I'm Ashley Wheeler, owner and photographer of Ashley Wheeler Photography.
**Christ follower, wife, mother of 2 earthly babies and 3 angel babies.**
So, that basically sums me up! KIDDING, of course!!!!
Let's narrow it down to the Top 10 things to know about me...
1. I'm a Charleston, SC native. Moving back home in November 2017 after living in Memphis, TN for nearly 15 years has been an answered prayer. Fortunately, my husband and children are obsessed with Charleston and couldn't wait for the change of scenery. Charleston has welcomed my family with open arms and we are so excited and thankful to embark on this new chapter of our lives. With that being said, the family and friends we left in Memphis will always have a large portion of my heart. Memphis allowed me to grow up and taught me the meaning of the word "grit"... Memphis citizens are tough. They taught me how to be tough AND kind simultaneously. I'm forever grateful for the time spent with them!
2. While I am fairly new to the Charleston Photography scene, I have been in business since late 2013. So, as I’m celebrating my 5th year in business… and starting a business twice (YIKES!)… I can assure you, I’m no novice. With that said, each session gives me the opportunity to grow and I promise to never stop learning and striving to be better at my profession.
3. Photography was NOT my first choice of profession as a child... I actually wanted to be a professional horseback rider. Hunter/Jumpers, specifically. Most of my childhood memories involve sweating profusely or freezing to death at a horse barn. You want to know the meaning of hard work and dedication??!?! Get a horse. The sacrifices my mother made to give me my dream still baffles me. Professional horse back riding was MY plan. God had other plans.
4. I am a member of Professional Photographers of America (commonly known as PPA) and have recently declared candidacy to pursue my Professional Photographer Certification through the PPA. This is a multiple step process in which a lengthy written exam must be passed, as well as submitting images for portfolio review by Master Photographers recognized by the PPA. As nerve wracking as the process is, I can’t wait to see my Certification on the wall!
5. I am also Safety Certified through and a member of the Accredited Professional Newborn Photographers International (APNPI). This means I have passed with 100% accuracy the safety training and exit exam for newborn posing & handling. Currently, I am working towards achieving my Quality Certification through APNPI. This is a portfolio review in which the top newborn photographers across the country (& a few across the world!) review a wide variety of my newborn art and agree that I meet their standards of excellence. It’s a long process, but completely worth every minute of effort!
6. One day I will grow up and not wear a messy bun everywhere I go. Also, 99.9% of the time, I can be seen wearing Rainbow flip-flops. Yes, even if it's cold. If I'm forced to dress like an adult, I will usually have my Rainbows in the car waiting for me. I live for comfort. Fortunately, Charleston agrees in the relaxed way of life!
7. I'm a very patient and calm person... on the outside. But inside, I'm usually going a mile a minute! It takes a LOT for me to lose my patience... With that being said... I actually REALLY mean it when I say your children are not driving me crazy! I have two of my own, remember?!? Anything yours can do to my nerves, mine have already done. I'm being honest when I tell people having children before starting a photography business was the best decision I could have made.
8. Photography is my passion. At a young age, my Uncle Richard exposed me to this amazing art form and I've been hooked since. Many weekends were spent following Richard and my Aunt Teresa through campgrounds, forests, swamps, etc while he photographed wildlife and nature. Even as a child, I knew he was talented in his art. But now, looking at his prints (which he developed in his private dark room... remember film!?!?), I am amazed how clear his vision was and how precise his images are. The opportunities my aunt and uncle afforded me paved the way for my future career. (Again, proving that changing a child's world is as simple as spending time with them.)
9. My family is EVERYTHING to me. Let me repeat that... E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. My husband and I have been married for nearly 10 years and have a total of 5 children... 2 earthly kiddos (girls... 7 & 5) and 3 angel babies. We lost our first child, Kamdyn, to Trisomy 18 within months of being married. Talk about an introduction into what real heartbreak is! Knowing that we have two healthy, happy, and beautiful children is the driving force behind everything my husband and I do.
10. Losing Kamdyn and our other two early miscarriages has become the main influence behind my photography business. Not having images of those three babies is a burden I'll carry the rest of my life and providing other families with memories is my mission... As a result, I've been trusted by families since 2013 to document their lives and provide them with beautiful images to last a lifetime. Your memories and milestones are truly important to me.
11. I am a FULL TIME Photographer... This is not my "side hustle". I'm a legally formed, insurance having, tax-paying business and while I'm fortunate enough to truly love my job, photography is the method in which I contribute financially to my family... we are a two-income household! As a result, I take this business seriously. Taking the leap to be a full-time photographer was 100% out of character for me. I like stability. I like predictability. I like a steady paychecks! Building a photography business from scratch (TWICE!) was going out on a major leap of faith. God has NOT let me fail. His hand is in every aspect of this business. It's not something I could do alone, that's for sure!
Well, that was actually 11… but who’s counting, right!?!??
Now that you know a little about me, I hope to get to know you soon!