A Year in Business | Reflection | 2016

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This year, I've had the pleasure of meeting and photographing so many new and wonderful families, I wanted to take a moment to reflect back on this first year in business. So here's a pretty uninteresting blog post about why I was inspired to pick up a camera, and do this "thing".

As a lover of all things artistic, I'm always moved to create, and find inspiration everywhere. Well, I call it inspiration. As my husband lovingly says, "you need to calm your tits". More times than I'd like to admit, hes come home to find the living room completely remodeled, DIY projects strewn across the house like a tornado hit, a giant club house being erected in the yard, or a 100 gallon swimming pool being filled indoors..(almost, that one got shut down reeaaall quick.) For the most part, he's a trooper, and so we keep him around.

A few years ago, I made it a personal goal to try out one new "craft" every year. One year, it was snowboarding, another year, I learned to use a sewing machine. Last year, I decided on photography. (Racking up those post-apocalyptic skills, right?) 

Backstory: I was the weird kid in high school who was always sitting alone in a corner with a sketchbook, and I sincerely thought photography was lame..a cop out..easy art. I even took a photography class, in which I received a "D", because I painted the whole time and never even picked up a camera! 

So last year, thanks to a good friend of mine, I was force fed a beginner camera, and dang if it wasn't the GREATEST THING! I know, so cheesy right? But seriously, I loved being able to capture things artistically, as I see them, to share with family and friends.

Maybe its the "mom" in me now, but my absolute favorite part is being able to pick up my camera during the day and take photos of my little ones just as they are. I know eventually the time will come when they're too old for me to dance with them around the kitchen table, give them bubble baths, and rock them to sleep in their feety pajamas, and I want to remember this. 

I genuinely love being able to capture all those feels for other families, and want to create art that you can look back on and remember not only how you looked, but how you felt and how you lived.

Alright alright, super mushy, emotional stuff aside... I'm not the type to do anything halfway and so I jumped in with both feet. My priority was to practice, practice, practice, and I cant tell you how many hours I'd sit on the floor taking photos of my feet (ha) while changing and fiddling with each of the 1000 camera settings until I'd mastered each one.

I researched and devoured every article and youtube video I could find, I joined photography groups, and even tagged along with other photogs who were super helpful! Next came building a website, writing contracts, creating a business plan, streamlining payments, and figuring out things like marketing, SEO, business taxes (eww), and SO much more!

While this business has proven to be a whirlwind of hard work, late hours, and missed free time, it's been so worthwhile to see real growth, not only as a new photographer, but as a person, and to have the opportunity to meet so many incredible families, and fellow creatives. Dang, I got mushy again.

Before this post gets way too long and out of hand, I just want to give a huge thank you to all of my beautiful and amazing clients who have trusted me this year with capturing their family's memories, I cant wait to see what 2017 has in store for us!

Sincerely, Ashley

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