Shan Ashley Photography: Blog en-us (C) Shan Ashley Photography [email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) Wed, 17 Apr 2024 03:35:00 GMT Wed, 17 Apr 2024 03:35:00 GMT Shan Ashley Photography: Blog 120 120 Steve and Sarah Tie the Knot!!! [Kent Island, Maryland - Backyard Wedding] Have you ever showed up somewhere and from that very moment you step out of the car you just know it's going to be a good time? That's exactly how I felt when I arrived on Steve and Sarah's wedding day.

The energy was so laid back and genuine. Everyone was there to celebrate the love of Steve and Sarah and was ready to just have a good time!

 With their sons by their side and the groom's brother as the ceremony officiant, the couple exchanged their vows in front of their closest family and friends. 

I have been to many weddings but never have a seen a groom adore their bride like Steve did on their big day. 

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Laster!



[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) Backyard Wedding eastern shore photography kent island photographer kent island photography Kent Island Wedding Thu, 14 Jan 2021 17:44:36 GMT
Congrats, Cara! [Towson Grad Session] This beautiful Towson U grad wanted to have her senior session on campus but (of course) COVID had other plans. We had to get a little bit creative with this session but we made the best of the situation and had an absolute blast! From enjoying the golden fall morning to popping champagne, this session was so much fun!

Congratulations, Cara! 

The world is yours for the taking and I just know there are big things in store for you!

[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) College Grad eastern shore photography kent island photography Senior Session Towson Grad Towson University Wed, 13 Jan 2021 18:46:20 GMT
Overcast at Matapeake [Kent Island, Maryland - Family Session] The holiday rush is over and I finally have some downtime to catch up and blog about some of the amazing individuals and families I was blessed to photograph in 2020! 

Meet the Moreno Family! 

The Moreno's were nominated and selected for my 2019 Giving Tuesday Family session. Whereas their story is not mine to tell, I will say that their story is one of resilience, love and faith. 


This session took place on one of the last few gorgeous days of fall. Although we didn't get the ideal sunset, the overcast skies and low tides made for some beautiful images. 

This is Angel Jr. He just turned 20... That's right, 20! 

Can we all just take a moment to admire the fact that mom and dad have a TWENTY YEAR OLD SON?!

I left this session with so much joy in my heart. The love of this family is simply infectious and I felt so blessed to have had the pleasure of working with them!



[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) eastern shore photography family photography Kent Island Photography Matapeake Beach portrait photography Mon, 11 Jan 2021 19:56:37 GMT
Barefoot in Autumn [Kent Island, Maryland - Portrait Session] If you have followed me anytime over the last three years, I'm almost positive you've seen Ms. Savannah at least once if not three or four times :) 

She knows when the camera comes out, it's time to turn on the charm.

I love the simplistic approach to this session. Who would have thought a backyard would be the perfect autumn setting to allow Savannah's personality to shine.

By the way, standing barefoot next to a pumpkin is probably the most accurate representation of fall in Maryland. This girl had no trouble rocking it either!  





[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) eastern shore photography kent island photographer kent island photography portrait photography Fri, 16 Oct 2020 14:36:58 GMT
Hey there Mr. Blue Eyes! [Kent Island, Maryland - Fall Family Beach Session] I am so blessed for each and every one of my clients... especially those that have believed in me from the very beginning and continue to come back year after year, session after session. Ashley and her family  have been with me from the start. We've been able to capture so many memories and milestones.

Last year, Kayla had the cutest baby bump and this year I had the pleasure of meeting Wyatt!

This little guy was full of faces the whole session! I literally could not get enough of this blue-eyed-boy!

This little guy is so loved and bring so much joy to everyone in his family. 

Those big blue eyes and squeezeable cheeks can melt anyone's heart!!!




[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) eastern shore photography family photography kent island photographer portrait photography Thu, 15 Oct 2020 17:49:23 GMT
Leopard for the Win [Kent Island, Maryland - 3G Family Session] I have a handful of fantastic families that always come to their sessions looking absolutely amazing. Their outfits are always on point and they have personality that just pours into their images. Lila's family never ever disappoints. When she reached out about doing a generation session with her mom and sister, I was beyond excited.

Now... imagine just how much more excitement I had when they stepped out of the car looking like this!!!!

Can we say leopard print for the win?!

The entire session my heart smiled. There is so much love and joy in this family it's absolutely contagious!

I've never seen so much sass packed into something so tiny!!! 


The best thing about this family? They are literally just as gorgeous inside as they are out. 

There is nothing better than a session full of genuine love, lots of laughs and leopard!!! 

[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) eastern shore photography family photography lifestyle photography portrait photography Wed, 14 Oct 2020 18:57:33 GMT
Party of Seven [Kent Island, Maryland - Family Session] I love big families!!! They are always so much fun to photograph. It's almost always a session full of laughs and the energy big families bring is simply contagious!  We all need that "picture perfect" portrait to hang above the fireplace. But authentic images are just as important. It's those images that we look back at and laugh reminisce and on occasion bring tears of happiness.

I've known this family for at least 7 years now! Our oldest and their second youngest were born within months of each other.  One thing I love about this family is that despite the curve balls life may throw their way, they press on and they do so with honestly and  transparency.

Side note: Take a look at these GAP models they refer to as their kids!!! 


[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) eastern shore photography family photography portrait photography Sat, 12 Sep 2020 18:30:00 GMT
Grayson & Family [Kent Island, Maryland - Outdoor Lifestyle Newborn Session] Meet Baby Grayson.

We were not planning to have Grayson at our initial session. However, after we had to reschedule Andrea's maternity session for various reasons (can you say hurricane?), we finally found the perfect date. Turns out Grayson thought that date was pretty perfect too because that's when he made his grand entrance into this world. 

Needless to say, our maternity session turned into a newborn session. How gorgeous is this family with their newest addition? 

Everyone is completely head over heels for this little guy!

“I love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.” – Robert Munsch



[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) eastern shore photography family photography lifestyle photography portrait photography Fri, 11 Sep 2020 17:33:20 GMT
Duan & Patrick [Kent Island, Maryland - Engagement Session] A good friend of mine recommended Duan and Patrick to me for an engagement session. I am so incredibly glad that she did!

Duan initially messaged me at the beginning of the pandemic. We exchanged a few emails and set a tentative session date. We crossed our fingers and hoped that restrictions would ease up and we could keep our session. Within a few days of their session, restrictions were eased and the session was a go!

Whereas the sunshine was lackluster at best, the love between Duan and Patrick was absolutely radiant! The energy between this beautiful couple was infectious (thank goodness because I really needed it that morning haha). 



Congratulations on your engagement, Duan and Patrick! If you can survive quarantining during a pandemic 
 together, I'm pretty sure marriage will be a breeze!



[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) eastern shore photography engagement engagement session island kent kent island photographer kent island photography session" Fri, 05 Jun 2020 18:49:36 GMT
Why Natural Light?

I’m starting a FAQ series on the blog this year… I’ll address answers to all those “burning” questions my clients have asked in the past. I’ll answer everything from “What should I wear to my session” to personal questions like “What do you and your family do your in your free time?” 


Today’s question… “Do you only use natural light and if so, why or why not?”


I have everything I need for a traditional studio session. However, it’s not really my passion or my happy place. I feel like my artistic spirit is better fed beyond artificial lights and when I’m immersed in natural beauty. Beauty that can often not be store bought nor replicated. There is something so beautiful and pure about natural light. The way sunlight gives a child a twinkle in their eye or the way a sun flare radiates around a couple in love… 

When I’m at home, I find I’m most productive with the lights off and rays of sunlight come peeking through my blinds. Even on gloomy days I find solace from a soft glow of a candle or tiny twinkle lights. As a child, I would spend hours and hours outside. I have fond memories of climbing trees and finding a good branch to sit and read a book. As an adult, I’ve found that nothing quite beats the feeling of a warm breeze on a summer evening with my toes in the sand. In the winter, I’m always willing to bundle up for a brisk walk in the woods to admire the beauty of branches bearing one or two dead leaves that haven’t quite made their way to the ground. 



In summation, the answer is simple. I prefer natural light because it’s something that resonates with my soul it gives myself (and my clients) liberation to tell their story in ways that bring raw and genuine emotion that I don’t believe I could personally achieve in a small room with a black backdrop and a few lights.



Disclaimer: I believe that each photographer has their own unique style and brand. I know photographers that do gorgeous studio work and I know photographers that use off camera flash outdoors and can create pure magic. When selecting a photographer, take a look at their portfolio and see if their work speaks to you. As much as we would all love everyone to be our client, we want YOU to find the right photographer that would be a good fit for you and your family.


[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) Ask the Tog eastern shore photography family photography Natural Light portrait photography Tue, 21 Jan 2020 19:25:16 GMT
Sunday Mornings [Eastern Shore Family Lifestyle Photography] A few month's back, I did this Mama's maternity session. Here we are a few months later and how adorable is this baby boy?!

When Mom told me she was interested in doing an in home lifestyle session I was beyond excited. There is nothing I love more than to observe a family in their own element, giving little tp no direction and being able to capture authentic and unscripted moments. 

This family has one incredible story. 

I hope my images help tell the story of the love and joy within the walls of their home for this little guy and each other. 

This was the same rocking chair that mom was rocked in when she was little... how stinking awesome is it that she's now rocking her own baby?!

Kitty photo bomber!

[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) eastern shore photography family photographer lifestyle photography Thu, 05 Dec 2019 19:01:29 GMT
Buffalo Plaid Perfection [Eastern Shore Family Session] This family never disappoints. 

First and foremost, they all should be GAP models. They are so photogenic and their smiles are infectious. Second, their outfit choices are always on point. They know how to coordinate without being identical and use textures and layers to give that extra pop of personality. After every session I have with this beautiful family, I walk away with such a happy heart. They are truly so much fun. 





[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) CBEC eastern shore photography family photography portrait photography Thu, 05 Dec 2019 18:17:42 GMT
Josh & Amber [Eastern Shore Fall E-Session] A few months ago, I met with Amber and Josh for their e-session. We met at the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center in Grasonville. My kids and I visit CBEC all the time. Each time we see a new animal or discover a new picture perfect setting. If you haven't been there yet, I highly suggest you take a visit. If you have been there, be sure to go back... I'm almost positive you'll discover something new!


Now back to Amber and Josh... we may not have had the beautiful sunset we had envisioned but the overcast sky certainly added to that Autumn feel.


Congratulations on your engagement Amber and Josh! I hope you continue to take this time to enjoy your engageent while you prepare for your big day!

[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) CBEC eastern shore photography engagement session e-session fall portrait session portrait photography Thu, 05 Dec 2019 17:57:59 GMT
Tegan's Free Little Library A few months ago, Tegan's mom, April contacted me about photographing his birthday party. First and foremost, I want to preface by saying his mama sure knows how to throw an amazing party!!! No seriously, her attention to detail is phenomenal and she has the gift of hospitality. 

As a photographer you get the opportunity to simply sit back and observe. As I was observing and documenting Tegan's big day, I was amazed to see such a selfless kid. There was one moment that truly touched me. A friend of Tegan was not able to participate in laser tag because there were not enough laser guns. Without any hesitation whatsoever, Tegan handed his laser gun right over. The best part was, he didn't need to be prompted by an adult. It was a genuine and kind act. Selflessness is pretty rare these days, especially when it comes to a ten year old!


A few days later, I met up with Tegan and his brothers to do a photo session with their Nana. Not only are these boys absolutely hilarious and fun to be around, they are well-mannered and kind. During the session, I saw Tegan's gentle approach to his Nana as he walked her up and down the pier ensuring that she made it up and back safely. Chivalry is not dead!



April contacted me a few weeks ago to let me know that Tegan had been working on a Free Little Library for his community. 

Tegan's Free Little Library launch was a HUGE success! It was beautiful to see the support of Tegan's family, friends and neighbors within the community. Once again, I was able to observe Tegan's selfless actions. Although this was his big day, he was more concerned with making sure everyone was able to grab a book. 


Many attendees brought books to donate to the Little Library. Several passerbys saw all of the excitement and ran home to grab books to contribute to the library as well. There were even adults that walked by that were intrigued by this little blue box filled with books.

It was such a joy to see each child's face light up when they grabbed a book out of the Little Library. One young man saw a need for something in his community and he delivered. Tegan's Free Little Library is giving younger children an opportunity to get excited about early literacy. It's giving older children a chance to find a new genre of books that they may not have tried before... Even adults will be impacted as they grab a book and fall in love with reading again.

Tegan's heart is so big and his passion for helping others is infectious. I know that Tegan will continue to do big things. My hope is that his peers are inspired by his selflessness and that his kindness reminds adults to be humble and put others before themselves. If everyone took one page out of Tegan's book, our world would be an outstanding place.

Congratulations on your Free Little Library Launch, Tegan!



[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) eastern shore photography family photography free little library kids making a difference Sat, 14 Sep 2019 20:18:16 GMT
Dinos and Puddles It's been so rainy here in Maryland. If you're on the Eastern Shore if you haven't had a lake in your backyard at least once consider yourself lucky. A day after one of May's heaviest rains (so far...) and some coordinating we were finally able to get in a puddle jumping session for Ike. It turns out Ike LOVES jumping in puddles but only when there is no camera around :) 


Nonetheless, I think we captured this cool little guy's personality perfectly! 



And saving the best for last... 


[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) child photography eastern shore photography Wed, 08 May 2019 18:18:00 GMT
Happy Prom, Katie & Kyle! Does anyone remember Katie, my KIHS class of 2019 Senior that had a session last fall? I was blessed enough to get a few formals of her before prom with her friend Kyle and oh my were they absolutely stunning! We met at Knoxies and took advantage of their gorgeous courtyard. Even though the wind was not on our side, these two rocked their session with ease.


Just a side note... I'm almost positive we did not look this glamorous in our huge poofy dresses, spray tans and chunky highlighted hair when I went to prom! 




I hope you had an amazing night filled with lots of laughter and great memories. Congratulations on your upcoming graduation!!!


[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) eastern shore photography Knoxies portrait photography senior session Wed, 08 May 2019 15:18:28 GMT
Ellayah is one! Cake Smash sessions are always a little bit risky. You can never quite anticipate the mood of a one year old or their desire to get messy and eat cake. Lucky for us this blonde-hair, blue-eye beauty could not WAIT to dig into her unicorn cake!!!

This girl is living her best life right here!!!!


[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) Cake Smash child photograph eastern shore photography portrait photography Tue, 30 Apr 2019 18:55:14 GMT
THIS. IS. MOTHERHOOD. Moms are amazing.

They give up their wants and often time their needs in order to make sure their babies are well-loved and taken care of...

They sacrifice their bodies. Even if they are one of the blessed few that return to their pre-pregnancy weight, their bodies never quite return to normal. 

They give up sleep. Endless hours of sleep.

They sacrifice their dream car for the minivan because safety and stroller space far surpass the need for speed. 

They give up the last bite of their favorite snack when they get caught trying to eat in secret.

They sacrifice their ideal career to give their child the best possible life.

We as moms make these sacrifices because we love our children. But do you know one thing we should NEVER have to sacrifice BECAUSE we love our children?

Taking photos with them because we feel anything less than perfect.

Years down the road when we have passed and our children can't find a single photo of us... will the sacrifice be worth it? Should we sacrifice these sacred photos with our children in fear of not fitting into the box of society's standards?

So let that set in. Is it worth sacrificing photos with our children because our nose is too pointy, our strands of sparkle (gray hair) is prominent, our teeth aren't perfect, we feel frumpy, our clothes aren't from a designer store, our makeup isn't flawless?

In our attempts to impress others we sacrifice what truly matters. 

Let's not let the fear of being less than perfect force us to sacrifice being in photos with our children. These are the photos your children will cherish for years to come. The photos that they will show to their children when they explain about just how amazing their mom was and about all the endless sacrifices they made to make their childhood so memorable.



Shoutout to some of the AMAZING moms that I've had the honor to photograph last year!!!!!

They are strong. They are beautiful. Their smiles radiate love for their children.






[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) eastern shore photography family photography portrait photography Tue, 26 Feb 2019 18:30:00 GMT
Lifestyle Birthday Session I cannot believe my first born is officially six. I cannot believe six years ago I was blessed with the gift of motherhood. I remember how the majority of my maternity was spent watching re-runs of Dance Moms and Full House in the living room with my night-owl and spent most of the day sleeping away while Daddy was at work. As much as I do not miss those late nights, I sure do miss my baby. This year she started kindergarten. She is absolutely THRIVING!!! She loves her teacher and she loves to learn. Most of all she loves her friends. 

This year she was beyond excited to have all of her school friends join her at her favorite pottery painting shop. If you haven't been to Kiln Born Creations in Easton, you need to take an afternoon to check it out!!! I think this was one of the first birthday parties that I sat back and let her do her thing with her friends. I truly enjoyed seeing her personality shine. 


Here is a little peak of her lifestyle birthday session... 





[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) birthday party child photography eastern shore photography lifestyle photography Mon, 11 Feb 2019 17:09:18 GMT
A Girl & Her Horse A note from the photographer: I have been sitting on this blog post for quite some time. I've written and re-written it but never got around to publishing it... I was worried that the post would not do the session justice. After receiving some news this morning, I'm quickly reminded that a picture is literally worth one thousand words. A picture is one of few things that you can hold in your hand and bring back fond memories, even when something or someone in a picture is no longer with us. A picture doesn't need words. 

This morning, Ashley messaged me to let me know that Sophia's horse Princess Cinderellie had passed. I am truly heartbroken for Sophia. The bond between Sophia and Princess was simply beautiful. I know that Sophia is devastated. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for Sophia's mom, Ashley to comfort her daughter after the tragic loss of Princess.

A few months ago, I had a photo session with a sweet girl and her horse. I've always thought horses were absolutely beautiful animals but in the same breath, their sheer size terrifies me (or at least it did).

When I arrived at Heartland Horse Farm in Queen Anne, I was greeted by Ashley and her family. Ashley introduced me to her daughter Sophia and Sophia's horse Princess Cinderellie aka Princess. My fear of horses was immediately put at ease when I watched Sophia fearlessly handle Princess. She wasn't the slightest bit bothered when Princess attempted to carryout her own agenda... and a photo session was not one of them. 

As we continued the session, I was intrigued to find out that Princess was no ordinary horse. Ashley and Sophia got Princess a little over a year ago. Princess was about 17-18 years old, her coat didn't look great and she was a bit underweight and scared of nothing. 

It took a lot of love and patience but within a year, Princess got back to healthy weight (975 lbs.) and her coat improved tremendously. 

I think it's safe to say, a bond between a girl and her horse is nothing short of lovely.


[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) child photograph eastern shore photography equestrian photography family photography portrait photography Sun, 06 Jan 2019 00:56:01 GMT
2020 Senior Rep Opportunity HUGE NEWS!!!!

Shan Ashley Photography is launching their first ever Senior Rep Program! This is an opportunity for a 2020 graduating senior to get a complimentary senior session in addition to earning free prints. Exciting, right? 


Who is eligible?

Any student in Queen Anne, Talbot or Caroline County that will be graduating high school in 2020. Applicants should be full of personality, comfortable in front of the camera and able to take direction. Applicants must have a parent or guardian approval as images will be used on social media and in other various marketing materials to promote Shan Ashley Photography.

What does it mean to be a Senior?

Senior Reps will participate in a styled senior session that will showcase their personality, hobbies and interests. After the session, reps will receive a password protected gallery to view images from their session and will be able to select 5 images to use on their social media accounts. 

Shan Ashley Photography will provide reps special referral cards to share with their friends. For each friend that becomes a paying client of Shan Ashley Photography, the rep will earn free digital downloads and print credits for their parents.

In addition to the initial Senior Session, reps may be asked to participate and model in various sessions throughout the year (no more than 2).

Senior Reps will be exclusive to Shan Ashely Photography and should not use the services of any other professional photographer until after graduation day. The idea is that reps will represent and be committed to Shan Ashley Photography.


When will my senior session be scheduled?

Your senior session will be scheduled no later than late April. Sessions will take place in the evenings (after 5 pm) or on Sunday Afternoons.

Where will my session be?

If you have been selected as a senior rep, we’ll have a short in-person consultation to discuss the vision of the rep and the photographer for the session. Together, we’ll decide on a location that best fits your personality and or interests.

How do I apply to become a Senior Rep?

It’s simple. All you need to do is submit a current headshot in addition to a brief e-mail telling a bit about yourself (hobbies, interests, accolades etc.). Headshots do not have to be professional but should be well-lit without any filters. All submissions must be received no later than February 28th. Prior to submission, you must ask for permission from your parent or guardian to participate in the rep program.


Please submit headshots to [email protected] with subject “2020 Senior Rep.”

CC: your parent or guardian and provide their contact information (name, phone number etc.).

[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) eastern shore photography portrait photography senior rep program senior session Sun, 30 Dec 2018 22:10:32 GMT
Fields of Sunflowers WOW!!! This session was so much fun. The weather, the scenery and the couple could not have been more beautiful! When Kylie asked me to do a sunflower session, I was so excited. It was challenging to find the perfect field but with the help of Adam's mom, I think we found it!

On a completely unrelated note, I had no idea that sunflowers got their name because they faced the sun. I thought they got their name from their color and cheery disposition. 

It doesn't get more romantic than dancing in a field of sunflowers.

Have you ever seen two people so smitten with each other?!

This dress was everything!


Although the fields of sunflowers were beautiful, this girl right here was absolutely gorgeous!

It was an afternoon well spent frolicking in fields of big yellow flowers. 

[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) Backroad photography couples photography eastern shore photography Sunflower Fields Wed, 08 Aug 2018 18:16:11 GMT
Freezing Time Life is fast. Like really fast. When I had my daughter they told me the days were long and the years were short. It's true, so true. I have been so wrapped up in the day-to-day motion of life that I often forget to "pause" and take a moment to let everything sink in. So yesterday after church, I took my beautiful daughter out for an impromptu photo session. WOW! I cannot believe she's going into Kindergarten this Fall. Where has the time gone and how can I get it back? 

Since I can't go in time, it looks like I'm going to have to settle for freezing time... even if it's in photo form. 

[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) . child photograph eastern shore photography portrait photography Mon, 11 Jun 2018 18:56:01 GMT
5 Tips to Help Rock Your Senior Session

1.      Communication. The most successful senior sessions happen when clients clearly communicate their session vision with their photographer. Let your photographer know about your hobbies, passions and interests. When you collaborate with your photographer you won’t have to limit yourself to a traditional session. Instead, you’ll have a session that reflects YOU and all of your personality.

2.      Clothing. Choose outfits that reflect your style and personality. Try all clothing on a few days before your session to make sure everything fits well and is stain, rip and wrinkle free. Your outfit should make you feel confident and comfortable from your head to toes. Ill-fitting or uncomfortable clothing can often reflect in your body language and facial expressions and will show in your images.

3.      Personalize and Accessorize. To add personality to your session, bring props that reflect your interests Think… a favorite book, ballet shoes, soccer ball, letterman jacket, your prized diesel truck. Don’t be afraid to accessorize using hats, scarves, jewelry, shoes, floral crowns, etc.

4.      Hydrate. Drink plenty of water the days leading up to your session. It gives your skin a nice healthy glow.

5.      Fresh and Flawless. Boys… get your hair cut a few days prior to your session. Girls… whether you choose to get your hair/makeup done professionally or if you choose to do your own, be sure to keep things timeless and natural.



[email protected] (Shan Ashley Photography) eastern shore photography photography senior session Mon, 04 Jun 2018 14:33:52 GMT