MEET ASHLEE, CREATIVE BABE BEHIND THE LENS OF ASHLEE EMERSON PHOTOGRAPHY
"I'm Ashlee, A fiancé, dog momma and photographer. I love my pup with my whole entire being and you’ll often find me COVERED in his hair. I also LOVE cows, some may say obsessed but hey that’s okay, they’re like giant grass puppies. I also love to travel and try new local restaurants, the best part of experiencing a new place is through its food, and taking a few pictures along the way. My fiancé is also my primary co-shooter so some of you may be lucky enough to meet him at your wedding!"
Connect with her here:
Facebook: Ashlee Emerson Photography
Tell us about Ashlee Emerson Photography, where did you begin?
"I have had a camera in my hand ever since I could remember. I was ALWAYS taking pictures of things, literally anything, back then it was a lot of nature and architecture and family get togethers. It eventually turned into friends and family wanting me to take their photos for events and Christmas cards to one day me creating an Instagram thinking, "Hmmm, we'll see where this goes." (not thinking it would go anywhere) and to my disbelief it really took off. No where did I imagine having thousands of followers and being able to shoot and travel for multiple weddings a month, I truly am living out my childhood dreams and making them a reality. I was always told photography wasn’t a practical or stable job so I had always kept it as a hobby."
Who is your ideal client and why?
"My ideal client is someone who loves to have fun and try different things! I love being able to get creative and have fun during sessions, like we're all just hanging out together, not staged or untrue. Lots of laughter, fun and of course lots of love."
What gets you inspired to create or try new things?
"Pinterest is always really great for getting inspired to try different things, TikTok has been really fun! However, my fellow entrepreneurs are always an inspiration as well, I fully believe in community over competition."
What is your favorite part about being a photographer and why?
"My favorite part about being a photographer is capturing moments for others they would otherwise be without. If you think about it a photograph is truly the only tangible memory we get to hold onto, they get passed down generation after generation and seriously how cool is that? I have always loved looking at old pictures from my elders and hearing their stories, reliving that photo through them is always such a special moment. Photography also puts me in contact with so many people I wouldn't have otherwise ever known, I adore making connections and bonding with my clients its honestly the best part and I’ve become such great friends with so many of them. Also, I'm in the presence of love so often its truly the best, I mean who doesn’t LOVE love?! Amiright?? I get to be apart of peoples most special moments and provide them with memories that last for generations to come."
What challenges have you faced so far as an entrepreneur, and how have you overcome them?
"Nothing good ever comes easy, you have to work for it and work hard. That's exactly what I’ve done, I’ve worked my @$$ off for this dream to become a reality. Everything you see is me, from branding, marketing to the actual images. I'm not the most tech savvy human there ever was, so I'm always learning as I go, the biggest thing is to give yourself grace, no one is perfect. Even though I took a few photography classes I still had to teach myself a lot about the actual camera its self and how it works, its not just click a button and go."
What are some of your favorite tools for success? This can be anything from a planner to a really good cup of coffee!
"I love a good planner, my favorite right now is Bloom Daily Planner, who also happens to be a Delaware based female company. I’m currently using the vision planner. A good cup of Starbucks is also at the top of my list right now, my current go to is a venti cold brew with toffee nut syrup, white mocha and sweet cream, seriously go try it like right now its delish."
Who are your biggest supporters? How do they support you, and how has that helped your journey as an entrepreneur?
"My biggest supporters are absolutely my friends and family. My fiancé Matt especially, he’s so supportive he learned photography to help me out with weddings! Matts also super great with my busy/ hectic schedule, he’s also very understanding especially when I have to spend time editing images instead of doing other things. My friends were some of the first people I ever did professional photos of and they are always giving out my name and sharing my work to help with business. They are also always down to be models or help out with my sessions if need be."
What are your top 10 motivators? These can be quotes, books, people, you name it!
"I'm not sure if I have a full top 10, but I'll tell you why I started this business to begin with and that might give you a little more insight onto my “why”.
Do I love photography? Absolutely. Am I obsessed with pictures? Yes lol. Am I good at taking photos? Also yes, all those things have played a role into how this business came about. However, the main reason I started Ashlee Emerson Photography is quite honestly right in the name, I have lost many family members over the years and all I have left are memories and photographs that I treasure dearly and that’s all that I have left of them. My uncle was killed in Iraq a few years ago and he was honestly my absolute best friend, we shared a love for photography and adventure, we share a middle name and I will always honor him in every way I can so that’s honestly how Ashlee Emerson Photography came about. He did what he absolutely loved and served our country, he is my biggest inspiration as well as my motivation to always do what I love and to do big things."
What was the journey like growing your business, and how has your thought process changed over the years? Where would you like to see your business grow in the future?
"When I first started, it was just something fun like, "Hey I'm gonna put myself out there and see if it even goes anywhere". I just expected family and friends to want me to take their pictures, and then one day I just decided to go for it because I was loving it SO much. My thought process has definitely gone from that, "Ok I'll see where this takes me", to "Now lets see how far I can go". Never stop growing. I would love to see myself traveling to more states and being a full time photographer."