Member Ashley of A Photo by Ashley’s love for photography started when her first son was born. “It’s something about capturing life as it is…Especially for myself, I watched my son grow right before my eyes.”
Ashley tells us about her style, what she offers, how she juggles work and family, and more in this edition of Behind The Lens.
1. How and when did you get started?
I was in school for Graphic Design and Advertising when I took my first Photography Class (film then). After that I enjoyed taking pictures, but it wasn’t until my 1st son was born that I really started to enjoy it. It’s something about capturing life as it is. Especially for myself, I watched my son grow right before my eyes. I slowly took photos for family & friends and finally got the guts and courage to go public February 2008. I received my first Digital Camera from my hard working husband. I don’t think I will ever sell that camera, just because it means so much and got me to where I am today.
2. What’s your photographic style?
I LOVE the outdoors. I shoot natural light, no flash. I look for what others would consider “ugly”. It would crack me up when I’d mention a place to clients and they would turn their nose up at it. I have finally learned to say no at places that I think will not be my style or that I know will not look right and it seems to be working so far!
3. Describe your typical day at work.
Ummm… well I’m holding my 4 month old son right now, trying to fight him away from the keyboard and I’m hitting delete every other word! Nah, but seriously my days I feel like I work 24-7 since I am both a SAHM & a WAHM. My day doesn’t end at 5 like most. Heck, that’s when I start most of my shooting! Let’s see, I wake up about 5:30am or 6:30am to feed my 4 month old. Get my 4 yr old son & husband up at 7:30am, put my 4 month old back down for a nap, fix my coffee (it’s a must), try to catch up on emails really fast, feed my 4 yr old (again), try to edit as much as I can before my 4 month old wakes again…. while also pumping (I breast feed too, which I feel like is another job), email, text, orders, uploading, downloading,Facebook (I have a FB page I keep in contact with A LOT of my clients) I am the Queen at multi-tasking! 12 noon or 1:00 rolls around and sometime or another I feed/serve lunch. Still responding to emails/clients through my phone at this point and answering my 4 yr old’s million questions he has! Leave about 3:00pm to take my boys to my mom. She and my wonderful, supporting Husband watch them as I am out shooting during the week or weekends at weddings. I like to shoot from 3-dark. I then go pick up the boys and head home (to a messy house) feed my 4 month old, prepare coffee and chocolate milk for the morning, put the boys to bed, fix a single cup of Starbucks for me and head upstairs to edit till the wee hours in the night. WHEW… that doesn’t include up & down a million times for my son, baths, showers, cleaning, laundry, eating, tv… tv? what is tv? Oh yeah…. I have an awesome husband too I don’t get to see! LOL I love my jobs though!!! Just don’t come to my house during mad editing time! I only shoot on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturday & Sunday. The others days are for editing, errands & make up sessions. I have learned over time to take FRIDAY OFF, but I still find myself still editing.
4. Any books or courses you would recommend to new photographers?
I really loved reading a book by Donna Smylie & Allison Tyler Jones called Expressions. I found it very helpful… and the thing is, it was for capturing photos for your scrapbook! (I don’t scrapbook) Other than that, I learned on my own, trial & error.
6. What piece of equipment would you say is most important to you?
My 50mm 1.4 lens
7. What do you offer that is special or unique?
I just recently started offering Free Sessions to Active Duty Military, Firefighters/EMS, Police Officers – I also am a Now I lay Me Down to Sleep Photographer (when I have time)
8. What is your biggest challenge as a business owner?
Omigah! I’m not going to lie… it’s hard keeping up with everything. I find it hard to explain to clients the TIME that it all takes… I would love to have more time to learn more about my business and how to make it grow more!
9. Is there anything you would have done differently during your career that could be advice for others?
If I just had one piece of advice to offer that would be make time for your family. They too should be captured as well. I put mine on the back burner a lot.
9. What do you love most about your job?
I honestly love my job. I love seeing others happy!!! I love weddings, they are the greatest feeling to know you are capturing such awesome moments for a couple. Newborns, baby’s, children and loved ones…. they are all quite special to take photos of at that time of their life as well.