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I'm Ali Rae and I love building brands.
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Our time down in North Carolina made me miss it oh so much more than I already did. North Carolina holds a special place in our hearts because so many “firsts” happened there. One of those firsts was me starting my photography business after discovering teaching was not for me. Once I made that discovery, I wanted to put my heart and soul into constructing a business that would bring joy to others. This is where Kayleigh and John come in…
Let’s take it back to September of 2017. I had just upgraded my camera to a Canon 7D, still not full frame, but definitely an upgrade from the Rebel I had previously used. And then it happened…I got my first inquiry from a client that I had NEVER MET BEFORE. I’m not even sure that I ever told them that…but yes, Kayleigh, you were my first client outside of friends and family. She trusted me with her memories of their time in a new duty station. We traveled over an hour for a mini-session to shoot for them. I was so excited and so nervous, but so thankful for them. Kayleigh is one of those genuine women that just wants to see others succeed. She was so gracious when I delivered her images. Now that I look back on them, it was clear I was just starting out, but Kayleigh was my biggest cheerleader throughout. We ended up becoming good friends and she showed me all about her hometown roots in Louisiana by inviting Caleb and I over for some gumbo on a cold, winter night. It was a great time!
When she heard that we would be back in North Carolina, she asked if I could fit a session in for her and John. Of course I said YES! I was so excited to show them how much I have improved as a photographer and was able to better serve them as clients and friends. They even trusted me when I asked them to do something crazy…come out for a session in January at sunrise!! Although it was a bit cold (thankfully we were in North Carolina and not Virginia), it was totally worth it. There’s something to be said for being up before the rest of the world. It is so peaceful. I loved that we were the only ones around and Kayleigh and John could just be themselves in front of my camera. We laughed, we were goofy, we explored, we found pretty red berries in the midst of winter. It was a great time together!
So thank you to my sweet friends, Kayleigh and John. Thank you for accepting me as a beginning photographer. Thank you for sticking with me despite the distance. Thank you for trusting me to document your memories. Thank you for the gumbo, and thank you the most for being my sweet, sweet friends!
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