Courtney and Stephen Wedding by Ally Willix

AllyKingPhotography CourtneyStephenWedding 67.jpg

Courtney and Stephen met while on staff together at New Life Camp, so it was very fitting that their reception was held tucked away in nature! While planning their big day, Courtney told me that the most important thing about their wedding was that they have fun celebrating with their friends and family. The dance floor was packed all night long, their bridal party was so excited, and everyone in attendance was overjoyed to be celebrating Courtney and Stephen's marriage. 

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Smith! It was an honor to photograph your love! 

Maggie Newborn by Ally Willix

These images have special meaning to me. Sweet Maggie is my cousin's daughter. Her dad is Adam is my cousin and we've grown up together. He's exactly 11 months older than me and we're the two grandchildren that have carried on the red head gene on the King side of the family. I have looked up to Adam for as long as I can remember. He's always been my role model because of his faith, his strength, and the way he selflessly loves others. When Karleigh and Adam met I couldn't have been happier for him. Karleigh is the perfect match for Adam! She is confident, has a strong faith, the voice of an angel, and has felt like family from the moment I met her. 

One of my favorite memories from our own wedding was during dinner when Adam and Karleigh told us that their family would be growing the next spring! Bobby and I were both overjoyed for them. Sweet little Magnolia Carolynne King was born on June 18th! It was such an honor to be able to come into their home and photograph Maggie in her first week of life. She was so tiny!! Karleigh and Adam make such amazing parents, and I'm so happy I'll get to watch Maggie grow up and blossom into a beautiful woman. 

Review of 2015 Goals by Ally Willix

allywillix-bobbyfilm 31.jpg

I can not believe we are three-fourths of the way through 2015! It's officially fall, the air is cooler, the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate is back (not much of a coffee drinker ;), and it'll be Christmas before we know it! Then we'll be saying hello to 2016. I think this year has gone by faster than any other year in my life! Since the end of the year will be here soon, I thought it would be a good time to check in on my 2015 goals. I've re-written all of them here and in the italics have explained where I'm at right now. I did not have a month-to-month goal setting plan this year, because when I've tried that in the past it's stressed me out more than helped me. This year I kept a list of my goals close by and kept working on them throughout the span of a year, instead of trying to accomplish them in 30-day increments. Bobby and I have accomplished a lot, and still have much to work on and I'm really proud of where we are!

Buy a car - Yes!!! We just bought a car and now we are officially a 2 car family! We've waited for a long time to do this (10 months) but it was worth the wait, because we saved up and paid for the car completely. We are trying to live our lives debt free and not having a car payment is a huge thing we are so thankful for.

Read the Bible in a year - I have definitely failed on this one. This won't be accomplished in 2015, but I have recently joined a Bible Study and plan to make this my goal again next year.

Be Mentored by a Film Photographer or Attend a Film Photography Workshop - I was mentored by Perry Vaile in film and am so excited to be transitioning to this medium!

Buy a Film Camera (specifically, the Contax 645) - My sweet, amazing husband surprised me and bought me a Contax 645 for my birthday!! I am still over the moon about it and constantly pinch myself that I have my own.

Go to the Biltmore House at Christmas - Right now we're still planning on doing this! And we're turning it into a celebration for our one year anniversary! 

Start paying off Bobby's student loan - We have started doing this, and have also started adding to our 6-8 month emergency fund.

Shoot 12 or more weddings - I booked 13 weddings this year! I am so excited about all of the amazing couples I've been able to serve so far! 

Go on a weekend trip together (I'm thinking NYC or Charleston!) - We went to Nashville and Charleston for a couple of days each! We also did a "stay-cation" for a night in Chapel Hill. There's nothing I love more than exploring new cities with my husband.

Choose a church and become members - We are currently in the membership class at Celebration Church and will become members this month!

Join a small group - While our original goal was to join a small group together, Bobby and I have each joined men's and women's Bible studies for this fall. 

Have my photography featured on two blogs - I was featured on Cottage Hill on Monday! And Chelsea and Jacob's engagement session was featured on Southern Weddings!

Run a 5k - Still haven't done this... and I'm not totally sure it'll happen this year. But I am truly starting to run more in preparation for my father-in-law's Ultraman World Championships next month! 

Fast from social media at least one day a week - I did this earlier this week and I've forgotten how refreshing it is. I really need to pick it back up!

Shoot an Editorial - I shot my first Cottage Hill Original in September and am in the works for a few more before the end of the year!

Be able to touch my toes (ha! that's definitely the funniest goal I have, but it's true; I'm not very flexible and I want to work on it!) - Really need to do this! I did go to the chiropractor for the first time the other day though, which was a big leap for me! Definitely a step in the right direction in regards to my health.

Establish a new business name and brand - This is SO close to happening!! Stay tuned for the new brand launch this fall!

Organize and streamline my workflow - I was mentored by Michelle Boyd earlier this year on business and have changed my workflow a lot based on everything I learned from her! I am so happy about this!!

Have a quiet time every day - I have not been great about being consistent in this. I love using my VMP prayer journal to start the day but I definitely don't have a quiet time as often as I'd like.

Officially change my name on everything - I still need to change my name on my Passport, but I've at least done the big stuff!

This year has truly been a great one. And while the fall seems to always fly by, there's still 3 months to go! I'll be launching our new brand, shooting my last two weddings of the year, traveling to the Cayman Islands, and traveling to Hawaii for the Ultraman Championships. Lots to still look forward to in 2015!! 

Ashley and Nick Charlotte Country Club Wedding by Ally Willix

One of the best things about a wedding is having all of your loved ones in one place. Family and friends from all stages of life come together to celebrate the joining of two amazing people. Some of my favorite moments on Ashley and Nick's wedding day involved the incredible community of people they have in their lives. From when Ashley put on her dress and shared some of the sweetest mother-daughter moments I have seen on a wedding day to watching their friends tear up the dance floor all night long, it was truly an incredible celebration! 

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Smith! I wish you both the best!! 

Venue: Rolling Hills Country Club :: Invitation Suite by Maile Paperie :: Hair and Make-up by Blushing Hair and Make-up :: Cake by Wow Factor Cakes :: Bride's Gown from Dar-Lynn's Bridal & Formal Wear :: Florist: The Petal Shoppe of Monroe :: DJ: Nathan Wilkins DJ Service :: Videography by LadyBug Videography

Lauren and Jeffrey 4th of July Wedding by Ally Willix

AKP LaurenJeffrey Wedding Blog 13.jpg

Lauren and Jeffrey were married on the 4th of July this year. The best thing about being married on the 4th of July? (In my opinion) Having fireworks set off by the whole country every year on your anniversary!! Lauren and Jeffrey are some of the kindest people I have ever met. They love their friends and family so well and are clearly meant for each other. 

A few of my favorite things from their wedding day:

- Lauren's Dad seeing her for the first time. His tears at his daughter becoming a bride were so sweet! 

- Jeffrey's Dad's American flag socks. They are the BEST.

- All of the subtle and beautiful red, white, and blue details. 

- When Lauren's sister started crying while I was taking their portrait. Oh it was so sweet!

- Lauren surprised Jeffrey with the wedding band he really wanted, but thought they wouldn't be able to get. His face during the ceremony was priceless! 

- Lauren and her Dad breaking out into a synchronized dance during their Father-Daugther dance! So fun. 

Fun fact: I photographed Jeffrey's sister's wedding the week before Lauren and Jeffrey's wedding! The blog post right before this one is Lauren and Kutter's wedding and that is Jeffrey's sister! I was so honored to be chosen to photograph BOTH weddings!! It was such a fun experience to see the same family and wedding guests two weekends in a row. I felt like a part of the family! They named it "Wild Womack Wedding Week" which was the greatest! See if you recognize Lauren and Kutter as a bridesmaid and groomsmen below :) 

Congratulations Lauren and Jeffrey on a beautiful beginning of your marriage!

Lauren and Kutter Sutherland Wedding by Ally Willix

AKP LaurenKutter Wedding  84.jpg

If I had to sum up Lauren and Kutter's wedding day in one word it would be joy. The common theme throughout their wedding photos is pure happiness, hearty laughter, and overwhelming love. Lauren and Kutter met and live in Texas and they brought that Texan flair to The Sutherland in Wake Forest. Lauren is a wedding planner (make sure to check out her business Simply Southern!) and she created a beautiful day full of meaningful and gorgeous details. While I still can't get over how adorable the honey jar favors were, the things I'll remember the most were the happy cry moments throughout the day. From her future sister tearing up when Lauren put on her dress to Kutter trying to hold back tears when she walked down the aisle to one of the sweetest father-daughter dances I've seen, their wedding was full of the kind of beautiful emotion only wedding days can bring. 

I will never forget this sweet morning wedding! Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Miller!

Venue: The Sutherland | Wedding Design: Simply Southern | Wedding Coordination: Ashlee of The Sutherland | Cake Artist: Ashley Cakes | Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Carrie | DJ: DJ Mark McNally with Bunn DJ Company | Invitation Suite: If It's Paper | Florist: Harris Teeter 

Chelsea and Evan Intimate Wedding in the Woods by Ally Willix

Chelsea and Evan had one of the most intimate weddings I've had the pleasure of photographing. With 20 of their closest friends and family watching, they were married under the trees at Het Landhuis farm.  

Chelsea and Evan are such a sweet and caring couple, who are so obviously head over heels in love with each other! They let their personalities and love story shine through their wedding details, which I absolutely loved. The paper cranes that hung from their ceremony backdrop and decorated the dinner tables were all made by Chelsea. In Japanese tradition paper cranes represent peace and longevity. They were also a symbol of the time she spent studying abroad in Japan during their relationship and how they made it through the challenge of dating long distance stronger than ever. I think my favorite detail was Evan's pocket watch. It belonged to his great grandfather and since it no longer works, he set it to the exact time him and Chelsea would become husband and wife. So sweet!!

Their whole wedding day was perfectly them. It reflected their unique style, their love for their family and friends, and most of all their love for each other. Congratulations on a beautiful beginning to the rest of your lives together, Evan and Chelsea! 

Courtney Smith Bridals by Ally Willix

Courtney's dress is really special. It is the same dress that her mom and three of her aunts have worn before her. Her great-grandmother made the dress and on Saturday Courtney was the 5th woman in her family to be married in it. Isn't that an incredible legacy? It seems to be a rare occurrence these days for a bride to wear her mother's dress and it is amazing to me that so many women in Courtney's family have worn the same dress! What a beautiful family heirloom! I am so glad we spent an evening at the NC State Arboretum capturing how stunning Courtney looked as a bride in this special dress.  

Congratulations Courtney! You make such a beautiful bride!! 

AKP-courtneywilliamsbridals-blog 27.jpg

Film by Ally Willix

A few months ago I got to learn under one of my favorite fine art film photographers, Perry Vaile. Perry and I met when I modeled in front of her lens for a piece in the most recent issue of Cottage Hill magazine (in Barnes & Noble now!). I was blown away by her photographs of Bobby and I and decided that when I was going to learn medium format film I wanted to learn it from her. Our mentor session together was such an incredible experience. I was giddy as I was taking every photo! I fell in love with my craft all over again. I've been yearning to feel that way, to have a new fire lit inside of me for photography and shooting on film has helped me attain that. With only 16 images per roll, you want to make sure every image counts. It helps slow me down as I shoot and be more intentional. The colors in film amaze me every time. They are so rich, and nothing is lost in the highlights and shadows. Overall, shooting in this medium makes me a better artist and more passionate about my work, and that is why I am switching from shooting digitally to shooting in film. This will not be an overnight switch to shooting completely in film, but I will slowly be incorporating film into my sessions and weddings and I couldn't be more excited about it. Thank you to my sweet (and HOT!) ;) husband for being the most amazing model!! 

Film Processing by PhotoVision