Green Country Grown-Ups: Ashley Campbell
Capturing the beauty of everyday life.
This local mother wears many hats including wife, mother, blogger, photographer and teacher, and is an expert at capturing everyday moments in beautiful ways. Those looking at her photographs are treated to an inside view of the real and raw personalities of those she photographs. If you don’t yet know Ashley, take a few minutes to stop by her cool spot, Under the Sycamore, where you will find beautiful pictures and thoughtful posts that include an eclectic mixture of topics. Also, if you’ve ever thought about taking a photography class, now is the time. Her online SnapShop Photography Workshops are designed to help you capture your kids in their everyday moments as well as teach creative ways to enhance and share your personal photos.
Getting to know Ashley:
TK: How long have you been in photography?
Ashley: I dabbled in photography in middle and high school on the yearbook staff and really enjoyed it. In 2006, while I was pregnant with my son, my mom signed me up for an Introduction to Photography class at TCC. Afterwards, I started taking pictures of my friends’ kids and that quickly snowballed into a business.
TK: What are your favorite things to photograph?
Ashley: My kids. I have a hard time taking pictures if people aren’t in them. I like photographing everyday, normal childhood moments, capturing who they are at their different stages and the imperfections of my kids.
TK: How do you get your creative juices flowing?
Ashley: For me, it comes in my season of life. Having five kids keeps me pretty busy. Taking pictures helps me slow down long enough to look and notice what’s around me.
TK: How do you find inspiration?
Ashley: It comes out of the everyday, seeing beauty in the everyday moments. This small piece of beauty in photography helps me become a better mom. I can zoom in on the beauty in everyday moments without being distracted by everything else around me.
TK: What makes you smile?
Ashley: Lots of things. My family, sunny days, warm weather, jeans and a t-shirt, flip flops and thumbprint cookies with sprinkles from Merritt’s.
TK: What do you enjoy about living in Oklahoma?
Ashley: It’s all I know. My parents and family are here. I’m close with my family. I love that my kids know their great-grandparents. We meet them for donuts at Top Shelf Donuts every Thursday morning. I grew up around family and extended family, which, I know, is very rare. This is where my roots are, and I like having roots.
TK: What does your family like to do for fun?
Ashley: We enjoy being outside. We do a lot of hiking together.
TK: Favorite place to eat as a family?
Ashley: It would have to be at the picnic table in our backyard. We mainly eat at home.
TK: As a busy mom, when do you decide to pick up your camera?
Ashley: When there’s a calm pause. I try to capture beauty in these everyday moments. The Snap Shop Photography classes help me teach others to do the same.
TK: From your blog, I know that you chose to adopt. How did you become interested in adoption?
Ashley: When I was 17, I read an article about a missionary mom living in Kenya who was holding a baby who didn’t look like her and at that point I didn’t think all of my babies were going to look like me. In college, I worked in an orphanage in Kazakhstan knowing that I wanted to try and adopt someday. My husband and I ended up going on a 10-year-long journey trying to adopt, which eventually brought us to adopting a special-needs child from China. It has all worked out to be a good plan. The families that we’re close with are adoptive families. So, all the families we hang out with don’t have all their kids that look the same as their parents. Everyone in the family doesn’t have to look alike.
TK: Why did you decide to start a blog?
Ashley: I started my blog along with my photography business. It began as a place to post sneak peeks for my clients and they loved it. I also love writing. In 2009, when I stepped back from professional photography and started teaching SnapShops, I kept my blog going. My blog combines things I enjoy naturally — writing, photography and art — and my blog is an easy place to share it.
TK: What do you enjoy most about teaching your SnapShop photography classes?
Ashley: At the end of the course, a mom who finds excitement in a way that she didn’t think she could before the course and commenting to me, “I see my days differently now.” It’s giving people a gift for appreciating those little moments and also a gift for me to be a part of someone else’s photography journey.
TK: What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about taking your photography workshop?
Ashley: SnapShop Photography classes are for anyone who is interested in sharing photos. I have developed an easy, self-paced class where students can take it online. It’s up to them to go through the posted content. Interaction comes through them posting pictures on a private Instagram account I set up. I also answer as many questions as they have as they work through the material. A lot of people think that photography is intimidating, while some people have a natural talent for great composition. These classes offer simple tips to improve your everyday picture taking.
In addition to her blog, you can follow on Instagram.