Today we’re bringing you another ‘peek inside’ of one of our fabulous CMteam members! This time, we get to learn a little more about CM’s Director of Vendor Relations and instructor of CM’s Lifestyle Photography with Kids workshop Ashley Spaulding. Ashley is one of the kindest people you will ever meet and she’s a remarkable photographer (if you’re a member of the CM photography forum then this is all old news to you). If you know Ashley then you’re one lucky person and if you don’t, you’ll feel like you do when you finish reading!
a peek inside | ashley spaulding
My photography gear and bag!
It took me a long time (we’re talking years!) to finally break down and buy a camera bag. I was so indecisive about exactly what I wanted that I procrastinated on buying one for a couple years. I’d look online and at other peoples’ bags but just never seemed to find what I was looking for (I sound like a Whitesnake song!). Then one day I came across the website for ONA Bags and discovered a bag that seemed perfect for me…it looked like something that could somewhat double as a purse, it was nice quality leather, and it looked fairly simple and neutral. And I was right…the bag is beautiful and awesome, and I love it. Unfortunately, the Venice, the particular bag I purchased is not available on ONA’s site right now, but my guess is that all of their bags are equally beautiful and durable. If you want to read a more detailed review of my bag, please check out the one I wrote on Clickin Moms shortly after I purchased my Venice bag.
While I do love my ONA Venice bag, I tried Sarah Phillips‘s Ketti camera bag at one time and loved the size and how comfortably it fit on my shoulder, so when Clickin Moms announced the CM exclusive Ketti camera bag, I knew I had to have a second camera bag. A girl can never have too many bags, right?!? And I’m so happy to have it now, too. With the bolder pattern and the different fabric, the Ketti is so distinct from the ONA bag, which I love. I love that I have one neutral bag and one more “fun” bag, that they both carry like purses, and that I can use whichever one works best for a particular day, activity, or outing.
So what do I keep in my ONA and Ketti bags? As a hobbyist photographer, I don’t carry around a lot of gear when I head out anywhere. I do bring my camera with me a lot, whether I’m headed to the park with my kids or headed to the grocery store because I love documenting (almost) every aspect of our lives. So, I really only bring a lens or two and my camera body (which I love!) when I head out with my kiddos, and I’m good to go!
1. Nikon 50mm 1.4D: While I rarely use this lens, I hang onto it because it is a great one; I’ve just found that I prefer the focal lengths of other lenses I have over the 50. I’ll admit that I also hang onto it, in part, for sentimental reasons, as it was the first prime lens I bought when I was learning to shoot in manual mode during Lynne Rigby‘s Shooting 101: The Best Darn Beginner Course Ever photography workshop.
2. Nikon 85mm 1.4G: I primarily shoot lifestyle images so I was slightly worried when I purchased this lens about the focal length not working well with my shooting style, but I was so wrong! I absolutely love this lens, particularly when I shoot outside, and the bokeh it provides is amazing!
3. Nikon 35mm 1.4G: This is my all-around favorite lens because of my love of lifestyle work. The focal length on a full frame camera is perfect for allowing me to capture environment in my images and for telling stories through my work. I shoot almost exclusively with this lens indoors; it’s on my camera about 90% of the time, and I love it!
4. Nikon 24-70mm 2.8G: Like my 50mm, I don’t use this lens as often as my 35mm and 85mm, but I do love it nonetheless. The versatility and focal range are terrific, and it’s super sharp!
5. Nikon D700: I adore my camera. I shot with a D90 before the D700 and was somewhat reluctant to upgrade as I wondered whether the D700 would be more camera than I needed, but it’s been perfect. More than perfect. I love everything about it and am so happy I made the decision to go full frame!
My workspace. I spend a lot of time here. And by “a lot,” I really mean a lot! I do love my workspace, though, which is good considering how much time I do spend here. The main thing I love about it is that it’s in a pretty central area of our home so I don’t have to be off by myself somewhere while I’m working (although, some days, that probably wouldn’t be all that bad!). The room where we have our computer is located right next to our playroom, as you can see from the picture, so I can work while the kids play or while they color or read books. And after I work for a little while, I just scoot on over to the playroom to join them in their fun before coming back to get some more work done. I love our setup!
Part of why I love it, too, is that our computer armoire provides the perfect place for me to keep my camera, an extra lens, and my iPad. Since I photograph my kids in lifestyle and documentary ways in our home so much, I like to always have easy access to my camera, but I also want to make sure that my gear is safe and out of reach of my kiddos, and the top of our armoire meets both of those needs!
Five Random Things About Me!
1. I am addicted to pen and paper ‘To Do’ lists. Even with the prevalence of technology these days, I simply cannot give them up. I’ve tried keeping electronic versions, but the sense of accomplishment I feel when I cross something off by hand just isn’t there. I’m so bad about loving that sense of accomplishment that if I do something that’s not on my list, I write it down after the fact and cross it off immediately after writing it down.
2. My mom has a boy and a girl. Her first was born in January, and her second (that’s me!) was born two years and nine months later in October. I also have a girl and a boy. My first was born in January, and my second was born two years and nine months later in October, too.
3. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I really don’t get Twitter.
4. I was born two weeks early, but I’ve been late to pretty much everything in my life ever since.
5. If you’ve been around the Clickin Moms forum much or taken my lifestyle photography workshop, you may already be well aware of this last random tidbit…I love Twizzlers. My love for them kind of borders on obsession. It’s bad.
Thanks so much for taking a peek inside my bag and my workspace and for reading some ramblings about me!!
Ashley Spaulding, Kansas
Director of Vendor Relations
blog | mentoring | ask a pro
Being diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2010 changed the way Ashley viewed both life and photography. “Our lives can literally change in an instant and that idea has affected my photography because it’s made me want to document my kids’ lives even more than I wanted to before I was diagnosed” she says. And although she loves traditional portraits of her kids, Ashley’s true love is lifestyle photography and being able to “capture them as they are in their everyday environments. For me, it’s the best way to document them – who they are, where they’re at in their lives, what their interests are, what makes them ‘them.’” Ashley is relishing her now cancer free life with her husband and their two children in Kansas City where they truly love being together and playing outside as a family. She enjoys cooking and baking, despite her claim to be unskilled at both. Twizzlers, ice cream, Doritos, coffee, pedicures and a good novel are her guilty pleasures. Currently, Ashley shoots with a Nikon D700, 50 f/1.4 and 24-70 f/2.8 and is the instructor for the CMU workshop Shooting 101: Lifestyle Photography with Kids.