hello m'dear.

meet ashley!

I'm Ashley, the teller of stories and family documentarian for our circus. I live in the middle of a corn field outside of Peoria, Illinois where I coexist with goats, ducks, chickens, a couple of lazy labs and one rogue turkey. After spending the first years of my photography journey working to keep up with a calendar filled with family sessions, I decided 2017 was the year to take a step back and refocus my energy on the things that are most important to me.  I live a weird yet ordinary life while trying to juggle being creative and pretending to know how to parent and don't actually have a clue as to what the hell I'm doing.



Some Q & A with Ashley

You blog and document your family, is that it?

I mean, kind of.  I'm a creative wanderer, so sticking to personal projects and not worrying so much about the business of it all has allowed me to do things like pottery, watercolor painting, and a weird variety of other things.  I'm not business savvy, so competition and trying to keep my receipts in order doesn't suit me.

What is your ultimate goal of this weird and artistic photographic journey you are on?

When the time is right, I want to teach and work with other photographers and creative moms.  My life is really chaotic and I'm in the thick of motherhood at the moment, so forcing something I don't have time for won't make anyone happy.

Are you on social media?

I was off of both facebook and instagram for several months, but after getting a grip on life (not really) I have rejoined instagram.  It's purely personal photos, taken with my iPhone, solely directed at keeping my mom and 3 friends that actually care about snapshots of my kids, happy and updated.  With all that said, I'd love to see you over there!

What's in your camera bag?

First of all, my camera bag is a backpack from Amazon with a camera insert.  I've tried about a half-dozen bags and can never find one that is perfect, so I decided maybe trendy camera bags aren't my thing. Bummer, right?! In the non-fancy bag, I have my new love, a mirrorless fuji xt-2, and the fujinon 23mm f/1.4 and 5 spare batteries. And chapstick.  So. much. chapstick.

What are you doing when you aren't shooting or chasing after your offspring?

.I thought you'd never ask! I dedicate a fierce amount of time to killing my garden, reheating my coffee, weirding out my husband, making odd shaped mugs out of clay, sipping wine, failing at yoga poses, and camping in our lime green pop-up.

Be honest, are you really that funny?

I don't want to brag, but yes.  Even though it was 15-years ago, I was voted wittiest in my graduating class, which makes me one of the funniest people you know.  Exciting, right?

Meet the {other} Manleys

Oak (like the tree)

The three-nado that both inspires me and makes me drink too much wine.  The one that makes me laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time.  Above all, the one that made me mom and photographer.

Vale {rhymes with hail}

The one-year-old smiling piece of perfection that makes everyone smile unless she's pooping in the tub, and even that's pretty damn funny.

Kevin {like Costner}

The wonderful husband that never understands what I'm doing but supports me anyway.  That ladies, is how you know you have a keeper.