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New Blog!

Hey there loved ones,

I created a new blog space for myself over at : 

goldsleeves.blogspot.com

The lack of formatting options on this blog has been getting to me, so I moved ship! 

Everything else you need is at this website - my portfolio, contact information, pricing. But if you want more of my ramblings and day-to-day, head over to that blog. 


Thanks!

-Ashley


October

So last year my husband and I made a huge announcement that we were moving to Atlanta, Georgia! We even had a peach-themed going-away party and told our families…but we didn’t end up making the move for various reasons. 

But guess what? We are DEFINITELY 100% MOVING at the end of October to Atlanta. 

So, we have one more month here in Minnesota! I am doing photography full-time right now and will be for all of October. I’ve been extremely lucky with all of the photo jobs I’ve gotten this summer, they always seem to just fall into my lap. That said, since I’m no longer working at a coffee shop, I have even MORE time for photo shoots! I have a ton of availability for October right now. 

So now I’m going to give you five reasons why this is the perfect time for you to schedule a shoot with me before I leave : 

1. October is autumn! All of the crisp orange leaves, hot cider, apple orchards, pumpkin patches, beautiful weather, warm light…and my all-time favorite time of year to take photos. 

2. We aren’t sure when or if we’ll move back to Minnesota! If we love Georgia we may stay there for a few years. If you like my work, this might be the only chance to schedule something with me (unless you catch me sometime when I come to visit).

3. You’d be supporting me in my endeavors! This is my only source of income right now and moving across the country is expensive. The truth is, we could really use all the help we can get. 

4. You would have a beautiful set of fall photos in your possession!

5. I’m really easy to work / schedule with. It goes like this : You email me, we pick a day & time, pick a location (I have many in mind), and presto! About 3 weeks after your shoot I’ll mail you a disc of 75-100 fully edited photos for you to keep and print as you like. Easy. 

That’s where I’m at, folks. I am available for couples shoots, engagement, family, seniors, baby, or just some fancy shots of yourself! 

Here’s my pricing page
Here’s my contact info

Thanks all, hope to hear from you soon :) 


Sleepover Party

So as you probably know, I do all kinds of random shoots, but this summer I’ve gotten hired to take photos at a wedding shower and someone else hired me for a bachelorette party! I’m starting to LOVE doing this! Just going to a celebration and taking photos for an hour or two, it’s very fun. So for this bachelorette party, the girls got a ton of sleepover party props, had a hotel for the evening, and we did a photo shoot! 

Enjoy! I know I can’t look through the photos without smiling :) 





This Year

I’m going to be transparent with you all. I don’t love every shoot I do.

In the past year I’ve scooped up every photo job offered to me and I definitely think that’s a good thing when you’re first starting your photo business. I learned a lot, I gained tons of experience, made some money, and most importantly I’ve figured out what I love to shoot and what I don’t love to shoot. But now that I’m experienced I think it’s time to pare things down.

I’ve been told by articles and other photographers that it’s good to have a niche. You should choose one type of photography and then market the hell out of that one type to your target audience. If you’re a wedding photographer, market yourself as only a wedding photographer, showcase only your wedding photos, etc. Make your website all about weddings!

And I agree with all of that to a certain extent. But see, I’m kind of a rebellious person anyways and when I first heard this advice, I just said in my head, “you can’t tell me what to do, I’ll shoot what I want!” And I still kind of think this way. It’s my business, why should I play by the rules? Right?

But I realized that I was thinking of this all wrong. I don’t need to find a niche just because someone said it would be better for marketing or business. I actually should do it for the exact reason I said above …
“I don’t love every shoot I do.”

So I had to do some soul-searching because lately I’ve felt really burnt out. There are some shoots I go to where I really just don’t want to be there. All I think about is all the editing I’ll have to do afterward and the hours I’ll have to spend slaving over this project. And then I get freaked out and think, wasn’t this supposed to be my dream job?? I thought this was my passion…why am I dreading my own passion??

Sure, photography is my passion…but maybe not ALL types of photography are.

I made a two-column list to help me figure things out. One column shows all the types of shoots I’ve done in the past and the other column is the shoots I LOVE doing. There are more that I LIKE doing, but I wanted to get it down to the ones I actually LOVE.

And boy, was this a wake-up call.

What I love to photograph is women, creative fashion, and couples. That’s the conclusion I’ve come to. I like making women feel beautiful, I like themed shoots, and I like getting creative and capturing the personality of couples.

So this year I’m going to cut down. I’m going to change up my marketing and my target audience. I’m going to start saying “no” to things. I’m going to make my business more about the shoots that I actually love. And it’s not just because that’s a smart business tactic, it’s because I don’t want to get burnt out fulfilling my dreams. I don’t want to shoot just for the money. I don’t want to shoot just to please others. I want to make this my lifeblood. I want to be excited for the day every single morning I wake up. And if I keep allowing myself to do shoots I’m not passionate about, then what is even the point?

I know I’m talking about all of this in a very serious tone, but real talk, I’m super excited about it all!!
So if you are interested in some couple’s photos, some pretty photos of yourself, or interested in being part of a creative vision of mine, shoot me an email. I would love to get the ball rolling, even before creating my whole new business plan. :)

ashleywashburnphoto@gmail.com

-Ashley


The Visitation : Extras + Behind the Scenes

You might have seen my Facebook album or my last blog post, which give you the story and some photos from one of my recent shoots entitled, “The Visitation.” And as you’ve probably guessed, I looove fashion shoots. Coming up with elaborate backstories for my models to work with, styling, getting hair & makeup artists involved, collaborating. The planning and production of it all. So, if you’re interested, here was some of my process for this shoot.

The entire concept came about after seeing this photo by Morgan Norman :

It had a high-fashion eerie vibe that I was LOVING and I wanted to emulate it.

I came up with the backstory for 3 siblings visiting their estranged aunt and then coordinated with my 3 models : Heidie Kalsnes, Teresa Jacobs, and Craig Reneson, and my HMUA friend, Sabrina Krause of Artistry by Sabrina. We planned the location, what clothes to bring, the time & date, snacks, accessories, etc.

The morning of :
We went to good ol’ Spyhouse to fuel ourselves with caffeine, then headed to Hugo to my friend Tracey’s house where we were shooting. Sabrina set out her tools while I set up mine and then the hair & makeup process began.

The final makeup / hair looks on the ladies :

I was really pleased with how it all turned out. The only thing working against me was the fact that I was hoping for a cloudy day….but ended up with the clearest sky EVER… Haha, so working with direct sunlight definitely gave the shoot a different vibe than expected. But you just need to work with what you’re given!

Here is the final set, in editorial form :

xoxo
Ashley


The Visitation

Three wealthy cousins/siblings go to visit their estranged, dying aunt. She invited them to stay with her during her final days, but they haven’t seen her since they were children and aren’t really sure what to think. Things seem odd…

Hair and Makeup :
Sabrina Krause of Artistry by Sabrina

Models :
Craig Reneson
Teresa Jacobs
Heidie Kalsnes

Photographer :
Ashley Washburn



Small Compliments

To be quite honest, I get a little anxious sometimes about whether an album or photo I posted is any good. I second-guess myself, sometimes I even take it down and put it back up. Just the effect of years of worrying about what people think of me I suppose.

But man, do you know what gets me through the doubt? Small compliments. Just one fellow artist liking one of my photos or someone writing a quick “great composition” comment or a “love these!” Small compliments go a really long way for me. They are the things that motivate me and affirm my confidence about my work. They are literally what keep me from scrapping my whole business.

And this, my friends, is why I go out of my way to compliment other people’s work.

I’m not going to be insincere or pretend I like a photo…haha, but if the photo catches my eye and I really enjoy it, I’m going to express it!
And I don’t assume that everyone is like me and unsure about their photo (kudos to the overly-confident), but for the people who are like me…I like to think that maybe my comment made their day. Maybe my one “like” gave them the courage to keep their album up and continue showcasing their work. I mean the whole point of art is that someone, somewhere appreciates it.
Takeaway : if you like an artist’s work, tell them! It may be just the thing they’re needing to hear that day. :)

-Ashley

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