I have to be honest. I didn't know if it would get to this point. The roller coaster of emotions, the hurdles, the rocks and hard places.... Moving is hard yall.
In December our family moved across the country. I've lived my entire life in the western United States. I've lived my entire life in a dessert! To say things are different here is pretty accurate. And I love it.
When we moved we didn't have any real intention of re-opening my studio here, but there was always a little seed. A little itch in my heart. A little something that kept pulling me back. It didn't go away. In fact as life moved on and the inevitable storm of its trials ensued, the itch burned and it grew.
It was in January when we decided. This was happening. I will be opening my studio again. It was not an easy decision. Picking up a business that was put in a box and meant for storage only to dust it off and set it up again is not easy.
What made things more difficult is the ultimate reason why I realized this was the rout needed. In recent months I've opened up a lot more about the experiences my husband and I have endured. Three miscarriages in one year followed by 18 months (and counting) of the inability to conceive. Its. Been. Rough.
Why in the world would I choose to work with babies, expecting mothers, and birthing mothers? That's CRAZY guys! Am I right?
No. Not crazy. Let me explain.
The pain that we felt...feel. The emptiness in my heart. That broken piece of me will never be the same. It will always be broken, but it is a part of me. Like an antique end table or vase, the imperfection is part of my story.
This is why I decided... no...needed to return to newborns. I know what it is like to wonder every day what those childrens' faces would have looked like. I'm forced to live with the what-ifs all my life. I wish every moment of every day that I could have had one glimpse at those faces. That I could have known their features. That I could remember them by more than a sonogram or the fading sound of a heartbeat.
I decided to come back because I believe every mother deserves to be with their babies forever. There are many contexts to this statement, but right now I'm talking very simply. You deserve to have that newborn with you for your entire life. To know those soft cheeks, wispy hair, peely fingers and toes. These are not photographs. These are memories. Moments in time, kept forever and cherished for generations.
So here I am. Here we are. My name is Ashley. I am a newborn, birth and maternity photographer. I photographed my first expecting mama and newborn 10 years ago and I was hooked. Now countless newborns, births, and pregnant mamas later- I've finally found my PURPOSE in what I do.
Its no longer just something I love. It is so much more. Just like you and your baby are so much more than a beautiful picture. You are a memory. You are a cherished moment to be held, protected, and loved. YOU are my purpose.