October 02, 2010
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Your Questions…ANSWERED!
I can’t believe how many questions were sent my way last Saturday…I mean seriously people, there are 49 comments on my “Ask Me Anything” post and many of those comments have multiple questions. So, I thought today I would finally answer your questions…I also thought that this post would be rather boring if I just answered your questions, so I thought I’d also share some SOOC rain shots from the other day. Before I get started…yes, this is going to be a really long post and although I won’t answer every question verbatim, hopefully the ones I do answer will answer other questions you may have had.

Haley asked, “1. When did you first become interested in photography? 2. What made you choose Canon over Nikon (or another brand)? 3. What is your middle name?” 
  1. I took my first photography course in high school…dark room and all. Although I loved it, I didn’t pursue it much beyond that course. In college, I would have loved to have taken an art or photography course, but it wasn’t allowed unless you were in the visual communications program. I was able to take graphic design though to fulfill an IT credit, and thus…my introduction to Photoshop (PS). Of course, I couldn’t afford PS, but I did have Roxio Photo Suite on my computer and I used that until about two years ago when I bought Photoshop Elements 7. I then bought my DSLR last November (2009).
  2. When trying to decide which camera to purchase, I asked a few of my professional friends. I was told at the end of the day, I need to go to a camera store…pick up the cameras I’m considering and then choose the one that feels most natural. I was also told that if I ever did get into professional photography that Canon had better lenses. But honestly, I think it’s just preference. 
  3. My middle name…Elizabeth 
Several people asked, “What photo classes have you taken and which one(s) was/were the most helpful?”  
  • Building on the question above, I think my most helpful classes were my graphic design and journalism courses. I learned more about white space, the rule of thirds, etc from those courses than any photography course or book. No, I did not go to photography school. 
The Picture Nazi asked, “1. What’s your favorite color? 2. Besides blogging and photography, what is your all-time favorite activity? 3.Who is your biggest hero? 4. What’s your favorite genre of music? and 5. What relaxes you the most on the weekends?”
  1. I think it’s a toss up between green, pink and blue…and you’ll see all three colors throughout our house. 
  2. Outside of blogging and photography, I do love spending time with my family and friends…and shopping. Although, I’ll be honest…I save most of my money to spend on photography stuff nowadays. 
  3. Biggest hero…hmmm…my mom. She’s one of my best friends now (although I gave her quite a time growing up). Any creativity I have now is a direct result of her.
  4. I love all types of music…it really depends on my mood, but you’ll most frequently hear me listening to pop, rock or hip hop. 
  5. During the weekend, I enjoy a cup of Chai Latte while watching Say Yes to the Dress.
IMG_6830 raw Melissa asked, “If you could live anywhere in the world for a month where would it be?” 
  • I’ve never been to Australia but would love to visit…and I think I’ll need at least a month!
Rosie asked, “How do you handle all this?” and Jamie asked, “With your busy work life, how are you able to fit in creative time?” I figured these questions could be answered together…
  • I believe in life/work balance and I believe that if you believe something is important…that you make time for it. I carry my camera everywhere and I look for inspiration in everything. My husband also travels quite frequently, so when he’s away, I have many hours to myself to edit photos and blog to my heart’s content. Oh, and I keep a daily planner to keep track of my challenges and ideas. I really encourage everyone to keep one. 
Haley and Dana asked, “When and why did you decide to start blogging?”
  • I’ve always had a goal to work towards, and as we were approaching our wedding date last year (October 17, 2009), I realized that I was going to need a hobby. It started with a camera purchase and then I decided that blogging might be the perfect outlet to share my journey. I had no idea how much it would grow in such a short amount of time.
  • To Carlotta‘s question (do my “real-life” friends know about my blog?)…yes and many of them quietly follow. 
Melanie asked, “1. How old are you? 2. What type of job do you have? 3. Is this what you went to college for? If not, what is your degree and what did you plan to do?” 
  1. I’m 28 and my birthday is on June 22. Mark your calendars people!
  2. I am a consultant and mostly design/develop training programs for the firms I work with across the country. 
  3. I actually have a degree in Psychology and Leadership Studies. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with my degree but I knew that I wanted to make a difference. Fortunately, I am able to use my degree but I love that I also have this creative outlet. 
Casey asked, “1. How/Where did you meet your husband and how long have you been married? 2. What is your favorite thing about being married? 3. Do you want to have kiddos?”
  1. I met my husband on MySpace (shocker). His cousin and I went to college together…he saw my photo on her friend page and sent me a note. We started chatting, decided to meet for coffee and the rest is history. 
  2. I think my favorite thing about being married is the opportunity to hang out with my best friend nearly every day. I especially love when we “bop” around together. 
  3. We do want children…at least two…all in due time.
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Sheri asked, “Do you highlight your hair for that awesome color or is it all real?
  • Would you believe that I was born with jet black hair? Naturally, I am a brunette but I have it colored every 8-10 weeks. My stylist has complete control over my hair.
Mildred asked, “1. What is your favorite type of food? Do you or your husband like to cook? 2. Do you have a wish list of places you would like to visit?”
  1. Favorite type of food…hmmm…Italian? Mexican? Japanese? Chinese? I love them all. My husband enjoys cooking but I have no interest. I much prefer eating over cooking. When I’m home alone, I look like a broke college student eating cereal or sandwiches. 
  2. We don’t have a written list, but yes…there are several places we really want to visit including Italy, France, Ireland, and Australia among others. 
Ashley Jean asked, “Tell me about the first day your parents and siblings saw your photography and their reaction? Any encouraging words? How old were you? Where were you? Also, what did they think when they saw you bought an expensive camera?”   
  • Since I have only recently been serious about photography, when I started investing in photography gear, I got a lot of “so…you think you’re a professional photographer now or something” type of remarks. I also got comments like, “you’re really enjoying your camera aren’t you?” Oh….and a lot of “what camera are you using?” I’d love to say that there was complete support from the moment I started shooting, but I think it’s been more of a gradual support kind of thing. When my friends started asking me to take pictures of them and my mom started referring me to her friends…I knew they appreciated my work. 
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Jen asked, “What is your favorite household appliance?”
  • I laughed when I saw this question and then asked my husband…he said it’s gotta be the refrigerator, because that’s about the only appliance I know how to use with no problem. 
Jessica asked, “What is your favorite holiday?” 
  • Christmas…it’s stressful and wonderful all at the same time. I often struggle with finding the perfect gift…but I love sending and receiving cards, I love decorating and I love spending time with the people I love. 
Chelsey asked, (among other random and funny questions) “If Kitty paw could talk, what would she say? OR If Kitty Paw already talks to you, what is she saying and are you going crazy?”
  • Kitty Paw talks to me regularly…she says MEOW, MEH, BAK, and ESSSSS.  I’m not going crazy but I think it’d be great if she actually spoke English!
Phoenix Peacock asked, “1. If you could have any power, what would it be? 2. What is your favorite book and movie? 3. What are a few items on your bucket list?”
  1. I think I’d like to be able to take pictures with my eyes…in high definition at whatever focal range I needed. I could then process the photos mentally to perfection. Ha ha…I’m a dork. 
  2. Favorite book….I’m not sure that I have one favorite book but I’ll tell you what I’m reading right now – The Host by Stephanie Meyer. Read it. 
  3. I haven’t actually created a bucket list, but there’s definitely travel on the list. 
Carolyn asked, “What is you favorite guilty pleasure?”
  • Vampire Diaries!
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Olive Tree asked, “1. What textures/overlays do you use for your photos? 2. How many photos do you take every day?”
  1. Check out my Inspiration Page. I’ve got a ton of sites there that I frequently use for actions and textures. In particular, I really love Kim Klassen and Shadowhouse Creations. This answer also addresses the request to recommend some of my favorite photographer sites…the list is always growing but I’m not great about updating my list.
  2. Some days I take multiple pictures, other days I take NO pictures. Over the weekend, I typically take 50-100 pictures on average unless I’m doing a photo shoot in which case I usually take 400 in 2 hours. 
Several people asked 2 questions, “1. What is your must have lens? 2. What is your dream lens?”
  1. I nearly always have my Tamron 28-75 mm f/2.8 lens on my camera. I love the focal range and the constant 2.8 aperture. 
  2. Well as much as I’d love to have an L lens or maybe a 50 mm f/1.4 or gasp…f/1.2…I currently don’t feel significantly limited by my glass. If anything I might want to upgrade my body to something that’s able to handle a higher ISO. But you asked about lenses…right now, I’d want a Lens Baby!
Melanie asked, “1. Have you ever gotten paid to do a photo shoot? 2. What is the craziest, silliest, or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you or that you have done when doing a photo shoot (whether you were by yourself or with others)?
  1. No, I’ve never been paid to do a photo shoot but after reading Care’s article about charging while you’re portfolio building…I might. Right now, I just don’t feel right about it yet and I’m not doing enough to worry about it to much. 
  2. The first thing that comes to mine is my photo shoot with my friend Jenn. I was doing her graduation portraits…we were in NC State library on one of the upper floors near the elevator. First off, I couldn’t figure out what I was doing with my Speedlite. Then every time the elevator dinged, we would stop and giggle. I guess it wasn’t really embarrassing, but I don’t think either of us were comfortable. 
Hannah asked, “Is photography something you’ve thought of going professional with and do you have any other hobbies?” 
  • I’ve considered the idea of going professional but haven’t taken that idea very seriously. I don’t know that I necessarily see myself as a portrait photographer. And at this point, I don’t really have any other hobbies other than reading a little here and there.
IMG_6834 rawAlicia asked, “How did you start down your photography road and what would you recommend to another who is embarking on the journey??”
  • Practice Practice Practice! If you want to be a better photographer, you first have to pick up your camera and start shooting. 
  • Then, get away from AUTO as quickly as possible. Trust me, once you start shooting in manual mode, you’ll never go back. 
  • Read a lot. I read anything I can get my hands on relative to photography and I’ve organized most of my favorite sites HERE.
Stacey asked, “What’s in your camera bag?” MY CAMERA BAG

I think that answers most of the questions you asked me…and I fully apologize if I missed a few. In the future, don’t wait for me to invite you to ask me a question…just ask! There were also some other questions relative to editing tips/tricks and my typical processing that I will address in some of my upcoming tutorials.

With all that said, THANK YOU to everyone that submitted a question….and THANK YOU to all of my new readers (stop by and say hey if you haven’t already). I hope I didn’t bore you with all of my responses, and I hope you’re doing something fun this weekend. I think I’m going to hunt for a pumpkin! If you have any other questions, just send them my way. Otherwise, I hope to see you tomorrow for the Scavenger Hunt! Have a great day.

    wow ashley, i can’t believe you answered all those questions! pretty interesting stuff. my favorite..your superpower answer.

    How awesome to take the time to answers those…. Well done! Your raindrops are awesome..I think I would like a few of those shots on my bathroom wall..(I frame photos everywhere in my house)..Thaks for being so open.

    Woah, you answered a lot of questions! I’ve been contemplating doing one of these myself…maybe I will. Hopefully I get two questions–ha! Love the photos! The spiderweb dewdrop ones are my favorites. :-)

    Being a photographer, I can totally relate to your super power. That cracked me up and I literally laughed out loud (I know, it probably wasn’t supposed to be funny). And, as always, great pics, Ashley! Thanks for answering my questions!

    Ashley!!! Fabulous “getting to know you” post, i love learning more about the bloggers i heart♥ :) Water droplet images are amazing girl, stunning & loving that DOF. And I now must have a Jo Tote, um the silver one with the rose on the side, coming in November will be mine!!!! Yay to first anniversaries :) Hope you too are having a fabulous weekend, there will be paint flying about our house this weekend!!

    That was really great! I feel like I’m getting to know you! You made me laugh multiple times!!!! And I love your accompanying photos!!! If there’s anything you’d ever like to know about me…..just ask!

    Hi sweets! Just wanted extra credit for rolling in as the 6 comment…not the 66th – LOL! Awesome post – love the tidbits, and seriously, with the rain shots? Complete coolness! :-) Have a great weekend! ♥

    wow, I really really enjoyed reading all those answers, what a fantastic selection of answers and all really encouraging for photography etc. Thank you for opening up so amazingly!

    Great job answering all these questions! So organized, too! I love learning a little more about you! Well… a lot more! Oh and can I just say that I’m really excited for you to have kids! :-)

    Interesting you met your husband on myspace, that’s where I met mine. Except he was in Oregon and I was in Florida lol.

    Oh great. I read this whole thing and now I’ll probably have another dream about you. ;D

    But really, it was lovely reading about you. Those raindrops are beautiful!

    thanks for answering those questions, that was nice of you for us to get to know you. Love those rain drops

    Oh wow, that was really absolutely interesting! Thanks so much that you took the time to do this! And I love your rain photos! Have a nice weekend!

    This was an amazing post! I cannot believe you answered all of the questions, wow! Especially in one post! I read it all and loved it so much :)

    Awesome post! It was very cool reading your answers and getting to know more about you.I enjoyed you rain photos.

    those photos of the rain are beautiful. one thing we have in common is that we met our significant other on myspace. i was criticized about it at first, but if i had listened to what others said, i would have missed the opportunity to have an amazing man and three beautiful boys. thanks for sharing, i have enjoyed reading and getting to know you a little more.

    Good job answering all those great questions! I loved getting to know more about you!

    Awesome water drop photos! I truly enjoyed reading all about you Ashley. Thanks for all you wonderful comments!

    this is awesome! lol me and you have the same idea about taking pics with eyes lol

    Great post Ashley…been very nice getting to know you a bit better. And these shots are so great! You know me…I totally LOVE these abstract designs you’ve created…thank you Mother Nature!

    If you ever see a print on my blog you like I would love to trade shot for shot…your work is beautiful.

    Gosh, something like this could keep you busy for a very long time. Great post!

    Thanks and I really enjoyed this!

    Great answers! Cheers to being a high-maintenance blonde!!

    Ok, first of all – cool raindrop shots!
    It’s really neat getting to read more about you; I think we’d be friends in real life if chance had ever had it happen that way. I’m lovin’ my blog friends and find inspiration from so many of you. Oh, and I prefer eating over cooking too – thank goodness for husbands who can cook!

    Yay YOU, for such taking so much time to answer all of those questions!! :D (love your Kitty Paw talking answer…and I’m happy to hear that, unlike me, you haven’t yet crossed the insanity line and started TRANSLATING kitty-speak into English ;D)

    Liked reading all this. Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs from Germany

    This was a really great entry!! It looks like you have some really great followers :)

    I really appreciate all of the info you shared about your journey with photography, as well as the “inspiration” entry link!!

    one of your best post Ashley.

    Loved reading this, as I have your other insights into you and you just sound delightfully lovely :-)

    Also, I have done an longer Scavenger Hunt post just for you – it gets tougher for me every week. Hope you enjoy it!

    Oh my goodness, I just realized that I haven’t been on here forever! What fun posts you have had and I love the Ask Me Anything…bummer I didn’t get involved in it! I always love seeing your pictures and what you shoot…BEAUTIFUL Macro Friday…you get me so excited for when I get a Macro…someday:-)

    Great Post! Thanks for sharing all the info with us :)

    It was great to read all these…helped me know a bit more about you. I definitely fell in love with the water drop pictures!

    I wanted to pass along the link to my blog friend in Ireland. She takes the most beautiful pictures of her surroundings. Since Ireland is one of the places you’d like to visit, you’ll enjoy her blog.

    I found out so many things , I loved your post even though it was long I read it all and realy enjoyed it, and one of the things that really suprised me was the colour of your hair, that was a big suprise:))
    and if you planning to ever visit Ireland I’d recommend Spring/Summer
    during the Atumn and Winter it’s rainy and very windy

    that would be an amazing and highly useful super power. wow – what a fabulous photographer I would be then! the pictures I take in my mind are much better than the ones my camera captures :)

    Thanks for answering all the questions. I don’t know why I didn’t ask one! ha ha!

    I just wanna say, thank you! You seem like a remarkable person. I enjoy following your work and getting to know you!

    Thanks so much for doing this! I loved learning a little more about you.

    Come to Australia!!! I can highly recommend it =D Heaps of places for awesome photographs, I’m hoping to get to Sydney next weekend to get some shots of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House and Luna Park….better start convincing hubby hehe.
    I also get a lot of the same comments from my family…I showed my mum my blog the other day and she said “You think you’re pretty good don’t you!” LOL!
    Love the rain photographs too and it was great of you to answer all those questions :)

    That was a lot of fun to read! :)

    I love the 3rd pic! Very cool.

    That was fun! I feel like we all got to know you a little bit better :)

    That was a lot of fun to read! I enjoyed getting to know you more!
    I was laughing so hard at the appliance question because I could imagine my husband giving the very same answer! :-)

    I totally enjoyed reading more about you! I met my husband online also and we got married in October 2009!

    I know this is a totally crazy request, but I would LOVE to see what your planner looks like (the photo one). I have trouble keeping track of everything using iCal and my iPhone and am considering an actual paper planner, but need some ideas/direction!

    I loved learning more about the girl behind the camera in this post! Great questions and answers. Also, I loooove me some Salvatore brothers, Vampire Diaries is awesome!