Behind the Camera - Deciding to shoot Lifestyle

July 17, 2017  •  4 Comments

        When I said I had a photography announcement to make, I’m sure everyone had a little something different in mind than what I have to say. It’s much more personal than business related. The past couple of years have been the biggest emotional roller coaster I have ever been on. Ending my marriage, moving my children to a different state, giving up my home where I raised them and starting a new life was a leap of faith. It was scary and I had no idea where it would take us. Dealing with the stress, judgment and criticism was enough to drive anyone to rock bottom.  Losing my photography business was right up there with all of my other worries. I strived to have an in-home studio again. I thought it was my dream.

        2017 has been one of the best years of my life, thus far. It’s been the light at the end of what seemed like a very long, dark road. I’m finding myself again. I’m realizing my true passions. I’m seeing what really, truly makes me happy. My life feels more full than it ever has.

 

        My son, Caleb, as most of you know, is special needs. His condition and therapy are very demanding. I’ve struggled to keep up and to juggle everything since we made our move back to PA. I’m finally getting him back on track with everything he needs and he is also becoming more comfortable in his surroundings. I wasn’t the only one that struggled through the change. It’s an ongoing process but I am finally in the position to thrive as his advocate, something that is most important in both of our lives. I continue to remind both him and Isabella that they are both very loved and my main goal in life is to feed their confidence and happiness.

        I have been blessed with the most amazing, supportive and caring person to share the rest of our life with. He has been my rock through every struggle and decision I’ve been faced with. Que tears, haha. He is always pushing me to pursue my photography and to do what makes me happy. He also, about a year ago, accepted a position that has given him so much confidence and has allowed him to grow in a way he needed and wanted. We’ve been apart for just about half of our relationship but we continue to grow and move forward. We’ve tossed the conversation around about finishing our basement for my studio…which leads me to my “announcement”…

        As much as I loved my studio in VA and prayed to have it again, I realize now that it was filling a very big void in my life. It brought me so much happiness, but some of it was happiness in place of what I was lacking in other areas of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I am still very passionate about photography, but in a different way. Taking pictures of just anything is not for me. As I’ve continued to book sessions over the last couple of years I have realized that where I am most happy is capturing my kids, at home, in their element. Every day, real, raw moments. When I go to a session and the parents are sitting down with their little ones, trying to get them to cooperate, the shots I most enjoy are the moments that aren’t posed. The “real” ones. All of my favorite shots of my own kids are when they didn’t even know I was watching them, waiting with my camera. The thought of my walls being filled with every day moments of my kids makes my heart so happy. It’s exciting to me. I want other parents to feel that. Any every day, ordinary moment captured in an extraordinary way. That’s what my passion is.

        We have also discussed turning the basement into a play area for the kids. Either way, it will still be finished and I can still take a couple newborns per year. I will not be giving up completely on a studio because there is still a place in my heart for it, but my main focus will shift to lifestyle. I’m not sure how this change will go. Turning down clients is very hard for me, but I have to capture what I am truly passionate about or else I feel like why would I even pursue photography in the first place? That’s how something you love gets turned into “work” and that’s not what I’m after. The idea of not meeting clients at beautiful parks and landscaped areas feels a little off because that’s what I’m used to but it also gives me a sense of relief. When I think about meeting a family at their home to capture real life moments for them, like the ones I capture at home, it excites me!

        I will be taking some time off to get a little portfolio together and to spend much needed summer time with my family in our new home. But I am so excited and anxious to start a new journey in many aspects of my life. I feel like everything we’ve been through in the last two years has finally came full circle and now it’s just maintaining balance and happiness. I will be needing some portfolio work done so if you’re someone who would love to display the “real” moments of your life in your home, contact me. <3

 

Photographer located in Girard, PA

www.ashleymckelveyphotography.com

814.823.7857


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