Sometimes you need to run away from home solo and spend 10 days exploring California with your best friend on the planet. This is exactly what I did last May when I took my semi-annual trip to visit Jayd & Noam in sunshiny San Diego. We caught up, cooked, worked from home, worked from the library, shopped for plants, made homemade deodorant, took some super great hikes, hit all of my favorite places, drank 17 mango smoothies, and laughed a ton. My favorite part of it all was our last minute trip to see the super bloom (photos to come later). After we spent a few hours frolicking through this storybook scenery, I looked at our map to see what might be next on this great adventure. We were an hour out from our first visit to Joshua Tree, and it immediately became a race for time â€“ It was just a few hours until sunset. We jumped in the car and drove to see this magical place. We made it an hour before sundown, and captured as much as we could. Leaving, we were bummed we didnâ€™t have much time to explore so we made plans to come back someday to experience all that Joshua Tree had to offer. Luckily, this was the shoot that brought me back just two months later.Â I will be sharing Shelby & Joshâ€™s Joshua Tree elopement on the blog in a few weeks.
If you have not been to Joshua Tree, you NEED to add it to your list of must see places.
As most of you know, I have been an associate of Ashley West Photography for the last few years. When I say associate, I mean spending my first year of working next to Ashley West as her secondÂ shooter, carrying bags, and running across farms to grab boutonnieres for forgetful groomsmen â€“ AKA wedding photographer bootcamp. It was a huge learning curve to say the least. I spent the following three years gradually taking on more responsibility with Ashley West, leading to quitting my full-time photography position at Grandview Mercantile, and eventually photographing full wedding seasons for the last two years. What an incredibly awesome opportunity it has been! I have had the uniquely amazing chance to navigate this career without the pain of making unnecessary mistakesâ€”all thanks to Westâ€™s strong business ethic and expertise. I have been SO fortunate to have her as a teacher by my side. She answered every question, calmed every doubt, and was always more than eager to help. Words cannot describe the gratitude I will always have for that.
Growing up, I struggled figuring out what I wanted to be. Ya know, you ask most kids what they want be when they grow up and they say a doctor, a firefighter, or maybe an engineerâ€¦and then there was me. I dabbled in interests and hobbies; a little here, a little there. I went to an air show with my stepdad and brother when I was 11 and spent the next several years thinking Iâ€™d join the AirForce and become a pilotâ€“I even tried dental schoolâ€”but the thought of pursuing any of it long-term never truly fulfilled my heart.
By the time I graduated high school I knew I needed to do something creativeâ€”Iâ€™d always been a pretty hands-on, crafty kind of kid. My dad and grandma always had a camera in my face, and theyâ€™d put a throwaway camera in my hands to play with. I loved the sound of that rolling film. Later on, I knew I needed to go to college to earn a degree in something I might be good at. I ended up enrolling in a graphic design and digital photography program at Columbus State. Those black-and-white film classes changed my life. I started photographing people, friends, strangersâ€”anything and everything, and I fell more in love with it than anything before. It wasnâ€™t until I photographed my first wedding with Ashley West back in 2013 that I realized this is exactly what Iâ€™d been looking for; what I really wanted to do with my life.Â
I think you might be catching on to where Iâ€™m going with all of thisâ€”itâ€™s something I have wanted for a long time. I am so happy to announce that with A LOT of learning, hard work, my amazing couples, the loving support of my friends and family, and the irreplaceable help of Ashley West, I have decided to take the next step in my career and start my own photography business. Going out on your own can be a bit intimidating, and Iâ€™d be lying if I said I didnâ€™t have the new business owner nerves, but Iâ€™ve been doing this for four years now and am confident that this is the path I am meant to follow. After all, I have had a pretty incredible teacher to guide me along the way, so what could there be to worry about?!Â
I will be with Ashley West Photography for the remainder of this year, finishing off the season with my awesome couples while beginning to book weddings for 2018 under Ashley Wallace Photography. I am now available for booking, and I am very thankful (and excited!) for my first few 2018 couples who have already reserved their dates! I canâ€™t wait to see who else will be joining Ashley Wallace Photographyâ€™s 2018 wedding season!
Take a look around my new site and tell me what yaâ€™ think!