Category Archives: Business

It was 5 years ago. I was living in Albuquerque, New Mexico for a year while working for the Navigators at UNM. Although the year was an incredible experience, I knew it wasn’t what I was made to do. Deep down, I knew I would never be satisfied with any career other than wedding photography. I had a notebook full of all my research about how to start up a business and how to photograph weddings, and I was filled with unstoppable ambition. I began pouring all my free time into learning how to master my camera, while studying how to pose couples and use light effectively. I had no idea what the future would hold, but I knew this was my dream. I decided to start up my business in Des Moines, close to the hometown where I grew up. I signed up for the Melissa Jill workshop that spring (I believe it was her very first one!), and by God’s grace booked my first three weddings for that spring and summer!

Fast forward five years, and here I am today! Oh, if only I could have known where I would be headed with those initial aspirations! I’ve had the amazing privilege of getting to know and photographing 77 couples throughout their engagement and on their wedding day. “Blessed” feels like an inadequate word to describe how it feels looking back over these past five years! Starting a business is such hard, yet rewarding work, and in those early weeks and months of deciding to go down this career path, I would have never dreamed it would take me this far! It’s been an amazing journey of learning about myself, my creative style, what fires me up, and all the nitty-gritty of running a business. I’ve met so many incredible people along the way – my couples as well as other photographers and wedding professionals. I am so thankful for that year away in Albuquerque, when my passion for photography and weddings was made clear to me!

I’d like to invite you to join me in celebration by offering a GIVEAWAY!! I am giving away a one-hour portrait session in the Kansas City area! This can be either a family lifestyle session, where I will come to your home to photograph your expectant belly, your newborn baby, your family of four, whatever fits your season of life…OR an engagement session! This free session will include digital files of your five favorite images from the shoot. There are three ways to enter this drawing:

1.  Leave a comment on this blog post

2. Follow me on Instagram and share my photo about the giveaway using the hashtag #AMPgiveaway

3. Like my page on facebook and share my photo about the giveaway using the hashtag #AMPgiveaway

I will use a random generator to choose a winner on Monday morning!

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  • February 13, 2014 - 10:52 am

    Kirin - Love your work! You’ve done some of my friend’s weddings and engagement photos and I can’t wait to have you photograph mine in the future!

  • February 13, 2014 - 10:55 am

    Megan Knipper - Congrats! I am a wedding planner/coordinator and love your work. I have referred many brides to you.

    Thanks,
    Megan
    Bliss Weddings and Events

  • February 13, 2014 - 11:09 am

    Jacinthe - I’m very proud of you, Allison, and so happy for you! Congratulations! Wishing you many more years of successful business and amazing relationships! xoxo

  • February 13, 2014 - 11:43 am

    Shauna Maschmann - I would LOVE to have a photo session with you! We could also compare boy/girl twin stories :)

  • February 13, 2014 - 11:49 am

    Ashley - Congrats!! You have a gift and I’m so glad you love it and you keep doing it!

  • February 13, 2014 - 11:50 am

    Rachael Toney - I am all over this!

  • February 13, 2014 - 12:10 pm

    Amy Van Wagner - Allison congratulations on 5 years! I would have guessed many many years more based on your quality work and outcomes we had for our wedding. You are an amazing photographer and wonderful person inside and out. Hope you are keeping up with those twins, double the love for sure! Can’t wait to see what the next 5 years brings for you professionally and personally :)

  • February 13, 2014 - 12:42 pm

    Sara - Congrats!! You’re level of talent looks like you’ve been doing this much much longer than 5 years!!

  • February 13, 2014 - 1:48 pm

    Angela Blackburn - Congratulations on 5 years Allison!!!!! Your work is amazing, and I am so happy we had the opportunity to meet you!! Love watching those sweet babies of yours grow! :)

  • February 13, 2014 - 2:52 pm

    Ellen Waller - Congrats on 5 years Allison! We still love our wedding photos and would love to add a few more from you to our collection!

  • February 13, 2014 - 4:09 pm

    Katie Petty - Congrats on 5 years! Love your work!

  • February 13, 2014 - 7:15 pm

    Amy Edwards - Congratulations on your 5 years, Allison! We LOVED having you photograph our wedding. :) Thanks for helping us capture the memories of the day.

  • February 13, 2014 - 8:01 pm

    Emily Jensen - It would be so fun to do a session with you :-) love your work and your spirit!

  • February 13, 2014 - 11:10 pm

    Leia - Mazel Tov on 5 years! You have such a beautiful art that you’re able to share with so many. It doesn’t hurt that you’re such a pleasant person!

  • February 14, 2014 - 9:03 am

    Sarah - congrats on five years.

  • February 14, 2014 - 6:59 pm

    Katie Lindgren - I randomly stumbled upon your blog a few years ago – and it has been so fun to follow along! Congratulations Allison!

  • February 16, 2014 - 12:02 am

    Ashley - Congratulations on so many years of success! I love following your blog and admiring your beautiful work!

  • February 16, 2014 - 4:47 pm

    megan c. - Congrats! Love your work, as always!

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve even thought about my 101 in 1001 goals (bed rest and babies change everything!), so it’s definitely time for an update! Here are the goals that were completed last year, that I failed to blog about when they happened:

#1: Blog Photos of our new house. Check out the posts about “This Old House” here!

#4: Develop a Business Manual. Stay tuned for a post about this soon!

#15: Purchase furniture for the back patio. When I was on bed rest, my parents surprised me with patio furniture! They are so thoughtful!

#25: Invite my grandparents to come visit us in our new home. It was a great treasure to have them come when the twins were just one week old! Such a joy introducing them when they were still so tiny! They also came to visit this week, which is the photo below:

#45: Have a baby. Check and mark, x2!:)

#46: Begin offering in-person mentoring sessions. Last year I had the pleasure of mentoring 3 photographers, something I love to do!

#67: Develop a word of mouth marketing system successful enough to pull out of online & print advertising. I haven’t paid for advertising in over a year now!

#96: Paint the downstairs bathroom. Done! I wish I had taken before and after photos to share!

#99: Learn to crochet or knit. I learned to crochet last winter! See my first creation at the end of this post, granny squares for an afgan & a crocheted basket here, and the crocheted baby blankets here.

I hope to cross off a few more goals from my list this year, although many of them are ones that don’t apply any longer for one reason or another. The beginning of a new year is a great time to revisit my previous goals and create new ones!

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This post was meant to be published way back last fall when I switched over to these USB drives…and then fall got crazy and time slipped away from me! So better late than never, right?! I was so thrilled to finally make the switch from DVD’s to USB drives for client’s digital images. DVDs got to be such a hassle with them sometimes not working, and taking a significant amount of time to burn. What finally made me switch over was my purchase of a new laptop that doesn’t have a disc drive!

I did a TON of searching to find just the right USB option, as there are endless types and looks available. I ended up going through USB Memory Direct, and they were great to work with!Why a succulent, you may ask? Well…why not?!?:)

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  • July 17, 2013 - 5:14 pm

    Tammy Middleton - Hi!
    Do you give your wedding clients a wedding book / album, or put their images on the flash drive?
    I think the flash drive is an awesome idea! I love it!
    Thanks!

As we are gearing up for a huge snowstorm here in Kansas City, I find myself dreaming about being in the mountains! There is something so majestic and enthralling about mountains, that I often crave making a trip to be in the midst of them. And guess what?! I just might be heading to Denver, CO this April!

So, if you live in the Denver area and would like to have portraits taken, I would LOVE to set up a time! Whether it’s engagement, anniversary, family, baby, just-because…I’m craving to shoot in the mountains! If you’re interested, just email me at allison@allisonmariephotography.com and we’ll get something set up.As for tomorrow, I’m looking forward to being snowed in most of the day!:)

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  • February 21, 2013 - 3:59 am

    Sunset Wedding Photography - Great pictures!!!!

  • February 21, 2013 - 2:35 pm

    Jenny Gerard - Before wedding season gears up again in a few months – now is a PERFECT time for you to do another “This Old House” post! :0) I’d love to see what you did in every room of your old charmer!