Do you know what’s cool about Ali Boundy? Not only has she made her mark as a love language photographer in Tahoe and beyond, but she’s also a great person to be around. She believes that love is the closest thing to real magic, and one of her absolute favorite things is seeing Lake Tahoe through new eyes. So the only thing left for you to do is strip the traditions and Pinterest goals and show up as you are to the core, and she’ll take care of the rest. A win-win, right? In this post, she shares what inspires her work, fun facts about her company, and what her perfect day in Tahoe looks like!
What brings you the greatest joy in your life?
My three stupid idiot dogs and my hella handsome husband. Our wedding song was A Face to Call Home by John Mayer, and I feel like that describes my joy perfectly. Happiness is wrapping up a late-night of editing and finding all three dogs, and my husband snuggled peacefully on the bed, leaving no room for me. I always find room under one dog leg or another, but that bed is the epitome of warmth and love, and I feel really lucky every time I get to crawl in and join them.
What brought you to Tahoe?
My parents met each other on the hill. My dad was a pro skier and ski patrol, and my mom taught ski school. I was born in Truckee, and I could ski before I could walk. We moved to Reno when I was pretty young, but my dad grew up in Stateline in a house that he and my grandpa built together. So most of my childhood weekends were still spent in Tahoe no matter the season. I skied Kirkwood with my mom and Mt. Rose with my dad. We spent lots of time camping at Zephyr Cove or hanging with my grandparents in Stateline in the summers. Loving Tahoe was in my blood even before I existed.
What is a must-see hidden gem in Lake Tahoe?
Gorgeous Girls Leave No Trace. I recommend downloading the All Trails App and exploring for yourself! There is literally not a single disappointing thing about Tahoe.
Describe Lake Tahoe to someone that has never been here…
Seeing the lake for the first time is like breathing fresh air for the first time. Royal blue flowers grow where the air fills your lungs, and they never wilt, even after you leave. It’s incredibly laid back and breathtaking. Take your time here.
Tahoe lifestyle: winter or summer?
Early Summer- like June. The lake is still cold as shit, but June always feels like new. Flowers are blooming, we have a full-bodied Eagle Falls, and the contrasting feeling of the hot sun and the cold water all at once is unmatched.
If you were not a wedding photographer, what would you do?
I always wanted to be a Marine Mammalogist when I grew up. I went to Sea World Camp and took special biology classes and everything. I also found out a little too slowly that I’m pretty horrible at science. Being a wedding photographer is about the same thing, though, right?
What inspires your work?
The connection my couples share is what I use as momentum for telling their story. Their wedding day has absolutely nothing to do with me, so I don’t insert my own inspiration into their space. Instead, I try to create an open and honest relationship with them so I can see their true love underneath the layers, but in the end, I let them inspire me when they’re in front of my lens.
What is a fun fact about your company?
This business was The Boundys Photography before it was Ali Boundy Photography. My husband actually got me to take the leap into wedding photography by promising to do it with me. I wouldn’t have had the guts to do it without him, and he knew that, so he fibbed a little and said he’d really like to do it too. So we started out as a husband and wife duo. After our first full season, he came to me and told me his mental health was taking a hit with his high-stress day job, and shooting weddings was too hard on his introverted nature. So at the beginning of 2020, I rebranded as Ali Boundy Photography, and now I’m a one-woman show! We’re much happier for it, and I am forever grateful that he originally took the leap with me. I wouldn’t be as successful without him – I likely wouldn’t be doing photography at all. He is my absolute rock.
What is your go-to conversation starter with a potential client?
“What’s your biggest fear regarding your wedding photography?” I’m coming on a bit strong, I know, but I ask that so I can help problem solve and put their mind at ease from the jump.
How would you describe the perfect day in Lake Tahoe?
Start with an iced latte from Coffeebar and a breakfast burrito on a weekday. Drive to the beach with a car packed with friends, dogs, and paddleboards. Windows down, music loud, sing-along vibes high. Hike to a small, dog-friendly beach and set down towels in the sand, but spend most of the day chatting about deep life shit out on paddle boards, taking little swims when the sun gets too hot. Get dinner at Cold Water Brewery before heading home.
What are you most proud of?
I truly pride myself on being a human before I’m a business. The pandemic has taught me a lot in terms of putting my couples first, and I still stand by every decision I made in 2020. I didn’t charge extra to reschedule, and I didn’t make a fuss when things were downsized or moved. At times, it felt really scary, and I wasn’t sure how I would make money, but I went with the flow and showed up for the couples that trusted me. I didn’t put my business first, I put my people first, and I learned that the return on investment has been/will always be priceless.
What inspires you the most?
Music, deep textures, the ocean, handwritten notes, afternoon light, nature, foliage, vast horizons, culture, airports, movement.
What is your life motto?
“There’s no normal life. It’s just life, now get on with it.” – Doc Holliday
What was the most recent thing that made you laugh?
As much as I want everyone to think I’m highly poised and sophisticated, I simply can’t lie to you. The last thing I laughed at was honestly probably a fart. My dogs regularly fart like large adult men, and it’s hilarious.
What’s the most useless talent you have?
I know every single word to every single song on the Eminem Show? The amount of Real Estate that album takes up in my brain is fuckin’ absurd. I could probably learn enough science to be a Marine Mammalogist if I could ever get that space back.
What is the closest thing to real magic?
This isn’t a very punk rock answer, but L-O-V-E. The happy chemicals that release in your brain when you’re attracted to another human and the connection that’s created. And for that human to also have the same chemicals happening in their brain at the same time. Sheesh, I think it is so cool.
What was your go-to activity during quarantine?
I really tried not to be useless during the shutdown for the sake of my mental health. So I blogged and worked on my wedding guides and my website. Getting caught up on the stuff that was weighing me and my business down felt good. My dogs and I also did a lot of kitchen dancing to Dance Gavin Dance while I washed endless dishes. We had a lot of dirty dishes because we were eating at home more than ever, and that was a hell of an adjustment, ha.
What kind of wedding guest are you?
My husband and I have an agreement that if Lizzo comes on, he HAS to dance with me. It doesn’t matter if he’s deep in a conversation with the Queen of England- he is required to excuse himself immediately and meet me on the dance floor. So I guess whatever kind of wedding guest that is. Also, I’ll probably steal four desserts and make it look like I only ate one.
Any song you can add to our brides’ and grooms’ budding wedding playlist?
Shake Ya Tailfeather by Nelly, P. Diddy, and Murphy Lee. I will lose my shit on the dance floor if that song comes on.
Working in the wedding industry is not for the faint of heart. So how do you rest and rejuvenate?
I like to do day dates with the people I love, like getting a boujie meal/coffee, or spending time outside together. I appreciate doing activities that feel creative but aren’t work-related. I also like to read and write, so I do that in a relaxing, well-lit setting when I can.
What is something people might not know about you?
I lived on a 110-acre farm in Southwest Pennsylvania when I was in high school. I missed my mountains every day, but I learned a lot, and I made some really incredible friends.
Any four-legged friends in your home?
It feels like there are 100 dogs in my 900 square foot home, but there are really only 3. I have a 120lb Shiloh Shepherd named Naga. A Cardigan Welsh Corgi named Zuko. And a Brittany x Samoyed “oopsie” named Pepper. Yes, they’re named Avatar the Last Airbender and Legend of Korra. This is a house of nerds.
Like what you see? Be sure to check out Ali’s listing on our Vendor Guide!
Photographer Ali Boundy Photography