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Announcing | Unscripted Day in the Life Family Sessions

Ever since I became a mom five months ago, I’ve fallen in love with:

the unscripted.

the unedited.

the unplanned.

the real life.

the moments.

I rarely pull out my DSLR with Jackson. Most of his life has been captured on our iphones, but I don’t care. I want those moments. I want to remember that silly grin, his belly laugh, the genuine look on his dad’s face when he squeals, his first time discovering things in his world. The unscripted stuff.

I don’t care that my house isn’t clean. That the laundry sits in piles on our couch behind him in those photos. That we’re wearing our every day uniform of sweats and t-shirts. That I probably haven’t had time to shower that day, let alone put on a face of makeup or get dressed in real clothes. I want Jackson to know that he was loved. Deeply. Without abandon. I want him to know what real life was like. Not those gorgeous backlit portraits that I love so much. Of course he will still have those, but I want him to see us in our element. When we aren’t afraid of what people will think, but that we’re just being us. Loving on our little boy and enjoying our time as a family. Because let’s face it, we don’t know how much time we will have together.

My dad passed away when I was only four. I have one actual portrait of our family. I have a lot of snapshots. Precious, precious snapshots that showed me what we did when I was little. What real life was like. That my parents loved me. Those things are priceless. And I assure you that I do not care one tiny little bit what we were wearing, whether there were stains, whether the house was a mess, or whether my mom needed to lose weight. I don’t care. I care about those moments that show our life as a family.

Enter the black and white, completely unscripted, real moments, day in the life sessions. I’m SO excited to start offering these for family photos!!!

Melissa’s family was the first family that ever had the faith in me to hire me for family photos wayyyyyyyy back when I had no idea what I was doing. When I got the idea to start photographing these amazing family sessions, I knew I had to do my first one with Melissa, Brian, Anderson, and Cora.:)

photo of mom and daughter in kitchenpicture of little boy gardeningphoto of little girl helping mom in kitchenphoto of little girl and dad in the gardenphoto of mom and daughter playing outsidephoto of baby girl playing with blockspicture of little girl laughing with her motherlifestyle photo of kids playing in the playroomlifestyle family photoslifestyle family picturescandid family picsphotojournalism pictures of familyfamily photos of kids riding bikes and playing on playgroundcandid family picturesday in the life family photos of little girl setting the dinner tablephoto of little girl drawingphoto of little boy helping mom prepare dinnerpicture of mom reading to kidsphoto of kids playing in the leavespicture of family throwing leaveslifestyle family photography in st. louis


You can have your own day in the life session with me starting on November 1! Email me to schedule your session at

October 21, 2014 - 7:03 pm

Jeanette Hoelzer - Absolutely beautiful shots! Love your photography.

October 22, 2014 - 6:13 am

Cindy Dicken - Ashely, now I understand why you were driven to photography as your life’s passion. What a beautiful gift to this family-to have their life stand still on this random day and documented forever. Great job!

Chase Loves Lee Ella | Married

Chase and Lee Ella contacted me a few months ago to shoot a few hours of wedding portraits and intimate family photos before their super private wedding ceremony in mid-July. I was pretty darn excited to meet these two because they’re from my old stomping grounds in Tuscaloosa, Alabama! Roll Tide Roll! I didn’t get to meet them until that morning, and as soon as I saw them, I was in heaven. How CUTE are they?! I love Lee Ella’s short vintage dress and teal belt, and that bouquet??? TO DIE FOR. I bet you can’t guess where it came from!

photo of bride and groom with a vintage dress, teal heels, and a hat purse

I always get to my weddings a little early to scope out the lighting, and I happened to take a ton of random photos of the foliage while I waited for them to arrive. The Grand Basin in Forest Park is one of my favorite places to shoot because it has a little bit of everything, architecture, fountains, my favorite willow trees, and pretty flowers!

photo of bride and groom under willow tree

This bouquet. Seriously. I die. It’s from SCHNUCKS! What?! I can’t believe that a grocery store florist puts out this quality of work! I loved this bouquet so so much!! Put a succulent in your bouquet, and I’ll pretty much be guaranteed to love it. But pair it with purple, and I’ll swoon.

photo of schnucks purple succulent bridal bouquetphoto of bride and groom at the grand basinphoto of bride and groom under a willow treephoto of bride and groom at forest parkphoto of bride and groom at forest parkphoto of bride and groom under huge tree

Lee Ella and Chase didn’t have many requests, but they did ask me to take a photo of them with her parents’ wedding photo. I’m kind of in love with it!

photo of bride and groom holding parentphoto of groom picking bride upphoto of bride with naturally curly hair

Intimate family photos at a wedding are one of my most favorite things to shoot. Since I lost my parents so young, I really cherish this time and love to show off the relationships of my couple’s family members. Especially each of them with their parents!

photo of bride with her mom and dadphoto of groom with his mom and dadphoto of groom laughing with his grandma

^I mean that laugh. Seriously! Aren’t these photos so much better than the static, formal, everyone stand in a line at the altar family photos?! I love them. The light, the emotion, the candidness (well, they aren’t candid, but I won’t tell you what I do to get that reaction! It’s my secret!)

photo of groom

Cute kiddos always win with me.:)

cute photo of ring bearer and flower girlphoto of schnucks purple succulentbridal bouquet

That photo on the right is one of my favorite bride and groom photos ever. I don’t think she could have laughed any harder!! Ha!

photo of groom dipping bride at st louis munyphoto of groom holding a succulentportrait of bride and groom

She wanted to spin, and spin she did. What a perfect dress for a beautiful twirling bridal portrait!

photo of bride spinning at the saint louis muny

Thank you SO much, Lee Ella & Chase for letting me be a small part of your day! I had SO much fun with the two of you and your families! Next time I’m in Tuscaloosa, we’ll definitely need to get together!:)

October 13, 2014 - 9:29 pm

Houston Wedding Photographer - This is really beautiful! Great job!

Zach Loves Kathleen | Married

Last fall, I sat with this incredibly gorgeous couple at the Bread Co at Westport Plaza while Kathleen gushed over the insanely beautiful details of their wedding day, while Zach showed me just how in love he was with her just by the way he looked at her. I was ECSTATIC when we booked their New Town wedding in St. Charles. Kathleen’s wedding style is very similar to my own wedding style back from 2011, so we were kindred spirits, which made me love photographing her details even more! Not only did she do a phenomenal job planning every tiny piece of their wedding, but they also weren’t afraid to show how excited they were to get married. The emotion from these two and their friends and family was so amazing to photograph. AND I couldn’t have been more thrilled when they gave me a TON of time for photos throughout the day! I absolutely love when people value photography and trust us to create beautiful images and document the beginning of their marriage. On to the eye candy!

bridal portrait and groom portrait

Thanks, Ameristar, for letting us take over your lobby!

photo of dress at ameristar casino saint charlesphoto of glitter chevron pursephoto of bridal bouquet and sparkly shoesphoto of white silk bridal clutch and chandelier earringsphoto of a diamond bouquet wrap and betsy johnson ring shotphoto of black and white damask invitation suitephoto of sixpence and sparkler exit tag

Kathleen is the sweetest bride. Check out these fantastic bridesmaids gifts from Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and Coach!

photo of kate spade michael kors coach bridesmaid gifts

Jaime, you rocked the girls’ hair and makeup!

photos of girls getting ready on wedding day

The photo of Kathleen reading Zach’s letter might be one of my all time favorite images. I *LOVE* when couples write letters to each other the morning of their wedding!

photo of bride and groom reading letterphoto of heavily backlit bridesmaidphoto of bride getting ready at saint charles ameristar casino and hotelphoto of groom getting ready at saint charles ameristar casino and hotelI’m sure you know by now, but I love the dad’s first look. Since my dad wasn’t here for our wedding, I truly, truly, truly encourage my brides to set aside a few moments for dad to see his little girl as a bride. It’s an incredibly powerful moment. Kathleen is lucky because she had two daddy’s first looks. This one was with her stepfather, Michael. Lots of tears!

photo of dad

And then there was the best first look ever!

photo of first look at saint charles ameristar casino and hotelphoto of first look at saint charles ameristar casino and hotelphoto of first look at saint charles ameristar casino and hotelphoto of first look at saint charles ameristar casino and hotelphoto of first look at saint charles ameristar casino and hotel

Le sigh. These two are so beautiful.

photo of bride and groom at saint charles ameristar casino and hotelphoto of bride and groom at saint charles ameristar casino and hotel

And her sweet papa’s first look in front of the New Town Chapel!

photo of dad

Kathleen’s sister did an awesome job on their DIY bling/brooch bouquets! And yes! The girls did have the same dress as Kathleen’s wedding dress, but in grey! It was awesome.:)

photo of white brooch bouquetphoto of wedding party in greyphoto of bridesmaids throwing bouquetsphoto of bridal party at new town

More of Jaime’s gorgeous hairstyling!

bridal hair by Jaime French www.beautyismagnifique.comphoto of bride and groom with cathedral veilphoto of bride and groom reflection in sunglassesphoto of wood guest bookphoto of wedding program at new town chapel

The Chapel at New Town has the most beautiful light ever.

photo of ceremony at new town chapelphoto of ceremony at new town chapelphoto of ceremony at new town chapelphoto of ceremony at new town chapelphoto of ceremony at new town chapel

They had a balloon release immediately following their New Town Wedding! I loved that they were up on the balcony. It was very Royal Wedding like!:)

photo of balloon release exit at new town chapel

I adore when my couples are up for more casual family portraits that show of relationships and emotion rather than stiff altar formals. I definitely don’t mind doing those, but I love these SO MUCH MORE!

casual family photos at new town chapelphoto of bride and groom at new town chapel

The New Town Event Tent is gorgeous! With the beautiful garden globe lights and huge windows, it’s such an amazing space and open ALL YEAR ROUND! Seriously, brides, go check this place out. It’s fantastic!

photo of bling at new town event tentphoto of champagne place cards at new town event tentphoto of pink white and grey cocktail tables and decor at new town event tent

I love Zach’s Zombie Themed cupcakes. Only a few more months until Walking Dead returns!

photo of grooms zombie cupcakes at new town event tentphoto of custom champagne flutes at new town event tentphoto of cupcake bar at new town event tentphoto of cupcake bar at new town event tent

Kathleen + Zach gave me some extra time at sunset for some beautiful bride and groom portraits. I’m obsessed. I love these two and these photos.:)

photo of bride and groom at fountain in new townphoto of bride and groom at fountain in new townphoto of bride and groom at fountain with cathedral veil in new townphoto of bride and groom in front of new town chapelphoto of bride and groom at fountain in new town

It’s so easy to see how head over heels in love these two are.

first dance at new town event tentparent dances at new town event tentcupcake smash at new town event tent

I seriously love the photo booth. Since we started doing this for our couples, I’ve had an epic amount of fun at receptions!

ashley fisher photography st louis photobooth at new town event tentdance floor at new town event tentnight portrait and long exposure sparkler bridal portrait at new town

Thank you SO much, Kathleen + Zach, for allowing John, Katie, and I to be a part of your wedding day! It was truly an honor, and I wish the two of you a lifetime of happiness! <3

sparkler exit at new town event tent

A huge thank you to the amazing vendor team that helped make this beautiful New Town Wedding happen!

Second Photographer: Katie Blattel
Ceremony: New Town Chapel, St. Charles, MO
Reception: New Town Event Tent, St. Charles, MO
Getting Ready Location: Ameristar Casino and Hotel, St. Charles, MO
Florals: DIY by Bride’s Sister, Kristi
Cupcakes: Cupcakes by Midtowne Market
DJ: Family Friend, Doug
Hair + Makeup: Jaime French, Beauty is Magnifique
Rentals: Big Red Events
Catering: Frenchtown Catering
Attire: Dresses purchased internationally, Suits from JC Penney

August 1, 2014 - 1:09 pm

Kristi Mulder - Ashley,
These photos are beyond amazing. You made our day so memorable. I know our family will cherish these photos for a life time. Thank you!
Kristi – sister of the bride

Steve Loves Alex | Married

I met Alex back in 2010 when I became an advisor for the Kappa Theta chapter of Sigma Kappa at SLU. Alex had joined the fall after I graduated, so we just missed being in the sorority at the same time. We’ve become good friends over the past four years, and I was ecstatic when she told me she was engaged and then hired me to be her wedding photographer for her September 2014 wedding.

All was well until she called me one day in early June. It was a phone call that I’ve experienced before. Steve’s mom is very ill. Alex and Steve are very much family people, and family being present for the beginning of their marriage was far more important to them then planning an extravagant wedding and inviting hundreds of people. They wanted to share this intimate wedding with their closest family members, and she wanted me to document this precious time they still have with Steve’s mom.

If you know anything about me, you know that I lost both of my parents far too soon. I lost my dad when I was only four years old in a car accident, and I lost my mom to cancer in 2009. Last year, I spent a LOT of time thinking about why I do this. Why am I a photographer? Why am I a wedding photographer? It’s because the photos are the proof that you lived and were loved. It’s because I want to surround myself with couples who care even more about their marriage and what that truly means than the details of their wedding day. It’s because I want to freeze those moments with the people that mean the absolute most to them in this world, because one day…one day they will be gone. And when they’re gone, the only thing in the world you have left of them are your memories.

So when Alex and I talked, I couldn’t hold it together. I couldn’t even hold it together when I was talking to her about the timeline and family photos. So when I walked in on Saturday morning, I knew I had already lost the battle with tears. I lost it with Kate, Alex’s mom, and Christy, Steve’s sister. When her dad saw her for the first time and I caught the tears rolling down the faces of her parents and her sister, I lost it. When Steve saw her walking down the aisle…lost it again. When both moms had a moment during the ceremony…yep. tears. lots of them. But when I heard Steve’s mom and dad’s reading and listened to those words about what marriage is all about and the small moments that make up a life together…and remembering that we’re not all so fortunate to live forever and be a part of those moments…but remembering that we DO have those moments right now…I was a mess. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

That, my friends, is why I became a wedding photographer. If I was put on this planet to just be there this past Saturday to be able to use my gift for Alex and Steve and their families…that’s enough for me. Congratulations, Alex + Steve. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your wedding day and for giving me the opportunity to spend time with your loved ones. I’m so unbelievably happy for you two, and I’m so grateful that you both are a part of our life. You’re role models for what marriage is all about, and I couldn’t be happier to call you two friends. ♥

I can’t wait to celebrate again with you two in September.:)

photo of blue hydrangea bouquetphoto of bride with swarovski earringsphoto of bride getting readyphoto of bridal portraitphoto of dadphoto of dadphoto of bride walking down aislephoto of catholic ceremonyphoto of family laughingphoto of bridephoto of bride and groomphoto of bride with horsephoto of bride in casual reception dress and cowboy bootsphoto of bridal hairstylephoto of ring shot on magnolia flowerphoto of bride and groomphoto of fathers giving toastsphoto of mother laughingphoto of mother laughingphoto of mother and her friendsphoto of groom