Allison Andres Photography: Free Travel for CA, WA, OR!

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.

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  • Amy March

    I love that first image, but I can’t put my finger on what makes it good. Could we maybe have a photography appreciation 101 post that discusses what, technically, makes an image work? Then I’d have some better language than oooohhhhhh pretty to describe how I feel about these great images.

    • meg

      We are actually already working on this post!

      • Amy March


      • Kelsey

        Well- yay! I totally cannot wait for that post, and the discussion to follow!

    • Sometimes I look at pictures and can only respond with “oooooh pretty”, so you’re not alone! :)

      • Ambi

        I think “ooh pretty” is a perfectly acceptable way to choose a wedding photographer! :) Now, don’t get me wrong, I am really excited for a post that will educate me a bit about photography. But in the end I am probably going to end up choosing someone based on my gut reaction to their work, regardless of the technical side of things. But then again, maybe I’ll learn something that will change my mind about that when APW runs that post . . .

  • I love Allison :)

  • Love those albums so hard. And, oh, Allison is pretty great too I guess. :)

  • I had the pleasure of meeting Allison in person in February and I honestly can’t say enough nice things about her. Clearly her work is beautiful (and will stand the test of time). But she’s also just a really fun woman and I imagine working with her to be nothing short of awesome. I cannot wait to see the amazing things to come for her business! Hire her!!

    • Thank you Emilia, I have to say that you’re pretty fun too!

  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE that first photo of the couple where the bride is wearing a red sash.

    (As the paler half of an interracial couple, I appreciate good photos like that. I was really washed out in some of our photos. Just a giant white blob standing near a Kenyan man. haha)

    • Sophie

      That’s me and my husband is also Kenyan! This was definitely a concern of mine beforehand because sometimes it’s hard to get lighting that works for both of us, but Allison did a great job of addressing this.

  • Allison is literally one of my favorite humans on the earth. She pretty much makes me weep with laughter whenever we hang out. She is also incredibly talented and incredibly passionate about her work. Hiring her for your wedding will be the greatest decision you ever make in your life. Aside from… y’know… getting married, I suppose. ;-)

  • Not only are her pictures awesome but her personality is the very best. Heart Allison! (Lots of hearts)

  • Album! Want! Grabby hands!

    • Aren’t they pretttyyyy? Gah, I just want to rub my cheeks all over the velvet…but I’m sure that would be wrong. :)

  • Meghan

    Allison is shooting our wedding in like, 3 weeks, and I can’t tell you the kind of anxiety and dismay I felt at photography options before finding her. Nobody had a style that didn’t feel pretentious and dated, nobody had an attitude that basically said, “I’m here for you,” nobody took the kind of photos I wanted or had the kind of personality we (as a very introverted couple) could feel safe with until we met Allison. I’m so glad we’re working with her—and I hope that our working relationship blossoms into a friendship. She’s a lady you can really trust with insight, professionalism, and care.

    • Aw, Meghan! you two are so super awesome and I’m excited to see you later this month! :)

  • We hired Allsion 2 years before our wedding date, and it was the best investment we made! Not only was she extremely professional, but she became like my bff during my wedding; she was able to calm me down when she could see I was becoming overwhelmed, she was brillant about organizing distracted family members for beautiful portraits, thus keeping us on time, and even handling my husband and I pulling her on the dance floor and doing what can only be explained as a “night at the roxbury” moment!! We LOVE her and highly recommend her!

    • I have to admit, dancing around while your husband shouted “PHOTOGRAPHER” is definitely a highlight of my career!

  • Allison is so freakin’ awesome and her photos are so freakin’ good.
    I want to see all of her weddings on APW.

    • Elissa, you freakin’ rock. :)

    • meg

      So do we! Make her send them to me!

  • Sara

    Allison is so awesome I already have her scheduled to shoot my wedding…now I just need to find someone to marry??

  • Allison!!! Where do I start with this woman?! She is seriously so unbelievably talented, and what is even cooler is how PASSIONATE she is about her craft and her couples… it’s so inspiring! Allison is awesome to the core and the kind of person you can become instant friends with upon meeting her (just the type of person you want with you on your wedding day)! <3 Love her!

  • I am totally swooning over that album! That’s going to get passed down for generations and oohed and aahed over (the fabulous pictures help, of course.)

    • meg

      Right? I was totally thinking of you with these.

  • Such lovely and genuine photos. Yeah for handmade albums!

  • Snow Gray

    Allison is awesome! She is so warm and personable, and definitely the kind of person who becomes more than just a wedding vendor, she’s a friend!

    We had an awesome engagement shoot with her, and I felt so comfortable (even though I don’t really like having my photo taken). Can’t wait for our wedding in October!


  • Allison was second shooter for Katie Jane at my wedding just over a month ago. Those two were a fantastic team and Allison’s personality–laid back, funny, and easy-going–is just the kind of person you want to have around on this special day. Also, we had the same first dance song, so you know, she’s extra awesome :)

    Also, this:

    “(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).”

    Proof? I’ve had the pleasure of working with THREE APW photographers: Christy Tyler (engagement session), Katie Jane Goulah (wedding) Allison Andreas (Wedding). (Sometime maybe I’ll submit a post?). These guys DO work together. I loved them all and I feel extra special just having the chance to work with them.

  • Sophie

    Yes! I can attest to Allison’s wonderful-ness. She shot our engagement session and wedding (our photos are second from the top and the bottom). She’s very organized, she made us feel comfortable immediately, and she worked with us to make sure our photos addressed our preferences and concerns. She’s great at capturing the unscripted moments that make a wedding memorable. You’ll love working with her and you’ll love your photos!