If you’ve been to our homepage
recently, you’ll notice a new portrait of the three of us at BE. The original one was fine, but we wanted to step up our game a bit. So, we went searching for the best new photographer in the Denver area.
Where we ended up was having a discussion, and subsequent photo shoot, with Ashely Kidder.
And after hiring her to help us with our latest photo shoot at Union Station, we are convinced that Ashley is our new BE photographer. Indeed, you’ll continue to see a few photos on the Instagram/Facebook/Twitter circuit that are taken by Brett with his semi-professional eye and me with my, ummm, cell phone skills, but for the important shoots, we’ll be working with Ashley.
Consequently, who better to interview on the BE blog than the girl behind so many of our awesome BE photos?!
1. [Bespoke Edge] So, you have an interesting background – you used to teach high school French, right? What made you want to take the leap into photography full time?
[Ashley] For the past five years, I was a high school French teacher and department chair at Northglenn High School. While I was teaching, I realized I didn’t have a legitimate hobby, aside from grading papers, planning lessons and chaperoning dances (and those don’t really count as hobbies anyway, let’s be honest). I had always enjoyed photography when I was younger, so I decided to invest more of my time + interest into learning the craft. At the start, it was exactly as I had wanted: a weekend hobby to distract me from the ups and downs of teaching. However, after shooting more and more, and branching out into portrait photography and weddings, the time I spent working on building my photography business slowly transformed into a full-time job. All the while, I was still teaching and working at the school upwards of fifty hours per week. I didn’t really have a personal life or any time for interests outside of teaching + photography, so this past May, I resigned from Northglenn High School in order to focus all of my efforts + time on my photography business. I really miss my students, but I do not miss the politics and negative atmosphere of teaching. It is a draining job, and I knew that I just couldn’t do both photography and teaching at full-speed at the same time any longer.
2. Obviously, there are many wedding photographers out there, how have you managed to stand out?
Many of my colleagues + friends have noted that I have a keen eye for urban photography. I find it so easy + nerdily exciting to seamlessly blend my portrait subjects with the textured urban backgrounds + striking architecture of Denver, without having the cityscape overpower the subjects of the photos. My clients have also remarked that they’ve never felt like they were “taking photos”; they felt more that we were simply out on the town having fun together, and I happened to have my camera along with me. I never want my clients to feel uncomfortable in front of the camera.
3. What’s the most challenging thing about running your own photography business? Any tips for aspiring business owners?
More than anything else, I would recommend upping your business game. You can be the best, most amazing photographer in the world but if your marketing + business skills are lacking, your career will fall flat. Having excellent customer service, consistency in delivering your product and upholding your professional persona both online + in person are a few of the key traits I believe all successful business owners possess.
4. Are you seeing a lot of grooms wearing suits for their wedding versus the more traditional tuxedo?
I am, and I’m loving it! There is something so chic about a custom-made, fitting-in-all-the-right-places suit on a groom on his wedding day. Nothing against the traditional tuxedo, but I love seeing grooms experiment with less classic colors + options on their wedding days. I would love to see more tweed, all shades of grey, suspenders + vintage navy blue suits. The bride shouldn’t be the only one on the wedding day to have a little fun with attire + accessories.
Those of us at BE consider her to be the best in the business – smart, professional and with a great eye for urban landscapes!