Today’s wedding photographer interview is with Ashley Bee of Ashley Bee Photography, based in Southern California! Enjoy:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
My name is Ashley Bee, my husband and I run our boutique photography business in the beautiful Temecula wine country of Southern California. My husband, Jay, and I have been married for over 5 years and we have 2 adorable little girls and expecting another one at the end of the year!
I dabbled in photography since high school, then slowly my love grew for it and my desire to learn was undeniable. It’s weird to think I photographed my first wedding nearly 7 years ago, it seems like not that long ago. It was after a few years that I really decided to pursue it full time.
I approach my weddings with a timeless flare to them and an editorial style. I’m a quirky nerdy girl that always imagined herself in a glamorous magazine (has yet to happen by the way) so I figure that’s every girls dream, to feel glamorous and like they belong in a magazine. I tend to play off our couples to see how they react to posing, or moving, or just how they interact with each other. It’s really exciting to always see the end result, cause it’s never what I anticipated. Each of our couples is so different, it makes my job exciting and seem spontaneous.
How did you get into wedding photography?
It really was a fluke, a friend had asked if I would shoot his friend’s wedding (that girl must have been craaaaazy…) which scared me to death at the thought! After going back and forth I realized the couple was very easy going and through the whole process I fell in love with it. Then from there another friend asked if I would, then it became a trend. Eventually I met and married my hubby and he came alongside me as my 2nd shooter and we decided that this was what we wanted to do.
What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?
My favorite part of the day is that moment after all the craziness is done and we get the bride and groom together for their pictures and they just talk, and relax and take it all in. It’s the moment where they go, “OMG we are married!” It’s so amazing to capture those moments that they never get back.
What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?
A couple of years ago we had an interesting videographer we were working with during a wedding. My husband and I are always really easy going and when we work with videographers everything is cohesive and everyone gets the shots they want. This particular videographer must have had a preconceived idea that we were teenagers or something shooting our first wedding. He was rude from the very beginning even though I tried to kill him with kindness, it obviously wasn’t working. Until our reception lighting finally made him completely crack and he cornered me on the dance floor just before the grand entrance and not only yelled but used all kinds of swear words saying something about his 30 yrs experience trumped everything over us. He began to threaten me… my eyes were huge and my jaw was dropped. My husband was actually taking test shots and got a picture (although I would never post it to smear his reputation… we all have bad days right? hahahaha) Anyways, it was definitely a defining “awkward” moment we will never forget. We just giggle thinking about it now :)
What’s the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?
We had a wedding last year at an Armenian banquet hall and they served something like 20 courses… I believe everything I ate was glorious. The families of our bride and groom kept making us take a break from shooting to go back to the table and eat more!
What is your favorite venue and why?
Gosh, this one is a hard one. I’m not sure I have a favorite. Ponte Winery here in Temecula and Europa Village are gorgeous venues. You can’t really beat that creamy sunset lighting in the vineyards :)
Nikon or Canon?
What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?
I sort of drool when I see weddings at the Haiku Mill in Maui. I would LOVE to shoot a wedding there!
If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?
Well, I’d be cool with shooting Kelly Clarkson’s upcoming wedding… ahem, if anyone wants to let her know ;) I’d like Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal to tie the knot and shoot their wedding but apparently they are never ever ever getting back together :(
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?
Learn from as many other photographers as you can, almost everyone has something to contribute. Many are even gracious enough to answer your questions or help you directly. Just remember that what makes one person successful may not be the right business model for you. We’ve had to change constantly to find what works for us and we have really found our groove now. There’s always things to be learning and ways to adapt to the changing market. And never ever stop bettering yourself, if you master something, set a goal to master something else :)
Thanks Ashley! For more about Ashley Bee Photography, check out her WeddingPhotoLove profile or head straight to her website.
Have any questions or comments for Ashley? Add them below!