We had the good fortune of connecting with Miranda Allen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Miranda, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Photography has been my passion since I was a kid, but I didn’t decide to start my business until after my own wedding and experience as a bride working with vendors. When I reflected back on the planning process and our big day, I found myself hoping for more from some of our vendors. It was at that moment I realized I could be the one to provide a great experience rather than just a service. I began second shooting for other photographers at weddings to gain experience and immediately fell in love with working with couples, weddings, and anything involving two people in love! I saw so many couples feeling just as lost and confused as we felt, and so many photographers who didn’t or couldn’t step in to help. I want to build relationships with couples in a way that relieves the stress and results in them truly enjoying their wedding day and even the planning process! I want to help couples focus on the things that really matter to them and to create a fun experience that leaves them feeling like they are on Cloud 9: happy, laughing, and connected. Although many couples generally feel ordinary, I want all couples to feel and know that they are actually extraordinary. And that was ultimately my thought that inspired me to start my own business.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I bought my very own camera as a pre-teen and I was obsessed with getting super up-close in nature and capturing all the details of everything I saw. Photography taught me at a young age to see the beauty in the world in a way that many people don’t get to experience. Photography also inspired my love for travel, as it opened my eyes to all the opportunities to create something exquisite. Once I started photographing people in love, I saw the same beauty in them and the complexities of what draws two people together. This way of seeing the world and people absolutely shaped my career as a whole. I believe that every love story is the best story, and I am passionate about telling those stories through photography. I am most proud every time my clients express how beautiful and happy they feel and look in their photos. My goal during every session is to create such a fun experience that my clients relax into each other and open up in their natural state. Most people will say they aren’t photogenic but that’s only because staring at a camera with a stale smile and no direction isn’t photogenic. People themselves are radiant, inside and out, in their relaxed and happy states. But a camera absolutely cannot create those conditions. So when my couples tell me things like “We look SO happy”, “We had so much fun! You made us feel so comfortable”, and “I’ve never felt more beautiful”… I feel beyond grateful and proud of my career knowing that I am able to deliver not just a service, but an experience that lets my couples see and feel how extraordinary they truly are.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in San Diego county so there’s honestly a ridiculous amount of great places to visit! We’re known for having wonderfully warm weather, beaches galore, and endless opportunities for an adventure. In just two hours or less, you could hit the beach and see the gorgeous Sunset Cliffs, explore the mountains like Palomar and Big Bear, and kick up some dirt in Palm Springs and the Anza-Borrego Desert. I’m definitely partial to the desert, having grown up camping there and doing all the thrilling off-road driving; we still take every chance to get away and spend a few nights under the stars. For some true, laid-back beach party vibes, visit the Mission Bay area which includes Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and Fiesta Island (my personal favorite). If you’re more of a city person, the Gaslamp Quarter in Downtown San Diego has all the hustle and bustle and nightlife your heart could desire! There’s also the vibrant and buzzing neighborhood of Hillcrest, the heart and center of San Diego’s LGBTQ scene, where a good time is guaranteed! And while you’re down that way, make sure to stop by sister companies, Pop Pie Co and Stella Jean’s Ice Cream, for dinner and dessert. Now, I have always lived in North County San Diego, a place that many non-natives don’t really know exists – and many natives have never visited! North County is a bit quieter and relaxed than the busy heart of San Diego, but still close enough to get in on all the big-city action. Some of my most favorite local food spots in North County are Peterson’s Donuts, Escogelato, Wild Barrel Brewing Company, Cocina Del Charro, Better Buzz Coffee, and Lucha Libre Taco Shop. And North County’s beach towns like Carlsbad Village, Encinitas, and Del Mar are just as beautiful and lively as their south-bound cousins, with so much to do and so much fish to eat! I absolutely LOVE when my clients choose a North County location for their sessions and weddings since our part of the county is so under-rated!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents and husband definitely deserve recognition for always supporting and encouraging me to do what I love to do! They’ve always believed in me and never questioned me in the pursuit of my dreams. I’m so grateful to have a support system made up of the people I love! And I also want to recognize all of my clients and fellow vendors who I have had the great pleasure of working with over the years, including Mandy of Ruby Bloom Floral Design who referred me for this Shoutout! They all have made this journey not only possible, but also one of the most rewarding in my life!