Thursday, March 1, 2012
Ashley Mauldin Photography has been selected to receive the 2012 Editors' Choice Award from Two Bright Lights!!!! I am honored and overwhelmed with pride and gratitude at the receipt of this award. I cannot thank everyone enough for their outpouring of support over the last few years. 6 years ago, I was just a newlywed college student, that begged her husband for a new digital camera. After demanding that I put together a business plan with projected goals for the next 5 and 10 years, never in my wildest dreams would I think I would not only meet them, but SURPASS them!!! After nearly 6 years of being a "pro", I still am constantly striving to provide every client with a unique, personalized experience along with quality images and products that they can be proud of. I am so honored to have been chosen for this award, and I hope this is just the beginning of many more exciting things to come. I think 2012 will be my year!!!! Again, thank you to all of the wonderful vendors that helped make these weddings publish worthy, but most of all to my clients for not only selecting me to be your photographer, but for bringing me into your lives. You guys rock my socks off!!!
Thursday, February 16, 2012
What Is Custom Photography?
The photographic art you choose to place on your wall is ultimately the result of the vision of the photographer. This vision, coupled with what you wear to your session, the environment, the lighting, even the mood the subjects are in at the time of photographing creates the work that you will want to proudly display on your walls forevermore.
Your first step in the process is more about determining who you are, who your family is and then seeking a photographer that reflects your style. For instance let’s say your family is extremely outdoorsy and loves playing on the beach. You start determining what style you like, browse through photography website portfolios and determine if any of the styles exhibited there would be a good fit with your life and family style. You have already determined that you should probably seek out a beach type photographer (that is if you live near a beach) and then begin narrowing the field down a bit.
Finally after a bit of internet research, you have narrowed it down to two photographers who do what seems like solid work, the sort of outdoor beach look you desire. It is now time to ask yourself: Do you like photographer A’s style over photographer B’s style? Is it because the people in the images of A’s style are having a great time and it seems very caught up in the moment vs. B photographer more posed, looking in the camera images? If this is a case, you probably like LIFESTYLE photography or perhaps even take it a step further and define your desired style as a PHOTOJOURNALISTIC photography style. The photographer you probably should choose is photographer A because their style is very similar to the style you desire.
What custom photography ultimately is all about is choice and experience (as in THE experience). Custom photography is about finding someone who will photograph your family, give you devoted 1:1 attention without worry of the next ‘in line’ or the feeling of a crowded portrait studio. A custom photographer will typically show you a fairly extensive gallery culled to only show the good images that meet the photographers’ creative sensibilities. Often the images are fully edited images-color corrected with blemishes and undereye circles removed. Custom photographers are also known as boutique studios, offering a range of products and unparalleled service. Think Lexus vs. Hyundai, think Nordstrom vs. WalMart.
Custom photography should have you, the client and your experience in mind.
Why Choose Custom Photography
Custom Photography as something “special”
Custom photography is more of a luxury than your entry level cookie cutter chain experience. Custom photography truly is not for everyone, it requires a level of commitment, investment in time and money, forethought and planning on the part of the subject/client and requires a larger time commitment for the photographer as well.
Clients who enjoy taking a more active role in the creation of their families’ memories have the desire to have portrait art that is truly personalized. These more discerning clients have been known to budget and allot time for a custom photography session. Many clients opt for it to be a once a year special experience, some opt to have custom photography sessions done to record their child’s stages in life. Having said this, it is clear that custom photography is not in everyone’s budget, it is something that most families save for to splurge on from time to time to memorialize their children as they really are (not posed and primped in the cookie cutter studio setting).
There is a great deal of time involved in creating high end custom photography sessions for a client. The luxury of great service, better choices and a supberb end product. The result of all this are heirloom quality images. The time invested at the session is only a small portion of time involved in this process.
Custom photography has been likened to purchasing a fine vehicle. To get to point B from A let’s face it, even a bus ride would suffice. If you want to luxuriate in a finely appointed vehicle, customizing your own experience by listening to smooth jazz while sitting in a climate controlled setting adjusted purely for your comfort in a body hugging leather interior, perhaps that Lexus you so desire is your cup of tea. Custom photography is much the same cup of tea. It is the Lexus of the photography world. It is where the intangibles make the experience truly wonderful and the images themselves make the investment of money and time truly worthwhile.
Custom photography can be broken down into even more levels. There are on location, studio, mixed studio/on location, specialty location and destination type photographers. The beauty of custom photography is in the choices and in the luxury of those options. The customized service level you are sure to experience will be amazing. The knowledge that your final images are the result of someone caring about those moments so much that they take extra time ensuring that the artwork you receive is good enough to stand by with their name on it. That level of quality and commitment is all but lost in the age of “mass produced,” “mass marketed,” corporate “everyone is a number”. Custom photography is based on being unique to you. How great an experience would be, to be able to sit back and allow a photographer to do this highly custom work for images that you will most likely cherish for a lifetime?
Keep in mind more than anything that the Lexus will never appreciate in value the way your portraits will. The portrait art you become invested in from your custom photographer will no doubt increase in value and become more priceless as the years pass.
So I was going through some of my photos from 2011 when I came across this wedding that I never shared on the blog. Chris and Laura tied the knot this past fall at the amazing Honeysuckle Gardens, located in Midlothian, TX. They are like a modern day Brady Bunch, merging two families into one, big, loving, gaggle of kiddos. I am completely awestruck at the love these two have for each other, and ended up bawling like a baby at the ceremony! Not only did these two pledge vows to each other, but to their new children as well. It was such an emotionally charged wedding, that I wasn't sure I would make it through!!!! Anyway, here are a few of my favorite images from the day.
Monday, February 13, 2012
In honor of the month of Love, Rock the Shot Forum (www.rocktheshotforum.com) is hosting a contest, asking photographers to showcase photos of what LOVE means to them. I recently shot a session with the Bennett family, and there is one image that comes to mind when I think of LOVE. I captured this shot of mom and new baby using a 28mm lens at f/2 1/800 sec ISO-400 . I love the sunflare (that I captured IN CAMERA), and used my own presets for post processing. I ran a bit of noise reduction and voila! Here it is!!!
Here are a few more shots from their session as well. Happy Valentine's Day!!!
Monday, January 16, 2012
Ok...so after a 3 week break from work, I am FINALLY back in the saddle. It's been forever since I last blogged, but in my defense, the holiday season was absolutely insane. I had sessions and wedding every day from October 15-December 11. Ya...crazy! Aside from the work craziness, we found out on Thanksgiving that we were expecting (which explained the intense fatigue I had been experiencing). I continued working as much as possible, but started feeling really awful around the first week of December. I was having horrible morning sickness that was lasting all day long. Unfortunately, I miscarried on Christmas Day, which prompted my delayed return back to work. I had intended to begin shooting again after New Year's Day, but really needed to take some time and heal both physically and emotionally. I extended my hiatus until January 9, which is when Jude returned to school. I jumped back in full force and shot a beautiful newborn baby girl on my first day back. Cara, the mother, was apprehensive about asking me to do the session because of our recent loss. I actually considered turning it down for fear that I would get too upset and lose it in the middle of the session. However, I felt I could handle it and thought "hey...this might actually be GOOD for me". I am sooooo glad I did, because it was a fantastic way to divert my energy back to my work. So, here is a peek at a few of the images from Charlee's session. I will REALLY try to be more diligent about blogging, especially since I have some AMAZING weddings coming up. Anyway...here ya go!