couples boudoir

What is Couples Boudoir at Allebach Photography Like?

Ever wondered what a couples boudoir session at Allebach Photography is like?  Wonder no more!!! We interviewed this couple to find out what they thought of their photography experience.

After watching the video if you have more questions be sure to join our facebook group of current and past clients. 

Book your couples boudoir session today at 610.539.6920 or



Philadelphia Boudoir Photographers

If you are looking for the perfect boudoir photographer, you are in the right place! Here is a session we’ve done at our studio! Hope you reach out and book your session today! Book here.

Allebach Photography – Philadelphia Boudoir Photographers

couples boudoir

Couples Boudoir Ideas

Here is a video of couples boudoir ideas for you! Be sure to book Allebach Photography at
for your couples boudoir session!

couples boudoir Engagement Sess

Hottest New Trend: Couples Boudoir Instead of Engagement Photography

The 21st-century engagement session: Couples BoudoirCouples Boudoir Engagement Photos

“Hold hands and smile. Now look into each other’s eyes and kiss.” These are the mundane motions of the standard engagement photo shoot, the one that everyone takes to celebrate their newfound status as soon-to-be newlyweds. And these are the same poses you’ll be striking for every photo you and your partner take for the rest of your lives. Celebrate this major moment in your life by putting a spin on the traditional engagement session and spicing it up with a couples boudoir shoot.

Couples Boudoir! What is it like?? from Mike Allebach on Vimeo.

Now you might be thinking – what am I going to put on my save-the-dates if I don’t take those standard engagement photos? There’s no way in hell my family will want to see pictures of me and my partner making out in our underwear! And you’re right, because really, who wants to send Grandma a photo of you and your soon-to-be spouse half naked? (Though if your grandma is the type of lady who would hang that photo on her fridge with pride, then I want to meet her!)

But these steamy photos are exactly what makes the couples boudoir session the perfect choice, seriously! We’ll start your couples boudoir session with a few “parent approved” photos, the perfect family-friendly engagement announcements you want to plaster all over social media. You (and your mom) still get the photos you need all while getting the photos you actually really want.

Couples Boudoir Engagement Session

STRIPPING DOWN Starting the session off clothed and posing for your save-the-date images will help build the anticipation of ripping off each other’s clothes and stripping down into what you really came here for – the couples boudoir. Take off as much or as little as you like and get up close and personal with the love of your life.

MEMORIES TO LAST A LIFETIME It’s not every day you get to capture the intimate side of your relationship with professional photography. And let’s be honest, you know you two look damn good together, so why not get some photos you can use to decorate your bedroom (or your living room if you dare)? We support the public display of all self-love and body positivity!

You’ll be posing for dressed up pictures the rest of your life – especially at that wedding day of yours that’s coming up – so why not capture another angle of your love on camera? The passionate, fiery, romantic side. And knowing you’ll also get those G-rated, traditional engagement photos during the same sultry session if you want them, what reason is there to say no?

Book your couples boudoir session today or get on the waiting list for soonest available here

Allebach Photography is located in the Philadelphia Suburbs in North Wales, Pa.  People fly and drive from Boston, Washington DC, California, Texas, Baltimore, NYC and further for couples boudoir here.  Please contact us at 610.539.6920 or for more info

Boudoir Uncategorized

6 Reasons Pizza is Better Than Boys


We set out for the most epic boudoir photo session with Emmy Szadyr.  They said love is dead. They said millennials killed it.  They were wrong.  Pizza is love.  Pizza is alive. Pizza will bring world peace. Here are the top reasons pizza is better than boys.

Top 6 Reasons Pizza is Better than Boys

Pizza never gonna…

  1. Give you up
  2. Let you down
  3. Run around and desert you
  4. Make you cry
  5. Say goodbye
  6. Tell a lie and hurt you
Boudoir Pizza Sexy Time
28″ Pizza
Pizza Pizza Pizza
(c) Allebach Photography
Pizza Boudoir
Pizza is the best
Pizza is Awesome
Pizza Won’t Let You Down

Book your taco bell boudoir session, pizza boudoir session or breakup boudoir here.  Get on our waiting list as we book up to 2 months out for boudoir. Oh and yeah we still do that couples boudoir thing.

Boudoir couples boudoir tattooo

Is Facebook Blocking Ads with Tattoos?

I ran an A/B test to see if Facebook is blocking ads with tattoos.

My couples boudoir photography business has experienced a lot of trouble trying to advertise our work.  Whenever we get press, I’d like a Facebook Page fans to actually see it. With the current algorithm, they generally don’t.

We show only the cutest, most tame photos and articles but Facebook Ads has blocked any attempt to show a photo to advertise my business.

“Too suggestive they say”
“Too much skin”

But is that really what is going on here.  This is one of the images Facebook ads said was not approved.

unapproved facebook ad
Tattooed Ad Isn’t Approved. Facebook Ads App Screenshot

This photo to me looked like a lifestyle couples anniversary photo session.  I thought there could be no way cute snuggles wouldn’t be approved. But they were denied.  I shared this with a group and one of the members asked…is it because they have tattoos?

What????  That has to be impossible. That couldn’t be…or could it?

So I had to see, what would happen if I sent this image to my retoucher and had them take off the tattoos (something I never do to a client!!!)

As you know I built my business on photographing tattooed brides.  So if Facebook was blocking my ad due to tattoos being “sexier”, I had to know.

Results: The Facebook Ad For Couples Boudoir Minus Tattoos

So I reran the ad with NO TATTOOS and sure enough, it quickly was approved! After 2 years of struggling to get the word out about my couples boudoir business, I finally had answers.  I’ve been using tattooed couples and apparently, Facebook’s ad system doesn’t like that!

Now I won’t be further photoshopping any more photos and have since stopped the promotion. My belief is that everyone deserves to be seen as they are and tattoos are part of our personal brand.  We will continue supporting tattooed people even if Facebook doesn’t allow us to advertise what we do with photos.  Couples boudoir has been an amazing way to watch couples reconnect or level-up their relationship!

Tattoos Removed Ad Approved

What are your thoughts on this Tattooed Matter?

What trouble have you run into trying to use Facebook ads? How should we get around this ban?  Let us know in the comments below!

 Mike AllebachMike Allebach loves exhibiting every year at the Philadelphia Tattoo Convention and make clients comfortable. He has been featured in Offbeat Bride, Rebel Ink Magazine, Daily Mail UK and New York Magazine.  Learn more about tattooed weddings and couples boudoir at

best photographer

The Breakup Session: Revenge Boudoir Photography

Breakup boudoir session: the best way to get back at your ex

When you go through a break-up it’s common to want revenge. There’s a reason Carrie Underwood dug her key into the side of his pretty little, souped-up four-wheel drive and why Khloe Kardashian hosts Revenge Body on E! Sadly, vandalizing will get you arrested and we don’t all have access to a Kardashian. The good news is there is a way you can get your revenge, and you don’t need to change a thing about yourself to do it.

Enter the boudoir shoot. The solution to all your break-up blues. What better way to get back at an ex than by celebrating yourself, embracing self-confidence and looking sexy while doing it? Whether you’re happy to be single or still hurting from the heartbreak, breakup boudoir photography will be the reminder you need that you are hot, and everyone is missing out.

Feel comfortable and confident

Posing for the camera allows you to let yourself go, embrace your beauty and let your inner confidence shine. We promise it will all be worth it when you take a look at your photos. Showcase what makes you you, from your smile to your scars. See yourself in a different light and from angles you can’t capture with a selfie. Boudoir shoots ignite a new comfort level you never knew you had in, and one you’ll never want to let go.

The best part of breakup boudoir

Boudoir near Philadelphia at Allebach Photography
Boudoir near Philadelphia at Allebach Photography

The best part of doing a breakup boudoir session is that you’ll have these photos to keep forever as a reminder that you are one fine specimen of a human. Display your photos at home, take them out to look at when you’re feeling down, or plaster them all over social media and let the world know that you love you. Either way, the importance stays the same. You did something for yourself and, relationship or no relationship, you will always be the number one person in your own life. And what better revenge is there than moving on, boosting your confidence and having some killer photos to show for it all?

tattooed bride Wedding Planning Tips

Unplugged: The Only Way to Have a Wedding in 2018

Unplugged Wedding

When planning your wedding for 2018 and beyond, I only have one piece of advice for you.  Give your guests the gift of an unplugged wedding ceremony. A ceremony where devices are turned off. Allow them be present, for you, for your vows and for themselves.

Over the weekend I attended the first wedding in over a decade I was not photographing. It was beautiful. The guests were told in the invitation and again in the ceremony there was to be no cameras or phones out. And we were present. We heard the vows. We watched the kiss.  And we enjoyed the wedding without having to get “that post” for social.

photo by Allebach Photography

Before you call me a digital prude, know that I have built my business with social media.  I can’t survive as a business without it. Broadway shows, court and other important ceremonies ask for our phones to be put away. Isn’t a wedding more important than a Broadway show? Ok, maybe not for Hamilton fans…

Not only is this a gift for your wedding guests, but it’s a gift for you the wedding couple.  You can look back at your friends and family, just like your parents did, sharing in the moment with you.

As a wedding photographer, I’ve photographed dozens of unplugged weddings. I can assure you people need help to stop themselves.  Even grandparents are jumping into the aisle with bifocals on to snap a pic! If you book professional wedding photographer or videographer you can leave the job to capturing the moments in their hands. (This is why it’s important to vet your wedding photographer, see article I wrote on this here). 

Unplugged Wedding

I know what you are going to say, but that baller hashtag we came up with.  #marriedtothegamesohetookmyname. No worries here. Use that etsy wedding hashtag sign you bought. You can still embrace electronics during the reception.  Break out cameras and phones for the dances and reception madness.

So go ahead have the craziest most insane wedding customized to show your style and give your guests the gift of wedding ceremony presence.

photo by Allebach Photography

As a guest what do you think of this? Would you still try and snap a pic? Wedding couples will you be doing this?



9 Reasons to Get a Boudoir Photo Experience

Top 9 Reasons to Get a Boudoir Photo Experience
A boudoir session with Allebach Photography is much more than just taking sexy photos of a woman in lacy lingerie. Boudoir photography can uncover the most intimate part of who you are in a way that showcases your own unique beauty. It can reveal a new sense of confidence that makes you proud of your curves, your body and your smile. It can unveil a new type of comfort within your own skin. And it can expose your strength in a different light that makes you go home feeling beautiful and in love with yourself and your body again.  A boudoir session with Allebach Photography is much more than a photo session, it is a way to rediscover what makes you, the magnificent person you are both in body and in self.

Being Pampered – Every woman deserves a day to feel like a true queen. Sipping on champagne, getting your hair and makeup done and then slipping into something that makes you feel sexy and beautiful is something every woman should experience.

Celebrating the human body – The amazing thing about the human race is that each and every person is different. Each body, each smile and each expression is uniquely yours, therefore, we must celebrate it. We spend so much time hiding our bodies or feeling insecure but it is time to celebrate every freckle and every curve.

Gift for your SO – Your  significant other loves you just the way you are. They love the way you move, the way you laugh and the way your eyes sparkle when you are feeling confident and strong. What could be a better gift than giving them artwork of one of the things they love the most.

Treating yourself – Women rarely do things for themselves. Either you are a mom chasing after your kids, a wife making sure all the errands are done, or a career woman who is motivated and working long hours. Women sometimes get so lost in the shuffle of everyday life that they don’t take the time to appreciate themselves as a woman, and being a woman is definitely something worth honoring.

Healing/Therapy – No matter what traumatic experience you have been through, if it is domestic violence, a car accident, an illness or etc… you are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and you have earned the right to remind yourself just how beautiful you really are. No matter what life altering experience you have been through, you are more stunning and stronger than ever. Time to peel away the trauma and show yourself that strength!

Feeling free to be yourself – Walking into a boudoir session could be a huge step out of your comfort zone, but once you are in front of the camera, and start feeling more confident and comfortable, your personality will slip in and not only will your artwork be sensual and beautiful, but your art will also be as quirky, cute and silly as you are.

Feeling fine. You have set a goal for yourself, you have been eating healthy, working out and drinking plenty of water. You are feeling good. No, you have been feeling great! You just tried on those jeans that you couldn’t get above your thighs last summer and they fit, your arms are looking toned and you catch yourself smiling as you check yourself out in the mirror. Time to call us and set up that boudoir session.

Couples boudoir experience:  Let me ask you one question, do you remember the last time you and your SO did something that focused solely on how much you love each other? The two of you have walked through heaven and hell together. They are the the first person you call when something good happens and the one who comforts you the most when things aren’t going well.  A couples boudoir session is a way to show each other how deeply you cherish your relationship. You will walk away from the session feeling more in love, stronger and with gorgeous wall art that you and your SO can hang up in your bedroom that showcases your love for one another each and every day.

Artwork– Boudoir sessions are a great way to capture the beauty you possess in artwork that will act as a daily reminder that your body is beautiful, your soul is stunning and your personality is magnificent. On the days when nothing feels like they are going right, you are stressed, tired and are feeling down, you can take a look at that artwork and remember just how alluring you really are.

Allebach Photography is now book Boudoir and Couples Boudoir.  Contact us today at 610.539.6920 or on our website here.


Couples Boudoir by Allebach Photography

Couples Boudoir for Philadelphia, New Jersey and Bucks County

Allebach Photography is now offering Couples Boudoir!

Life can get hectic, crazy and non stop.  In the hustle and bustle of life it’s easy to forget what matters.  How do you make time and space for the person you love?

Book a couples boudoir session with Allebach Photography! Take time to show the person you love what they mean to you in this intimate, sexy portrait session. Couples boudoir will forever bring your relationship closer. When you capture the moments that matter and display them in your home, you have that anchor to look back to on.

Couples Boudoir 50 Shades Couples BoudoirCheck out our page over here >

Grow closer, feel adventurous and get some amazing photos!  Schedule your couples boudoir session today by calling 610.539.6920

best photographer Center City Love birds philadelphia Philadelphia Wedding Photographer

Philadelphia, Down town club, Caitlin and Ryan, Album

Volume I and II of the Caitlin and Ryan Wedding! The photographs that flood these beautiful albums were taken in Philadelphia, PA!
Volume I and II of the amazing and energetic Caitlin and Ryan Wedding! The photographs that cover these beautiful pages were taken in Philadelphia, PA at a Down Town Club. The two volumes fit perfectly into the costume box created just for Caitlin and Ryan’s album!

What a wedding! Caitlin, Ryan and all of their family and friends never stopped dancing! I am telling you, I don’t think Philadelphia has ever seen so much dancing at one wedding. It was incredible to watch and so much fun to photograph.

I loved working with Caitlin and Ryan. They are such an easy going, fun couple. Once I hung up my dancing shoes, I went back to the Photo Loft in North Wales, PA, and tried to narrow down the photographs to just one album. But I couldn’t. There were so many amazing moments captured and beautiful people, I couldn’t let Caitlin and Ryan go without a two volume album! The images that were created were just too good! Between photos of the couple, the dog, their families and friends, the dancing, etc… I loved it all.

And did I mention how perfect the lighting was during the getting ready photos. It was a dream come true for a wedding photographer.

Caitlin and Ryan, I hope you guys never stop dancing!Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_002_003_20160801_0037 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_004_005_20160801_0038 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_006_007_20160801_0039 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_008_009_20160801_0042 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_010_011_20160801_0041 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_012_013_20160801_0043 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_014_015_20160801_0044 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_016_017_20160801_0045 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_018_019_20160801_0046 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_020_021_20160801_0047 Philadelphia_Down_Town_Club_Caitlin_and_Ryan_Album_spread_022_023_20160801_0048 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Hope you enjoyed seeing these photos of Caitlin and Ryan’s wedding in Philadelphia, PA!

best photographer Engagement Sess

Bucks County, Washington Crossing Historic Park, Heather and Tyler


Heather and Tyler's forever session in Bucks County, right outside of Philadelphia Proper at the Washington Crossing Park.
Heather and Tyler’s forever session in Bucks County, right outside of Philadelphia Proper at the Washington Crossing Park.

In the beautiful Washington Crossing Historic Park, located in Bucks County, PA, I was lucky enough to photograph Heather and Tyler on what it felt like was the perfect Philadelphia evening. The sun was setting just right, the weather was just what we needed and the excitement was in the air!

Heather, Tyler and I had a blast! We couldn’t stop shooting even when the sun was long gone. Tyler and Heather’s playfulness was evident in each and every frame I took. They were laughing. They were dancing. They were relaxing in the grass. It was cool to see them as a couple and even better to photograph them for their forever session! I love how my forever sessions take me all over Philadelphia and Washington Crossing Historic Park is now one of my fav. locations of the summer!

After the session, we put together an epic wall collection which I couldn’t be happier with. The collection showcased their love in such a unique and beautiful way. The photographs flowed together in such a way that really shows Heather and Tyler’s story.

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Center City Engagement Sess Love birds philadelphia photography top photographer Uncategorized

Philadelphia – Philadelphia Art Museum, Pat and Ed, Wall Display

This is the wall collection I helped Pat and Ed put together for their home. The photos are taken in Philadelphia right outside the Philadelphia Art Museum. Love how this collection looks together! So awesome.

When I met up with Pat and Ed at the Philadelphia Art Museum, I could only think one thing, this is what true love looks like. They were playful, fun and in love. Their infectious laughter had me cracking up behind the camera. Couldn’t have asked for a sweeter couple.

Our photo session was timed perfectly, if I do say so myself, with an incredible sunset in the background and an awesome couple in the foreground, what could make a photographer happier!?

Photographing Pat and Ed at the Philadelphia Art Museum was the perfect way to showcase their love. They are a strong, beautiful and confident couple and the Art Museum is nearly as strong and beautiful as they are. The intricate architecture of the Philadelphia Art Museum has always stood out to me, and now whenever I am in Philadelphia and see the Art Museum, I will think of Pat and Ed, the love they share and the fun we had.

Once the session was over, I went back to the Photo Loft and put together a collection of photographs for the amazing couple. They loved everything almost as much as I did! I had the honor of helping Pat and Ed put together a wall collection. Four of the beautiful photographs we created during their session are hanging in their house for everyone one to see, and I have to admit, it looks pretty cool!

To a hundred more years together, Pat and Ed!


We’d love to hear from you! Give me a call or shoot me an email if you want to set up your own forever session with your SO 🙂


Philadelphia Wedding Photographer Uncategorized

Blue Bell- Normandy Farms, Austin and Rob, Album


This album is just as vibrant and loving as the couple inside of it. Austin and Rob are an incredible pair who are genuine and true in every sense of the word. Their love for each other is evident every time I see them. Austin and Rob’s wedding was perfect for their unique and lovable manor.

From the polka dotted bridesmaid dresses, to the suspenders that the groomsmen wore, to the style of the brides hair, this Philly wedding celebration was the perfect mix of modern and vintage.

It was one of the my fav. stylish weddings I had seen this summer in the Philadelphia Area! It screamed Austin and Rob and I was honored to have the privilege in photographing this fun, aweosme and original wedding!

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Austin and Rob are an amazing team together. I could not have been happier to photograph them on the day they said I do at Normandy Farms, only 20 miles away from Philadelphia! Austin and Rob are sweet and true all the way through. They know who they are and who they love which shined bright on their Wedding day! I love the color and the vibrance of the entire day! Thank you Austin and Rob for being such a pleasure to work with!

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best photographer Philadelphia Wedding Photographer

Leola – the Inn at Leola Village, DJ and Matt, Album

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The Inn at Leola Village was the perfect location for this incredible couple. Couldn’t have found a better location in the Philadelphia Area for this energetic, lovely day! The colors were brilliant, the happiness was contagious and the love between DJ and Matt was awesome to witness.

Photographing this wedding was both fun and unique. Obviously, the couple was fantastic to work with, but this wedding was so cool… I mean come on, they even had some horses! What’s not to love!

There was never a boring moment. Always something cool to photograph. My second shooter and I were captivated the entire time. Between the clothes, the colors, the food, the traditional ceremony and the goofy moments in between, I was never not shooting and I was never shooting the same thing twice! It was a wedding photographers paradise!

These types of weddings are my favorite, so much happiness, silliness, tradition and fun. It was an honor photographing this couple on their special day and I look forward to photographing them in the future!

Not only was the wedding fantastic, but making this couples wedding album was an awesome project. The rich red leather material worked perfectly with the beautiful and vibrant images of this exciting Philadelphia Area Wedding!

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Contact us  to chitchat about Mike photographing your wedding!







The day was beautiful, the colors were vibrant and the love was real at this Philadelphia Area wedding, located at the Inn in Leola Village! Thank you DJ and Matt for having such a fun, vibrant and beautiful wedding.

Congrats again DJ and Matt! Your wedding was an absolute blast!

Center City Engagement Sess Love birds philadelphia

Philadelphia- Los Caballitos Cantina/Geno’s Steaks, Samantha and Phil, Engagement Session


This couple was a blast to photograph! Sam and Phil's happiness is so captivating that it even made the orange wall at Los Caballitos Cantina in Philadelphia seem less bright. We had such a good time hanging out in Philly, walking the dog, eating cheesesteaks and, oh ya, creating photos! Between the two of them and the puppy, I was one happy photographer : ).
This couple was a blast to photograph! Sam and Phil’s happiness is so captivating that it even made the orange wall at Los Caballitos Cantina in Philadelphia seem less bright. We had such a good time hanging out in Philly, walking the dog, eating cheesesteaks and, oh ya, creating photos! Between the two of them and the puppy, I was one happy photographer : ).

I met up with Samantha, Phil and the coolest dog in the Philadelphia Area at Los Caballitos Cantina for their engagement session. The first thing I noticed was how awesome this couple is and how excited I was to photograph them. The second thing I noticed was this bright orange wall that was completely and totally epic.  I immediately thought how great this couple (and the pup) will look against the orange. Their outfits (and puppy) really popped from the orange background. We had a good time working with the orange, working the poses, laughing  I love how these photos turned out!

It was a typical hot Philadelphia summer day, but none of us noticed because of how easy going, fun and beautiful Sam and Phil are. You can tell by just looking at them that they make a killer team. Their love for each other was evident in each and every frame.


We enjoyed our time at Los Caballitos Catina and walked the puppy over to Geno’s Steaks for some cool photos, a different scene and some of the best cheesesteaks in Philly! We stopped along the way to Geno’s to dance, play and ride in shopping carts! The energy and love of this couple shined even brighter as  the day went on . Finally, when we got to Geno’s they dug into a cheesesteak in “Lady-and-the-Tramp” style.  Nothing says Philadelphia love than sharing a cheesesteak!

No one has ever made a shopping cart look so romantic, loving and stylish! This Philly couple killed it around Center City and we had an awesome time at their engagement session!
No one has ever made a shopping cart look so romantic, loving and stylish! This Philly couple killed it around Center City and we had an awesome time at their engagement session!


Sam and Phil, Congrats! Loved how your engagement session came out and cannot wait for more in the future!

Contact us to find out more about booking your own portrait session.



Philadelphia Headshot September Sale

It’s time for our annual Philadelphia Headshot September Sale!

Time to dust off your old LinkedIn headshot.  Your friends have been talking behind your back about it.  Your boss is embarrassed.  You really want to find a new job but nobody will hire you because your headshot is embarrassing.

We can totally tell your headshot is a cropped version of your wedding photo to your now ex. The tux is a dead giveaway.   So call us today.  You’ll feel comfortable in our studio located 40 minutes from Philadelphia via the Lansdale-Doylestown line.Philadelphia Headshot Photographer

Book Allebach Photography for your Philadelphia Headshot Session! Check out our September $199 deal for 1 headshot. Call us at 610.539.6920 to book.



Sexy New USB Drives for 2016

We’ve added new USB drives for slideshow videos and weddings for 2016. I love love love these beautiful flash drives from USB Memory Direct.  The ones are chose are the Leather drives.  The quality on the embossing is amazing!! My clients will love these. IMG_6712-1 IMG_6711IMG_6714


An Open Letter to Young Aspiring Artists (and Old Navy)

“Every child is an artist until he’s told he’s not an artist.” – John Lennon

Dear Young Aspiring Artist,
By now you’ve seen the Old Navy t-shirt with the words imprinted “Young Aspiring Artist. President.”   Old Navy Young Aspiring Artist President T ShirtThose words hit me because I believe it’s hard work being an artist.  Some how I want to believe the person who created it  was trying to convey this. Or maybe I’m being kind and Old Navy just wanted to sell a design the helicopter parent demographic would buy. Either way since nobody really talks about the cost of creating art, I wanted to share this with you.

Art is Scary. Art is Sorcery.
I believe art is sorcery.  The good kind – I swear but still it’s scary. Art has the ability to change how the future looks.  8 years ago I had this crazy idea my

Mike Allebach is called The Original Tattooed Bride Photographer by Rock n Roll Bride and The Tattooed Wedding Photographer by Inked Magazine. He works with both tattooed and non-tattooed couples in Philadelphia, Lansdale, Lancaster, North Wales, Brooklyn and Washington D.C.

business could be built around photographing brides with tattoos. I loved the idea of punk rock brides. Back then this was unheard of.  People thought I was weird and asked “why would you want to do that?”   People still don’t understand what I do.  I did it anyway. I photographed brides with tattoos and put it all over my website.  Art is sorcery, it changed me.  It changed my path.  I remember graduating high school and I wanted to be a computer programer. I somehow ended up in this world where I get to photograph all of these super fun people.  Clients I love. I realize today it’s not as much of a big deal to see a bride show off a tattoo but back in 2007 it was.  Art creates new realities and can envision a future which doesn’t yet exist.  It did for me.

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”
— Neil Gaiman

There is no such thing as an “aspiring” artist.
You either are an artist or you aren’t.  In order to be an artist there is only one requirement, you must create. Once you put your creation into the world, YOU are an artist.  When the pen hits the paper, the brush hits the canvas, when you print the screenplay YOU are an artist.  I’m guessing if you are reading this YOU are already an artist.

But…if you selfishly keep your ideas.  If you hold onto them – never sharing them with the world, you sadly aren’t. Artists create.

Before you start asking questions, let me make this perfectly clear, you do not have to go to art school.  You can even support your art with a job. Or you can make a few extra buck by selling your art on Etsy.  There are no rules to being an artist other than creation. Spending an hour on creation work doesn’t make you less of an artist than spending 50 hours.  In fact many people are much happier when they don’t have to rely on their art to pay the bills.

Create. That is it, create something and show us. Please, please, please don’t hold back.

“If you find yourself asking yourself and your friends, “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”
― Steven Pressfield

The obstacles within
I want to let you in on a little secret I’ve learned:  Every artist I know gets scared.  At some point in the process of creating things worthwhile you will face fear.

Sometimes we as artists feel unworthy to create. Sometimes we go through dry spells. Sometimes artists don’t feel one ounce of creativity. Don’t think it will get easier if your art somehow makes you famous. When you get to do what you really really love, and get recognized for it, the more of a fraud you think you are. You’ll probably wonder if your success is a fluke. Imposter Syndrome. Maybe you’ll even convince yourself you don’t deserve this notoriety.  Amanda Palmer talked in depth in her commencement speech to the New England Institute of Art’s Class of 2011.

The critic
If you decide to make art you will face critics.  Now your critics might be imagined or they might be real.  Jon Acuff explains critic math as 1 insult + 1,000 compliments = 1 insult.  Be prepared for it. Realize when you are just imagining it. For some critique is helpful. Maybe you love your art being critiqued. I don’t. During the learning stages it can be great to find out the proper way to hold a brush, take a properly exposed photo or sing on key. Sadly, many times criticism can be destructive, even if the giver was trying to be constructive.

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”
— Émile Zola

The Reward
There is nothing more beautiful than knowing a creative work is finished.  When you overcome the obstacles of fear within and the critic we imagine outside, there is a reward. I’ve told you all of the obstacles you will face in hopes it will prepare you to create. We need you to practice your art.  We need you to show a future we can’t yet see.  Evoke love and anger and passion in our soul. We need your art to see beauty invisible to us.  I promise if you are willing to let it, art will reward you for it.

Create art.


Philadelphia Area Boudoir by Allebach Photography

We are Philadelphia’s leading boudoir photography studio. Located 45 minutes outside of the city in the heart of North Wales, Pa 19454.