Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashleigh Mayhew.
Ashleigh, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Ever since I can remember, I have loved cameras. In almost every old family video collecting dust on my parents’ shelves, I was always asking to be behind the lens.
When I was around eight or nine years old, I received my very first disposable camera for Christmas. Not surprisingly, I took every photo on that camera the day I got it! Years later, I was gifted with my first tiny, pink digital camera. Though the quality was awful, I loved it. When I was old enough to work, I earned enough money to buy myself a red Casio point-and-shoot. Through this time, I had fun experimenting with simple online photo editing software, and I was slowly realizing my love for this art.
In 2010, I began taking senior photos for some of my friends through my new business called “Ashleigh Laureen Photography.” I charged just a little money, and people were willing to pay! I was shocked but excited. Before I graduated high school, I bought my first DSLR, a Nikon D3100. This is where the magic really started to happen.
When I started attending college, I carried my camera wherever I went. Because of this, everyone knew me as “the camera girl.” I posted photos online and began gaining exposure among my peers. Though I loved being away at college and studying Communications, I had a hard time maintaining a name for myself as a photographer back home. However, I still found ways to book sessions for my summer breaks.
In the summer of 2013, I shadowed another photographer at a wedding. I hung out at the back of the ceremony and took some test shots, trying my hand at the whole “wedding thing.” I was nervous to take on my own weddings because I had never done anything on such a large scale, but this first shadowing wedding was a perfect segue into my very first solo endeavor. I started with three weddings in 2014, but that was enough to ignite the fire in my soul and the passion for such a beautiful industry.
2015 was a slower year regarding photography as I was more focused on graduating college and planning a wedding of my own! During the summer of 2015, I switched to a new DSLR—a Canon 6D, and I have never looked back. That autumn, on October 17th, I married the most wonderful man. My husband Robbie now photographs weddings with me, and I love working with him! He is my biggest support, my strongest ally, and my most beloved friend. When 2016 rolled in, I had six weddings lined up for the year. Through each and every opportunity, I learned all that I could, and I am so excited to be where I am today.
It is now 2017, and things are ramping up for Ashleigh Laureen Photography. I will be leaving a part time job on May 19th so I can devote my full time and energy to my business and my passion.
Has it been a smooth road?
For the most part, getting into the industry of photography was fairly smooth. I started taking photos, I experimented with my camera, and I asked people for help. All that I know of photography I have taught myself or learned through online webinars and YouTube videos. There is so much you can learn if you only look!
My biggest challenge when I first started photography was making a name for myself when I was continually away at school. I tried to maintain a good client base at home, but since I was hardly ever around those four years, it was often hard to keep things going.
Juggling two jobs has also been difficult, but I am excited to soon begin my journey as a full-time photographer.
I transitioned to a new business model earlier this year, and it was a scary move for me—I went from delivering all digital products to focusing more on printing albums and wall art. I feared I would lose some clients with these changes, but I also had to trust that this was where I wanted to bring my business. I have been learning to change the way I think and turn those loud fears into quiet confidence. The reaction so far has been very positive!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Ashleigh Laureen Photography story. Tell us more about the business.
In the last few years, I have been photographing mostly weddings, couples, and families. I specialize in journalistic wedding and portrait photography, focusing on a natural, lifestyle appeal. My mantra is to capture “moments between moments” for clients throughout the New England region, and I strive to turn those moments into tangible memories that will last.
I have been known for capturing genuine connection in my sessions, and I am making more of a focus on true and raw emotion: that is, to me, the most beautiful thing. When my clients view their photos, I want them to feel again what they felt that day, remember the laughter and the tears, and discover new memories they might have otherwise forgotten.
I believe my passion for photography, my upbeat and friendly personality, and my desire to capture real emotion all encompass who I am as a photographer. I focus on giving my clients a full-service experience that personalizes every aspect of their session, something that can be hard to find in our very fast-paced and digital society.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Small businesses are flourishing more as it becomes easier to self-market and produce. The network of local photographers continues to grow every year, and I have been blessed to collaborate with many supportive and creative professionals. I look forward to working with these fellow creatives down the road to mutually strengthen our businesses.
My work often does not feel like “work” to me because I enjoy it so much. I believe my enthusiasm for this industry and for bringing joy to my clients will keep Ashleigh Laureen Photography running for years to come.
- Wedding packages start at $2200, and each package includes a signature heirloom album to document your special day.
- Intimate weddings and elopement packages start at $1400. These are specifically for weddings with fewer than 15 guests.
- Couples and family lifestyle sessions are $350 for up to one hour: this includes a $100 print credit.
- Wall art collections start at $300.
- Address: Dunbarton, NH
- Website: https://www.ashlaureenphoto.com/
- Phone: (603) 320-5792
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ashlaureenphoto/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashlaureenphoto/
- Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/ashlaureenphoto/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/ashleigh-laureen-photography-dunbarton
- Other: https://plus.google.com/113856815809704088434