Very much of what Ashley talks about below, is what I connect with in her lovely photography. From the simplicity and honesty of the images, to the way the dog sometimes makes it in and sometimes doesn’t and that as a photographer, we are not often in the image and that’s what makes these so special. I also adore their everyday style; it’s a direct extension of who they are. The sweetest style is love and this family has it in spades.
From Ashley: For the past three years I have done a weekly photo series; the first year featured my husband, followed by a portrait a week of my two boys, which naturally led this this year’s series which features all of us, as a family. Dog included (as he choses to, anyway). We travel a lot so I’ve missed a few weeks here and there, but for the weeks we’re home, I gather all of us together on the same bed and use my camera remote to capture a simple portrait of us. It’s not often that the photographer herself gets to be in the image, so this series is extra special to me in that regard. It’s also rare for all of us to be in the same frame, so that’s an added bonus too. I set the camera up the same way each time, which allows me to duplicate the composition from the week before but also kills me in the creative sense. I wish, as I’m sure many do, that I could be both behind the camera and in front of the camera at the same time so that I could be more creative with the composition. And yet, I love the simplicity of it. So, you see, I can’t decide. Seeing that the latter is not an option, I’m good with doting on the simplicity.
My youngest son, Van, typically mans the remote. Hooper, my older son, is usually in motion. Willy, my husband, complains most weeks but is more-or-less a good sport. And Jimmie, our dog, is just stoked to be around us; he likes when we’re all together.
Each week I also share a few tidbits about each of us. Here are some of my favorites:
Willy: Got teary eyed watching that Apple commercial where the granddaughter remakes a Christmas song for her grandma. Also, has been told a lot as of late that he resembles Chris Hemsworth. I had to google who that was.
Hooper: While eating his peanut butter and jelly sandwich paused and inquired about the jelly coming from jellyfish.
Van: Got upset with Hooper for taking his sticks, declaring “Imma gonna remove your bones and blood”… Also, I turned around, my mouth open with wild anticipation, as I watched him try his first strawberry milkshake from In n’ Out. From his backseat car seat, he told me to “turn my face around” and “put my teeth away”. It was the latter that I don’t want to forget. Who tells someone to put their teeth away?
Me: Have been trying to navigate how to get the boys to stop hitting me. In the words of one of my favorites, I don’t know if I’m the boxer or the bag.
Jimmie: Did not pee on our neighbor and her friend when they stopped by. That’s noteworthy.
Most weeks we also participate in a weekly resolution, which is something we adopted at the beginning of the year when we accepted the fact that we are not cut out for changing any one behavior for an entire year but could – theoretically, anyway – change a behavior for an entire week. So most weeks we pick a resolution out of our jar of resolutions and try our best to stay committed for an entire week. I include this in our family portrait series. It’s a good way of trying lots of different things while confronting the fact that we would otherwise fail if we had to commit for an entire year. Some of my favorites: make the bed everyday, have vegetables each night with dinner, only music playing during mealtimes, have the boys help with one chore a day, open and sort through mail each day. We’ve slipped up as of late and need to get back on track… we’re overdue for a new resolution.
Our style is very laid back. We don’t do a ton of shopping for clothes. On most days you’ll find my boys running around in their underwear (less laundry). We have a small business called The Bee & The Fox where we sell a line of shirts, so they tend to wear those a lot as it’s what’s around. I also buy a lot of second hand clothes and many of their vintage clothing comes either from flea markets or etsy shops (my favorite and most frequented is Lishyloo — I just popped over so I could link to her shop and couldn’t help but snatch up two pairs of pants and a vintage baseball tee). I buy most of my own clothes second hand as I like to change what hangs in my closet often and spending a few bucks on a dress or skirt makes it easy to let go of things. I also love the thrill of the hunt and the idea of wearing something that no one else has.