a labour of love: documentary birth photography | by Ashley Marston
Oh hi there! I'm Ashley. I am a mother of three kids, Noah who is turning 13 this year (and going into high school! Eeeek), and Tate and Sofie, who right now are both 6 years old. That means Tate turns 7 in a few weeks. They are our ‘Irish Twins’ born only 11 month apart (I know right....crazy)
Aside from Mom‘ing with these three, I am a photographer. I specialize in Birth Photography, but I shoot Documentary/Lifestyle sessions for families as well. That is where my heart is and it didn’t take long to find out what I was passionate about shooting and often I sit back and am so grateful that it is my ‘job’.
When I'm not working I am home and the camera is never far. I am currently in my fourth year of a 365-Project that I call “A Daily Occurrence”. That project is my whole heart and a labour of love. My goal for the project is to have something for my children to look back on, a testament of my love of them through imagery and words.
Along the way it has helped shape me as a photographer. Helped me grow in ways I could have never imaged and see my children, process motherhood and give myself grace, all through the click of a shutter...Amazing. That is why I love it so much.
It also is a huge contributing factor in my professional work. Allowing my clients and families a little glimpse into my life as a person, and as a mother.
I have been a birth photographer for almost 6 years. In that time I have pushed my creative, technical and personal growth to the limits and I realize that is boundless.
Being present and documenting such incredible moments is a gift that I not for one second take for granted.
I believe that the love that I have for my work shows in the images that I share and gift to my clients, at least, I hope it does.
I have been lucky enough to have my work published and awarded recognition within my community and the world.
It really is amazing that I get to do this work, I feel blessed.
Whats in my bag :
I’ve been a Canon girl since day one. Starting with the Rebel like most did 10 years ago.
Now I shoot with a Canon 5d Mark IV primarily and I also have a Canon 5D Mark iii as a back up.
The Sigma Art lenses have been good to me, and so I own three of them. A 35mm, 24mm and a 85mm. The 24mm never leaves my camera, I use it for 90% of my shots, especially in a birth environment. It allows me to photograph the whole scene, and also get in close for those intimate moments.
The bag I use is a VINTA backpack. Its amazing, sleek and elegant for a pack and I love it (so much so that I have two of them!) But when I get called out to a birth I use my Vanguard rolling suitcase to get me down those long hospital corridors quickly. It fits everything I need, both bodies, two flashes and a few lenses just in case. When shooting birth/weddings etc you need all your back ups with you and the suitcase allows me to pack it all efficiently.