*This is a paid post from an APW Sponsor*
Most of you know that if there is one thing I love, it’s watching a business grow. And if there is one thing I ADORE, it’s watching a business grow with the help of the APW community. I don’t know what it is, but it makes me feel like a little old lady telling a teenager that got into Harvard, “Oh, I remember you when you were small and adorable.” Weird, but true. So, I’m always super excited to get to talk about Allison Andres Photography, out of Napa Valley, CA (now offering free travel for all of Washington, Oregon, and California!) not only because she is rad, but because I remember when she was just getting started. And look at her now. It’s like she’s all grown up and off to Harvard. Basically. That analogy holds, right?
First of all, the details. Allison is rad. In fact, I’m basically ordering you to go watch this video about her, her business, and her art by Rory Gordon, because it’s entertaining and fun, and it explains exactly who Allison is. In fact, I should just stop writing this post and make you watch the video (but that would be cheating). Also, Allison’s rates are super excellent. Her wedding prices start at $2,200, which is amazingly awesome for her crazy high level of talent and professionalism, in the Bay Area.
Plus, this girl is APW to the core. She planned her wedding as a reader, she got her business started here, and she is super committed to the APW vendor community, working with other photographers, and building relationships with them. (That’s the most amazing thing about APW advertisers, by the way—seeing the way they’ve all decided to work together and support each other, not tear each other down and compete.)
The one thing I really want to discuss with you about Allison Andres Photography is the fact that Allison hand-makes her wedding albums (starting at $500, no less, so snap that up). I’m seriously so obsessed with this, I want to go back in time and hire her so she could do my album. Because you know what? I’m a little tired of modern wedding albums, with their slick digitally printed pictures, and their oddly chewable cardboard pages (album makers, what is UP with that?). I like to have options! Not just one thing! And I really like photo corners, and physical prints, and having the kind of album your grandkids can dig up in the garage and exclaim over (and secretly steal a picture out of to frame, without telling their mom). Also, I like velvet albums (there, I said it).
I asked Allison why she’s taken on this project, and she told me this: “I am drawn to the romance of things that are old. Vintage dresses, pieces of jewelry, and homes. The attention to detail that handmade, and small batch items hold intrigues me. My own home, which was built in 1937 is unlike any other house on the street, and its classic design stands the test of time. One of the things I love most about what I do is creating handmade albums. The heirloom quality of a velvet bound book, linen pages, and silver photo corners helps to preserve the memory and feeling of a wedding. Each page features a single image, starting with a simple detail like a bouquet and ending with a group family photo. I don’t do this because I think it’s easier to design, but because I feel that it creates a classic and unique way of telling a story. To me, having actual prints created from weddings images is the most important part of my job. Yes, I am fully immersed in the digital age, and I love to share my photos on Facebook, but someday Facebook won’t be around and having a book or framed photo to pass between generations is so valuable.” THIS YOU GUYS. This.
But what Allison really wanted to do today is tell you a little about how she shoots, and why. So I’m going to give her the podium:
I often look at other people’s wedding portraits and exclaim at how pretty they are, or think of how much fun it must have been. I look at the details, the clothing, accessories, and the flowers and admire how beautiful celebrations really are. As a photographer, it’s important for me to capture the beautiful details, but I see my job as so much more than that.
When I got married two years ago, I don’t think I realized how important my wedding photos would become. Our wedding was a beautiful day with our families beaming with joy, and surrounding us with love. I look back on the photos of our day and I don’t look at the things, I look at the people. I look at my Papa and I sharing a tender moment. I look at my mother-in-law getting teary while dancing with her son. I look at some of my closest friends, smiling and holding each other closely. I look at all of the fleeting moments that are worth remembering but so often fade with time.
While photographing a wedding, I look for those moments. I look for the way a parent is interacting with their son or daughter, I look for childhood friends laughing and dancing to a song from the past, and I look for the love in the couple’s eyes as they walk back down the aisle. I often find myself immersed in the emotion of the day enraptured by those very moments. I’m laughing along with the toasts, dancing with bridesmaids, and sometimes crying while the couple dances to a song that I may love.
I love photographing weddings. I love to watch a new family begin, and I love be around to capture those first beautiful and historic moments. It’s my job to cheer you on while you celebrate your love, all while capturing the things you want to remember the most. It’s my passion to record the memories of your day. I want to create images that will bring you back to how you felt when you started your new lives together.
And plus, Allison is offering her always-for-APW discount, “I am extending 10% off any package to APW couples, but as an addition, I am including free travel to any wedding that takes place on the Western Seaboard in 2013. That means you, Washington, Oregon, and California!” Get on that, you guys, go talk to Allison Andres Photography. Make music together.