Metro Detroit Photographer

Mikayla- Class of 2019

I am going to be catching up on summer blog posts all fall and then I will be catching up on fall blog posts all winter. I am just accepting that being slightly behind is part of my life now, and if that means more Leland snuggles and lazy mornings as a family I am totally okay with that.

Since I have Leland home with me each day I have to set realistic expectations for myself. I have learned to pick out three things that must get done that day. I accomplish those three things first, and if there is time for anything else then great. If not, I still feel accomplished and on task. Typically my top three things are editing sessions and getting them back to clients, even if that means they get their pictures back before I get to posting a preview or a blog post.

So that brings us to Mikayla’s pictures! We snapped these at the beginning of the summer. Mikayla was so much fun to work with. We started the session with some family pictures, then her brother and dad headed out to get a table for dinner while Mikayla, her mom and I wondered around downtown Milford. It was clear that Mikayla enjoyed having her mom there, which made the time together even more special. For most seniors, senior pictures are the first of many big milestone events for the year. You could tell that Mikayla and her mom were going to have a whole lot of fun with all of the events to come.

I can almost feel that warm summer sunshine when I look back on these pictures! I hope you are having the most wonderful start to your senior year, Mikayla!

That Wellthy Life

I just love being able to support other entrepreneurs. It isn’t always the easiest career path, but I feel so strongly that it is worth it. Mary Beth is a certified holistic health coach and runs her own business, That Wellthy Life. Be sure to check out her website here. Her blog has so many great posts on living a healthy, balanced life. And she always interjects her website and posts with hilarious pictures of her pup and encouragement that just makes you stop, breath and smile throughout your day. Stop by her Instagram to say hi!

Mary Beth and I also went to Albion together, so that’s just another reason that I love being able to support her business. So many of my fellow Albion alumni have supported Caryn Ashley Photography. I love that through my business I get to connect with classmates that I would have lost touch with over the years. There are so many Albion alumni doing so many creative, impactful things and it just makes me really, really proud to be a part of such an incredible bunch of people.

Also, can we just take a moment to talk about how beautiful Mary Beth’s home is?! I could just sit in that bright, white kitchen and drink coffee all day long! And yes, we did get to snack on everything as Mary Beth finished making it for the pictures- and since I was outrageously pregnant at the time this had to be one of my favorite sessions! I am so excited to see all of the things that are in store for you, Mary Beth!

Miller Family

These are certainly 5 of my very favorite people- my brother Scott, his wife Katie and their outrageously adorable little ones. Ted and I are so lucky to live close to family, and over the past years we have spent so much time being an aunt and uncle before being a mom and dad.  These three cuties are some of the sweetest little ones, and we often say we hope Leland takes after them.

Photographing family can be tough.  These kiddos are use to seeing me and running around, being tickled, and cannonballing into the pool.  So asking them to have a little more subdue time together can be a challenge, but they did great!

Ted and I had taken them to see Incredibles 2 in the morning and after their photoshoot we joined the rest of our family for a pool party at Grandma's house.  Right before they left to go home for the night their oldest son looked at me and said, 'Aunt Caryn this was one really special day.  Movies, pictures at the park, and swimming.  I wish it didn't have to end.' And then my heart melted right there on the spot.  We love you, Miller family!

Combs Family

I know fall is here, but I just had to share this summer shoot! We had to reschedule this session a few times because of rain, and then on the morning of our session it was 90 degrees by 9:00am! Thankfully the Combs family had picked the perfect location for a hot, session- the lake! We explored the park, and then when everyone got too hot, we just hopped right in the lake.  

Having three little ones for family pictures can always be challenging, and my favorite thing about the Combs family is how mom and dad always take it in stride.  They never stress if someone is taking a little longer to warm up, or needs a break, or at this session- just wants to jump in the lake! It keeps our sessions lighthearted and fun, and allows us to really capture the personalities of their kiddos.

I am so thankful I have been able to capture so many memories with this family over the years.  These three little cuties each have big personalities, and it has been so much fun to watch them grow and develop.  I hope you got to spend many more days together at the lake this summer, Combs family! 

David + Marissa

I had so much fun spending the evening in Detroit with David and Marissa for their engagement session.  We met for coffee a few months back and hit it off immediately.  They are fun loving, caring and totally in love- my kind of couple! I loved spending more time with them and getting to heat more about their story.  We started their session on Belle Isle and finished at the Z Parking lot at sunset- it doesn't get more epically Detroit than that!

These two love their pups, so of course we had to include them in the pictures.  It can always be a little comical wrangling dogs during sessions, especially when there is more than one- but these two cooperated (and I think even enjoyed all of the attention) even in the summer heat.  It was so sweet to see how much these two love and care for their pup children!

Towards the end of their shoot I was chatting with Marissa and David about the photo session.  I asked them if it was what they expected, if they felt more comfortable in front of the camera, and more prepared for their wedding day portraits.  They both shared a resounding yes for all of those things.  Then Marissa also shared that this was really the kick off to their wedding celebrations.  They had done lots of the big planning, but none of the fun celebrations had started yet.  She was excited to have something tangible to say okay it's here, we get to start celebrating! I thought that was such a fun way to look at engagement pictures.  The first time to say- wow, look at us, we are REALLY getting married!  I am already looking forward to celebrating that day with you this spring, David and Marissa! 

Our Maternity Photos + Taking a Break

I know I keep saying it, but can someone please pinch me! After all of the maternity pictures I have captured over the past 5 years, I cannot believe that I am sharing our own bump photo shoot! We captured these pictures in Birmingham at Quarton Lake, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to photograph.  No, we did not secretly find out we are having a boy and decide to announce it with these pictures :) Blue just seems a whole lot more gender neutral than pink, and for all of you ladies who have tried to find a maternity dress that you love you know that when you find one, the color is the last thing you are worried about!

These pictures mean so much to us, and I get a little giddy just looking at them.  My favorite part is how they capture the way Ted looks at me and my bump every single day.  It still surprises me each day when he wants to spend time with the baby, just talking to him or her and having his hands on my stomach.  I take for granted all of the time the baby and I spend together, and then I remember that Ted misses us during the day! He doesn't get to spend every single moment with this growing babe.  I am just so glad I have these photos to remember the way he looks at us.

This past week was my last week of scheduled photo shoots.  I am taking this week to get caught up on editing and sending out galleries and then I will be off on maternity leave.  I have spent a lot of time preparing my business and my heart for this leave.  I am really looking forward to taking 2 months to step away from photographing and diving completely into mamahood.  I plan to check e-mail very sparingly, and to do my best to fully unplug during this time.  I also decided to take a break from work on my social media channels.  Instead I will be sharing what is going on in the moment with our family.  So I will just go ahead and apologize nowfor the baby spam!  

If you are interested in scheduling a fall shoot please e-mail me your availability.  I will get back to e-mails once a week, and would love to see your family once I am back to work!  As always, we cannot thank you enough for your constant support of my business and our growing family.  We feel so loved and encouraged by each of you, and are so excited to share this next season of life with you!

Matt + Liz

I met Liz for coffee a few months back to chat about her and Matt's winter 2018 wedding. The moment we sat down at our little, local coffee shop I knew she and I would become quick friends. The conversation was natural and easy- as we chatted about life, wedding planning and travel.  I was so excited when right there on the spot she let me know she would love to have me photograph her and Matt's big day.  

Last month I met up with these two at their downtown Detroit apartment for their engagement session. Matt quickly made me feel as welcomed and comfortable as Liz did at our first coffee meeting.  These two have so much fun together, and I couldn't help but notice how comfortable and safe they seemed to feel when they were close to one another.  Not to mention, I was so thankful for the way Matt offered to serve me during their session- offering to carry my bag and step stool since I have pretty much perfected my pregnancy waddle these days.  

I had such a wonderful evening exploring the city with these two.  Detroit was certainly showing off.  The setting sun, budding trees, and a city that continues to surprise me with each new restaurant and ground breaking for new buildings.  What a fun and exciting place to start your life together, and I loved being able to capture a little part of their story in the city.  Enjoy all of the planning, Matt and Liz- and I can't wait to see you say 'I do!'

Baby Douglas

Baby Doug was so great for his session.  I had to keep reminding his mom and dad, 'just so you know it doesn't typically go like this.'  I typically spend a lot of time during newborn sessions just cuddling and swaying newborns, waiting for them to fall into a deep sleep.  Doug was sleepy and ready for his session right when I arrived! A photographer's dream!

I loved getting to know Doug and his family.  His mom and dad made me feel like we had known each other for ages.  I love when I come into a family's home and I immediately feel at home, and that is exactly what happened at this shoot.  Their space was light and bright and made everything simple and enjoyable.  And when a little guy is born with a head of hair that awesome, it needs to be documented!  Katie and I started talking about if the wives tale about heartburn and hair is true.  I have been experiencing a good amount of heartburn lately, so we will see if that means our babe will come out with a full head of hair!

And of course we had to end the session with a few family photographs.  Which means Doug's two pups got a chance in front of the camera! They were so sweet around Doug, and even though they were so excited to finally be included in on the action, they were cautious and calm around their new baby. It was such a peaceful session with so much love, and I am beyond grateful to have captured this exciting time.  Enjoy all of your new baby snuggles, Kilbourn Family! 

Ariana Phyllis

Baby Ariana, we are so glad you are here!  Ariana's mom and dad are in the small group Ted and I are blessed to be a part of at our church.  I remember the day Kaitlin and Nick shared with us they were expecting like it was yesterday.  Our group had gathered for a little evening pool party, and before everyone headed outside they shared they had a joy- a baby on the way! Since I get to see Kaitlin weekly, it was so fun to watch her bump grow throughout the months.  

When we found out we were also expecting I immediately thought about what a blessing it would be to raise our little ones alongside Kaitlin and Nick.  Kaitlin has been so open and honest about mommahood, and I have already texted her with some of my more personal questions.  When can I go back to work? Is this normal? Is Ariana taking a bottle yet?  I am sure by the time our little one arrives Kaitlin is going to be so sick of hearing from me! ;) 

I had such a sweet afternoon hanging out with Kaitlin, Nick and Ariana at their home.  In-home newborn sessions are just the best, as they capture what life looks like at your house right now.  I love being able to use your space to tell your story.  Kaitlin and Nick already seem like parenting pros, and little miss Ariana spent the majority of her session fast asleep.  Ariana, we are so thankful for your life.  We can't wait for you to meet your new baby buddy in July! 

Ember Catherine

Teeny, tiny baby Ember! There is just something about those babes that are born extra small that makes my heart melt.  Ember was an angel for her session.  She slept soundly the entire time and just enjoyed being all snuggled up!  I still have to pinch myself when I realize this is my job! I get to snuggle newborn babes when I go to work?! What a dream! 

Ember's mom and dad had the coolest style, so I loved being able to pop into Ember's nursery for a few pictures.  I also love being able to use a family's home for newborn pictures and to really capture a few candid images.  For this session it was being able to use mom and dad's room for those cuddly, candid moments. These are really the pictures you are going to look back at and say, remember when? I love knowing that this family will forever have these pictures of their first few weeks with Ember.  Especially since those first few weeks can be such a blur!

Ember already has three guard dogs, that I think are going to be taking pretty good care of her! It was so sweet to watch the dogs as they walked and moved more gingerly around the baby.  It is like they know this new little person is extra delicate!  They jumped on the bed with their mom and dad, but were careful to sniff gently around Ember and then of course went ahead and gave her a few big kisses! Welcome to the world, sweet baby Ember!