WOMEN’S CLUB CHARLESTON | CHARLESTON, WV | MARRIED | RACHAEL & LYNN | 05.31.14

Rachael and Lynn have been an amazing couple to get to know. They are down to earth, sweet, and working with them was effortless. They are country through and through, and I absolutely loved every session we did together. I look forward to many more!

Rachael and I met through a mutual friend (shout out to Miss Autumn!), and we immediately hit it off. She had a major appreciation for photography, and it showed throughout our work relationship, which blossomed into a beautiful friendship. Beginning with their country inspired engagement session May 2013, every time we got together it was magic. Their engagement photos are still a favorite amongst fans-and myself! Even better, the location we used was the exact spot they would be getting married. We also met again a few weeks prior to the wedding for bridals, using that gorgeous red barn as a backdrop for Rachael’s pre-wedding portraits.

On the day of the wedding, I met Rachael at the Women’s Club. She prepped amongst her mother, stylists, and bridesmaids upstairs as the reception came together below. Blushes, whites, and vintage inspired goodies started to fill the ball room and things came together quickly. If she was nervous, we couldn’t tell. She was prepared and knew what she wanted. I had a wonderful time with the ladies before hand, many of which I knew from shooting Rachaels bachelorette party.

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This butterfly nearly stalked us the entire time we did photos before the wedding. Bizarre.. and beautiful.
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Lynn got ready with his groomsmen. Rachael put together the cutest box of goodies for him as a pre-wedding gift. AND, I have to sneak a picture of their pup in here!

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The wedding ceremony took place in a lovely open field. It was a bright and shiny day and Lynn and Rachael brought out a full house.

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We returned to The Women’s Club of Charleston for the reception. Her vintage inspired touches were perfect.

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Lynn and Rachael’s day was full of love and fun. It was gorgeous, and Kaylyn and I greatly enjoyed shooting it. The best of wishes to these two-I can’t wait to see their adventure unfold! <3

WASHINGTON, DC | Jasmine Star & theWORKSHOP | 06.23.14

Jasmine Star lit a fire in Washington, DC. She lit a fire under twenty photographers, and I am blessed to have been one of them!

But first, let’s back up… I started this business in September of 2011. I picked up a camera with little more than a hobbyist’s experience and turned a very dark time in my life into a beautiful one. My business seemed to grow faster than I ever imagined, and I craved learning more. Many friends directed me to Creative Live, where I first “met” Jasmine. Any time I could catch her live, I was watching. I was learning. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I’d be in a room with her, again learning, and sharing that experience with many other extremely talented photographers.

I recently relocated my business from Charleston, WV to Baltimore, MD. We don’t get a lot of workshop action in the gorgeous mountains of West Virginia, but Baltimore has brought so much opportunity. I woke up on April 23rd early and the first post in my Facebook newsfeed was from JStar. A workshop was coming to DC. Without hesitation, I followed the link and filled out my registration. I don’t think I could have been any more excited than at that moment. I was going to meet the person I admired most in our industry. How amazing?! Flash forward two months, that excitement couldn’t even compare.

I was lucky enough to attend this workshop with someone else from WV! Mrs. Sarah Dunlap of Sarah Dunlap Photography was also attending and we had never had the chance to meet in person. Being in close markets, we knew one another by reputation, but it was the perfect chance to REALLY get to know one another. We immediately connected, planned our stays at the same hotel, and began sharing our journey. So, the night of the mixer, we met in the lobby and rode in a cab anxiously together.

All but short of holding hands nervously, we walked into Poste in DC. We were a little early, so I wasn’t sure how many would be there. Alas, we turned the corner and there she stood… THE Jasmine Star. I cannot lie that my immediate reaction was to clasp my hands to my face, scream “OH MY GOD,” and fight back tears. Her reaction? A warm and welcoming embrace. The first of many beautiful gestures we would see over the next 24 hours. The mixer was fantastic. Great drinks, truffle fries, and lots of intimate conversation. I could already tell it was going to be a mind-blowing experience, and we hadn’t even started yet.

2014-07-03_0016 How do I not write a novel on the day of the workshop? I simply tell you that I walked away learning not only about this business, but myself, and who I want to be in this field. I walked into a room of strangers and let them see the real me, and I think I left knowing exactly who that was. As Jasmine put it, “they might love it, or hate it, but make them feel something!”

Here’s a little more about the workshop experience: We started the day with breakfast and lots of information from J. I took it all in and more. I was a sponge! We all had a chance to chime in with Q&A at any time, and she encouraged us to ask anything and everything we wanted. There was no success secret she wasn’t willing to share, proving further her genuine intent to help everyone in attendance. Lunch was literally a circle pow-wow. We had an open forum over yummy Panera Bread goodies. Delicious AND informative! The afternoon proceeded with a small styled shoot. Here are some of my favorite images, some comments, and props to the amazing vendors who made it happen!

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Jasmine is an enthusiastic teacher and her smile is contagious! JD stepped in to help her demonstrate using action in a pose. They are too cute. 2014-07-03_0005.jpg

Ana and Brian were a dream couple to work with. They are a real couple, really engaged. They were absolute troopers as a gang of paparazzi chased them around DC, turning the heads of everyone we passed. I’m certain people thought they were famous. And for the day, they were! We were in awe of them. 2014-07-03_0006.jpg

This gorgeous bouquet was arranged by Highway to Hill. 2014-07-03_0007.jpg

Hair by Up dos for I dos.

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Make up by Kristine Marie Make-up Artistry 2014-07-03_0009.jpg

Locations were all found near our workshop spot, The Loft. 2014-07-03_0015.jpg

My girl Sarah, from Sarah Dunlap Photography, taking the lead with her branding words! 2014-07-03_0010.jpg

Dress provided by Ellie’s Bridal Boutique.

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The dress is Mikaella Bridal, and was unlike any other textured fabric I’d ever seen on a gown! 2014-07-03_0012.jpg

Major props to Jasmine, JD, and especially Stephanie Scott for pulling all of this together. It was a great shoot! 2014-07-03_0013.jpg

Ana is going to make a stunning bride!

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More behind the scenes photos of Jasmine and JD rocking it out. Oh, and a little smile from one to the other. There’s always time for a little love. <3 2014-07-03_0014.jpg

After our shoot, we decompressed by looking through the day’s footage. We learned even more, and before we knew it, it was 5:00. I don’t think there was a person in the room that was ready to go home. Thankfully, Jasmine and JD had planned a special dinner for attendees, so many of us made our way to Matchbox. We all got to mingle more at dinner over deliciousness including crab bisque and homemade doughnuts. I think we were all trying to eat as slowly as possible to draw out what was left of our day together. Many hugs and thank you’s later, I walked outside into the darkness. The day was over, but I knew tomorrow was brand new and FULL of potential. Even better, I knew exactly what I needed to do.

Since the workshop, I have been working hard to re-brand. I came home and immediately revised my wedding collections, reviewed contracts, and began work on a new website. Today, I re-launched www.ashtonkelleyphotography.com. I could not be happier with the way things have turned out! I’m proud to show it off and I think it compliments me 100%. I credit that confidence to Jasmine and the workshop experience. I needed that push, and I certainly got it.. and so much more. Thank you, Jasmine! I can’t wait until our paths cross again!

<3 -Ash

MYRTLE BEACH, SC | ELOPEMENT | ERI & BRAD | 05.27.2014

Eri and Brad were some of my very first regular clients. We did an early Spring session in 2012, and they have continued to come back over and over. Eri has become not only a client, but a friend and one of my biggest supporters. Since we’ve met, their family has grown by one precious baby girl and late last year, they were engaged. I was over the moon to hear it! I was further excited when they mentioned that they wanted to elope on the beach. Who doesn’t love the beach?!
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There were a few things they both wanted for their elopement, one was a bouquet. Being that we were traveling into Myrtle Beach the weekend of Memorial Day, we looked up bouquet alternatives. We settled on sola flowers and I made this arrangement out of the requested colors Eri had expressed interest in. I really fell in love with it!2014-06-25_0002.jpg
The two eloped in the morning, but we waited until the evening to do portraits. Believe it or not, despite our many sessions a year, I had never had the chance to photograph Eri and Brad alone before. Family has always been a priority, especially for picture day. No Grey left behind! We took some great shots of the bunch, but I was very glad to focus on the love that started their great little family.
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Eri & Brad – It is always a pleasure working with you, and I am so thankful for your love and support. I wish you all the best together, and I look forward to capturing more of your precious moments! Thank you!
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SPOTLIGHT | HALLIE MCCOMAS | AKP TEAM | ASHTON KELLEY PHOTOGRAPHY

I recently decided I wanted to shed a little spotlight on the second shooters of AKP. These girls push me to be better, and I want to introduce you to them! Take some time to get to know these wonderful ladies! This week, Miss Hallie..

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HALLIE MCCOMAS | “Hal”
Once Upon A Time Photography
Charleston, WV

Hallie and I met through one of my brides (shout out to Rachel!) when she was selling some vintage cameras. We met for lunch, made the exchange, added one another on Facebook, and continued to interact over the next few months. I put out a post about interviewing assistants and again Rachel mentioned Hallie. We met for lunch once more and I knew almost immediately it was going to be a great pairing. Fun fact: Rachel’s wedding was the first we shot together. It’s still one of my favorites!

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{Lindsco wedding 08.16.13 | Our first wedding together!}

Hallie has been shooting for five years strong! She owns her own business as well as second shooting for myself and AMPD Photography. She’s also a momma of two gorgeous kiddos, so needless to say.. she’s Superwoman! Learn more about Hal below:

Something you’re obsessed with: “Dreamy bokeh and my family.”
Favorite thing about weddings: “Getting to know the bridal party and of course-the food!”
Favorite thing to shoot at weddings: “The rings.. and the bride & groom alone in the sunset.”
Dream wedding to photograph: “I’d have to say my dream wedding to shoot would be an Asian escape, details perfected. A wedding under the Thailand sunset by the crashing Pacific. Maybe throw in some Elephants, too (And it has to be that dramatic).”
Working together has been: “So much fun! Ashton and I make an awesome team and there is never a dull moment!”
Your style in three words: “Artistic. Colorful. Cultured.”
Your favorite photographer(s): “This is a tough one… Probably Sam Hurd, Ryan Brenizer, or Benj Haisch.”

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Want to follow Hallie? Visit https://www.facebook.com/onceuponatimephotos

2014-06-13_0020.jpg2014-06-13_0033.jpg{Westfall Wedding 05.17.2014 }2014-06-13_0032.jpg

{Snelson wedding 09.07.2013}