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These days I photograph a lot of personal brand shoots for Santa Barbara, Ventura and the Greater Los Angeles area. I tend to work with powerful women entrepreneurs who are building successful businesses– typically in the health & wellness industries (though not exclusive to that).

Personal Branding can mean many things. I have created social media content for some clients, but for most of my clients I am creating a suite of clean, personality filled images for their website, social media profiles, marketing graphics, and PR media kits.

Dani was no different. Dani owned a successful gym here in Santa Barbara and has made the leap into life coaching (a profession I work with a lot). Our goal was to create a few key images for her website (like the header slider, about section, etc) that could be repurposed for social media and other marketing needs! I am so pleased to say Dani was thrilled with her results and I can’t wait to see how everything comes together on her final website!

Holly came to my studio in 2018 because she was writing a photo-essay style book about her journey battling and surviving breast cancer. Her book documents through her personal photographs and text her entire fight with cancer. She wanted to include images throughout the process of a double mastectomy, healing and reconstruction because most literature on the topic shows you the before and after but not the very long middle. And she thought it might help some women picture what to expect throughout their entire healing process. Now, the pictures in this book are personal, brave and raw. So she really wanted something beautiful to end her book with. Portraits of her fully healed.

I was honored to create these images for her.

We took images of Holly alone and later on with her amazing husband (who got a breast plate tattoo to match Holly’s post surgery cherry blossom breast tattoos). The love these two share is palpable and anyone would be so lucky to have a devoted partner like this in a time of crisis.

Holly’s shoot is not the first time I’ve photographed a woman who’s survived breast cancer. I do these shoots frequently. Any health crisis, but especially breast cancer, can really affect how you feel about your body and beauty. These shoots are all about reclaiming your body, your beauty, and your power. I hold the space for my clients to celebrate life and survival and this moment right now. I work with you to customize a shoot so you can be photographed post-cancer how you desire (not everyone wants to actually photograph their nude body though it can be powerful).

If you or someone you know has survived breast cancer and is looking to celebrate this moment right now, I’d love to talk to them about their journey!

 

santa barbara portrait photography

santa barbara portrait photography

 

I’m so honored to be the featured photographer for Santa Barbara’s Annual Go Red For Women luncheon. This is the second year I have created a portrait campaign for the event. The luncheon was today and I can final share these portraits.

Last year (2018) I photographed women who survived heart conditions– including heart attacks, strokes and congenital defects. This year the luncheon is all about honoring Santa Barbara County’s top cardiac nurses. I photographed 5 cardiac nurses from all areas of the county who are at the top of their field. It was a privilege to photograph them and hear their stories.

I also photographed a heart transplant survivor who was a featured speaker at the luncheon.

This annual campaign is always so meaningful to work on because I know I am spreading awareness through my portraits. Heart Disease is the number one killer of women and it can often come silently and without warning. We are all vulnerable and we all must take care of our heart health.

Thanks to American Heart Association Santa Barbara Division for choosing me once again to photograph this campaign and play a huge role in the over all event.

santa barbara portrait photographer

Time flies when you are fully engaged in your business. I was completely and utterly shocked when I realized it had been nearly TWO YEARS since I last blogged. A collective WTF and sigh is in order.

The timing of my blog hiatus is no coincidence. In 2016, I stopped photographing weddings (which was my main reason for blogging– because wedding clients loved when I featured their photos) and I went FULL TIME as a portrait studio. 

My dream was always to run a busy full time portrait studio in Santa Barbara. And I knew if I quit weddings I could fully engage in my passions. But man y’all it’s such a different business model. These days the majority of my clients hear about me via referral. So while my online presence is important to me I spent a lot of  time being engaged in amazing in-person relationships. I also have been spending a crap ton of time on instagram— which is kinda like blogging, right– so I guess that’s another reason I let this place be quiet.

While rebuilding this blog feels daunting, it’s so important to me to have my own platform to share what I am up to with you all.

Here’s what you can expect going forward:

-weekly blogs featuring real client shoots (oh boy do I have a backlog to share)

-special events and promotions held at my Santa Barbara studio

-The occasional beauty tip or trick

-A lot of content on self love and acceptance

Thank you for your grace this last year. I know many of you readers headed over to my instagram party. I love connecting with you all in a myriad of ways and always have so much gratitude for anyone who enjoys my business.

Love & Empowerment,

Ashleigh

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‘Tis the season to be traveling– which can be very hard with a little baby! I know since I had one last year! Road trips are never easy, but with a new baby they can be downright nerve wracking, so I wanted to share my favorite holiday travel tips to survive this season with my momma-readers out here!

  1. Plan ahead to take lots of breaks and pit stops. One thing that has really helped me, especially when I was exclusively breastfeeding and on longer road trips, was to plan ahead to stop every 2 hours. We picked fun spots along the way (usually spots that involved food and decent restrooms). Yes, this adds time to the over all trip but it’s so nice to stretch, get the baby out of the car seat, and be able to feed skin-to-skin.
  2. If you can’t take that many breaks, use a hand pump and a bottle. I found a nifty manual breast pump that I could use with just my hands. I would sit in the back seat and pump and then feed my son with a bottle. You can use a nursing cover like this one if you are worried about people seeing into your car. I also really like these Honest Company bottles, as well as this pump from Medela.**
  3. Pack extra diapers and keep them in an easy to reach spot! This may seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I used more diapers than anticipated! It really stinks to have to open up your neatly packed trunk and dig for supplies when you are stopped at a gas station!
  4. Take your DSLR with you! With all the stops and breaks you are bound to be taking, make it worth while and capture your memories while you are at it! There are so many sights and so many memories on holiday road trips. You might feel daunted in the moment, but trust me you will cherish the memories and photos of your teeny baby forever!

**You may be wondering if you should pack any formula for a road trip. I made the personal choice to exclusively breastfeed my son, and therefore formula feeding didn’t really work for me because if I had fed him with formula on a road trip, I still would have had to empty my breasts or possibly suffer from a reduced supply. So I did make it part of my mission to stop frequently or pump in the car and feed. However, I understand that all moms are in different situations. If you are using formula or a combination of breastmilk and formula, you should definitely pack some (like the kind Honest makes) and mix and feed on the road!

 

However you feed your baby, know you will do just great on your first road trip! Be patient, listen to your baby’s cues, and don’t be in too much of a rush and all will be merry and bright!

 

Happy Holidays,

Ashleigh