One of the perks of our job is meeting other wonderful, kind, smart, successful women that you feel so lucky to be surrounded by.  And Ashleigh Cropper of Red Aspen Photography is the perfect example.  We have thoroughly enjoyed working with her for the past year and are thrilled she’s on the Bloom team.  To say she gets us is an understatement, and, man, she makes our lives easier.  It is our pleasure to feature Ashleigh on our blog so that more of the world knows who she is and is introduced to her fantastic work!

  • How would you describe your business?
    • I am a wedding and family photographer who specializes in capturing moments through a personal, sentimental, and raw, organic process. I believe that my business and my work is to be a storyteller and a historian. It’s a bit different of a process than your typical “stand there and smile” formula. I call myself a “directive” photographer, meaning I give my clients fun activities, games, and topics to chat about and enjoy all together. That may range from a silly game with kids and their parents while I photograph that moment unfolding, to running through a field with the one you love the most.
  • How long have you been in business?
    • 3 years
  • When did you move to Colorado?
    • 4 years ago
  • Do you have a favorite thing to photograph?
    • I love photographing couples that are not afraid to show their love and be who they are. It’s that genuine human connection that I see from behind the lens that is so special for me to be a part of. It means everything to me when couples trust my work and will become more open and vulnerable into who they are. Those are the images that will last beyond a lifetime and be seen by their children, grandchildren and even hopefully great-great grandchildren. It’s such an honor to share in that making of history that will be passed down for so many generations. I also can’t help but love photographing my puppy, June! She’s a funny dog with all sorts of quirks!
  • What is the one accessory you can’t live without?
    • A simple necklace. I feel like it can add just the right touch of looking more put together with a t-shirt thrown on…. and sometimes all I have time for is just that!
  • What styling/posing advise do you share with all your customers?
    • I always start out by saying that no one is comfortable in front of the camera, and I don’t expect anyone to be! Every time I say that I swear I hear an audible sigh. It relieves any pressure and we just have fun! We then jump into my directive photography methods and I always get the comment that families or couples feel like they are just having a leisure time together, and not at a stressful photo shoot.
  • What do you love the most about your job?
    • I truly love getting to meet so many incredible people from all over the world. I really enjoy connecting with others, getting to know them, and then capture who they are. I ask them to think of little quirks they may have as a family, or fun things they love to do as a couple. Then when I ask them to play around and include those fun things, it’s just a really great cohesive experience for everyone. They get to walk away with images that reflect who they are, and I have an opportunity to share my talent and make new friends from all over! Can a job really get any better than that?!
    • Also thinking of capturing images that will get passed down from generations, especially with weddings, is very special. I love to think about how that couple’s grandchildren may see those images of their grandparents on their wedding day, just like I did with my grandparents. What we do as photographers is so important by allowing others to remember and relive their stories that they cannot get back again.
  • Do you have any tips on balancing work & family/marriage?
    • I think that’s the hardest part of this job! There is no 9-5 pm, leave and exit your office situation. We work long hours with editing, and then weddings and sessions that take up evenings and weekends. I am still working on this and it’s ever evolving. My best recommendation from a entrepreneur/photographers point of view is to block off one day a week, and one weekend a month where you do not work. You have to give yourself some time off to be with your family and even do some self-care! When I block that time out months in advance (typically I do this at the beginning of the year when I am starting to look at the year ahead) it makes it easier to say “no”…which may be the hardest word ever…and book those sessions at other times if possible, than just scramble and take everything on.
    • One other tip is outsourcing, even just daily life tasks. I would like to think I can do everything, and then a little more on top of that! But I really can’t! I have an awesome team who have joined me this past year to help me on my business end. I also have outsourced parts of my life, like house cleaning. I know it sounds like a luxury, but once you are working and living in your home it’s pretty much necessary after the kitchen can be smelled from down the hallway because you just haven’t found the time to clean! You get the idea 😉
    • These tips have let me find time to walk away from my house and go on a date with my husband, or take a long hike with a my dog. Whereas last year, I would feel so guilty and concerned for not doing it all and neglecting those I cared most about.
  • As the season changes, what are you looking forward to most this fall?
    • “Fall-Day”. For the past 6 years, my husband and I always make sure to set aside a weekend in September/October where we do all things Fall. It’s been a fun tradition since being married! We pull out our sweaters and jackets, get into the mountains to watch the leaves change, make butternut squash soup, and have our first cup of super-rich, home made hot chocolate of the season. It kind of feels like we created our own holiday, and is actually our favorite date of the year.
    • I also always love my fall weddings where I am not sweating to death (sorry July weddings!) and get to work in cooler weather! Fall weddings are also so romantic and cozy!
  • Any upcoming vacation plans?  What is your favorite vacation destination?
    • I am headed back to Oregon where I am from for a month during the holidays. I haven’t been home for the holidays in so many years that I am anxiously awaiting that time with my friends and family. Oregon is also so gorgeous that every time I go home, I kick myself for not appreciating it more when I was growing up. I’m grateful that I get to head back to that lush, forest-filled state!
    • My favorite vacation destination is pretty much anywhere in Europe! I used to live in Spain and miss that crazy, amazing culture (and afternoon siestas!) Amsterdam and Paris are always at the top of my list for sneaking away to if I can! From the food, to biking around, the romantic vibes, canals and rivers. They are two places I love the most!

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