Your Name: Ashley Grimes
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? Family? Pets? Hobbies? Etc.
I am a lover of the arts. I enjoy attending ballets (I was a ballerina for 13 years), listening to music while I edit, and drinking a lot of coffee-ha! I am from the Great PNW. I have moved around a few times to California and Las Vegas, but Washington is home. I have been married for 12 years, have 3 kiddos, 1 German shorthaired Pointer, and 3 Leopard Geckos. We enjoy going on kid/pet friendly hikes on the weekends and discovering new beautiful locations together.
Tell us about your Photography business. How did you start and why? What do you specialize in? Would you go back and do anything differently?
My photography businesses are centered around empowering women and very motherhood focused. I didn’t start as a photographer though, I started as a small shop owner selling bows. I quickly realized I had to have good pictures of the bows though for them to sell. Long story short, I enjoyed taking pictures more than making bows-especially the subjects. Looking back at my journey, I realize that starting a business was a way of helping myself heal during the postpartum time. I needed something for myself, as selfish as that sounds, I was feeling isolated at home. Photography was a way of getting me out of the house, being artistic, interacting with others, and making a difference in the lives of others Moms. I honestly do not think I’d do anything differently, because my journey led me to find my passion for birth photography.
Has it been a smooth road? Have you encountered struggles that you could share?
I was once told, if it doesn’t scare the shit out of you, then it isn’t a big enough goal.
Well, starting from ground zero with building a business is not easy. There were a lot of financial decisions I had to make, with one being learning to budget. It is really easy to get sucked into buying editing videos, mentorships, classes, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I still do and I’m actually taking a course right now, BUT don’t buy everything you come across. Be smart about what you invest in. Will it bring you clients? Is it something new you have no clue about? Just make sure you are not investing in things you already know. That is one reason why I shifted to investing in SEO and growing my websites. Those things put me in front of potential clients and represent who I am as an artist.
What do enjoy the most about what you do? What do you enjoy the least?
I LOVE attending births and documenting life entering the world. Having someone invite me into their sacred space is an honor. I learn so much with each birth about myself personally and professionally. It is a gift like no other for a mother to watch her birth film or look at her birth story through images. I also love the editing process and bringing the images to life. I just wish editing was a quicker process. I tend to be picky about my edits, so it is not a fast process for me. I often spend more time on the computer than I do behind the lens.
What inspires you?
Passion, emotion, tears, the first time a mother holds her baby, a mother looking at her images and seeing her strength-empowering women! I am also inspired by fine art paintings that are known throughout history.
What is your farewell piece of advice for someone interested in taking the first steps toward entering into your field?
Just do it! Don’t wait until you know “all the things”. Immerse yourself in learning and ask questions to people you know in the industry. Follow your heart, set a budget for education materials, invest in your online presence, and remember…this is not about you, it is about your client. Without a subject, we are nothing. Keep your intentions clear.
What is your favorite Candy Bar?
Rocky Road Candy Bar
What is your favorite Childhood Memory?
My G. Grandpa pushing me on the swing in his backyard, eating old fashion donuts with him, playing poker with Swedish fish candies, and eating bologna pickle sandwiches with him. I miss my G. Grandpa dearly every day.
You are a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be?
Jete, because life is full of leaps….