Today we have Elizabeth Ashley From Philadelphia, PA to talk photography and give us a few tips! Elizabeth has experience with large-scale events at the Kimmel Center, to formal bridal party shoots in Rittenhouse Square, to intimate venues in rural settings, Elizabeth Ashley provides both high quality and value. Elizabeth shoots individual and family portraiture, natural photography, pet portraits, professional modeling portfolio shots, newborn, maternity, wedding/reception and engagement sessions. We welcome Elizabeth and recommend stoping by her website to check out all her awesome work! http://www.eashleyphotography.com
What initially got you interested in photography?
It was actually a who that got me interested in photography. My strongest memories as a young girl are those of my mother using her 35mm film camera on trips to museums or gardens in the Philadelphia area… I loved sealing the film in an envelope at CVS or Rite Aid… the photographs that magically appeared a week or so later… and I vividly remember feeling awe at the fact that it was possible to 'freeze' a moment and have tangible evidence that it happened! As I got older I would borrow my mother’s Polaroid, her Point and Shoot and even her video camera. I grew into the teenager who in her group, was the one constantly taking photographs at parties and school functions. After school, I'd venture out to the park and use a disposable camera to shoot photographs of the blossoming flowers or the leaves as they began to change color in the fall.
Do you have formal training? Self taught? Mixture of both?
I am predominately self-taught. I’ve begun work towards earning credits for a basic degree in Photography. I am a hands-on person; I need regular, visceral contact with my equipment combined with daily shoots and, daily, reading related information in order to progress with my work
What gear do you have in your camera bag? What equipment do you favor most?
A Canon 6D full frame body with a f/1.8 85mm and a telephoto 24-105mm lens (with a polarizer). A wireless remote, two extra batteries and an SD card holder with 2 16GB cards, 1 64 GB, and 1 32 GB. A 85mm lens; I grab that lens 90% of the time.
What are your favorite sessions/subjects to shoot?
My favorite sessions are those in natural settings- my favorite subjects are those in movement, not sitting or standing in a stiff position. There is great enjoyment working with a client who wishes to capture milestones such as a pregnancy or the birth and growth of a child. Weddings are extremely satisfying because everything is in motion- and that motion is filled with emotion… People and events or sessions outside a door- outside of walls- are quite fulfilling!
Describe your style in 3 words.
Whimsical. Thoughtful. Convincing.
How has your style evolved over your time as a photographer?
In the beginning, the most important thing was to capture something that screamed importance. Over time the realization that every single thing, every single fraction of a second and every single image captured has relevance and is open to interpretation has given a depth to my images that explains where I began and where I’ve been. Laying a photograph I felt displayed strong evidence of my ‘style’ five years ago, two years ago or even 9 months ago along side something I’ve shot in the past six months clearly shows that I’ve evolved from an over-focused and slight misinterpreter, into a curious, open-minded observer of both my environment and my clients/subjects.
What’s your most memorable or funniest “on the job” moment?
One memorable moment occurred after shooting a backyard, sunrise wedding in the early Summer of 2013. After the ceremony the couple explained the meaning of certain Willow and Maple trees on their property; each represented a loved one who had passed on.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
The people in my life, my travels, food, books- the list goes on and on! Daily I draw inspiration from the sunset, sky, trees... Perseverance and strength of character also are great inspirations.
Best editing tip?
Take a cleaner approach when shooting, which leads to far less editing. It also helps to leave out the repetitive. Learning to reduce the quantity of images- trading in quantity for fewer, but more focused images lends a greater satisfaction for the images; if you like what you've shot you're less likely to want to alter the image.
How has photography helped shape how you see the world?
Contrarily, the world has helped shape my approach to photography. Once, it was everything to shoot the perfect sunset, the most cleverly staged ‘natural’ shot of a model or client. Now it is far more enjoyable to let the weather, the light and the mood of a client or event lead my eye to the shot.
Give us your best photography related tip!
Shoot it all. If it evokes emotion in you, keep your finger on the button and pursue that feeling with your eye.
Thank you Elizabeth Ashley! Head over to www.eashleyphotography.com to book your next session!