4 Jan

I am nervous today. It’s especially bad because I can’t remember the last time I was nervous. I put a lot of work into conquering anxiety during test taking while I’m at school, so I feel really out of place right now. I am really nervous about a photo shoot that I have today. WHAT?!? Since when does photography make me nervous? It’s like the anti-anxiety…. what is the deallll?


All of a sudden, my love affair has some pressure on it. This is the business side of photography that I’m so privileged to be entering. Don’t get me wrong, being able to make a little change doing what I love is amazing. Actually, it’s like the BEST.

But, it’s new. I’m used to being creative on my own time and in my own way. Ya know, doing my thannnng. Now, I feel as if I’m focusing on not disappointing the client, rather than making something amazing happen. I am seriously cheap for photography right now because I’m just starting into this business stuff, I’m a hidden gem “best bang for your buck” kinda deal while I take some time to learn how to work with clients and how to manage myself as a professional. But man, I don’t feel my worth anymore. I know this is something I’ll get over and get used to, but right now I feel like I keep letting myself down.

Yeah, I have to make a few mistakes to learn. I get that. I haven’t been on top of my emails. Communication is really hard when you’ve got so much going on at once. I feel like I’m working 3 jobs, but doing them all at the same time. It’s easy to let emails slip a few days before you respond. BAD.

Cutting to the chase, I need to chill with all the pressure I’m putting on myself. If something isn’t working, try it again. Reschedule. Breathe. I need to be confident in myself. I need to remember that I am appropriately priced and not take it personally when people ask for discounts. I need to know what I’m worth and not let anyone try to take advantage of me just because I’ll bend when they ask. I think that people probably don’t realize what photography means to a real photographer. It’s like we are pouring our body, mind, and soul into a project for you, giving our love and passion to make something beautiful for you. To ask someone to discount something that personal is crushing. But from a consumer’s point of view, photography is just pushing a button on an expensive camera. They don’t realize the work I put in. They don’t know the time and focus editing takes. Man, this is a labour of LOVE. So, my goal in growing my business is to share the LOVE, and love my clients. It is such a compliment for them to book me in the first place. I want to share some passion with them, not just photos. Then I think people will begin to understand and appreciate, without me having to turn into a crazy ego maniac and tell people how awesome what I’m doing is. That just drives me nuts. I need to remind people that this is still art despite how commercialized photography can be, and it’s super personal. How to do that? Yeah, dunno yet exactly but it’s going to happen. One step is one-on-one meetings. More on those to come.



Product Review- Shelly Henna Tube

29 Dec


I’ve played with henna for years. In high school my best friend and I spent hours hanging out and experimenting with henna designs. I’ve always been pretty good with detail work so I find it really fun and relaxing to chill and freehand designs. All this said, I was super excited to get a henna kit as a Christmas present. The kit included a pre-made tube of henna called “Shelly Henna”.

I decided to pop it open tonight and do a little doodling, and I had an awesome geometric/tribal “bracelet” going for a bit.  As I was letting the paste dry however, I started to feel like something was wrong. I did a few quick google searches and didn’t really find much info on this brand of paste, but I did find a video where a lady notes the manufacturing date on her package because it arrived to her expired by a year. So, I hop up and hunt down the little box that I threw to the side. 1998. It was manufactured in 1998.

If you know anything about henna, you know it has to be fresh within about a year to really give you a worthwhile stain. Soooo, I decided to wash off my design and save myself from disappointment. I am so glad I washed it off right then, because underneath there WAS color, just not stain. My skin was bright red and starting to welt under the henna design.

I have NEVER had a reaction to any premade henna cone or kit I’ve ever used before. Sure, some don’t stain all that well, but I’ve never had this kind of reaction. From now on, I’ll be doing a bit more research and likely mixing my own henna. definitely do your research on the dangers of fake henna before you experiment with brands you haven’t used before. Luckily, I was skeptical enough to catch it before it did more damage. The welts subsided within an hour, but it did burn for a while.


After an hour or so, my wrist returned to normal color. There was no stain left by the henna at all, so all that color in the photo is my skin irritated. >.<

Something I love…

28 Dec

I just found this website, and I am quickly falling in love. It’s called “Mightybell”  and it allows you to create a space for collaboration. Uhm, this is aaaahmazing for me because I like to put in a lot of planning with my creative shoots, and I like to collaborate with my models (at the very least keep them up to date with my ideas) so that everything runs extra smoothly. So far, I’ve been using Pinterest to accomplish online collaborating, but I love the organization that Mightybell offers. Sometimes all the images on Pinterest distract me or stress me out. Try using Mightybell for your next group project, event, etc. and impress your friends with your super cool internet savvy self. By the way, I love adjectives.


What I’m listening to:
Teardrop by Massive Attack
Sunshine by Matisyahu
How to Be a Heartbreaker by Marina and The Diamonds

no no no no no

22 Dec

It’s still not right. It’s still not perfect.


in fact,




I want to talk about contentment. I know exactly who I am, but sometimes I get lost navigating everything else. I think contentment gets a bad rap. I guess that must be because it’s not an extreme; it’s the middle ground and that’s “boring”. Who exactly am I quoting with those quotes there? Me. Myself. I. Well, half of Ashley at least.

I’d challenge that it’s actually those extreme highs and lows in our life that are over rated. College is stressful. I have never been under so much stress in my life, and it has run me through ups and downs and battles that few have seen. This part of me savours  days where I can float through my life, pretend to be an outside observer and soak in the workings of an utterly strange existence playing out in front of me. I take solace in the familiar. I’ll take my time to see and learn. Utter, fleeting, peace.

Contentment is the stuff of real bona-fide insanity. Why? Cuz’ it’s not real. Can we ever be really content? No. These highs and lows in life and day are what feed our drive and will. Variety for wandering minds. Launch pads for something new, or a return to something old. See, it is the ups and downs that motivate and teach. Contentment is just a charade played by the unremarkable passings of time. A hideaway for those afraid to face realities and mysteries. Mm, contentment is a cop-out. It is what you are when you are not.

So as I sit here at my desk drinking a chai tea latte and a ice-cold bottle of water, I am left thinking about opposites and balance, and how the hell my piece on contentment made me question and believe at the same time. Likely, this makes no sense and that’s why I remain confused. Hm.. confused…lost…unbalanced…wanting…etc. But I have been tormented by contentment before. I know that I’ve felt it rest on my shoulders and admire the view. Weighing me down, an anchor to a sailing mass of tissue and bone, brain and being. Or was it just a hurdle in the way of developement? Would I have enjoyed it just the same if it were? And, yes, I really am drinking a chai tea latte and sipping icy water at the same time. Why choose.

In all reality though, I find clarity in the calm content pieces of time that come my way. I have learned my best lessons through the beautiful and the harrowing. I don’t have an answer to how I want to live my life, but I think the answer comes in taking what you can from the best and the worst and bringing them back to your middle. Define contentment how you will. I like to call it “happy”.

P.S. After writing this, I’ve realized I really must love to mix opposites. My playlists are so random. The drink thing was totally unintentional, I’m just doubly thirsty/indecisive. OR SO I THOUGHT. teehee.





Homework: Check out Help I’m Alive by Metric, it’s one of my all time favorite songs.

Ghost of Myself

16 Dec


Sometimes I feel like a ghost of myself. Lately I have been so gone. I’ve been so wrapped up in stress. The worst thing is, half the time, I’m not even being productive… but mostly cycling more and more stress about not being productive. For some of you who don’t know, I just finished my first semester of my junior year in college as a biology student. I took a full course load this semester, 3 of my classes with lab sections (aka another 4 hours class time I don’t get credit for). I have never felt so helplessly BUSY, it seemed every moment I needed to be doing something. I applied for an internship, I managed leadership in clubs, I joined a professional sorority, but mainly I finally got serious about my photography. In all of this, I’ve lost myself. I’ve become a robot. I seriously go weeks without seeing my friends. I can’t sleep. I can’t wake up. I hardly feel alive. But as much as photography takes up my time, it’s been all this stress that has made me realize how much I LOVE it. I have fallen completely and totally in love with photography. It is what I look forward to. I can’t stop thinking about ideas, I can’t stop talking about my ideas. Trust me, anyone who’s talked to me at all lately will agree.

So. This chaos ends. I am making it a priority to rework my life. The little things that are derailing my brain have got to go. I’m going to try to set goals for the week, real ones to stick to. First, I’m going to be better about communicating. I’m going to make it a goal to post a picture a day to my photography page. I’m going to focus, but I’m also going to slow down.

I want to end with an open apology for disappearing. I’ll make it up to ya’ll.


Love/Hate: How to actually be productive with Pinterest!

22 Nov

Ah Pinterest. This go-to time waster for the creative and ambitious young women of today actually has legitimate potential. Sure, we spend hours pinning with the thought that we are being productive, finding and archiving ideas that we will toooootally use (hah…yeah) in the future. I will admit, I have actually tried a few DIYs that I’ve pinned, but the majority just sit on my “crafty” pinboard, untouched and forgotten. It wasn’t until I started using Pinterest from a photography standpoint that I truly got any benefit from the website. At the suggestion of another photographer, I started creating inspiration boards for my upcoming shoots. I never directly copy any of my inspo pictures, but they help me organize my ideas and spark my own creativity. Sometimes to get real genius, you need to know when to reign in your creativity. Pinterest helps me keep everything on the same “page”. Pinterest is most useful when it can help you focus and reign in your ideas. Get specific with your boards!

Flower Crowns- DIY Prop

22 Nov

I have a kid’s portrait shoot this weekend and I’ve been dreaming up a whimsical theme. I was really inspired by crowns, and decided to take on a Neverland type theme for this shoot. I’m not going to stick to a strict Peter Pan theme or anything, I just wanted something  whimsical, dreamy, and fun. Growing up, Peter Pan was the most magical story and I’m excited to work in some elements to add that feeling to my photos. Step one, make some crowns. Oh yes, I did say “make”. I love love love being artistic with crafts. I spent a good hour at the craft store going through different materials and making decisions. I’m going to start with the girl version crown, an ever popular flower crown. I figured I may as well jump on the trend bandwagon and do a nature inspired flower crown for this shoot. They look beautiful in photos, and really work in well with my theme. I’ll be sure to do a post on the boys crowns soon!

Since I was in a crafty mood, I made a collar inspired necklace too. 🙂