIESPINThe Gorgeous reception details. Loved the knots!SBARLIERECEPTIONSBlights29 SBSBCAKESBARLIEgroundsSBFlowers4SBThe church ceremony was held at Battlefield Baptist.

SBGettingready16SB17SBSb25Beautiful cocktail hour details..
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Building Our First Home { Personal}

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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.

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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.

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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!

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