Have You Met Ashley Berrie

Excited about our Have You Met series where I showcase YOU, the photographers of our community. We had over 400 photographers apply for the series in less than a week. I can’t wait to showcase the talented photographers. There is a mix of hobbyist and business owners as well as full-frame and crop sensor users. This may be my new favorite part of the site.

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks in advance for supporting Click it Up a Notch. I am not longer accepting applications for this series.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your photography journey.
I grew up using a Polaroid camera and having “photo shoots” with my baby sister, dressing her up and taking her picture in front of the shower curtain (perfect backdrop right!?). As a teenager, I carried a disposable camera with me everywhere and would wait impatiently for the one hour photo man to hand over my envelope of 4x6s. In 2010, I was engaged to my husband and he gifted me my first DSLR (Nikon D3000). When I pulled the camera out of the box, my heart was racing I wanted to know what all those buttons could do and how the heck do I make the background blurry!?!

I began taking Photography 101 classes at a local photography school and pretty much became infatuated with learning more. I couldn’t get enough. I finally figured out manual mode in Photography 102 and discovered Clickin’ Moms and Click it up a Notch. I took course after course on Clickin’ Moms and every time a new breakout was released, I bought it. When I had my son in 2013, I realized that this thing, this hobby, was what I was meant to do. I made it my job to document my son’s little life. I began photographing other families too and capturing their lives in the most genuine way possible. I always tell people, I didn’t mean to start a business! But I did. And I can’t imagine being happier than I am right now.

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35mm f/2.2 | ss 1/320 | ISO 250

2. What is the best advice you received so far on your photography journey?
Do not try to copy another photographer’s work. You will never truly love your images if they are just like someone else’s. Be yourself, everyone else is taken.

3. What is your favorite thing to photograph?
What I really love are unplanned moments of real, raw emotions, especially those of a parent and child. I love stepping back and letting life just happen and then freezing that moment with just a little click.

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85mm | f/2.8 | ss 1/640 | ISO 500

4. Where do you find your inspiration?
New places and beautiful light! I am very spontaneous and will often pack up my son and my camera to head out on an adventure. This could be as simple as going to a grocery store or taking a detour through the mountains of North Carolina to see a Christmas tree farm… yes we really did that!

5. What type of background do you have? Self taught? Formal training? Mentor?
I took my first classes at a local photography school, from there it was a lot of trial and error. I have taken several classes on Clickin’ Moms. I read tons of tutorials and blogs and read through the CM forums constantly. Last fall I asked Liz LaBianca to be my mentor, and she said yes! We chat over the phone about things I want to work on and things I can do to improve. The most I will probably ever learn is by experience though, so I try to shoot and edit every day.

5. Are you currently doing any photography projects? If so, what?
I started a 365 project this year, but am calling it 365ish. ISH because I am way too spontaneous for scheduled shooting and it takes the pressure off! So far I have shot every day, I just don’t post on my blog every single day. “ish” took the pressure off, but I still want to shoot!

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50mm | f/2.5 | ss 1/320 | ISO 250

6. If you could only use one lens for a year, which would you choose?
My Sigma 35mm 1.4. This lens is my sharpest lens and is wide enough to capture the environment, yet the focal distance allows me to stay nice and close to my subject. (Like my wild child who will run away if I have to be too far back with my 85mm 1.4, just sayin!)

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35mm | f/1.6 | ss 1/250 | ISO 640

7. Share links to 3 of your favorite photography tutorials and tell us why.
This is how I learned to back button focus! (Come on kids run to me!! I betcha I will nail my focus! ;)) Back button focusing tips

This is excellent. Do everything you can to make your subjects comfortable in front of the camera, that’s when the authentic connections start to show. Cracking the Mr. Boring test: Getting real emotions from clients

And then I shouted from the rooftops, “I am a photographer!” (Insert awkward dance with fingers pointing to the sky here) When to call yourself a photographer

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35mm | f/2.8 | ss 1/320 | ISO 250

8. What is your favorite image right now?
The image of my son at the beach holding his red fishing net. He woke up unusually early (like 5am) while we were on vacation and I decided if we were up that early we were not going to miss the sunrise. So I packed him in the car and with my camera around my neck we headed to the beach. I love how much fun we have together in new places. This image reminds me of those moments, where it’s just the 2 of us, exploring this big world together.

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35mm | f/2.5 | ss 1/250 | ISO 640

9. What type of camera and lenses do you shoot with?
I have a Nikon D610 (love, love, love it!) I actually had the D600 when it first came out, but exchanged it for the 610 after lots of talk about oil spots on the sensor. I have not had a problem with spots on either model though. Nikon 50mm 1.4 (this one doesn’t come out much any more, but I still hang on to it!), Sigma 35mm 1.4 (this is one sharp lens y’all, perfect for lifestyle shots), Nikon 85mm 1.4 (My favorite outdoor lens, it gives me that creamy dreamy look I love) Nikon 105mm 2.8 (This is the newest addition! I use this for my little newborn babies and their squishy little faces and most recently to capture my son’s fluttering eyelashes.) I heart this lens.

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85mm | f/2.5 | ss 1/1250 | ISO 125

10. Let’s light someone else’s candle, who is a photographer you think we should check out?
If you haven’t already, you must do your eyes a favor and check out my mentor, Liz LaBianca. She photographs her children daily, which I don’t think a lot of photographers remember to do! Her recent trip to NYC with her children had me drooling. Grab a napkin and check her out Liz LaBianca Photography.

11. What is your biggest challenge when it comes to photography?
My biggest challenge is taking so many pictures every day and not having the time to edit them completely. I am hoping my 365ish project will help me stay on top of editing my own images.

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35mm | f/2.8 | ss 1/640 | ISO 125

12. What’s the strangest thing you carry in your camera bag, and why is it in there?
My strangest thing is actually not strange to me, but everyone else who sees it always says “What the heck is that thing!?” It’s a rocket blaster dust removal squishy thing. It blows dust off lenses! Sometimes I will pull it out during a session and let a toddler play with it if they need a distraction.

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35mm | f/2.5 | ss 1/100 | ISO 200

13. What is next on your list of things to learn this year in photography?
I want to have a better understanding of correcting skin tones using the CMKY numbers method in Photoshop! I have avoided this method because I am not a numbers kinda gal, but I want to give it a whirl in 2015.

14. If people want to follow more of your work where should they go?
Come and follow along on my photography journey at Ashley Berrie Photography and on Facebook.

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35mm | f/2.8 | ss 1/400 | ISO 1000

5 Tips for Photographing Your Everyday

When I am not professionally photographing families and children, I love to photograph my everyday. I love to take photos of the ordinary things that make up my day and my life. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I have a photo of a Starbucks cup, or a few, in my gallery. And that’s because I just love to photograph my reality. To me, photography is simply a visual journal where I tell my story. I just tell it through pictures instead of writing it down. Today I am sharing what things inspire my photographer eye. I will share what things make me scramble for my camera and think, “I have to photograph that!”

Read more – Photograph your everyday moments of your kids.

*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Click it Up a Notch.

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The use of everyday objects.
First of all, when photographing my everyday, I love to take something that is ordinary and make it extraordinary! Like cooking. Cooking is such an ordinary and everyday task. But through photography, cooking can look so much more fun and very beautiful. I love finding ways to portray things differently.

To make an everyday object artistic.

In the image above, I was telling a story about making chicken noodle soup on a cold day. Instead of waiting until my soup was done and taking a picture of my warm bowl, I took a different spin on the task and photographed the moment before I started cooking, using my Lensbaby.

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1. The use of color.
Something that always inspires my photography is pops of color. While I was placing an item into my Target cart one day, I noticed just how vibrant those red carts were compared to the white grocery store floor. The color just popped! It’s things like color that have me grabbing for my camera so I can photograph it. Even though I was doing an ordinary task of running an errand to the store, I was able to photograph it in a way that put a more exciting spin on my outing.

Pops of color can be found in everything from fruits to nature to decor and it’s something that definitely inspires me when photographing my everyday.

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2. The use of texture.  
Whether it is a soft new sweater or the sand beneath my toes, texture is another element that also grabs my eye. While I was out on a walk, the texture of the chain link fence in the photo above caught my eye and had me digging through my camera bag for my camera. As I lowered my aperture on my Sigma 50mm f.14 lens, I was able to capture the cold and rough texture of the metal fence as well as the creamy and soft texture of the nature that surrounds it.

I love to challenge myself to create opposing textures all in one photograph.

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3. The use of you!  
That’s right, I said you! Don’t be afraid to hop in the frame! One of my goals this year is to be more intentional about getting in front of the camera, instead of just being behind it! As photographers, we are always looking through the lens instead of being the subject of the lens. In the photo above, I noticed that our bedroom window was getting good light so I took that opportunity to grab the tripod and set the self-timer on my Nikon. I ended up missing the focus, but I fell in love with the photo. And I was actually in the photo, for a change! I am one who would rather be taking the pictures than have their picture taken, so when I do hop in the frame I really like to take a creative spin on a self-portrait.

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4. The use of light.
Whether it is indoors or outdoors, I am a lover of light and I find myself chasing after it! And when it is just right, you will find me with my camera ready to go. I only use natural light when photographing indoors, so when I see prime window light I take the opportunity to do anything and everything with it. Sometimes it is as simple as setting my morning drink up on the windowsill.

Other times, I love to photograph how light plays on everyday objects. I love how the light creates subtle, yet apparent shadows on my coat. It has a way of bringing a stationary object to life, as the shadows emphasize the wrinkles around the sleeves from being well worn. Keep in mind that light not only beautifully brightens your photographs, but it can also create an emotion.

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5. The use of repetition and patterns.
Repetition is something that definitely catches my eye. Whether is it the repetitious lines of the parking spaces in a parking lot or the row of lockers in a school hallway, repetition is all around us. Even in our homes there are patterns in the design of our wood floors or on the spindles of our staircase. You can even create them in your photographs and it can be as simple as lining up a row a pumpkins before clicking the shutter button.

These are just a few of the things that inspire me to photograph my everyday and what things I look for before picking up my camera. Sometimes I have a plan of what I would like to photograph, and sometimes I simply stumble upon some inspiration while I am going about my day. And to be honest, it is the unplanned moments that have made the best photographs.

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One thing I have definitely learned is to keep my camera handy at all times. This means always having it in my bag when I leave the house, or keeping it on the side table in the living room. You never know when inspiration is going to come to you. And trust me, when your puppy jumps down into a pile of pillows and gives you a cute look, you will be glad your camera was on the table next to the couch instead of buried in your camera bag!

For me, it is all about the challenge of finding beauty in my everyday, no matter what I am doing or where I am. And if you think about it, that’s actually also a pretty great life lesson to live by! Beauty is everywhere, so just look around! To follow along with me as I document my everyday, join me on Instagram!

Photography Promises

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I’m a huge fan of photography goals. In fact, you can read mine here – Photography Goals 2015. Yes, I do believe it’s a good idea to have goals to work towards, I love the idea of making little photography promises to myself. I promise to pick up my camera to capture the moments even […]

Have You Met Christina Klahn?

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Excited about our Have You Met series where I showcase YOU, the photographers of our community. We had over 400 photographers apply for the series in less than a week. I can’t wait to showcase the talented photographers. There is a mix of hobbyist and business owners as well as full-frame and crop sensor users. […]

What is your photography word?

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Balance is my word of the year for 2015.  I think my word chose me this year. I didn’t go looking for it. I wanted my word to be ‘success’ or ‘growth’ or some other super powerful word that would propel me to new heights.  But whenever I gave thoughtful consideration to a word I wanted to use this […]