As most of you know, I have been an associate of Ashley West Photography for the last few years. When I say associate, I mean spending my first year of working next to Ashley West as her second shooter, carrying bags, and running across farms to grab boutonnieres for forgetful groomsmen – AKA wedding photographer bootcamp. It was a huge learning curve to say the least. I spent the following three years gradually taking on more responsibility with Ashley West, leading to quitting my full-time photography position at Grandview Mercantile, and eventually photographing full wedding seasons for the last two years. What an incredibly awesome opportunity it has been! I have had the uniquely amazing chance to navigate this career without the pain of making unnecessary mistakes—all thanks to West’s strong business ethic and expertise. I have been SO fortunate to have her as a teacher by my side. She answered every question, calmed every doubt, and was always more than eager to help. Words cannot describe the gratitude I will always have for that.
Growing up, I struggled figuring out what I wanted to be. Ya know, you ask most kids what they want be when they grow up and they say a doctor, a firefighter, or maybe an engineer…and then there was me. I dabbled in interests and hobbies; a little here, a little there. I went to an air show with my stepdad and brother when I was 11 and spent the next several years thinking I’d join the AirForce and become a pilot–I even tried dental school—but the thought of pursuing any of it long-term never truly fulfilled my heart.
By the time I graduated high school I knew I needed to do something creative—I’d always been a pretty hands-on, crafty kind of kid. My dad and grandma always had a camera in my face, and they’d put a throwaway camera in my hands to play with. I loved the sound of that rolling film. Later on, I knew I needed to go to college to earn a degree in something I might be good at. I ended up enrolling in a graphic design and digital photography program at Columbus State. Those black-and-white film classes changed my life. I started photographing people, friends, strangers—anything and everything, and I fell more in love with it than anything before. It wasn’t until I photographed my first wedding with Ashley West back in 2013 that I realized this is exactly what I’d been looking for; what I really wanted to do with my life.
I think you might be catching on to where I’m going with all of this—it’s something I have wanted for a long time. I am so happy to announce that with A LOT of learning, hard work, my amazing couples, the loving support of my friends and family, and the irreplaceable help of Ashley West, I have decided to take the next step in my career and start my own photography business. Going out on your own can be a bit intimidating, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have the new business owner nerves, but I’ve been doing this for four years now and am confident that this is the path I am meant to follow. After all, I have had a pretty incredible teacher to guide me along the way, so what could there be to worry about?!
I will be with Ashley West Photography for the remainder of this year, finishing off the season with my awesome couples while beginning to book weddings for 2018 under Ashley Wallace Photography. I am now available for booking, and I am very thankful (and excited!) for my first few 2018 couples who have already reserved their dates! I can’t wait to see who else will be joining Ashley Wallace Photography’s 2018 wedding season!
Take a look around my new site and tell me what ya’ think!