1. How did you get started in photography and when did you start your business?
I was a Junior in High School signed up for the only photography class they had at the school. Of course, back then it was film. I did very well and in my Senior year I was approved for an Independent Photography class in which I excelled quickly and was asked to photograph one of the Art Teachers wedding. After the wedding, I quickly realized that’s what I wanted to do and started asking around to second shoot. I officially started my own business in 2009.
2. Where are you located? Do you have a studio space or do you shoot on-location?
Ashley Yvonne Photography is located in Tampa Bay,
Florida. I specialize in Maternity, Birth and Newborn Photography and offer sessions
in my home studio as well as on location in the Tampa Bay area.
3. What do you shoot with and what are your favorite lenses?
I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II. The 35mm 1.4 is my
go to lens for all my sessions but I also love 85mm as well.
4. Why newborn photography? Do you photograph anything besides newborns?
Since I started with weddings, I eventually had couples ask me to photograph their newborn babies. The first time I tried it, I wasn’t in love with it but once I emerged myself in Workshops and research, and tried again, I fell in love and slowly made the switch over. I photograph Maternity, Birth and Newborns.
5. How would you describe your style and where do you find your inspiration?
I have the hardest time describing my style because so many times I have wanted to switch things up and try it differently. I mostly stick with simple, neutral and clean but I have thrown in some more dreamy images to change it up.
I find inspiration from the elements around me, mostly magazines though because sometimes I think the ads are so wild, but I can tone it down and do something more my style.
6. Have you taken any photography workshops and/or training?
Yes I watch a lot of Ana Brandt, and Kelly Brown
Tutorials on Youtube as well as CreativeLive. I also have taken Amy Cook
Photography’s workshop as well as Blue Dandelion Photography’s workshop.
7. Where do you like to shop for your props? Do you have favorite vendors?
The better question would be where don’t I shop for my props. Anytime I’m in a store, I’m looking at buckets, baskets, and things to fit a baby into. If I know I’m going to be in a store, I bring a doll in my purse just to test how big a prop will be for a newborn. I go to Homegoods most of the time but I’ve gotten props from online stores on Etsy, Joanns, TJMaxx, local antique stores.
My Favorite vendors are Snippets, Fancy Fabric & Props, Sew Whimsey, Devoted Knits, Oh Love Props among many others.
8. Please share with us your top 5 favorite images! Why are they your favorites?
1. My first image is of a mother and her two children. This mother is
gorgeous but it was her son and her newborn baby girl that sold this photo. The
little boy was so serious but also so debonair in this photo and I felt like
his eyes drew you in.
2. This is probably one of my more popular photos that I have. Black and White is always so popular but the connection between mom and son here is palpable.
3. The colors are yummy, the cheeks are pinch-able and the smile is gorgeous.
4. This was one of my favorite maternity sessions. The lighting was perfect in her house.
5. The perfect family portrait with their first child and first daughter. I know they waited a while to have their first baby so to be able to give them this image was an amazing feeling.
9. What are three things you wish someone would have told you when starting out?
1. I wish someone would have told me to completely understand lighting before I started my business. Although I studied photography and how to use my camera, I didn’t understand lighting completely and therefore made many mistakes in the beginning that could have been avoided.
2. It would have been nice to know the only way to progress, is to make mistakes and its okay to make those mistakes. You may not know everything all at once but if you make a great effort to learn and get out there and shoot for yourself just for fun, you’ll learn a lot quickly.
3. I wish I had sought out other local photographers to get criticism, to get support, to exchange ideas, etc. I thought there weren’t any photographers in my area that would want to share with me because we were in “competition”. I was wrong. We have a wonderful group of photographers in Tampa that collaborate, share ideas, share rants or raves, challenge each other, build each other up and get together to photograph each other. If I had this earlier in my business I believe I would have progressed much faster.
10. What is your photography site and NewbornPhotography.com url?
NBP Profile | Instagram | Twitter | Google+
11. What are your favorite things about NewbornPhotography.com?
I love the forums, we get support and feedback from
some amazing mentors from around the world that we may not have had the chance
to even talk to before. I love that I learn about other vendors that I may not
have come across in my random searches. Also, I see photographs from so many
other photographers that I may not get to see on Social Networks. I’ve been a
member since October 2013.
12. Lastly, tell us about YOU! Who are you, other than a photographer?
I’m originally from Virginia, moved to Tampa 12 years ago. I married the most amazing man two years ago, Chris. I have two beautiful fur babies, Bella & Kirra. I absolutely adore children and have been called a Baby Whisperer since I was a teenager but have chosen not to have children myself. I love to travel so much that I have been to over 20 countries and plan to add two more this November with my visit to Portugal and Morocco.
Would you like to be our next Spotlight Photographer? E-mail us at email@example.com with the subject “Spotlight Photographer.” We look forward to featuring you!