since the launch of yegwed, my heart has been continually warm-fuzzified by the genuine encouragement and kindheartedness of so many edmonton wedding vendors who i’ve had the pleasure of getting to know. Ashley Green of Photos with Ashley is one of the sweetest souls i’ve met on this yegwed journey so far, and one thing i particularly love is that she’d rather grab a coffee and see you in person than engage in a lengthy e-mail correspondence. thus, it was my absolute pleasure to catch up with her over a fab meal on whyte ave, and ask her some questions about herself and her career as a wedding photographer in edmonton.
growing up in a small town in southern alberta, Ashley began to experiment with photography in high school, but it was a trip to europe in the twelfth grade that truly ignited her love of photography. with the move to edmonton in pursuit of a degree in english history came the photographic exploration of our city, and a foray into taking photographs of people. Ashley says that it was ‘a natural, organic, beautiful progression.
‘i just started posting photos online, and had people commenting and wanting me to take their photo, and i was like, wow – people actually want to pay me for this, and what a beautiful thing that is!’
many are surprised to find that Ashley is completely self-taught, building her skillset through experience, which meant ‘lots of hustling, and lots of practise.’ she also drew inspiration from other self-taught photographers in edmonton:
‘my wedding photographer, Jen Williams, who is now in vancouver and is an amazing boudiour photographer – she doesn’t do a lot of weddings – and she both travels the world and has a home studio. she’s absolutely an inspiration and a sort of creative guide because i see the stuff that she does and it really motivates me to keep pushing forward. and when i was looking for a wedding photographer for myself, i searched and searched and searched, and i found her style to very much connect with what i was looking for and and what i wanted and also what i wanted my photography to be. and when i learned she was self taught it was very encouraging to know that it’s totally possible not only to be creative and create these beautiful images and beautiful moments but also to have a successful business, because there are a lot of people that create beautiful, beautiful things, whether photography or art or whatever. it’s one thing to do that, and another to make a living off of it. and she was doing that, and so it really reminded me right from that point that there are two sides to this. one side is the creative photography side, and the other side is the business side – growing and promoting yourself and really making that a priority.’
as a photographer herself, Ashley found the search for her own wedding photographer very challenging, and when she settled with Jen Williams she knew it was a perfect fit.
‘it was very hard because i wanted something very specific and there’s a lot of photographers in the edmonton area but you have to take their body of work plus personality of the photographer plus budget. and so, it’s a hard combination to meet – because you might love someone’s work, but you meet them in person an are like …ehhh. we don’t mesh completely, we’re different personalities and it’s not going to work. or, you meet someone that you love and you love their work but they’re like $5000 above your budget. Jen fit all the criteria and i knew from the second i met her… that i adored her. she’s really bubbly, really fun and very laid back so that’s what i wanted, but it was hard to find someone that i could feel like i trusted.’
her own experience with the search for a wedding photographer has informed some helpful and insightful advice for couples that are on the hunt for someone to capture their big day, citing the personality of a potential photographer as one of the most important things to consider.
‘i think personality is a huge thing. i’m not going to say that i don’t think people put any weight to that, but i think that wedding planning in general is very stressful and complicated and sometimes people lose sight of that, of the personality. they think ok, good, we found someone that can take a decent photo so lets just book with them. but you have to remind yourself that on the day of your wedding, they’re there in the morning when you’re getting ready. they’re there for getting into the dress, they’re there when you’re walking down the aisle, they’re there for family photos, and they’re there for the crazy dances at the end. they’re there for the entire day, and they’re not just there observing and watching you, but they’re interacting with you. so it’s really important to find someone that you click with.
i’ve been part of weddings – in a wedding party – where the photographer didn’t totally mesh with the bride, or didn’t totally mesh with the vibe of the wedding and it made for a kind of strange interaction and it didn’t really work. i felt that that was kind of a shame, because you want somebody who’s going to actually be in line with the creative idea of what you want the photos to look like, and be consistent about that, but i also think it’s super important to find someone that you click with and have a good time. do you want someone thats going to be silly and make you laugh, or are you going to want someone who will take control and get things done?
whatever it is, there’s no right or wrong, but i always encourage people that i meet to meet other photographers, because you might click with them more, you might click with them less, but you’re going to have a better idea of what you’re dealing with and that’s going to help you make the right decision. i think that’s the most important thing besides their body of work.’
lastly, in typical yegwed style, we had to hear Ashley’s recommendations for the best places to eat in edmonton.
‘Under The High Wheel is a fave. i love Tzin for wine and tapas, and one of the absolute best dining experiences – it’s super small but the people just treat you there – they’re just so encouraging, so sweet, super helpful and i just love them! and i love any local places for coffee, like Credo. i love Burrow, the new little place in the central LRT station. i had a rosemary bacon sandwich there last week and it blew my mind – i just couldn’t stop thinking about it all week. there’s almost too many to mention! the food in edmonton is great. both the New York Bagel Cafe, The Sugarbowl i frequent a lot! i also love Canteen, and The Wildflower Grill is a staple i go to a lot, and there’s so many i haven’t gone to that i have wanted to try. i am just constantly in love with the food in this city!’