Ashley Nicole Strickland

OWNER/LEAD PHOTOGRAPHER - ASHLEY NICOLE PHOTOGRAPHY

I document emotional moments for the elegant, classic & fun bride!

What inspired you to start your business?

I am my family's self-appointed historian. I've always been interested in preserving memories and placed a high value on photographic ones. I struggled for a long time to find something I could give myself to outside of my regular 9-5 corporate job. One day, my husband said, "Why don't you think about being a photographer, you've always got that camera in your hand!" I don't know why, but I never realized how much I really enjoyed it until he said those words to me. Once he said that I went full steam ahead!  I took some online courses, researched like crazy & went to YouTube University and really became a student of the craft, all without even owning a professional camera. Excited, passionate but still a bit unsure of myself, I signed up for a 2-day workshop with one of my absolute favorite photographers, Ross Oscar Knight. My Husband bought my first "real" camera right before the workshop.  I remember sitting in the workshop and having this epiphany... "This is what I want to do with my life." From that moment on, I've been building my business & my dream!

What is something you would say to someone who is struggling in their first few years of business? Is there something you struggled with and learned from in those first few years?

Do not compare your year 1, 2 or 3 to someone else's year 5, 10 or 20. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, trust your own process & remain a steadfast student of your craft. Your growth will show itself & and opportunities will come from your diligence.  It's so easy to get caught up in the comparison game and if we aren't careful, we can talk ourselves out of the very opportunities God meant for us to have because we don't believe in us.

What hobbies, causes, or activities are you passionate about aside from your work?

I am a Magic Hour Photographer. The Magic Hour Foundation is a national network of Professional Photographers who donate portrait sessions to individuals & families fighting cancer. My own Grandmother passed in 2014 from Leukemia so giving back to families affected by cancer is very near and dear to me.  As a former Girl Scout, volunteering and the importance of giving back to my community has been ingrained in me and doing so brings me a lot of joy.

Image Credit: Headshot: Precious T Photography (IG: @precioustphotography) precioustphotography.com; Working Shot: S'Marche Photography - www.smarchephotography.com - IG: @smarchephoto