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Rising Stars: Meet Ali Duffy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ali Duffy.

Hi Ali, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
As strange as it may be, I actually have a biology degree. If you would’ve told me years ago that I’d pursue a passion in photography I’m not sure I would’ve believed it. In early 2010, my contract position with a scientific company was up and I had a bit of time on my hands as I job hunted during a rough time in the market. During this time, I bought a DSLR camera to satisfy a curiosity for photography; I played around with settings and lighting for a few months, then took photos of a dear friend and posted them to Facebook. This started a bit of a snowball of other friends wanting their photos taken. I had the opportunity to second shoot weddings and it was then that I fell in love with the process and hype of a wedding day. That’s when I decided to go all in with photographing weddings. A few years in, I noticed the artists that I looked up to all had a very similar aesthetic which ended up being film photography. I tried my hand with a film camera and, again, it was love at first sight. Ever since then, I’ve shot sessions with film and am a hybrid digital and film wedding photographer. We’ve had the honor and fun of photographing couples in the St. Louis area, Chicago, Washington DC, Key West, and Colorado.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think most business owners can relate in saying the road is not always smooth. 🙂 My first two years in business as I grew referrals and my arsenal of equipment, I also supplemented my income by substitute teaching. Without the encouragement of my husband and mom, I might not have kept the faith. Something my mom said, which stuck with me was, ‘anyone can try anything for a year’. My first year, I gave it my all and fortunately the business grew. Covid also presented a challenge most recently with event restrictions placed on weddings, but thankfully that’s looking better and better each day.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I think what I’m most proud of is sticking with it and taking the risk of pursuing a career (especially during a rough economic time) in which my degree had nothing to do with, but my passions and interests have everything to do with. It really makes me happy when couples describe my work as bright and dreamy because that’s what I’m hoping to achieve. Couples also tend to say that I’m a calm presence that makes them comfortable on their wedding day; I’m so glad to hear this because with the heightened emotions of a wedding day, I truly hope and aim to be a source of calm and light-heartedness.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
Patience is everything, this too shall pass. There will be seasons of busy and seasons for rest and recharge, and that’s okay.

Contact Info:

  • Email: duffyphotoandfilm@gmail.com
  • Website: www.duffyphotofilm.com
  • Instagram: aliduffyphoto
  • Facebook: Duffy Photo & Film

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