alora. my second shooter. my friend. / by Cheryl Lukasewich

Back in 2011, my second year of business, I put out a plea on a local women photographer's forum looking for someone to second shoot with me at what was sure to be an incredible wedding (check it out here).  Up until this point my uncle, a math teacher and photography/yearbook instructor, had been shooting my (first few) weddings alongside me.  He made the bold and exciting decision to move his family to Nairobi, Kenya, and up till then I had no idea how to go about finding someone to shoot weddings with me.  So I put out my request.  I promptly got a message from Alora.  She sent me a link to view her portfolio (which was gorgeous) and I agreed she should come shoot with me.  Due to circumstances I can't recall, Alora and I weren't able to meet prior to the wedding so, on the morning of the wedding I was excited when I got a knock on my door.  Imagine my surprise when a teenager, 16 years old, stood there with gear in hand. And that's where it began.

I'm 10 years older than Alora but that doesn't matter in the least.  What began with my random request turned into a beautiful pairing and an incredible friendship.

A second shooter has many roles (at least when they're shooting with me).  They're there to catch different angles from my own, look for candid moments in between the organized shots, carry my gear, hold my light, fix the bride's train, carry the bouquet, look for crooked ties, help me stay organized, keep me calm, listen to my concerns and, in Alora's case, even help pull me together during a few tearful moments (shooting a wedding, though so incredibly joyous, can be a bit stressful at times).

Alora has done all that and more with me and for me.  But the girl has wings.  She's moving forward in her own business and pursuing her own dreams in her career and, as sad as it makes me to not always have her with me when I work, I'm also pretty thrilled.  Although she loves weddings and is so skilled at them her real passion lies with photographing couples in general as well creating gorgeous, ethereal portraits.

Alora has shot a lot of weddings with me and will be shooting a few with me this year as well (maybe I'll be able to snag her a few times in the next few years, too).  Regardless of how much we work together in the future I wanted to let the world know how much I love this girl and to send her lots of e-hugs.

Check out some shots I took recently of this awesome gal and then head over to her website, too, to check out her mad skills (maybe give her a "like" on her facebook page, too)!

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