Clarke & Elaina | Engagement Portrait

I had the pleasure recently to do an engagement shoot while traveling in Europe. It wasn’t planned and I haven’t shot an engagement shoot in a while, but I found the approach to this kind of portrait came back quickly. I forgot how much fun it is for me to capture couples interacting together. Honestly, it was a nice change from my masters project work on many levels! Below are some of my favorites from the shoot—enjoy!

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2018.10.02 - Clarke & Elaina - for blog 02.jpg

One thing I love about this top left image is the metaphor of getting married as “tying the knot” and the rope that is tied on the pole behind them.

They both have such great smiles and look so good together! They made my job easy. :)

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I love the way these came out and am so thankful it worked out for me to do their photos. Excited for you Clarke and Elaina! Thanks for including me in your beginnings as Mr. and Mrs.! :)


A Needed Break + Engagement Session

The last two weeks have been a breath of fresh air! Since finishing up my MA I have barely touched my camera, I haven't posted on my social media accounts until today, and I have not given much thought to really anything related to school or even photography. It's been freeing! I think somewhere in the back of my mind I'm expecting for the next module to begin soon....but it's not going to, so that will be an odd feeling. It's strange that something that has been a constant in my life the last two years is now complete. 

Even though I haven't been thinking about photography very much, while traveling recently I was able to do an engagement shoot. I have begun working on editing those and it has been a treat! I haven't done too many of these kinds of portrait sittings in the last two years--it's been mostly photo shoots for my project, which has a very different focus and feel to them. I found myself having to relearn how I did these kinds of sessions in the past. It came very quickly though and we had a blast doing the shoot together. I forget how much I enjoy these kinds of sessions. 

Here's a sneak peek of one of the photos:

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Soon, I am hoping I can begin diving into some new projects, but this break has really been needed. I'm unbelievably grateful for the opportunity of getting my MA in Photography--honestly I sometimes have to pinch myself that it actually happened. It's not every day that you get to pursue what you're passionate about, so I feel very fortunate. I also have great expectations for the future and what I will do with it. We'll see what pans out.

I'll be posting here more soon, so be on the lookout. 


(P.S. - If you're not following me already on Instagram, do so below! I have two Instagram accounts, one where I'm still posting images from Foreign Lands and the other one is my Transparent Life Photography Instagram account. Let's get connected!)

Foreign Lands: American Fathers Living Abroad:


Transparent Life Photography:


Where am I going? | Work in Progress Part 3

As you've seen in part one and two of my work in progress for my master's project, a lot has changed over a year period. I started this new term excited for what's ahead. I left the previous term seeking images that show the entire scene and forced you to look around--not just lifestyle portraits that summed up everything in one viewing. 

Another angle that I was told to consider was objects; to "investigate" these families. Sounds creepy saying it like that, but what it means is taking closer-up shots of the items that the fathers and children interact with. Could be the books, a note from the child to the father, an older photograph, toys, etc. So rather than just show the fathers and kids interacting, bring in more context to the project as a whole by showing items that they interact with or have some kind of emotional value with.

This is the idea or concept that I'm currently exploring and it's been a lot of fun! I did a few shoots before this idea was brought to my attention, so it's rather new and where I'm headed in my project currently. Here is one of the first shoots I did this term of my friend Dan.

"An important aspect of fatherhood is co-creating and making things together. My son came up with the idea of making a potato launcher and figuring out how to make it together was fun and special for us both."

"An important aspect of fatherhood is co-creating and making things together. My son came up with the idea of making a potato launcher and figuring out how to make it together was fun and special for us both."

“Something memorable and special for me, is that my kids buy me a game every year for my birthday and Christmas and we play those games every week. Spot it! is my current favorite that we often play together.”  -Dan

“Something memorable and special for me, is that my kids buy me a game every year for my birthday and Christmas and we play those games every week. Spot it! is my current favorite that we often play together.”


I've been told to consider taking two to three pictures of objects for each family, so this is what I'll do in the future. For Dan, I only have one image unfortunately, but it still brings in a story more than just the shot of them shooting a potato gun together (which is still pretty epic!). 

What do you think? How do you think these up-close shots will enrich my project? 

Thanks for stopping by!


Meet Amanda! | Portrait Project

Before we left the State's, I had taken a couple of portraits that I wanted to share on my blog. So without further adieu, meet my sister, Amanda!

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4  |  f/2.2, 1/400 sec, ISO-500

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4  |  f/2.2, 1/400 sec, ISO-500

"The best experience I have ever had was having kids. They are so entertaining and fun to be around." Amanda told me, as I asked her about the best experience in her life. 

My nieces and I being silly. |  Nexus 5X

My nieces and I being silly. | Nexus 5X

Amanda has two daughters, Haelee and Savannah, which are the cutest, most hilarious, and loving kids ever (yes, they are my nieces, but I most genuinely say this :). They're a joy to be around and add so much life to the room when they're present.

"Haelee says some hilarious stuff and Vannah does too. I love being a mom--it's such an honor to be the mom of these two girls." Amanda is really good with her kids, too--when you see them together, you clearly see the adoration of her two girls towards their mom.

I know my sister well, but I asked anyway about what some of her passions are and it's fun that photography runs in my family so much! She told me: "I love is photography. There is so much you can do with it. It's awesome to start off with a picture and create something beautiful out of it." 

Amanda has been photographing weddings and portraits for some time now and loves it. Our love for photography began about the same time and although we're passionate about different topics in this field, we still love to take photo walks together with our mom when I'm in town. This picture of her, actually, is from the last photo walk we took together before I left.

Thanks Amanda for letting me share your photo and parts of your life! 

If you'd like your picture taken and your story told, let me know and we can arrange that!

Thanks for stopping by!


Meet Joshua | Portrait Project

All of you who know me, should have known this post would eventually come. Today is my husband's birthday, so I thought it would be fitting to brag about him online via my portrait project. :) Two birds with one stone! 

I have known my husband now for 16 years and we've been married 9 of those. Joshua is the kind of guy that you never know what will come out of his mouth because he's always curiously thinking about something. He is full of joy and will often express that in laughter, hugs, or fun nicknames that he gives people. If you don't have a nickname yet, ask him and I'm sure he'll quickly generate one for you. :) He deeply loves the Lord and desires passionately to pursue and follow Him, regardless of how it looks. I love his rebellious nature (which sometimes gets him in trouble!) as it forces me to look at life differently and be a little rebellious myself (in appropriate ways, of course!). :)

He has brought so much joy to my life. I couldn't begin to express the deep love that I have for him and I'm so thankful that God gave me a friend that loves me back just as deeply, despite all my flaws and issues.

Happy 31st Birthday Joshua! I love you much!

-Ashley (aka your wifey, bivi, beloved, etc. etc. etc. I probably get a nickname a day!)

Emily | Baby Portrait

If you've been following me lately, you will notice most of my pictures are travel oriented. Back in the day (about 5-6 years ago) I was primarily doing lifestyle portraits, which included families, babies, engagements, etc. It was a fun and exciting time that really set me up well for where I'm at today.

So when my friend, Mary Kathryn, approached me about doing her baby's portrait, I jumped on the chance. To be completely honest, I was a little nervous since I hadn't done one of these in so long! However, despite my nervousness I feel like these turned out well! 

Thanks Mary Kathryn, for giving me the opportunity to take pictures of your beautiful daughter!

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look. Feel free to leave a comment and say hi! I love meeting my readers!


Dogs Are so Much Fun!

If Joshua had his way, we'd probably have a good looking dog like this one below.

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4  |  f/2.5, 1/800 sec, ISO-400  |  Somewhere in Texas!

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4  |  f/2.5, 1/800 sec, ISO-400  |  Somewhere in Texas!

This is Berkeley. She is fun dog who doesn't like her picture taken. Every time I took out the camera she hid her face! I managed to catch her one time though. :)

We love dogs. They bring so much joy and life. As I was saying above, Joshua wants a dog so bad, but with how our lives are it would be really cruel to our pet. With traveling a lot and living in different places, it just isn't feasible. Maybe one day we will, but at this point it's not happening. 

The way Joshua gets around this, is that we play with our friend's dogs! So if any of you have a dog that you need walked or played with, Joshua is your man!

What about you? Do you like dogs? What kinds? We prefer larger dogs that have energy and like to play. They are just so much fun!

Happy Monday!


Getting Over Fears

Canon 5D Mark II, 50mm f/1.4  |  f/2.5, 1/800 sec, ISO-400  |  Istanbul, Turkey

Canon 5D Mark II, 50mm f/1.4  |  f/2.5, 1/800 sec, ISO-400  |  Istanbul, Turkey

Street photography can be a lot of fun...and intimidating! Taking pictures of strangers is one thing that I'm still working through when I walk around different cities. I'm not perfect at it and I often miss opportunities because I'm afraid to ask or pull out my big camera! So in all honesty, I have a lot of growth in this area, but I keep trying it out with varying success.

Most people I've found, don't mind having their picture taken. Sometimes I ask, sometimes I don't--it just depends on the situation. If it's in a multicultural situation, hand gesturing works wonders! I point at my camera and then at them and generally with a head nod from them, I'm cued to take picture! 

How do you get over the fear of engaging others, especially if you're more timid? Well, this is me completely and my best answer is pretty simple. Just do it. Don't wait until the perfect moment (because it will pass you by). Just get over your fears and ask! They worse they could say is no...so what danger is that? 

If you go for it, let me know! I'd love to hear how it went!