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There is absolutely nothing better to a photographer than a couple with crazy chemistry. J+K were so so in love and just so much fun to be with. A photographer really has the opportunity to excel when the couple just says "we trust you." These two were up for anything, ready to have fun and simply capture their love.

Can we also talk about J's amazing wedding dress? Fringe details on a wedding dress? Yes, please! This dress from Raw Golden was just breathtaking. If the dress wasn't enough, let's just add in an incredible winter floral palette from Florecita Flowers, a Gigi Pip hat and a custom painted jean jacket from Baltic Bohemian.

This has been the year of intimate elopements with COVID making most large weddings an impossibility and while my heart is broken for all my couples that have had to change how their dream wedding looks, I have also loved being part of these intimate elopements in places where a large wedding wouldn't be an option.

Photographer: Hey Ashley Shaw

Florals: Florecita

Hair and Makeup: Betty Rose by Alanna

Custom Painted Jean Jacket:

Location: Tijeras, New Mexico

Golden Hour Elopement | Hey Ashley Shaw

We've all been there. The stress of preparing for a photo shoot can be so high. What outfits will we wear? Am I seriously breaking out? My child refused to nap the day of our family pictures. There is always some unexpected event that happens right before a photo shoot. Always. Without fail. So what can you do to still guarantee you don't leave your photo session feeling like "Why did I just subject myself to that?"

Here's my top 5 tips to managing expectations for your photoshoot (families, engagements, even weddings)

  1. Plan for the Worst. Okay hear me out. That probably sounds like such a negative way to prepare but really if you plan for the worst, you have nowhere to go but up. Plan for a wardrobe failure by having a backup outfit. Plan for your child not napping that day by leaving early for the photoshoot because you just know they are going to fall asleep in the car now. Plan for the best man being drunk during toasts by capping the alcohol until after toasts are allowed. Think of things that you're most nervous about happening and then come up with a back up plan.

  2. Make sure your photographer gets it. Whether you have a mini session or a ten hour wedding, take the time to get to know your photographer. Help them understand what reality will probably look like with you, your kids, your wedding party, whatever it might be. Ask them about how they handle kiddos that won't stop screaming or the father of the groom that never wants his picture taken. Make sure that both of your expectations are on the same page and that you both know that you have a game plan. If your photographer tells you that you will only receive good images if your children are all perfect angels...time to say goodbye.

  3. Don't Expect Picture Perfect. This goes against everything I think when preparing for my own family pictures each year so I one hundred percent understand this one seeming to be impossible. However I will say that the times I can get my head space to the point where I recognize that in no world will my 10,8,5 and 3 year old ever be looking at the camera at the exact same time with perfect smiles. So what? Skip pictures completely? No way. My absolute favorite images that I've captured in any photo shoot are the ones where there is a level of interaction. Real emotion. Real memories. The images you can look back on and laugh at or even cry at. The ones that make you remember the time they were captured. The ones that represent what your life in that moment was truly like.

  4. Plan Time for Needed Breaks. All you other parents out there know that some children can't just snap out of things. In those cases where that child (or let's be honest the groom) is just hating their life during pictures, I like to step back. Let's take five minutes and just breathe because honestly unless you're a model, it's stressful having some random person in your face with a camera. If you've booked an hour long family session, a 5-10 minute break between the session when you're kiddo has just had it, will be better in the long run and will result in better images. Every.Single.Time. (<--confident much? why yes I am.)

  1. Bring Food. Alright. I'm thinking that I should have put this one first but seriously. If you're driving to your family session and you realize you forgot snacks, please grab some. Turn back home, stop into a Walgreens, go through a drive through. Whatever. Be five minutes late to your session, your photographer will survive. But honestly what human being is not happier when they have snacks? This 100% applies to wedding also. Keep everyone fed and hydrated and we'll all have a much better time.

Guys. Blogging! Am I right? Like I feel I missed my blogging chance back years ago and starting one now seems so late to the game but I couldn't think of a better way for me to make connections and to also let you get to know me so here we go. I'm going to need help though deciding what to put here because you will all get so sick of me just sharing sessions after sessions right? Maybe not? I'm also trying to make a conscious effort to NOT use so many exclamation points but I have to tell you that in my head every sentence ends with one. Forgive me! (<-- oops one made it in anyway)

So here's my gang! I have been married for 11 years now and have a 10,8,5 and 3 year old. It was a crazy couple of years there but I feel like we've mostly found our groove. Like 5% of the time.

Let's get right into it. Ten quick facts to get to know me a little better. I would just LOVE to have you comment with your ten quick facts in the comments or share them on instagram and tag me at @heyashleyshaw.

  1. I am NOT a hugger but I absolutely am obsessed with snuggling my children.

  2. I am obsessed with homemade pico de gallo (I'll make sure to share my recipe here soon) but I pretty much despise ketchup. Both made with tomatoes? Yup. One delicious and one disgusting? Double Yup.

  3. I am one hundred percent a shopaholic. Pretty sure my thumb has pressed the "buy now with one click button" on Amazon thousands of times. If someone has a cure for an addictive shopping behavior send them on over!

  4. I am so bad at selfies. Like even with filters. My eyes can NOT look right at the camera. You'd thing being a photographer for a decade, I'd be good right? Big ol' nope on that one. So also...selfie tips. Please for the benefit of anyone that follows me on social media...send help! (picture for proof below)

  5. I was 100% sure I was going to be an OBGYN from the time I was ten til my junior year of high school. Then I was accepted at the University of California Irvine as a Journalism major...wait, what? Well my senior year I realized I needed to leave California and long story short ended up in Idaho for college as a marketing major with an advertising minor and it's the best decision I made!

  6. My husband and I are constantly laughing and joking with each other and I can't imagine it any other way. I love to laugh and have fun and I feel like every relationship can use more laughter.

  7. I have binge watched gossip girl maybe a dozen times by now...where are my other Chuck and Blaire fans? XOXO

  8. I am an hobby addict. I love to learn everything! If I didn't ever have to sleep and had unlimited funds, I can't think of anything I wouldn't love to learn.

  9. I almost always say something completely inappropriate in group settings and offend at least one person. Then I stay awake at night after a group outing and think about all of the embarrassing things I said.

  10. Just like I can't pick just one hobby...I simply cannot pick a favorite type of music, favorite food, favorite movie, etc. I love such a variety of them all...from country to rap to broadway. From romantic comedies to dramas to fantasy movies. From sushi to Italian to a classic burger. No way could I commit to one. this like the biggest proof of how bad I am at selfies or what? Like where are your eyes looking Ashley?

Love you all!


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