*This is a paid post from an APW Sponsor*
Today is one of those rare and exciting days where I do a sponsored-sponsored post. By which I mean, a post that I write, for virtually free, for someone in the VERY beginning stages of making their business a reality. Helping sane, baby wedding businesses grow into take-over-the-world, sane wedding businesses is part of APW’s mission, and you can think of my sponsored-sponsored posts as my pro-bono work. Which sounds grandiose, so I like it.
So, drum roll please……. Today I’m so pleased to get to introduce Allison Andres Photography. I met Allison at the Bay Area APW Book Club meet-up (she’s lovely, and was probably the cutest dressed girl there… she kicked it up a notch with a bright green flared dress, while the rest of us we rocking jeans and flats, achem). Anyway! I met her, and then after I wrote the post about women and money, she emailed me with this huge breakthrough moment. She said, “I realized that your article for me was not about MONEY but more about my own personal goals and dreams. It is my desire to get paid to be creative, and to support my family by taking photos. Am I making a living doing what I love? No. I am stuck at a desk job where I get yelled at by customers and constantly feel like I’m spinning my wheels. Every few weeks I start to write a letter to you about becoming a vendor for Team Practical. I begin typing away about my goals and dreams and desires to share moments of joy with couples and families UNTIL the doubts start creeping in. Why do I do this to myself? Well, it’s just like you said, I undervalue my abilities and my self-worth! Well, I will do this no more!”
So I looked at her portfolio, and thought about it for two seconds, and was like, we, collectively, need to help make Allison’s dream happen. So here we are. What to say about Allison? She’s got a great eye, and composes beautifully with color. She’s one of you guys, so you will like her instantly. She’s personable, and funny, and is going to bring out the best in you in two seconds. She’s also *just* starting out, so in the crazy-expensive Bay Area market, her wedding rates start at just $900. If you’re looking for that illusive beast, the just-starting-out Bay Area wedding photographer, who will shoot your wedding at a super affordable rate, give you piles of pictures, and some serious raw talent? Allison Andres Photography is where it’s at.
I asked Allison to write a bit of an artists statement, and tell us about why APW was her online community of choice, and ladies, it’s fantastic:
I have fine-art still life photography background. I spent 3 years in college studying the technical and fine art aspect of the medium and while I am happy that I know how to color balance a print and can navigate a darkroom with ease, the structure of still life and the dark room were too confining for me. I really had no fulfillment in my artwork. Until, one day, during a hike in the woods to shoot a self-portrait, I turned my camera on my then-boyfriend and found my calling. The rhythm and flow of following him around, composing shots and waiting with baited breath for just the right moment was exhilarating! Later on that week, looking at my contact sheet and choosing my frames I was more pleased with my work than I had been in years. (And it wasn’t because of the boyfriend, because we broke up 2 weeks later!)
Since that day I have chased after the feeling that I get when photographing people. I love being in the middle of a packed dance floor and consumed by the electric happiness of weddings. I love fussing with a girl’s hair at an engagement shoot because I know that she’d want me to capture her at her best self. I am always smiling when I’m taking portraits because I know I’m capturing something amazing. Like moments of stillness in a world of chaos.
I love brides and grooms. When I was asked to photograph my last wedding, I was so excited that the bride and groom wanted me there to document the moments of their day. It’s almost like I was given the key to some sort of exclusive club!
Since I am located on the border of the east bay and north bay I really want to be the a resource for napa valley brides. I know the the typical photographer in the area starts at 5k and it can be really overwhelming to find someone good that doesn’t break the bank (I speak from experience).
I’ve been reading APW since early 2009 (editors note: that’s forever-EVER ago!) I searched “San Francisco Wedding Blog” in Google. After I got engaged I was looking for something, not realizing that I was going to become a part of such an amazing community. But here I am.
I read the wedding grad posts and reader comments and thought to myself “THESE are the kind of clients I want to book”! They are chic, funny, and wise. It’s taken me a long time to muster up the courage to advertise on APW (I don’t advertise anywhere else except for my Facebook page) but I know the kind of personal and business successes APW vendors have experienced and I know it’s because the readers are really great at boosting each other up and praising each other’s hard work and dedication. It’s rare to find that in the wedding world.