This story begins one evening at the Velvet Cantina over pitchers of Margaritas. Ahh yes, my favorite kind of night, with a freaking fabulous group of ladies. It was after the nachos, but before the 2nd bar and the beer that I told Allison of Allison Andres Photography, that she should totally advertise on my blog, because it would be free and I would LOVE to have one of her icons on my side bar for people to click through. Like, Duh.
Weeks and weeks and weeks went by, and I did start to wonder if she was going to actually take me up on it or maybe she forgot. Or maybe she thought I was too small potatoes and didn’t want to bother, I wasn’t sure. When! Out of the blue! She sent me a text offering up some free engagement photos since I wasn’t too thrilled about our last attempt. She said she really wanted to give us another go at it and then I could do a review of the experience. Of course I was totally up for it because, how fun right?
But then, as the date grew near, I started to stress. What if it wasn’t the weird experience and the awkwardness of last time? What if it wasn’t the weather? What if it was us!? What if we are just awkward in front of a camera… what if even our WEDDING photos turn out lame-o.
But Allison is one of those people you want to get drunk with, steal a shopping cart from the Safeway, take turns rolling each other down the street on the way home, pass out on her couch, and then go to brunch with the next morning. She’s the type of person you can wander through a home decorating store with, and spend the majority of your time making fun of (and at the same time lusting over) all of the ridiculously overpriced accents (crystal, pirate ship chandelier anyone?). And then on top of it – it turns out she is crazy effing talented because look. LOOK AT HOW AWESOME WE LOOK!
And that is not natural, ok? She caught the brief moments where Kamel and I are adorable. She knew exactly where we should stand, exactly where we should look, and suggested funny, normal, and entertaining things for us to do.
We spent hours and hours and hours with her and her amazingly clever husband, Fred, on one Saturday morning in January and I have never laughed so hard for so long in my life. I have never felt more comfortable having my photo taken (not even by Kamel), I have never been MORE excited to see how they turned out. I was literally running (RUNNING) to the mail box every day waiting for the disk to arrive.
This is going to sound super-d-duperly crazy, but I wish we were having another wedding-like-event in San Francisco just so I could hire her for realsies. We were talking (as I often do) while walking from this location and that location in San Francisco and I was grilling her on her business, knowing that I would need to write something up about it. (I want to fill you all in on exactly who Allison is as a photographer, not just on the day but her entire vision.)
And the thing she said that I love the most is this: Allison loves small gatherings. She loves the intimate settings, the ability to actually have an interaction with people. Big weddings can be overwhelming and impersonal, they are not her ideal and I love and respect her for saying that. They maybe the big money makers (and yes, she would shoot your 500 person wedding and rock it out, of course), but they aren’t her favorte-ist thing, and that’s awesome, because it means Allison is there to focus on the bits and pieces of the industry that are overlooked. And she wants to serve not so much San Francisco (although she totally makes the trek – no problem), but instead the East Bay (Oakland, Sacramento, Berkeley) and Napa Valley.
Allison’s also interested in product work. So if you have a business and need some shots for your website or brochures or whatever – give her a call. Diversifying business is awesome and being a working artist means getting creative and being flexible (don’t I know it!).
And I know that you’ve been oogling our beautiful NEW engagement photos, but I also wanted to give you a taste of Allison’s other work. Her family stuff is to die for.
Allison takes photos like she’s using film (vs digital); she doesn’t waste a shot. I noticed this when I would be waiting for her to snapsnapsnap away, and she wouldn’t. She waited until she saw something worth photographing and then she would go for it. And it works out. Again and again and again. The art of patience is something I am sorely lacking.
So please go, check out her beautiful website, contact her about whatever activity you have coming up. Family reunion barbecue? Would you prefer to not have to remember your camera? Allison is who you want. Want to chase the kids around the back yard and give a bunch of framed photos to grandma? Yes. Thinking about running off to romantically Elope? Call her, Email her – she’ll get you a shot worthy of the holiday cards.
And really, the last thing I want to write about this is – Thank you. Allison, you inserted fun smack dab into the center of our wedding planning, you allowed us to take 1/2 a day and act silly and goofy, and it had nothing to do with the laundry, or the grocery list, it was just us. And you caught it all magically on film.