The Journey || Ellen Ashton

November 1st, 2014


I am so excited to finally have a finished website I could cry! I took a break from "website building" to soak up the sun while it was here... Because, in Minnesota, you have to enjoy the weather while it's here. All three weeks of it. Okay, more like three/four months but you get the picture.

As I finished my website it really felt a little emotional. I have only been doing photography for two and half years and what a journey it has been! This is the first time in two in a half years that I actually feel like I have an idea of what I am doing and knowing who I am as a artist... So, I thought it would be very fitting to share my journey of photography with you all on my very first blog post.

There has always been a part of me that is drawn to cameras. On my sixteenth birthday I begged and pleaded for a camera. The day of my birth rolled around and just like every year before, my whole family woke me up with the sound of their voices sing the " happy birthday" tune and the smell of my moms homemade donuts. After their singing and morning breath woke me up, my dad gave me a kiss on the head and handed me a box. It was the camera I had wanted! Later that day we went to Olive Garden and when we returned our home had been ransacked! Needless to say my camera had been stolen.... I KNOW! My little baby heart was broken. It felt like a cruel joke. However, some of our good family friends heard what had taken place and they bought me an even better camera then before. They will never truly know how much that meant to me.  The Gilbert family played such a big part of my photography journey. Thank you!

When I was in college I always had the desire to pursue a photography career but I was so fearful to even give it a serious chance. I was scared of failing, being judged and just putting myself out there. So, I didn't.

The day after I finished my last final in college, I married my best friend. Believe it or not our wedding created an even greater desire to creat beautiful images. Our wedding photographer, Elisabeth Carol of Elisabeth Carol Photography was such an inspiration to me. She is a self taught wedding a portrait photographer and I was in awe of her work. She is amazing! The way she captured our wedding and seeing how much she enjoyed her job really encouraged me that maybe I could be a photographer...

Again, on my birthday, my sweet and thoughtful husband bought me my first DSLR camera. He told me that even though I didn't believe in myself, he believed in me.

With my sweet husbands encouragement I booked my first session. A maternity session of my friend Alyssa. I had zero idea of what I was doing, I was shooting in automatic for cryin out loud! However, all of our friends and family were super supportive of my dream and booked me for sessions despite my ignorance. I am truly grateful for all the people that booked me in the very beginning because I was learning something new at every session. I was being pushed to improve, learn and grow.  My passion for photography grew stronger and my desire to prefect my craft grew stronger as well.  

After a year and a half of starting to photography business my husband and I moved to Minnesota. During that time we had lost our second child and my heart just wasn't into photography at that point... I don't think I've ever felt so lost, hurt and confused. I didn't know what God had for me, so I waited.

After living in Minnesota for five months, I finally found a family that I wanted to nanny for full time. Finding this family really made me feel like I had purpose again and even though Nanning has nothing to do with photography,  it truly played a key role in my journey.

In February of 2014 I attended an Erin Johnson Photography Workshop and it was at this point where I really realized that I wasn't being the artist I wanted to be. I had been shooting in the way that I knew would make people happy, but it wasn't who I wanted, it wasn't satisfying my need to create uniqueness. So, I decided at that point that I was no longer going to photograph "Pinterest" style, I was going to just do me. However I had absolutely no idea what "me" was..

One month later, I was sitting in a Starbucks when a girl sat down next to me and pulled out her Bible. I asked her what she was reading and little did I know that such a simple question would blossom into a beautiful friendship. Lauren; the girl I met in Starbucks, is also a photographer (Lauren Herried Photography) and she introduced me to the Elizabeth Massina and Jose Villa books that changed my life forever. After reading these books I started to understand who I was as an artist and who I want to become. 

This summer I have been working really hard to build my portfolio with images that represent  who I am, my style and my heart. I have by no means "arrived" but I feel like a few small pieces to the puzzle are finally starting to fit together.

 Thank you to each an every person who helped me learn, grow, and develop into the photographer I want to be.

Much love,




Boho Styled Shoot// River Legacy Park, TX // Hair & Makeup: Hair By Kallie 

Couple Holding Hands// Grapevine Lake, Tx

Freckle Eyed Gril// St. Louis Park, MN 

Bridal Session// Lake of the Isles, MN 

Family Session// Kenwood Park, MN

Boho Bridals// Nicollet Island, MN // Hair: Morgan Elizabeth 

Girl in the Hat// Lake Harriet, MN

Rob & Kim's Wedding Day// Minnetonka, MN 

Champagne + Macaroons// Tamara Waterston