Shutter Speeding Through Life
Capturing life's little moments, one aperture at a time...
It's no surprise that my children are the biggest inspirations in my life. I've always had a passion for photography, but my children allowed a sleeping giant to awaken from what was a hobby, to grow into what it is today. My interest and love for all things art began when I was just a child. It was so much more than just something I liked to do. It was therapy. A coping mechanism. A means of control in uncontrollable circumstances. Perhaps this is where my OCD began as well! Ha! That's for another story though.
Where did it all start? My earliest memories are still pretty vivid. From the first moments I can remember, my granddad had a paintbrush in my hand teaching me to paint and draw. He was a talented man. A poet. A painter. A craftsman. A photographer. An artist. It was those moments with him that created the spark. Everyday, if we weren't watching cartoons, making mud pies, or coming up with songs about the bees together, we were painting.
When I was 4 years old, life decided to throw those unexpected curve balls my way. Multiple curve balls came at me from different directions, but let's talk about just one. I was diagnosed with a rare incurable kidney disease. Unfortunately, some of these memories are quite vivid as well. I spent a portion of my childhood with doctors, hospitals, and strong medication. I learned very young how to swallow a pill. In fact, I remember wrapping each one in tiny pieces of bread so they'd go down smoothly. I remember handfuls of pills multiple times a day. The medicine had strange effects on me. Understandably so, the mgs were higher than what most adults could handle.
Where does art come into play with this? My little body had a hard time processing the stress. The medicine made me extremely hyper. I didn't know what to do with myself, nor did I understand what was going on within. My mom began to notice the only times I was peaceful and in control of my actions was when I was either writing, drawing, or painting. I started focusing my energy on art. There were times that my hands would hurt because I wouldn't stop drawing.
I went into remission when I was 14. My love for art continued. Through my childhood, I also developed an interest in cameras. I was always producing epic videography with puppets, toys, and the occasional cooperative pet. My amateur skills may not have improved much over the years, but my inspiration grew into mountains! In college, I started taking photography classes. I found new inspiration through moments captured in time. It was a new outlet to express myself. Unfortunately, society discouragement and terms like "starving artists", began to diminish my dream of becoming a professional photographer. After college, I got a "real job". Art became just an occasional activity because life left little time for it. The truth is, the flame started to burn out.
In 2011, my first child was born. I quickly realized how fast time actually flies. You hear your elders speak of it, but it doesn't have true meaning until you see it for yourself in your children. A child changes each day. It's shocking how much they change in such a short amount of time. The hands of time have no mercy. You blink, and you miss something.
The wick began to spark again. I wanted to document each detail, memory, and stage of our lives. I didn't want to miss a thing! I found myself investing in a new DLSR. The spark became a flame.
I became a trigger happy Mama! Snapping as many moments as I could. This helped further develop my eye for photography. This is why I tell other photographers to shoot something everyday. No matter what it is, shoot something. Practice is growth.
In 2014, we welcomed our second child. At this point, the flame had become a full blown wildfire. The innocence of childhood inspired me to begin telling stories with my photos. I found inspiration in the way my kids interacted with one another. The way they explored and discovered things in this world that were new to them. The way they looked at things. I could see their little minds full of wonderment. Imagination and excitement.
Those are the things that I wanted to express in my work. I wanted to bring that imagination and the magic of childhood to life in my photography. I began to discover other photographers that specialize in child portraiture, such as Page Kuepper and Amy Van Heerden. These amazing photographers inspired me to pursue my passion, and helped me realize I could do this.
As artists, we see things differently than the rest of the world. It's much like the way a child sees things. Letting ourselves change perspectives for a moment to see through the eyes of a child, we can discover new inspirations. My passion is the art of photography. Whether it be organic moments, or bringing imagination to life through composite imagery. It's capturing moments that we'll treasure for a lifetime.
Find new inspirations everyday. Go for a walk an hour before sunset. Look at the light and study the way it paints the trees. Inspiration is all around us. We just have to look for it.
What inspires you and drives your passion?
Hi! I'm Ashley. I'm a mom of two. I'm also a wife, artist, photographer, business owner, and now a blogger! I'm a southern girl, born and raised in Alabama.