Class of 2017

2016 Highlights: Part 1

Wow- what a year!  2016 has topped them all, and as we close out the year I am welcoming 2017 with a grateful heart and big goals.  But before we get ahead of ourselves, let's take a little walk down memory lane together, shall we?

The year started with the new Caryn Ashley Photography brand.  It was a dream come true to see this brand come to life.  One of my closest girlfriends helped me dream and plan for what this new sight and brand would do for my business and I wouldn't have wanted to share that experience with anyone else.  Once the new brand launched it really felt like I could jump into the year ready to better serve my clients with an elevated experience.

And from there I spent every possible moment documenting life with all of you.  I met so many new couples and families in 2016.  Together we explored new parks, you opened up your homes to me during lifestyle sessions, and even shot through rain and snowstorms.  During these shoots it not only felt like the Caryn Ashley Photography family was growing, but that I was gaining close friends.  Friends that I look forward to seeing every few months or once a year to capture life's ever changing seasons. 

2016 will also be remembered as the year my little business grew up right in front of my eyes.  Shoots and more shoots started coming, and my calendar filled up.  You have all been so kind as you display, share and post your photographs.  It feels like I constantly have a team of cheerleaders in my corner with clients like you!  Your sweet texts when you receive your flash drives and thoughtful Facebook reviews are the best motivation I could receive.  

I have to be honest with you on something here, I hadn't completely prepared myself for what this growth would look like.  I have been so beyond grateful that all of my goals and dreams are coming true. There have been multiple little dance party celebrations, popped bottles of champagne and quiet prayers of thanksgiving in this season.  But you know what?  It also took me some time to get my head above water.  With every weekend packed with sessions I worked to stay on track with my promise to return photos to you in 2 weeks. Thankfully in that season Ted stepped in and took over all of the tasks necessary to keep our household running smoothly- making the coffee, cooking dinner, cleaning the bathrooms- he was a lifesaver and I just loved him all the more for serving my business in that way.  You all also showed me grace and flexibility as we packed in as many shoots as we could in October.  Thankfully mother nature was a saint this year and we had a few extra weeks of gorgeous fall weather.

So that brings me to looking ahead, planning and goal setting for 2017.  In 2017 I want to serve my clients better.  I want to run a transparent business that shows my heart, the good and the work in progress.  I want to maintain better communication with my clients and create a seamless experience that makes you feel comfortable and cared for every step of the way. 

I write these things here because I want you to hold me accountable to these goals.  I don't ever want to take one moment of this work for granted.  In the off season, as we dive into the cold of January and February, you can find me working hard to elevate my client experience.  To love and serve my clients in the most beautiful way possible. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being a part of this journey, I cannot wait to see where 2017 takes us.

Izzy- Class of 2017

Izzy has one of those personalities that just bubbles over from the moment you meet her.  When she pulled into the parking lot for her shoot, she bounced out of her car and walked right over and gave me a big hug rather than a timid hand shake.  From that moment I knew we were a good match.  As she showed me her outfits she exuded confidence and self assurance, traits that aren't easy to come by as a teenager.  

We wondered along the Paint Creek Trail in Rochester for her session and the fall weather was just perfect.  As we walked and snapped pictures, Izzy shared about her plans to study speech pathology in college and let out the biggest smile every time I mentioned her boyfriend's name.  The conversation was easy and the smiles were genuine. 

When I got home and started to edit the pictures I fell in love with them. I felt like Izzy displayed her true personality the whole time so the images really capture who she is as a person.  She was full of laughter and style, she was spunky and outgoing and I think these pictures are just that.  Thanks for sharing these memories with me Izzy, it was a pleasure getting to know you. 

Luke- Class of 2017

Luke was such a pleasure to work with.  He was kind and made conversation easy.  And then he got in front of the camera and he totally rocked his session.  So all thanks to Luke, because he made a nice easy start to my Sunday morning that weekend.  This was the first time I photographed a senior along the Paint Creek Trail in Rochester and I fell in love with it.  The park has such a nice mix of backgrounds and paths.  For Luke's last outfit we headed downtown for a little more urban feel. The mix of outfits and locations was perfect and I think I have a few new all time favorite images in this bunch.

During his session Luke joked around with his mom that she only has pictures of his older sister up around the house, but after seeing these she is going to have to make a wall of just Luke's pictures.  I don't know how she will pick favorites, I know I can't!  Luke is her youngest and he is hoping to head to college out of state, so it might end up being the biggest wall in her house, too!  It really was a pleasure getting to know Luke and capture his genuine smiles.  I'll be keeping my fingers crossed as those college acceptance letters start to come in!    

Marissa- Class of 2017

Often in my job I get a peek into your group of family and friends. You share my name with the people in your life and then they call looking to schedule their own shoot. I get a chance to meet the people you do life with and I get to know you better by meeting those families.  I cannot thank you enough for that! You guys are the best! 

That is exactly how I ended up photographing Marissa. I had photographed one of her closest friends a few weeks before for her senior session.  It was fun to see how their lives are intertwined and to hear all about their plans for track meets and the upcoming homecoming dance.  It is so important to have quality friends and you could tell that Samantha and Marissa are certainly those type of friends. 

Marissa fell into her modeling groove immediately after we started her session.  She said she wasn't much for pictures, but after taking a look through her images I find that hard to believe.  She has such a stunning combination of red hair and blue eyes- so pretty! We wondered around downtown Northville, where I basically wanted to stop at every single storefront for another shot. Marissa and her mom totally kept up with my, oh I love this, let's go over here, now we have to use this wall, pace. Thanks for allowing me to capture your senior pictures, Marissa! 

Margie- Class of 2017

Margie was seriously a dream to work with.  She arrived to her senior pictures a little unsure of the whole thing.  Then she opened up the back of her car's trunk and showed me the outfits she brought, we started getting to know each other, and everything fell into place.  I am in love with her sense of style and how unique her outfit choices were.  And not to mention all I really had to do was mention a certain someone's name and she broke out in the biggest smile. 

I hope I don't sound like a broken record over here, but senior pictures are seriously becoming some of my favorite sessions and this one is up there on the top of my favorites list.  It was such a carefree shoot with Margie's mom and little sisters joining us as we wondered around the park, through downtown Milford and then ended up on Walled Lake just as the sun was setting.  I got into the car to head home after her session and could not wait to get started on editing the pictures- I knew they were going to be stunning.

The reason the finished images are so stunning is because of Margie's kindhearted, easy going personality.  She didn't take herself too seriously and would naturally fall into the most beautiful poses.  She is one of those ladies that just doesn't realize how absolutely stunning she is, and that type of humility is hard to come by.   She is going to rock out her senior year and beyond, and the next time I see her family for a family session I cannot wait to hear about all of the excitement in her life.  Congrats, Margie!