“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.”
About Southern Bride Love Stories
Michael Allen: This website is Michael’s collection of editorial photo shoots for Southern Bride. Since 2006 Michael and his team have been shooting for Southern Bride Magazine, styling and creating fashion spreads for each issue. We’ve cataloged each collection by location, from shoots all over the Southern United States & Mexico over the past 10 years. The shoots encompass photographing high end designer wedding dresses and fashion accessories from such designers as Vera Wang, Claire Pettibone, Allure Bridals, Mon Cheri and dozens more. We’ve photographed dresses costing tens of thousands of dollars, as well as high end jewelry that costs even more. Michael has several other websites dedicated to his wedding photography and commercial photography. He stays booked year round on shoots from high end weddings, to famous athletes, to famous musicians, to architecture, catalogs and other magazines. Each collection featured here also includes special behind the scenes and inspirational videos from the photo shoots.
Michael Allen – My Story
For me photography is more art than science. Just like the quote above from Ansel Adams, I look at my photography as a feeling that I can express with my camera. I picked up my first camera as a kid photographing cats and trees, then I spent my high school years as the lead yearbook photographer. I could not put the camera down, and it became a great tool for me to meet people and get a chance to photograph them. Believe it or not, back then I was pretty shy, so it gave me a crutch to hang on to when I met new people. That shyness went away with the success of my businesses over the years, and after owning and managing one of the most successful salons in the South with my wife Janice Allen, my photography career took off like a rocket, and I’ve been hanging on ever since.
One of my favorite things along with still photography is motion picture photography, as the director of photography for short films, indie projects and music videos, I love bringing my unique talents to the set. Not many photographers can bridge both still and motion pictures, so I feel very accomplished and at home not matter what the project. From camera operator with high def cinema cameras, lighting director, still photographer to director of photography, I work on movie sets with dozens of cast & crew members, to working independently with just my camera and my client. Either way, I love what I do!
Getting to shoot as the staff editorial fashion photographer for Southern Bride Magazine has been a dream come true, and that connects me with hundreds of beautiful brides who spend their lifetimes dreaming of getting married, so my job is to help those dreams come true by photographing their amazing weddings! Today, my wife Janice (she’s one of the top bridal hair designers in the USA) and I get to travel all over the South on photo shoots and writing articles for the magazine. My wife Janice and I have been salon owners together running of the the Top 200 Salons in America, Eston Salon Spa, and developing our own organic haircare line, www.laveii.com. We’ve both been leaders in fashion for more than 20 years. This collection features the fashion shoots we’ve done for the past 10 years. I did my first shoot for the magazine back in 2005, so it’s our 10 anniversary with the magazine!
I love photographing people, I get to capture them at their best, and give them a legacy to hand down to their family for years to come. When I get asked what kind of photography I specialize in, my answer is – any kind of photography that requires a camera. My architectural, fashion, editorial & wedding work has won numerous awards, that notoriety attracts some of the biggest names in the world. My portrait work has given me the chance to work commercially and photograph people like Dierks Bentley, Lauren Alaina, Tim Howard and more. With all this success, I try to stay down to earth and I’m always honored to photograph each person that commissions me. (pictured here is Michael Allen with 2 of the design staff from Southern Bride)
Renaissance Architects, First Tennessee, Hilton Hotels, Hard Rock Resorts, Rogers & Cowan, Unilever, Raymond James, Walmart Soundcheck, GQ Magazine, 7up & Dr Pepper, Timid Monster Films, Seaside Resort, Juice Plus, Church Health Center, The Highboy, CBRE, Webz Media, Budweiser, Laveii Haircare, Tru Team, RPM Advertising, Signature Advertising, Brooks Museum of Art, and many more.
GQ, Southern Bride, Town & Country, Where Women Cook, I Do For Brides, ELLE, At Home Tennessee, Inspire, Passion Magazine, Capture Memphis.
Michaels Books Published
Modern Wedding Photography, Top 100 Tips for Brides, Photography Lighting Secrets
Memphis, Nashville, Jackson, Little Rock, New Orleans, Jonesboro, Oxford, Tupelo, Gulf Port, Biloxi, Mobile, Foley Perdido Key, Birmingham, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Asheville, Greenville, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Pawley’s Island, Gulf Shores, Destin, Seaside, Miami, Key West, Seattle, St Louis, New York City, Jamaica, Bahamas, Grand Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Berlin Germany, Milan Italy, Puerto Vallarta Mexico.
Education & Experience
Major in Art & Design
University of Memphis
Neill Quality College Business
Eston Salon Spa Memphis – Co owner and visionary of Laveii Haircare
WPPI Member (Wedding Portrait Photographers International)
PPA Member (Professional Photographers of America)
Southern Bride Magazine – Staff Fashion Photographer since 2009