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Encouraging others and exploring oneself

Guest Feature *Ashlee Kay*

Who is Ashlee Kay?

I'm Ashlee of Ashlee Kay photography. I'm a wife and a momma to two amazing little girls, Indee (4) and Harper (1). I've been a photographer for almost seven years, but Indees birth marks my choice in going Full-time with photography. I worked a graphic design job before that, and I could not imagine going back to a full-time job, so I was determined to make photography work for me, and it's been the greatest decision! Also, I wasn't a good employee anyways.

I'm the best version of myself as a photographer, running my own business. My husband has always been such a great supporter of my dreams . I could not have succeeded without him encouraging me at every step. He's the ultimate dad when I'm working and never complains when I need to edit photos hours on end. 

I wasn’t a good employee anyways
— Ashlee Kay

My photography career moved very smooth into what it is now. Because I started in High School, there wasn't any pressure to succeed. So I learned, gained clients and progressed in my bookings VERY slowly and steadily. Sometimes the slow growth was painful because I could see the style of photographer I wanted to be, but I didn't know how to achieve it. Around 2013 is when I finally felt like I could achieve the editing and style that I was searching for. 

Getting the right lenses and learning to shoot on manual (FYI, it took way too long for me to figure that out!) was a huge deal for me in figuring out my style. I knew I wanted to take the photos correctly in-camera so editing could be the cherry on top instead of my usual "OH GOD, I HAVE TO FIX IT." I felt like my editing style changed daily, but the one thing I KNEW is that I love photographing human interactions. I love creating candid AND REAL moments. I want my clients to look back at the photos and remember the people they were with and what a great time they had, instead of remembering that they were standing in front of my camera. When I accomplish that, it inspires me for my next sessions. 

I want my clients to look back at the photos and remember the people they were with and what a great time they had.
— Ashlee Kay

 

I felt like I did everything wrong in the book, yet somehow I survived:

  • I started photographing weddings before assisting a professional
  • I didn't learn manual for an embarrassingly long time
  • I'd forget to charge batteries and go to sessions with 5% battery
  • I charged $50 for a session and gave a big ol' CD of photos
  • I gave discounts to EVERYONE because I didn't think I was worth what I charged.

I learned most of what I learned by trial and error. Slow and steady wins the race, that's what I tell myself to make me feel better. I finally feel like I'm in a good place with my knowledge and skill. I love to help new photographers gain confidence and learn a little faster than I did. 

Thank you for being our featured guest!

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Sami Costelow