Day 11: “A photographer I am not”…a phrase I need to delete from my vocabulary

Ashography Event & Portrait Photography
Ashography Event & Portrait Photography

Today I was reminded of one of the items on my list and why I like it so much–photography. Some clients vacationing in Breckenridge hired me to document an afternoon out by the lake with their extended clan. I love seeing families interact and play with each other. Each shoot is so different. It’s in the capturing of genuine smiles, laughter, and even tears that I find enjoyment. (When photographing toddlers, there is almost always a good shot of waterworks. I love it.)

With the digital era and the art of photography so easily accessible to the general public (and anyone with a smart phone), I almost feel guilty even remotely calling myself a photographer. I feel like a phony at times. But I get paid for it, so apparently I’ve done something right somewhere along the way. But that didn’t “just happen.” There was effort involved. A lot of effort.

Ashography - Vail Wedding
Ashography – Vail Wedding

First and foremost, my apologies to all the “real” photographers out there for all those like myself who poach on the art. I do not have $10,000 lenses or have an official press pass at sporting events, but I am extremely grateful that technology has allowed me to be able to pursue a passion and do what I love (and make a little extra dough while snapping those smiles.)

But it wasn’t easy to bust into the industry. No one likes wannabes.  Especially “real” or professional photographers. But how do you learn unless you start somewhere? Do not despise small beginnings. Thankfully, I had a professional California wedding photographer take me under his wing and who was kind enough to show me the ropes over the course of several years. I had to hunt him down, throw in some bribery and begging, and have divine favor to get my foot in the door, but it was well worth the effort! I learned more from interning under two wedding photographers getting hands on experience than I did during the photography course through the Ansel Adams gallery in Yosemite. (Don’t get me wrong, I loved that course! I almost didn’t take it because I was intimidated by it, but that’s another story for another time.)

Family Portraits - Baby Sam
Family Portraits – Baby Sam

I admit, there are times when I see someone else’s work or fancy equipment and have an extreme case of photog insecurity or jealousy. But then I have to remind myself that I may not be at their level but I’ve worked hard, have definitely come a long way, there is a reason why clients hire me…and I love what I do. I started from scratch on this one.  I look back at some of the work from my earlier shoots and cringe, but I have to remind myself that I am a work in progress and that I do have something to offer my clients. I do–otherwise I wouldn’t have any!

Ashography Wedding - Boobie Bride
Ashography Wedding – Boobie Bride

The best part about crossing off photography from the 30×30 list is that it’s actually never really going to be fully crossed off. When I put it on the list, I didn’t even own a DSLR camera. I had to research, learn, and save up for what I thought at the time was “photographer equipment.” Turns out, I bought all the wrong stuff. Oops. Don’t worry, my photographer mentor set me straight. But the beauty of photography is there is always room to upgrade…I mean grow.

The year 2009 was when I started making efforts to cross this off my list. Fast forward five years, two internships, several equipment upgrades, multiple classes, two websites, one logo creation, one business EIN, multiple trade shows and conferences, and roughly 30 weddings later and I have Ashography Event & Portrait Photography! Honestly, I can probably put it on my list again. And again. And again.

Ashography - Fitness Studio Shoot
Ashography – Fitness Studio Shoot
Ashography - Family Portraits
Ashography – Family Portraits
Ashography - Family Portraits
Ashography – Family Portraits


Karl Lagerfeld “What i like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.” ― Karl Lagerfeld

Ansel Adams “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” ― Ansel Adams
Abraham Lincoln “There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.” ― Abraham Lincoln
Ansel Adams “You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”  ― Ansel Adams
Eudora Welty“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” ― Eudora Welty

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