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I'm Ali Rae and I love building brands.
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As many of you know, Kayleigh and John were my first paying clients that didn’t know me. I remember getting that inquiry—it was on Instagram! I looked over the couch at Caleb and said, “This is it. I’m a professional! Someone I don’t even know wants me to take their pictures!” Kayleigh and John have been with me since the beginning and I like to think I’m their “forever photographer,” even if they move across the country!
This session was supposed to have a few purposes. First, we had to get an adorable picture of their family of four (Kayleigh, John, and their two sweet pups, Delilah and Nugget) for their Christmas card, but we also were going to get some headshots for John. You know what headshots means for someone who is in the Marine Corps? It means they’re about to go through a major life change…and not only them, but their whole family! He is preparing to part ways with the Marine Corps and start the civilian life, which is SO exciting! But also a little nerve wracking after you’ve had someone else tell you where to live and what to do for an extended period of time. But John…he’s not nervous at all! He is ready to start a new chapter.
We quickly got the shots we had to get, and then, as always, they allowed me to have fun and get some sweet shots of just the two of them. Honestly, whenever we have a session now, it feels like I am just catching up with old friends and we take some images in between conversations. Kayleigh gave me a few life updates—like she decided to end her time at her banking job to pursue her dream of becoming some sort of counselor. She is now an operator on a Crisis Hotline and talks to people in need every single day. Her ultimate goal is to go back to school and get her Doctorate…and I will be such a huge cheerleader for her when she does!
This. These relationships. Friendships. It’s not why I got into photography if we’re being completely honest. But, my goodness, it is such a sweet surprise that these relationships can be cultivated from behind a lens. And I am oh so thankful for that.
This is one of John’s headshots…hey, civilians! HIRE HIM!
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