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.

Cape Cod & Nantucket { Summer, travel Photography}

This Summer has been full of Highs and Lows.

I had started writing down a list of things I wanted to do last year and New England was high on my list. It’s funny how when you write things down they seem easier to make happen, and so when my husband had some paid travel time for us together ( a work perk) we made it happen. It was just as Idyllic as I had imagined it in my mind. Some places we travel are not how I picture them to be in my mind, but Cape Cod was everything and more and I can’t wait to go back and explore more of it someday.

What I didn’t know during this time is how fast my dad’s health was failing at this time. Looking back if I had known just how bad it was I would have spent the few days on the Lake with him with the rest of my family.. I was so glad to be able to hold his hand through those last few days. I know he heard us and how important that was to him and me.

I felt like I’ve lost some desire since he passed away to be on social media, or edit, or pursue my photography and I know that is ok. I know that in time it will get better. I’m at peace that my dad is in Heaven and I have hope to see him again one day.

So slowly but surely I am getting back to the things I love. Experiencing life,  living it, sharing it.

I love seeing the world and travels through my camera.

I want to take in as much of it as I can. 

Peaceful. Serene. Sailboats everywhere. Beautiful Cape Cod houses with roses all over the Arbors. Biking through the town, delicious seafood, were just a few of the things I love about New England Life. A slower pace of life. I could get used to that someday.

I know my dad would have loved it. He always loved water and peaceful places. If I could get back one more thing it would be to experience more together. Never take time for granted. It’s a precious thing. If there’s one thing I have learned is you can’t wait for things to happen, you need to go out and make  them happen. Experience Life to it’s fullest. Life is always good.

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Eli & Family { Newborn} Reston, VA family Photography

I love this sweet family! I shot their session last Winter and Mary contacted me about doing  newborn photos of their newest addition Will, and I was excited to head  back to the same location and do another session for them, although this time it was so much warmer!. I love this location in Reston with the stream and rocks and boat dock. I thought it would be perfect location for a basket and sailboat! Oh and Will and Eli’s matching Gingham outfits? So adorable!

Isn’t Eli so sweet? He was a tiny thing, born six weeks early at 6 pounds. He was so happy at his session, even with big brother Will, steamrolling him in a few shots.:-)What a great big brother. I love how two year old’s  just don’t know any better, but they just love to squeeze on their new sibling.

Congratulations Hamrick Family! You have such a beautiful family. So happy to capture this special time in your life.

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July 21, 2014 - 4:27 pm

Isabelle - Awwww, soooo lovely! Those tiny tiny hands and feet are just adorable.

July 22, 2014 - 8:10 am

Natalie - Such a sweet family! Beautiful session!

A week in Paradise…Maui { Personal, Summer travels}

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Maui has been on my travel list for awhile now, but because of the distance and cost from the East Coast, we never thought much about it. Then last Winter my husband name was pulled in a raffle for a 10 day condo stay! I was super excited to be able to see Hawaii finally.

That Maya Angelou, she is one smart woman. You see the older I get, and maybe it’s because I realize as time goes on, we really only have a short time to really experience this life and get out there and go on adventures and see the world. People say all the time, you are so lucky you get to travel so much, but it’s not luck as much as it is just making things happen that make YOU happy.

Now on to our trip…It was a great week together as a family, we made so many memories, from snorkeling Molokini( thank God, I didn’t see any sharks!), to experiencing our first Lual, to driving most of the island. As a look back, we probably didn’t relax as much as we should have. When you are in a new place, you just want to soak up everything and see the beauty of the Island.

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On of our first days there since we were not yet adjusted to the time change we got up at 2 a.m to see the sunrise at Haleakala Volcano. It was a scary drive up as I was gripping the seat and begging Andy to drive slow. When its dark you can’t see that you could drive right off the side of the cliff! The drive back was so much better! Amazing sunrise to experience though! Even it if was only 40 degrees! I was ready to get back down to the 80 degree weather!We had breakfast at Kula Lodge with amazing views of Maui and lots of tropical Maui fauna.

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Andy and I were able to steal a couple hours to ourself one evening ( Lexi wasn’t feeling well)  and we went to the Andaz hotel in Walea. Loved this hotel! We were able to relax for a bit and take in the Sunset, and snag a few photos of us as well!:-)Later that night we had an awesome date at Pita Paradise, really yummy Greek food and the best dessert, a Baklavla ice cream cake! I may have gained a few pounds on this trip!;-)

 

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On our second day we explored the town of Lahaina. I loved this town. It has all the fun shops and restaurants and the beach is a pretty shade of blue. We spent the day shopping, taking in the sights, and eating! We had the best Gelato here!

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We drove on farther a bit from Lahaina to see the Nakalele Blowholes. There are signs posted not to get too close, a couple people died from being sucked in. I was happy to stay a safe distance. What incredible views of Maui and that heart shaped rock? Love. This day I was also able to try the taco trucks on the side of the road, and buy some local chocolate with coconut. I was loving the local food!

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The beautiful beaches of Maui ( We did three beach days), to a day trip to the local winery for Pineapple wine. Andy thought it was too sweet but I enjoyed it!winerymaui

One of our days exploring we found this cool surfboard fence in Haiku. I loved driving the Island!

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One of our favorite days was the Road to Hana. It takes all day to drive it, and they say as a tourist never to get stuck driving the road at night. Its a very narrow two lane road and can be dangerous at times. We loved stoping at the different mile markers, and hiking to beautiful waterfalls, trying the local banana bread, and drinking out of coconuts. ( yuck!) My favorite was the Garden of Eden, and hiking four miles through the Bamboo forest to experiencing the Seven Sacred Pools at the bottom. What an awesome day! The Black sand beach was really cool too, and I left my camera in the car for the beach, but Evan got to experience jumping off one of the smaller rocks into the ocean. We downloaded the Gypsy guide that day to hear an audible tour guide as we drove along, and we were reminded that “ It’s not about the destination, but the journey”. After you drive it is makes sense. What a wonderful journey we all had that day. My kids said it was one of their favorites from the trip! Even if we WERE one of those dumb tourists that got stuck driving the road at night. There is a shirt you can buy that says. ” I survived the Road to Hana, well I needed one that said ” I survived my husband’s drive home from Hana’. Just glad we made it home safely.

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We spent an evening here checking out this beautiful hotel. We splurged on dinner here. What a view from dinner though! The sunset was amazing! waterfall

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We also drove Upcountry into Maui. It’s so beautiful with farms and rolling green hills, and did I mention Oprah has a Ranch here( here it is below), I may or may not have stalked her house! :-)We had breakfast at Grandma’s house.. which is a favorite in Maui known for their yummy baked goods and home cooked breakfast. I asked if they had seen Oprah since it’s right across the street. They said not much these days, but they saw her walking down the road and had come in a couple years back.

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We also made time for some portraits on the beach the night before we left, because how could we not?. Ahh.. golden Maui light and sunsets. You will be missed.

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July 2, 2014 - 11:20 am

Dani - Ok. I think these photos did it for me. I need to add Maui to my travel list. So gorgeous!!!

July 2, 2014 - 12:10 pm

Emilia Jane - This looks like absolute perfection! I must go.

July 2, 2014 - 2:08 pm

Natalie - I’m dying to visit Maui one day… It truly looks like the most beautiful place in the world!

July 2, 2014 - 8:14 pm

Kirsten - Ahhhhh so beautiful!

July 3, 2014 - 12:17 pm

Caitlin - Wow- so much gorgeous light!

The Romantic Bride { Romantic Farm Style shoot, Fredericksburg, VA}

Giovanna made such a stunning model! She knew how to give those model looks!:-)

I loved the old house at Belvedere Plantation. So gorgeous! Lots of open fields, cool doors, and beautiful lush green scenery. What a perfect backdrop for a style shoot! I’m also kind of in love with the look of fresh flowers for a bridal headpiece. Florals were by Eight Tree Street and were gorgeous!

All the people that came together to make this shoot happen did an incredible job!

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Model: Giovanna Castiglia

Gown: Formal Envy

Hair: Samantha Wood

Makeup: Allison Barlow

Florals: Eight Tree Street

Jewelry: Funky Tangerine

Venue: Belvedere Plantation

Planners: Allison Hopperstad Photography, Lee Rorhbaugh Photography, Melissa Salinas Photography

It’s all in the Details { Romantic Farm Style shoot} Fredericksburg, VA

Wedding details are one of my favorite things to shoot at a wedding, beside’s Bride and Groom portraits.:-)

So when I heard about this vintage inspired shoot on a farm, with gorgeous details and Macarons I knew this was going to be a fun one! Don’t you wish you could go back to your wedding day and add these fun little touches? Macarons and cupcakes are a fun twist to the super expensive wedding cake!

So, if you have a wedding coming up, here are some fun ideas for the vintage inspired bride!

Thank you to all the vendors who made this shoot happen! It was a wonderful day, albeit HOT, networking with other photographers and vendors.

What a fun day! I loved Belvedere Farm! So many fun nooks and cranies to shoot at. A wonderful barn, and a super cute old house. If you are looking for a wedding venue, I would definitely recommend taking a look here!

Stay tuned for more bride portraits coming soon!

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VENUE:
Belvedere Plantation | www.belvedereplantation.com

PLANNERS/ COORDINATORS : Allison Hopperstad Photography, Lee Rohrbaugh Photography, Melissa Salinas Photography

EVENT COORDINATOR: Events by Alex | www.eventsalex.com

FLORAL DESIGN: EightTreeStreet | www.eighttreestreet.com

MACAROONS:
Wholly Sweets Bake Shop | www.facebook.com/Wholly-Sweets-Bake-Shop

CAKES:
Ameeta Bakes | www.ameetabakes.com

PAPER GOODS:
Allison Hopperstad Photography & Design | www.allisonhopperstad.com

BRIDAL SHOP:
Formal Envy | www.formalenvy.com

MAKE UP ARTISTS:
Emma Sanz | www.emmasanz.com | models: Shannon(field) & Marga(pink bridesmaid)
Allison Barlow | www.allison-barlow.com | models: Giovanna(house) & Emma(barn)
Sparkle Grose | www.thebeyoutygeek.tumblr.com | models: Lisa (green bridesmaid) & Heather(truck)

HAIRSTYLISTS:
Amy Hussey | (models: Shannon & Emma) Samantha Wood | (models: Giovanna & Marga) Stacey Webb | (models: Lisa & Heather)

JEWELRY/ACCESSORIES
The Funky Tangerine | www.thefunkytangerine.com

DECOR RENTAL
FredVintage | www.facebook.com/fredvintage Simply Beautiful Spaces | www.simplybeautifulspaces.com

LINEN RENTAL
Beggars Banquet | www.beggarsbanquetcatering.com

June 10, 2014 - 10:11 am

Maribel - I love your shoot, so beautiful!

June 10, 2014 - 4:57 pm

Colleen - I was at the shoot too and I love how you edit! What program do you use?

June 11, 2014 - 8:58 pm

alim - Thanks girls! Colleen, I used PS5 to edit these but I also use LR a lot as well!

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