Boudoir Solo Session Brings Out Former Catholic School Principal’s Inner Badass
Kristen doesn’t see herself as one of Mike’s “typical” clients.
“I’m not tattooed. I am 50, my only piercings are my ears, so I’m probably a little bit vanilla compared to most of the women he sees,” says the former Catholic school teacher and principal from Blue Bell, Pa.
Yet, Kristen decided she wanted to do a boudoir session following her divorce and a negative sexual experience with another man she thought she trusted.
“My confidence was not great, to say the least. I was ashamed of my body and went further into hiding as I doubted my ability to make good choices or avoid the consequences of looking good, being sexually active and my perceived inability to discern who I could be safe and vulnerable with,” Kristen says.
Despite being the same size she was in high school (size zero to two), she lacked a lot of self-confidence in general, much less in front of a camera, but saw a solo boudoir session as an opportunity to regain her sense of self.
If Kristen was going to do a boudoir session, she needed to know she had the right photographer, one she felt comfortable in front of and whom she could trust. When she saw Mike’s work on Instagram, she stopped.
“The more I saw, the more I recognized how body positive and judgment-free Mike’s work really is,” said Kristen. Seeing all of the different shapes, sizes, and ages of women really helped, she added.
“His work speaks for itself, but for me, it was much more than that. I started to think, ‘hmm…maybe I can do a solo boudoir shoot with this guy – be vulnerable in a non-sexual situation and see myself the way he shoots other women so beautifully,’” she said.
“Maybe it’s a way to move forward,” she added.
The idea of being vulnerable in a non-sexual situation was huge for her and a concern that gradually lessened during her shoot. Kristen started off in a full dress and by the end of the session, she was doing bodyscaping with nothing on with absolutely zero pressure or discomfort.
“I found my session to be SO empowering,” says Kristen. “I stared into his lens at first as an enemy that was challenging me but later with a less combative feeling. It was affirming to see my pictures look so beautiful and strong. Mike ‘got me’ and knew that I was looking for a reset and that I wanted and needed to look fierce and like a complete bad-ass.”
She continued, “For me, it was tremendously healing. I LOVED seeing my pics and choosing the ones I would keep. It was amazing to see myself from a distance and be able to see something other than shame and damaged goods thanks to Mike’s incredible work.”
Kristen is looking forward to one day hopefully doing a shoot with a partner someday and capturing that intimacy in the same way.
Top 8 Things to do on Your Couples Boudoir Getaway: Lancaster
This year, Forbes voted Lancaster, Pa., one of the “10 Coolest U.S. cities to visit in 2018” and on your Couples Boudoir Getaway with Allebach Photography, we want you to find out why.
Located just 80 miles west of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Dutch Country is about more than just Amish whoopee pies and horse-drawn carriages (though they have their invaluable places here).
Their food and drink scene has been compared to those of hipster havens like Portland and Brooklyn.
Below, check out our must-sees for experiencing all of Pennsylvania Dutch Country.
Shady Maple Smorgasbord
Most people who have been to Shady Maple before will tell you this place alone is worth the drive. Discover the experience of dining at Lancaster County’s largest smorgasbord featuring 200 feet of authentic Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. At Shady Maple, some of Lancaster County’s finest cooks prepare all your favorite Pennsylvania Dutch foods, as well as some exciting new dishes. Daily dinner specials including steak, prime rib, and seafood, just to give you an idea of what’s in store.
This stunning Victorian theatre not only boasts memorable shows but is dripping with historical significance. Before this site was a theatre, it was the site of Lancaster’s pre-Revolutionary jail. From on-stage musical productions and experimental studio plays to workshops and apprenticeships, the Fulton Theatre provides a space for Lancaster, and the surrounding areas, to experience the theatre. Today, the Fulton Theatre produces a mix of comedies, dramas, and musicals, employing the talents of professional directors, designers, actors and playwrights from across the country.
Thistle Finch Distillery
Only a short walk from the heart of downtown Lancaster, Thistle Finch Distillery’s tasting room provides a rustic, yet elegant destination away from the distractions of modern life. Step back in time with a classic rye whiskey cocktail or enjoy free samples of their distinctive, small batch spirits. Whether you are looking to learn about the history and process of distilling, taking a tour, or just want to relax with a drink and quiet conversation, Thistle Finch has something for everything.
Lancaster Central Market
Can’t get enough of those good old-fashioned Pennsylvania Dutch treats? You’ll find plenty more when the sun rises at Lancaster Central Market where farmers and craftspeople hawk everything from homemade bread and whoopie pies to goat cheese and just-picked vegetables, alongside Amish quilts and toys. The market is open Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Wolf Sanctuary of PA
Located in northern Lancaster County, the Wolf Sanctuary of PA is 80 acres of natural woodland dedicated to the Speedwell Wolves. Originally created as a private rescue, guided tours are now available, giving visitors the chance to view more than 40 wolves in their natural habitat and to learn about their behavior and biology. The only way to view the wolves is by guided too so make sure you make a reservation before going.
For the Revolutionary War nerd in all of us, Rock Ford Plantation is the 18th Century mansion and estate of Revolutionary War General Edward Hand, who served as Adjutant to George Washington. A cast of actors moves from room to room sharing hauntingly beautiful stories of the people who have come and gone from this estate built in the late 1790s. During the guided tour of the mansion, visitors learn about Edward Hand’s personal and military history as well as the background of the mansion and the artifacts contained therein.
Clipper Magazine Stadium
Take me out to the ball game. Clipper Magazine Stadium, which held its first game in 2005, was honored as the “Ballpark of the Year” by the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball following the end of its 2013 regular season. The 6,000 seat stadium also serves as the corporate headquarters for the Atlantic League. One of the ballpark’s highlights is Hess’ Picnic Pavilion, a concession stands with a red barn façade that includes a traditional ballpark menu with an emphasis on items produced in Lancaster County. In 2011, the Lancaster Barnstormers added the Silverball Museum Arcade, a coin-free attraction that includes nostalgic arcade games from the 1930s to some of the video games played in the present.
Lancaster Brewing Company
Lancaster County has a long beer-brewing tradition and is a hotbed of the craft beer industry.Lancaster Brewing Company unites their obsessive commitment to quality ingredients with equal measures of creativity, skill, and experience, to brew consistently great beer. Inspired by long and rich brewing traditions, they brew in the heart of Lancaster County, alongside scores of old-world craftsmen, independent farmers, working the more than 5,300 local farms, and their fiercely independent Amish neighbors.
From Self-Loathing to Healing – Fighting Body Dysmorphia With Tattoos
When Erin, an Allebach Photography client from Warminster, Pa., got her first tattoo at age 22 – a small and simple Irish rosary on her right shoulder blade – she had “no idea most of her upper body would be covered over the next 10 years.”
Since then, Erin has gotten more tattoos than she can count.
“It’s easier to say what body parts I have done – or don’t done. I’m bare from the waist down. I have sleeves on both of my arms, my right’s covered and my left black and gray. I have a rib piece on my left side, an underboob piece, a chest piece, the Serenity prayer in Gaelic on my right side and the words ‘Just Breathe’ across my stomach and I just started my back piece which is going to be my entire back.”
Erin says she began getting tattooed for two reasons; one because they’re gorgeous and two because she finds the process healing after dealing with years of body dysmorphia, a common condition that causes a person to think negative thoughts about their own body image.
“I can’t point my finger to a specific time or place, but somewhere over the years since high school, I feel like I’ve retreated further and further inside myself. I’ve thought that part of it may be having three serious relationships and all three of those men cheated on me. And as time went on I became less accepting of myself,” she said.
As time went on and Erin’s self-confidence and self-esteem were lost, she began to find it difficult to take compliments about her body, seeing them as insincere.
“I’ve always hated compliments. They’re hard to hear when you don’t believe them – they’re almost cruel when it’s impossible for you to see. It feels like people are lying sometimes. Compliment my tattoos though! I’ll agree with a smile and tell you all about them! I don’t mind showing those off!”
For Erin, it’s not about hiding her skin, but rather beautifying it with artwork and inspirational meaning.
“It’s all directional pieces, things that keep you moving, things that keep you in place and things that guide you home. A compass, a lighthouse, an anchor, an albatross, just to name a few,” says Erin of her left arm.
She continued, “My right arm I started after my last relationship. My ex-fiancécheated on me and I had to call off our wedding a month to the day before our wedding. That arm is ‘there is beauty in all new beginnings.’ So I wanted it to be BAM! in your face colorful and beautiful. The mermaid is the beauty and the rest is all symbols of new beginnings – a butterfly, daffodils, peacock feathers, a phoenix.”
It’s funny how painful tattoos are yet the amount of healing they possess, she muses.
Erin has had two boudoir sessions with Allebach Photography and for her, the sessions have been as empowering for her as her body art.
“For the self-proclaimed most insecure girl in the world, this experience was life-changing and empowering. Also, just the way Mike talks about the human body like it is art.”
While none of her tattoos were specifically highlighted, she felt like each photo Mike took was with them in mind.
“He’s so confident in what he does, but entirely humble, a true master of his craft. He’s excited and passionate about what he does and it makes you more excited to work with him and trust in him. People ask me how can someone with no confidence and who is so insecure take half-naked and naked photos – it’s the genius behind the camera!”
Erin is currently working on her back, which will feature a pirate skeleton and ship with Kraken tentacles. Following that, she hopes to get her legs finished. We can’t wait to see how they turn out!
7 Reasons Why Boudoir Photos are the Perfect Stocking Stuffer for Your Significant Other
We’ve all been there. Searching through the racks of dress shirts and boxers at the mall asking yourself, “What do I get him for Christmas?” This year, think outside of the box and get him something he’s sure to remember for years to come; a photo album or piece of artwork featuring you at your sexiest and most confident.
Holidays aside, gifting your lover photos from your boudoir session with Allebach Photography is the perfect present for all special occasions, from anniversaries to birthdays, to “just because”.
Below are 9 reasons to book your session with us right now!
1. You already know they’ll love them
You are one of the most important people in your significant other’s life. They love you just the way you are; the way you move, the way you laugh, and the way your eyes sparkle when you’re feeling confident and strong. Imagine their surprise when they pull that bow off your gift and see you’ve captured your beauty for them in the form of photos.
2. It’s a treat for you too
A solo boudoir shoot isn’t just for your beau; it’s a chance for you to pamper yourself. 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.
3. They’re unique
This is a gift that no one else can give them. I bet you can already tick off your fingers the expected gifts they’ll be getting from mom and dad – hats, shirts, gift cards to Starbucks… This is your chance to give them the perfect gift, you.
4. It’s the gift that keeps on giving
Every time your partner opens their gift, it’ll be like receiving that gift over and over again. Many of our couples tell us they still look at their albums years after the session has taken place and it brings them right back to that special time in their relationship.
5. It will make them fall in love with you all over again
Sometimes it’s easy for us to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life and forget about what really matters to us. When your significant other sees those photos of you, it’s be really hard to focus on anything else, let alone last night’s dishes!
6. They’ll be completely surprised
Unless you and your partner have talked about it already, a boudoir album is something they will never expect to see wrapped up under the tree and is something sure to make their jaw drop.
7. You can skip those trips to the donation bins
How many times have you thrown out or donated yet another tchotchke someone thought you just had to have? Instead of filling your home with clutter, give them a gift they’ll want to hold onto for years to come.
Known as the birthplace of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, Philadelphia is the perfect place to celebrate your love during your Couples Boudoir Getaway with Allebach Photography.
No matter what time of year you’re visiting, from historic sites and haunted prison tours to awesome street art, spending a long weekend here with your Beau is sure to be the cherry on top of your already unique and memorable Couples Boudoir experience.
Below, we’ve handpicked some of our favorite places, many of which are off the beaten path, to visit during your stay in the City of Brotherly Love.
Independence National Historic Park
Ok, this one’s not exactly off the beaten path, but it’s an essential, especially for first time visitors. Like all old cities, Philadelphia is best seen on foot. And the easiest way to explore its unique role in the history of the nation is via a Constitutional Walking Tour. This just over an hour promenade through Independence National Historical Park manages to pack in more than 20 of the most historic sites at Philadelphia’s 330-year-old heart, including Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, as well as the Betsy Ross House, Declaration House and the National Constitution Center. Nineteen dollars in exchange for a little brush-up on our nation’s history? Check.
Yards Brewing Company
If you’re a beer drinker, then you know the Philadelphia region is regaled as one of the best places for beer in the world. Philadelphia has won a slew of beer-related accolades, from being recognized as one of the “The 5 Best Beer Cities in America” by GQ Magazine, to being named one of the fourteen best beer cities in the entire world by Frommer’s. Visitors to Yards’ wind-powered tasting room can sample its mostly English-inspired ales while shooting pool or nibbling light fare from the kitchen or the food trucks on Saturdays and Sundays. And why stop at just one brewery? Make it a pub crawl by visiting Philadelphia Brewing Company, Dock Street, Urban Village, Evil Genius, and Crime and Punishment, just to get you started.
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
Located on South Street, this hidden gem glistens with creativity, urban renaissance and a hint of madness. Spanning half a block, the PMG is a nonprofit art museum that includes an immersive outdoor art installation and indoor galleries. The mad hatter behind this artwork is Isaiah Zagar, a local artist who began tiling South Street in the 1960s and never really stopped, constructing a space out of cast aside items like bicycle spokes, bottles, ceramic shards and other artistic knick-knacks.
Reading Terminal Market
Come hungry! Beloved by locals and tourists alike, this historic indoor market features more than 80 vendors and is the nation’s oldest continuously operating farmer’ market. Since the market’s opening in 1892, vendors have been serving up globally inspired food in much the same way as they did back then. From butchers to bakers, chocolatiers to cheesemongers, there’s something for everyone at this mouthwatering stop.
What better way to celebrate your love in the City of Brotherly Love than with a stop at Philly’s iconic John F. Kennedy Plaza, better known as LOVE Park? Located near City Hall and safe harbor of Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture, LOVE Park is a popular and recently renovated public space that includes greenery, a new water feature, concession areas, and is just a must see for both couples passing through and locals.
Eastern State Penitentiary
If you’re looking for destinations off the beaten path, there’s no better place to check out than the infamous Eastern State Penitentiary. Once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, ESP now stands in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty towers. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including “Slick Willie” Sutton and “Scarface” Al Capone. Daytime tours are available seven days a week from 10 am to 4pm and in the fall the prison is turned into a massive haunted house known as Terror Behind the Walls. The Travel Channel recently named it “One of America’s scariest Halloween attractions.”
The Mural Mile
Philly is decorated with no fewer than 4,000 official murals (one of the world’s largest collections of outdoor public art), including Kenny Scharf’s Philly Chunk Pack and the epic mixed media Theater of Life by local artist Meg Saligman. Get up close and personal with the stunning murals that represent a variety of themes, artistic processes, and public art at its finest by taking a self-guided tour, or by bus if you’re pressed for time. There are two ways to go: the south route will take guests south of Market Street to Lombard Street and back along the recently revitalized 13th Street coordinator. The north route will take guests north of Market Street into Old City, through Chinatown and around City Hall.
The Mütter Museum
Are you a big fan of the macabre? Then this is the place for you. Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum of Medical Oddities at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia features a collection of more than 20,000 specimens, enough to feed your nightmares for a lifetime. The Mütter (pronounced MOO-ter) is a world-renowned medical museum and a wonderland for anyone curious about the human body — especially what happens when we are visited by illness, injury or death. Some of its most infamous specimens on display: books bound with human skin, baby born with no skull, John Wilkes Booth’s vertebra, a two-headed baby, the Soap Lady and much, much more.
The South Street Headhouse District is one of Philadelphia’s most eclectic and lively neighborhoods. Featuring more than 400 independent retail shops, South Street is a melting pot of groups and cultures. Residents and visitors, teenagers and adults, preps and pupnks, artists and attorneys all mix seamlessly together on this storied boulevard. Whether you’re looking for an authentic cheesesteak or a statement-making piece of fashion, this place has something for everyone.
Looking for another way to get lucky? Roll the dice at SugarHouse, a casino just along the Delaware River in the lively Philadelphia neighborhood of Fishtown. Gamblers can try their luck at the slots and table games or check out their live performances and concerts. Unlike many places in the city, parking here is free. Or if you want to public transportation, the SEPTA Route 15 trolley serves the casino and the SEPTA bus route 43 at the Frankford and Delaware Avenue Station.
Looking for a place to stay? Mention you’re booking with Allebach Photography at Staybridge or Joseph Ambler for a discounted rate!
Staybridge: 119 Garden Golf Blvd, North Wales, PA 19454
Joseph Ambler: 1005 Horsham Rd, North Wales, PA 19454
Looking for more? Check out some of these ideas
Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
The Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Schuylkill River Trail
Boat House Row
Shopping along Rittenhouse Square
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!
Hope you enjoyed seeing these photos of Caitlin and Ryan’s wedding in Philadelphia, PA!
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 🙂
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!
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.
Renato stopped by for a professional headshot for LinkedIn. We made sure to deliver professional photography. He is based in Philadelphia and travels to Montgomery County and Bucks County. For info on headshots visit our headshot pricing page: http://allebachphotography.com/price-guide/headshots
Lovebirds. One in a beautiful Philadelphian Bhldn dress, and one with a belt buckle that says “Cocky”. They’re gigglers. Which makes them a perfect couple for the upscale but modern Front & Palmer wedding venue in Philadelphia. We stopped at the 2nd National Bank on the way for some unforgettable pictures.
Front & Palmer
Address: 1750 N Front St, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Picture perfect bride and groom, locations, food, and perfect pictures! Robyn and Brent had their first look and ceremony at the lovely Philadelphia historic landmark, The Powel House. Food and fun followed with delicious food tapas at Amada Restaurant.
Check out this wedding! Oh and don’t miss all the delicious Garces Group food at the bottom.
Amada Restaurant in Philadelphia // A Jose Garces Group Restaurant
217-219 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106(215) 625-2450 http://philadelphia.amadarestaurant.com
Powel House Historic Landmark in Philadelphia
244 S 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106(215) 925-2251 http://www.philalandmarks.org/powel.aspx
Here’s the Trash the Dress session at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia! Not so scary… more like a love story.
We have photographed more weddings, engagements & trash the dress sessions at Eastern State than any other wedding photographer. If you are looking for a photographer to take photos of you and your fiance in a prison we are your best choice. Whatever your style, we can accommodate a prison bound session starting at $600.
ATTENTION: This wedding is adorable. The personal details by our photographer-bride Paula, as well as the oldest surviving botanical garden in North America came together with the obvious love between this couple to create absolutely beautiful pictures.
Check out the engagement reference with the wrestling masks!
Batram’s Gardens was their wedding venue!
It is the oldest surviving botanic garden in North America. Located on the west bank of the Schuylkill River and it covers 46 acres.
Visit Batram’s Gardens at 5400 Lindbergh Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19143