I used to work for an interior designer who told me that most designers fell into two groups. One was those known for their own personal style—the ones who show up in magazines and TV shows, who launch product lines or hotel chains, whose names you might recognize. When that type of designer gets hired to do a private project, they usually deliver that style—their brand—unchanged, regardless of who their client is, where they live, what their life is like. The second group is the designers who take the time to gain a deep understanding of who their clients are, then combine that with their knowledge and experience to co-create a home that’s completely unique to those clients, their real lives, and their own style.
You probably already know where I’m going with this. Having spent several thousand hours over the past few years looking at wedding photography and getting to know photographers, I totally believe the same thing to be true. And I mean, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a killer photographer whose style you love—there’s peace of mind to be had in knowing you’re going to get the same images they have on their website but with you! and your partner! copied and pasted into the frames. But on the other hand, when you venture into the unknown with someone you trust by your side (and isn’t that what wedding are all about?), it can be downright magical to look at your photos and feel that they are Just. So. Irreplaceably. You.
So at the end of the day it’s the photographers who put you above their portfolio who always steal my heart. Ash Carr Photo is one of those people, and with rates starting at $3,900 (and no travel fees ever) and the desire to meet you wherever you are, this destination wedding photographer may be about to steal yours.
Rather than trying to stage or manufacture great images, Ash Carr simply sets out to do her best to be a conduit for the magic in the world around her (and the great images follow naturally). As she told us:
I’m not a “brand,” I’m a person, reacting to things that happen, collecting moments with a camera in hand. I’m strongly devoted to consistency in the quality of my work, but I don’t believe in creating essentially the same images week after week. While the results can be impressive, to me that is more in line with creating a styled shoot, or a personal editorial project where the photographer plays director, and the couple becomes actors on a set. This isn’t what wedding photography is about to me. I want you to be at your wedding—not my photo shoot.
For me, wedding photography is about looking, and truly seeing the things that are unique to you, your love, your families, your friends, the light on that day, in that place, the weather, the wind, the electric energy in the air. I feel this produces much more personal images, and while they may not be the images you see over and over again on blog “must have photo” lists, I believe they are the ones that truly matter, because they are so dependent on who you are, where you were, that little shaft of light, that they just aren’t able to be reproduced. These are candid and photojournalistic images, where you didn’t realize I was there, or better yet, you let down your guard enough for the whole day that you or your friends weren’t acting for the camera, you were actually just in that moment, being seen. The in-betweens, the sneak attacks, the truly honest. Granted, not every image from the day can be so fleeting, but hopefully the heart of this carries through them all. They are about a sense of place and connection between all those in attendance.
I’m so grateful to be a part of the APW community where it is normal to say I care more about the moments than the details, that I’m only interested in telling your story, not utilizing hard and awkward posing techniques, I’m here for the non-traditional days and underrepresented love.
Ash is all about embracing all kinds of places as well as moments and couples. If you’ve ever gotten the sense that some destination wedding photographers prefer to shoot weddings in “cool” locations, Ash is right there with you. As she told us, “I want to focus on finding the magic that exists wherever you are, the sense of place of your hometown (or mine), and on the honest qualities of my photos because of the people and connection within them, not because they are somewhere exclusive and fancy.” And if you follow along on her Instagram account (Do ittt. So good.), you’ll see that she practices what she preaches. In addition to traveling to places like Iceland, New York City, and Cambodia, she shoots tons of weddings in small towns and cities.
Ash Carr’s rates start at $2,000 for four hours for elopements and weekday (Monday through Thursday) events, and weekend (Friday through Sunday) events begin at $3,900 for eight hours of coverage. The option to add a second photographer or additional hours or shoots are always available. Travel for full-day coverage is included, now and forever. And if you love, love, love Ash’s work, a little bird told us that it never ever hurts to inquire.
And oh yeah, there’s Ash’s work itself, which is so good, it’s hard to temper the use of superlatives and not spend too much time talking about how she could easily be charging twice as much and acting like a total diva-artiste instead of the client-focused people person she is.
Ash Carr + light + you = pure gold.
We’ve reaped the benefits of the artistic perceptions and talents of Ashleigh and her husband Patrick through their beautiful photographs. They perfectly captured moments we knew were beautiful as they happened, but only dreamt could be relived again. Equally important, their photos revealed priceless moments we’d not seen as the festivities evolved. The result—Pure Magic, accomplished with gentle guidance, perceptive eyes, and an alchemist’s touch with light. —Chloë and Adam, Hudson Valley, New York, 2016
When Ash Carr shows up to capture your wedding day, no matter where in the world it is, she’s there to find the magic in you, your relationship, your people, your world. You’ll forget that she was even there (in a good way), and you’ll let down your guard and be the version of yourselves that you are together, and the results will be images that are totally personal, electric, and unforgettable. But don’t take my word for it, go get lost on her blog, follow her on Instagram, see when she’s coming to a town near you, and, you know, ask her to weave her magic at your wedding too.
ASH CARR IS BOOKING FOR 2018, WITH SOME DATES STILL AVAILABLE IN 2017—CONTACT HER ASAP TO SEE IF ONE OF THEM IS YOURS!
Image CreditAsh Carr Photographer
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