I’m Emily Alwood and as some of you may know Mandeville is my maiden name which I kept as my business name since I started this business before I was married. I am an award-winning photographer based in Richmond, Virginia specializing in lifestyle and event photography. I have lived in Los Angeles, Dominica, and originally from Florida. As a child, I was trained under the direction of my father, Jim Mandeville, Director of Photography for The Nicklaus Companies. It’s my father to which I attribute my joy for photography and why I also decided to keep Mandeville in my brand name.
My photography interest sparked as a child, watching my father take photos and teach me how to use his camera. I loved taking photos of my own whether it was of nature, my dolls, brother, really anything! Of course, it was all film and so not everything that was printed came out the great. As a ten year old I quickly learned how to pose objects and use light to my benefit in order for the photos to be frame worthy. I felt like I wasted my time and money [yes, I paid for my photos to get developed as a kid] getting photos developed that were not worthy. Fast forward to high school, I learned how to use the dark room in photography classes and encountered an array of problems: dark stains on clothing, negatives with spots, and the list goes on! This encouraged me to pay more attention to details so I could again have frame worthy photos that I developed.
In college (Go Gators!) I was the one that always had the camera. It was digital so I could easily share these photos with friends and family. Facebook was brand new so what an easy way to share the photos! I got my degree in Psychology and Education and pursued my Master’s in Education. From there I became a classroom teacher in Florida. After two years I moved to the Caribbean with Ben (husband) as he attended medical school.
My photography passion of course still existed throughout this time. In Dominica, I was teaching during the day and have photography sessions at golden hour on the beach. I loved working with so many different families and medical students that just wanted a fun photo session to break up their intense study sessions. I explored the ins and outs of Dominica photographing everywhere I could because I knew it was a temporary home. The serene waterfalls, rushing ocean, and green triangular mountains flooded my memories giving me further inspiration to keep doing what I love: photography.
In 2015 I moved to Los Angeles and continued teaching and photography. I was named Top Pro in 2016 and 2017 as well as Best of Thumbtack in 2016. This was super encouraging because it was very difficult to work full time as a teacher, run a photography business in a highly competitive location, and find clients. In June of 2018, I moved to Richmond, VA with Ben and I found myself enjoying life as a teacher and photographer. I strive to provide quality images, enjoyable sessions, and affordable pricing. I want my clients to see my passion for photography and how I can create beautiful visuals for each and everyone of you. Please contact me for inquiries or any questions, I look forward to our session together!