The Story of Abby Bates Photography

Hello there, my name is Abby Bates. Whether you’re a bride planning her wedding, mother of the bride doing a little of the leg work, or just a curious viewer, I am so happy that you are here! Before we get to the good stuff, like beautiful wedding dresses and pretty florals, I wanted to first introduce myself.

This is me, acting like I like being in front of the camera (even though I don’t).


I’ll give you guys a little background into this photography business I also call, dream job. I wasn’t born with a camera in hand. I didn’t major in photography. And I haven’t always DREAMED of being a photographer. It all started about 3 years ago, while dating my now husband. I realized I had a lack of hobbies. I worked a part-time job, went to school, went to small groups and that was about it. Whenever the dreaded question, “What do you like to do?”, came up, I cringed. I don’t know what I like to do.. I had nothing. My husband on the other hand is literally a Jack-of-all-trades. He’s a designer, a rock-climber, a musician, a photographer. -yepp, he’s a photographer. And a good one too! I realized I needed a hobby. So, he bought me a camera. And that’s where it all began. To interrupt my blabbering, here’s a picture of my sweet hubby.  

James taught me everything I know about photography. This was right around spring graduation for UA. I decided to offer graduation photos and was in shock when people booked. I realized this could actually be a business if I wanted it to be. So, my Jack-of-all-trades husband (boyfriend at the time) created a logo and designed us a website. Our business name, Flourish Photography. Ahh! That also makes me cringe. Who is Flourish Photography, the world will never know. But that’s for a different blog post!

We booked a few graduations, three weddings, and a few family shoots here and there. Fast forward to the end of 2017. I have graduated from college, started a full-time job, gotten married to my Jack-of-all-trade, bought a house, and carried our little photography business along the whole way. My plan was to work my full-time job all of 2018 while our photography business grew and eventually leave full-time work and only do photography. We made the decision to let me spread my wings and turn Flourish Photography into Abby Bates Photography, rebranding the whole thing. I decided to make a big announcement on New Year’s of 2018. Made the announcement, got such great encouragement from friends and family, and got let go from my full-time job the next day. Yepp, you heard that right. At that point I was . unemployed, with no bookings for 2018.

But yall, the Lord provides. James and I made the decision that I would hustle. I wouldn’t seek out another job, but instead just hit the ground running with Abby Bates Photography. And that’s what I did. I worked. Hard. And like I said, the Lord provides. I booked 64 spring graduation shoots, 11 weddings, 12 portraits, 5 newborns, 4 maternities, and 3 bloggers. The Lord provides.

I’m not saying this to boast, I’m saying this to encourage. To let you guys in on the good and the bad. I want you guys to know that this didn’t happen overnight and I am no where close to where I dream to be. I also want to thank you. If you’ve read this far, then something spoke to you. Something kept you reading. I want to encourage you to keep dreaming, keep hustling and keep leaning on Jesus’ unfailing provision. To end, here’s a picture of my #2 fan. (James being #1, lol) Meet our sweet baby, Coast.


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August 25, 2018



  1. Erin says:

    Your passion for this business is so inspiring, Abby! I’ve loved watching you grow as a photographer and can’t wait to see what God has in store for the future! Much Love! xo

  2. Kathy Oates says:

    So proud of you.. Thanks for sharing your journey and faith.

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