Ashleigh Taylor Portrait Photography:
Capturing the Beauty in Everyone
Ashleigh Taylor shared a beautiful collection of work on Week #163 of our Photograph Your Love® Instagram Takeover. Ashleigh is a Santa Barbara based portrait photographer who is passionate about helping women feel confident in front of the camera. She specializes in creating fashion-magazine-style portraits of real women, just like you. If you don’t like having your photo taken, feel like you’re not photogenic, too old or need to lose a few pounds, Ashleigh knows how to put her clients at ease and bring out the beauty in everyone. Take a look at the “before and after” photos on her website and you’ll be amazed! Her work has been featured in magazines like The Knot and online on sites such as Cosmopolitan.com and Style Me Pretty. We asked Ashleigh a few questions that will help you get to know her better. In her answers, you will also learn more about her path to a successful career as a portrait photographer.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Los Angeles CA.
When did you get into photography and why?
I have always had a love for photography for as long as I can remember! I minored in photography in college as well, however I really never anticipated photography being my career. I had always wanted to make movies, but after one year of working for a producer in LA, I realized the dream of filmmaking was not quite as fun as the day to day reality of it. At this exact time that I was doing some soul searching for the path for my career and life, I happened to be planning my wedding. Reading the blogs of wedding photographers was so inspiring to me and they genuinely seemed to love their careers. It was then I had the epiphany that to be happy I really wanted to 1) be my own boss 2) be creative and tell stories. A professional photography studio was just the answer to that. It’s been a long journey (9 years) and now I focus on portraiture solely (not weddings) but I could not be happier with the path I have chosen for myself.
How would you describe your shooting style?
I give a lot of directions to my client and I am a very controlled shooter. I pose down to the last eyelash and coach for styling and expression. That said, when I am on location I can be spontaneous and off-the-cuff, too. I definitely have a vision that I work towards bringing to life, regardless if it’s a studio shoot or some place outdoors.
What kind of gear and technology do you use; and how does this influence or impact your work?
I love to shoot film but in my studio I shoot on a canon 5dmkiv. I LOVE this camera. I love not only it’s still photography features but also that I can shoot beautiful video on it as well and create moving portraits and behind the scenes videos for my clients in addition to stills. It’s so easy to switch back and forth between photo and video and often clients don’t know I am doing that. So when they see their video of their shoot it takes them back to their experience and makes them cry happy tears. I also utilize photoshop and incorporate portrait/retouching to all my shoots.
What photographer or artist has had the biggest influence on your own photography?
Sue Bryce has had a huge influence on me. I found her via CreativeLive.com when I was a wedding photographer (and also shooting boudoir here and there). Her business model deeply resonated with me and the way she could make everyday women look like cover girls astounded me. I was lucky enough to attend an intimate hands-on, in person workshop with her in 2013 which was the catalyst to me opening my portrait studio here in Santa Barbara… just 2 months after taking her workshop in fact! I am honored to have been recognized by her as a leading portrait photographer in my own rite. She came to my studio in 2016 to interview me and film a special about my business and studio space. In that moment I felt that my career had come full circle, and I will never forget the deep feeling of pride to have the photographer who inspired me so much in my business to come to my space and recognize me.
What motivates or inspires you to continue taking pictures?
I really love my clients. It sounds cliche or trite but it’s so true. I love the reaction my clients have to the experience and to seeing their portraits. I love looking at facebook and seeing all the beautiful profile images I have created. I love seeing my work on my clients walls. It inspires me to know my portraits are cherished family heirlooms and that pushes me to keep working hard, even in the trying times of running a business.
To see more photos by Ashleigh Taylor, follow her on Instagram @ashleightaylorportrait. If you would love to have a beautiful heirloom portrait taken of yourself, or with your mother, daughter, sister, friend, family or significant other, visit ashleightaylorportrait.com to schedule your own dream shoot.
Each week, a guest photographer takes over our Instagram stream as we spotlight photographers that inspire us…and that we feel embrace the meaning behind our tagline, #PhotographYourLove. As a business that process and prints photos, we see this as part of our mission.
Follow along with us on the Photograph your Love® Instagram Takeover @colorservices