So many changes deserve so many thanks

April 08, 2013

So I have been announcing for about a month that big changes have been coming and slowly but surely they have transitioning from Kavod Photography to the newly branded Ali Hormann Photography.  The change is happening not simply for the sake of a name change but because as time has gone on, I have slowly become the primary photographer while Noah has taken a call as a youth pastor in Redmond, WA.  Since then, I have been trying to rebrand the business and realized that name recognition might be the next step, leading to the decision that making my name my brand was a logical step.  Here I have arrived at the biggest reveal, my new website.  But before any time can be spent tooting my own horn credit needs to be given where credit is due and no one is due more credit than my amazing, talented, patient and supportive husband, Noah.

I can only begin to express my deep appreciation for how much he has taught me even when I was not a good student.  Noah, thank you for teaching me the difference between aperture and shutter speed.  Thank you for putting up with my frustration when my photos wouldn't turn out and later I would realize my auto-focus was off.  Thank you for encouraging my own point of view and pushing me to try harder.  Thank you for loving me through thousands of images to cull and exhausted evenings for no real profit, you are exceptional.  Thank you for trusting me to take over something you've put so much effort into.  Thank you for watching our little boy while I chose images, pondered fonts and stared at a computer screen until my eyes felt like they were about to fall out.  Thank you for making him laugh and smile and the fact at six months he already knows you're his best friend.  Thank you for being strong for the three of us, for picking me up when I've come undone, for rejoicing with me in my successes and mourning with me in my failures.  I love you more than even I can imagine, til kingdom come babe, til kingdom come.

Now since the story of Kavod Photography is much of our story, let me enlighten the rest of you to how the Fargo airport spurred me on to learn about photography and how Chicago made us poor enough to work for it. 

Noah and I were married on May 2, 2008 and as an incredibly generous wedding gift from his parents we received a DSLR, something I had no idea about.  So imagine my surprise when, as we were waiting for our flight in the Fargo, ND airport, my new husband was not spending time staring at his new bride but at his new Canon 40D manual.  (In his total defense, the Fargo airport is boring and I was reading.)  I was shocked that the new camera was so interesting to him, I mean I had taken one photo with it the night before, it wasn't that great, see?

But seeing as envy is not my most favorite trait but seemed to be present that May morning, I was bound and determined to learn about the thing that was stealing my husband's attention on the plane (which was also boring, he was totally justified in reading the manual).  So we went to the zoo in Portland and took pictures, mine were terrible.  We went to the coast near Lincoln City, OR and took pictures, mine were terrible.  We went and stayed at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City, OR and took pictures and mine were terrible, until Noah told me to stop snapping at everything.  He told me to breathe, think of what I wanted my photo to be and wait until I saw it.  And then came this:

And then I didn't give him the camera back for nearly the remainder of the trip, I was hooked. 

Not long after we got married we moved to Chicago so Noah could finish his MDiv/MBA at North Park Theological Seminary.  I was terrified of this big city, we were dirt poor and I soon found myself trying to find anything good about being so far from home.  One night we went to the free night at the Chicago Art Institute, hooray for free nights and brought our camera.  Noah took an excellent photo of these two Hindu statues, I tried to take the same one and nearly cried at how poorly mine turned out.  Then, being the loving man he is, he told me to find my own view point and I carefully walked around the pedestal and saw how much I loved the hands on the first statue, so I snapped and here is what came out: (his is first, mine second)

So I became Noah's student, and sometimes I was a very bad student, but I still learned and tried to find beauty in a place that scared me.

As it so happens, seminary is chalk-full of families and I had the privilege of becoming friends with some who totally let me take their pictures, and their kids' pictures and told other people to have us come take those people's pictures as well.  I am so grateful for their kindness.

On top of that I got to serve on a committee with four of the most amazing women I've ever known who all happened to also be photographers.  You should check them out: Erica Rose, Cortney Wall, Ashley Bailey & Alicia Sturdy.  I miss them all so much it hurts, but the five of us span North America pretty well, so if you need photos, let us know.

Everywhere we looked, God was opening doors for us to start our business, which we needed because free Starbucks coffee doesn't pay rent, so we committed to starting and went for it.  We chose the name Kavod because it is the Hebrew term for the weight of the ever-present, all-encompassing glory of God, that is what we wanted to show in our photos and that isn't going to change.  No greater door was opened, however, than when my younger brother Micah and his wife-to-be Cassie asked us to shoot their wedding.  I was so nervous that whole day I wanted to cry, but what we got were some of my favorite images to this day.  I am so grateful to them for trusting us with such an important task, thank you both.

After that we started to do more work and then the incomparable Erica Rose referred a client of hers to us and right before leaving Chicago we spent three days and 13,000 shutter clicks capturing Rupak & Nisha Shah's traditional Indian wedding.  I have never had more fun or been more tired in my life.

 With that, we were off and running.  We moved to Washington, captured great moments for great friends and just as things were ramping up our lives changed forever when on Valentine's day 2012 we learned that Soren Christian would be joining us in October.  It made for difficulty shooting summer weddings and so 2012 was not a good business year, but I wouldn't trade it for the world because it brought about my favorite pictures and favorite subject of all time.

After Soren was born I was determined to re-vamp our business.  Spending time on CreativeLive with Jasmine Star's reSTARt program I knew I had to get up the guts to ask Noah if I could take his hard work and make it into something of my own.  His response was completely indicative of him, "I believe in you and think you should definitely take this business and make it your own, I love you." *melt*

So here it is, not perfect but getting there, the very brand new

Thank you to all who have made this possible, I can't name you all but I couldn't have done it without you.


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  1. Yes!!!! So good. And so beautiful. I am excited for this next part of you journey.


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