I’m so excited to introduce y’all to AlleeJ Photography! Alexandra Joplin is an absolute joy to be around. Working with her during weddings is so much fun. When we have down time, I love chatting with her and getting to know her more. You are going to enjoy reading and getting to know the sweet spirit behind AlleeJ Photography.
– Tell us about yourself.
My name is Alexandra Joplin! I’m happily married, 7 years, to my love and best friend Dusty Joplin. Together, we have two kids, Hazel (3.5) & Jett (10months)! I am a Lubbock native, and grew up going to school at Cooper, and then furthered my education graduating from Texas Tech with a degree in Human Development & Family Sciences. I am a 4 on the enneagram, a lover of travel, textures, experiences, and one of my heartbeats is to create a place of belonging and life-giving conversation around my dinner table. I value people, connection, stories, and cherish my family and loved ones. I am passionate, sentimental, creative, and prefer to see the world in all its color. If I could put words to how I try and live my life, it’d be the words of Romans 12.
– How did you get started with photography?
I started learning photography my senior year of High school for a year-long project we had to do to graduate. Kristin Bednarz mentored me and showed me the ropes of how to use a camera. I photographed all of my girlfriends, asked them questions, and put together a book to celebrate friendship! The book was dedicated to our friend, Kelsey, whom we lost our senior year of High School. In 2010, I was in my second semester, freshman year of college, when I officially became a registered business for photography! Throughout college, I worked my business, & tended to/grew my craft in the art, and launched ALLEEJ full time once I graduated from the best college out there!
– What is your absolute favorite thing about photography?
I love its ability to freeze and transport you back into time. I love its ability to preserve emotion, experiences, and memories, & ultimately tell stories. My photos with loved ones who have passed on are so dear to me. I cannot imagine not having those photos, and it has put a fire in me to be intentional of photographing my own family, & printing those to preserve and honor our growth and experiences as a family (mostly just with my iPhone! But it doesn’t matter – it’s all important!).
*This photo is of my papa’s very first family camera. He gave it to me just before he passed away in 2011. The photo below is of my papa taken with the family film camera! He’s standing in front of the farm house that was passed down in the family from 1912 to when we had to sell it after his passing in 2012.
– What do you think sets you apart from others in the photography industry?
What I have to offer, that no one else can replicate, is myself! I have a unique perspective, and am passionate about trying to tell a couple’s story in a beautiful, honest, and timeless way. I am approaching 10 years of photography under my belt, and the experiences, failures, and win’s that come with that is valuable. I am passionate about my couple’s stories (tell me all the sentimental parts/details/stories of your day!!) and I’m a firm believer in print. Everything I do includes some form of tangible print along with the digital files. I personally have experienced the power of stumbling upon old prints. I imagine & dream that one day grandkids will stumble upon an ALLEEJ couple’s wedding box, & be able to see the beginning of their families love & story. I dream that as the years pass, my couple’s will re-visit the prints in their wedding box, and be transported back to the young love they shared on the day they said, “I do.” I dream that the photos would act as a door & gateway back to the promises and vows exchanged, and I believe that the power in photographs has the ability to re-kindle a love that may need its fire re-lit. I’ve seen photos do that for me personally, and I believe what I have to offer is farther reaching than just what I’m capturing in the moment, but for a lifetime.
– What is your favorite thing to photograph?
I only photograph what I love!! I love it all for different reasons, but I specialize in wedding photography (engagement, bridal, wedding day), as well as High School and Collegiate senior photography! If I had to pick one thing, my favorite thing to photograph (in general) would be my family in ordinary days.
– What is something interesting about yourself that most people don’t know?
The bee in my logo is intended to be a metaphor of a bigger story. My childhood friend, Kelsey Vines, and myself, shared a love for photos. Our first week of senior year she brought her camera to school every day. On the morning of September 2nd, I unknowingly took my last photo with my dear friend. Driving home from school that afternoon, she lost her life in a fatal car accident. When I would get asked “how did you get started in photography?” I always found myself sharing her story. We shared a love for what photography did. For the memories it preserved, and for the creative outlet that it is. In 2011 Dusty proposed marriage to me. As we planned our wedding day & life together, I also took a serious look at my photography business. I had just finished attending a big conference for photographers all over called WPPI. Feeling uncertain, and not sure that I belonged in the room, I left that conference full of insecurities. On the plane back home, I wrestled and asked the Lord if I was supposed to be on this journey or not. If I was supposed to… I needed him to show me WHY… I needed something to hold on that was bigger than myself. The Lord transported me back to a vivid memory from 5th grade. Kelsey Vines was pen pals with another Kelsey (Kelsey Cook) much older than us, and at the end of her letters she always signed hers with a bumble bee. I could see her drawing the bee at the end of her letter, and I though “why this, Lord?”. In the same season, as I was planning our wedding, I was looking for ways to include my nana, who (unbeknownst to her) was very instrumental in my faith and walk with Christ. She sold country French antiques, and anytime I saw the bee & laurel wreath, I though of her. The truth is, I cannot share stories about Kelsey or my Nana, without the Lords love, kindness, & faithfulness coming up. The bee in my logo is two stories in one symbol. Kelsey’s story is a story of tragedy; however, all that the Lord has done out of it has been absolutely magnificent. It has left me in wonder and awe time and time again, and he has shown himself to be trustworthy even in tragedy. Losing her also felt like the first time I had a foot in heaven and on earth. It made everything I believe in and walk my life out for, all the more real and even tangible in ways. My nana met Jesus for the first time from her bed in my childhood home. Watching her make steps towards heaven the last two weeks of her life, radically changed mine. Their lives & their stories, and the photos I have with them both… they are my WHY. How the Lord has meet me in my experiences of losing them both, and my memories in life with them both… sharing his love & faithfulness is my WHY. It’s so much bigger than a “photography business” to me, and I am so so grateful for that gift of perspective and anchoring to something bigger than myself.
– If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
So, I have started getting on google maps and trying to “walk the streets” of little towns/areas I think I might like to visit one day (haha!). I love to travel, and I love experiencing different cultures/ways of living & thinking. I especially love charming, quaint, beautiful, romantic, and unique places. My ideal experience would be to rent an air b&b and live like a local somewhere for a week or two. I have a dream to go back to Tuscany and do this. We traveled through it for a day, but my heart didn’t get enough of it! I would also love to see British Columbia/Victoria. It seems to meet all of the things I listed above. No special reasons why, other than it’s good for my heart to experience beautiful places, & people who think and operate different from me!
– Favorite place to eat in Lubbock?
It’s honestly constantly changing, however, mine and my husband’s current favorite is enjoying whatever food truck is outside of Two Doc’s Brewery & enjoying a Two Doc’s beer. We love experiences & atmospheres. On a more day-to-day normal basis Chick-Fil-A & Rosas are a constant part of my diet ;).
– What is your favorite holiday? Why?
Friendsgiving/Thanksgiving!! I started celebrating Friendsgiving 4 years ago, and it FILLS MY SOUL. Yummy food, drinks, a beautiful table, gratitude, people you love, and stories of thanksgiving shared around the table all makes this holiday my absolute favorite.
– Anything else you would like the Eberley Brooks blog readers to know about you?
I LOVE Eberley Brooks. Not only is it a beautiful venue, but the people who make up the staff and serve you to put on the wedding of your dreams are truly the best. I’m so grateful to be a preferred vendor, and can say that EBE is also a preferred vendor of mine. You are in good hands here, and their staff makes up the best wedding planners in town. <3 Love all of the EBE family!
See? I told you! She is the sweetest. She will not only photograph big days in your life, but she also becomes a friend during the process. We are thankful to call you a preferred vendor Alexandra!