Alison Mae

Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati







I was absent from elementary school once. When I returned, my art teacher informed me that I’d need to catch up on the project I’d missed: painting a ceramic frog. So while the other students went about working on their next project I sat in the corner of the room, carefully crafting my new amphibian friend. After a few days, the frogs emerged from where they’d been drying and were on display at the front of the room. In a sea of green frogs, mine stood out. Neon pink with bright yellow eyes and even a cheerful smile, my frog was far from normal. I felt a lump of embarrassment welling in my throat. (I clearly had not understood the assignment) But over the years that little pink frog has become a wonderful reminder of the magic that can happen when we follow our own lead.

With out anyone around to influence my choices, I was free to truly create. By seven years old I had seen the beautiful and exotic frogs of the rainforests on tv. So it wasn’t a far stretch to imagine that a frog could be pink. And so the pink paint went on, forever changing the life of that ceramic frog, and mine too for that matter.

Learning from a Pink Frog

These days that little hot pink frog sits ever cheerfully behind my desk. A constant reminder to follow my own intuition, despite what everyone else is up to. As a wedding photographer, looking to others for inspiration is all too easy to do. A highly saturated market and platforms like Instagram and Pinterest make it easy to copy what everyone is doing. That very thought stops me in my tracks. As photographers, aren’t we supposed to be creative?

The definition of photography is “the art or practice of taking photographs”. But somewhere along the way, some of us have lost sight of that. Myself included. Photography is an art. A beautiful way to tune into our own thoughts and ideas. To capture our clients in ways that are true to who they are, not just a copy/paste version of an image we saw on Pinterest. It’s personal. And it should be treated as such.

Being inspired by what other’s create is not negative.We all adore a good scroll through Pinterest. I am constantly in awe of the beautiful art on blogs such as Style Me Pretty, Brides and Martha Stewart. I am in a Mastermind where I learn from other photographers I look up to. But while I am influenced by these things, I don’t want to fall into a pattern of recreating them.

So a goal of mine moving forward in this photography business of mine is to break away from the crowd. To get comfortable in the uncomfortable and truly let myself create. Daring to see what flourishes when I have every color to pick from and the stillness to ask myself what I have to say. And to work towards finding more inspiration from within. In short, to create more beautifully pink frogs.

Click here to read more reflections from Alison

Life Lessons from a Little Pink Frog

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© Alison Mae Photography 2023