How am I immensely grateful for the souls I get to document.
Changing things up here with lifestyle portraits of a male.
A rarity as it’s usually couples, families and empowered women!
This, this is a badass, empowered man!
A few years ago, I had the honor of documenting Daniel, who you see here and his gorgeous wife as they modeled for a wedding inspiration shoot. Their ability to be behind the camera, seamless.
Daniel, later modeled for a rad alcohol shoot I had done. And just recently, we connected around an idea he had for some lifestyle portraits. He sent me a few examples of what he was looking for and I immensely knew where we could bring to life such portraits.
There is always, a distinct moment during a photographic exchange, where the energy shifts. The lighting is just perfect. The subject at hand is calm and present. And for me, the connection with what I am witnessing, the knowledge of my camera, it just aligns, aligns so beautifully and portraits such as these are birthed. I always laugh at myself as I am sure at this moment, I let out a squeal or two of excitement and probably skip around getting super excited for the time capsules that are to come. Key word, I laugh at myself. You see, to me, this is an enormous sign that I am living my passion of a profession, truly present and enjoying what I am doing. For those to be in alignment, I can bring to life some of the most authentic, representative and present moments.
Daniel, thanks for the creative honor of getting to document in a different, new light with these portraits. I cannot wait to see how you incorporate them into your writings and current projects!
Ending this week with an insanely grateful heart.
Last week and this week, have been full of sessions.
From engagements, to families, to elopements, to lifestyle, to starting the first of my mini sessions to second shooting for the first time in nearly three years! I ventured with the babes and her auntie @luxalot to one of my all time favorite botanical gardens. Got featured for the second time, this year in one of my all time, dream publications - @munaluchibride. #voted, you better believe I did for the first time since college and had my daughter drop the ballot into an official ballot box at City Hall in San Clemente! AND really connected with myself this week with a reiki session from the ever incredible @lava_to_stone followed by writing, dancing and just being on the beach, just me, spirit and connection. It was glorious.
For this, all of this, I am insanely grateful.
Grateful to live this life.
Grateful to live in and with intention.
Grateful to share my passion of a profession with amazing souls such as these you’re witnessing here, Kayla and Sean’s engagement session that we documented on what was supposed to be their wedding day. This, this was an oath to all they’ve been through and all that will come with postponing their wedding. Grateful to be a mama and a guide for my incredible rad, bright, hilarious daughter.
Grateful to be tapping into my strength.
Damn, am I strong.
Damn, are we all incredible strong.
Grateful to meet so many dynamic, unique, intentional, loving souls.
Grateful to live by the coast, having the ocean as a guide, an anchor, a foundation to my building blocks. So much love to each and everyone of you.
I am grateful you are here.
I am grateful you are you.
Through experience, relation can be shared and in that relation friendships are formed.
I have always been able to relate to others through experience, it’s how I connect, express myself and be in exchange. Over the past few years, being pregnant, giving birth to and raising my incredible little daughter, I have really felt, understood, experienced, fallen in love with what it means to be all those things, to grow as a parent - in relationship with my daughter, with myself, with my husband, with my community and this world as a mom, her mom.
When I meet other souls on a similar path, it really feels like witnessing a shooting star. There is the unspoken understanding, this gratitude, this admiration as I too know what it means to be in the phase of raising a young human. Oh, it is the greatest joy, yet some of the most challenging moments I’ve been faced with in my 33 years around the sun.
Friend, this family here is truly incredible. They were connected by another dear friend (Thank you Christy) and we quickly started diving into their vision, their desire, their questions around a very important session, first birthday portraits. Within a few minutes of our phone call, I could feel their excitement. The location - one of my all time favorites, Ole Hanson Beach Club where I shoot a number of weddings (gosh - do I miss that venue so much this year with all the wedding postponements) as they were married at this very location a few years ago. The date was picked, but the time we kept open until a week before the session as with little humans, their schedules are ever changing and we wanted to document during that sweet spot (you know the one - after a really good nap, so full of energy, love and just pure awesomeness) and of course, the golden hour.
As the day arrived, the weather, the lighting, this amazing family couldn’t have been any brighter as they celebrated their first daughter’s first birthday! From balloons, to mirrors, to taking walks and ending with a cake smash, this little ham - Amara soaked up the camera!
To this amazing family, thank you for the honor, for the trust in documenting this monumental time in all your lives. It’s truly a great honor.
“Ashley, we wanted to send you a quick note to let you know our moms were blown away by the albums you created for us. Our initial thought was that they were a bit costly, but the delivered product was the nicest album we’ve ever seen! One could describe them as heirloom quality. We will for sure be ordering more from you in the future when we have more life events to document. Thank you again…”
You had your photographic exchange with Ashley Strong Photography. Now, you want to show off those beautiful time capsules, right? Well, let's do this. You can order gorgeous prints, canvas and albums from exclusive photographer only print labs!
To order - purchase directly through your online viewing gallery.
Or shoot an email to email@example.com and I can send you an order form!
Prints and Canvas:
Prints come in either lustre, metallic or canvas
ranging in size from 4x6 to 24x36 (pricing below)!
To order, email with the following:
2. Type of print (lustre, metallic and/or canvas)
4. Image number(s)
Albums come in linen, with over a dozen colors (scroll below for color swatches)
to choose from ranging in size from 5x7 to 12x16 (pricing below)!
To order, email with the following:
4. 30 main time capsules, 15 secondary
On Friday, I put my out of office on, deleted instagram for the weekend (as I try to do nearly every weekend), sat with myself (margarita in hand) and when the babes woke, had some much needed family time with my girl and hubs. Creating this space, honoring this space, being in this space feels cleansing, enabling me to come back and share with my whole self.
I mentioned last week, I have A LOT of new content to share and my goodness, over the next couple weeks I will be sharing some of the magical sessions I’ve been honored to document recently.
I am going to start right here, this very session, that of Kimberly and Joe’s maternity portraits. The location was chosen as it was so very special to their relationship, their story, even their engagement portraits were taken here. The date was picked with a safe boundary after the second wave hit and before she got too close to the end of her pregnancy. Typically I try to do maternity sessions around 32 weeks, but this mama here was close to 34 weeks. With the date being chosen months in advance, the weather, the temperature, the tides, it’s what the universe presents. This very day was during that insanely hot weekend where it was pushing 100 all weekend and the fires had really started to hit, all around us. The sky was dark, really orange and dark and quite eerie.
I have to be honest, it took me a while into our session before I built a relationship with the sky as it was so foreign to what I am used to shooting with. Once that relationship was built, I think I squealed (like I usually do when I really get excited) and moments such as these came to life.
It’s incredible as, to me, photographs have this magical way of stopping time - even just for a second. They are an imprint on the now, and will quickly become the past, a piece of us, a part of the puzzle that makes up these immensely beautiful, unique stories of our existence. For this, I fall in love with being a photographer each and every time I stand behind my lenses.
Thank you for the amazing honor of documenting your little lady in your womb.
I know you will hold these close.
Where do I begin? With sharing these time capsules.
With the words to describe the feeling behind them. There is just so much. Oh, let me just start.
It takes a village. It truly takes a village. A village of committed, intentional, inspired, rad souls.
That, that is exactly what this is. With all that has been happening in the world, the wedding industry - it’s taken away my inspiration, it’s brought me into a place of heaviness.
Creating, documenting, spreading love - it’s part of my heartbeat.
With not being able to create in the capacity I “normally” do this time of year, it felt all too right to expand, connect, be in exchange through an inspirational wedding shoot. And that, that is what myself and this insanely amazing team of vendors did. We connected around bringing to life a wedding, one that would serve as an inspiration for us, for all of us.
Thank you, thank you to every single soul involved in bringing this to life. In turning this vision into reality. In connecting, safely during this strange time. In reminding me of why I do what I do. In being in the flow, being in the space to work together, to create together, to expand together, to be together. This, this is the first of many shares from this shoot. Community, you’re incredible.
Venue : The Casino : @thecasinosc
Photographer : Ashley Ashley Strong Photography : @ashleystrongphotography
Wedding Coordinator : Klink Events : @KlinkEvents
Floral : Fantasy Floral : @fantasyfloraldesigns
Rentals : Sundrop Vintage : @sundrop_vintage
Cake : Simply Sweet Cakery : @simplysweetcakery
Hair : Design Visage : @designvisage
Make-Up : Design Visage : @designvisage :
Bridal Dress : Bridal Showcase : @bridal_showcase
Groom Tux : Friar Tux : @friartux
Stationary : Squared Wedding Press : @squaredweddingpress
Jewelry : Salihah Moore : @salihahmoore
Female Model : Jessica Mc Coy
Male Model : Martin-Xavier Jenkins : @m_thehat
Sometimes, getting to document, feels like I’m in a dream.
My couples, all the souls I document are magic.
There is just something so insanely special about the power of human connection, playing in nature, the sun showing itself off and my trusty little best friend, my camera.
It turns fleeting moments, small interactions, subtle connections into these tangible, vibrant, heart bursting, time capsules that serve as this immense reminder for days, for weeks, for months, for years, for decades, for centuries that life, life is truly what you make it.
That dreams can turn into realities.
That love is this all encompassing vibration.
That family is everything.
That life, really is so beautiful.
That for a yin, there is a yang.
That for light, there is darkness.
For growth, there is defeat.
For living wholly, fully, authentically, vulnerably, life, life is exactly as it is meant to be.
My friend, hold your dear ones close, love a little harder, deeper, more each and everyday, live knowing you can bring anything into light. You are incredible. Damn, are you absolutely incredible!
Thank you to Renee and Jordan - the insanely beautiful couple you see here for the opportunity, the honor of witnessing, documenting, being one of the story tellers for this part of your journey.
I’m in awe, everyday.
Oh, my heart.
Life truly brings about some of the greatest surprises.
Some hard. Others joyful.
Although a very heavy time for this very family, this meeting, this interaction, the subsequent time capsules have truly become such a strong impression in my heart!
I recently had the honor of being connected with this insanely strong and beautiful family through Make a Wish - Orange County!! Omar, this rad little soul you see here has been battling cancer since January of 2020. Just this past week his dream of getting to ride in a Lamborghini, a blue one that his dad drove - to be exact came true through @makeawishamerica!
The day after, I then had the honor, the privilege,
the blessing of documenting Omar and his whole family.
Their sweetness, was truly felt from the moment we said hello.
Ah! My heart!
After Omar and his family received the time capsules, his mom said,
"Thank you so much Ashley. I have been crying all day long. After seeing these picture my heart can't help it. You are an amazing photographer and we were truly blessed to have you capture these beautiful moments that we will forever cherish."
Thank you! Thank you for this incredible honor.
I am forever grateful for this opportunity, this experience, this connection!
a Go-Fund-Me account has been created as omar's cancer is spreading so quickly that the doctors are not going to operate. This time, is all thy have. They're in need of financial support during these very hard, last days.
It seems all too odd to say that I documented my last full wedding of 2020 at the end of July.
This has never happened before. Even when preparing fro the arrival of my daughter, I did take three months off during the summer, but came back to nearly a dozen weddings.
This, this very wedding was supposed to be one of twelve and oh my heart, was it one of two that moved forward in 2020. You see friends, COVID is nothing knew, its effects are ever lasting. I documented two, refunded two as they were fully cancelled and the remaining eight have been postponed to 2021. This, this makes my heart beyond sad for oh so many reasons. At the forefront, these couples not getting to celebrate their love with their favorite people on this planet and me, not getting to be the one in the very fortunate, intimate seat of taking it all in and documenting it to the absolute best of my ability.
Although so very hard for me and I can only imagine so deeply difficult for the couples involved, it is not why we are here. This, oh this wedding, that of Brittney and Nick's is why we are here. The time capsules, they really do speak for themselves. The wedding, was beyond stunning. Their energy, so joyful, so present, so calm, so incredibly meant to be. Their families, the sweetest. The weather, just right. The sunset, showing itself off. The timeline, perfectly smooth. The connection, oh was the connection so beautifully felt by all those who experienced this very day.
After COVID hit, their original venue, on the beach, closed and wasn't able to re-open to host their wedding. Luckily, their sister venue, the incredible Franciscan Gardens was and accommodated them perfectly. One minor detail, it was away from the beach. After the change, we connected again and the importance of the beach was fully understood. We reworked the timeline to ensure we could jump in the car and head to the beach for sunset portraits. This, this was my favorite part of the day.
We hurried to the car, made a quick u-turn from the originally planned place as the sun had already dropped behind the mountain and found ourselves, in the perfect spot, just in time to play with the dancing light. From their engagement session and documenting all day, these two just knew what to do. So lovingly. So gracefully. So fully. As we finished their romantic portraits and started heading back to the car, the entire, I mean the entire beach started screaming and cheering for them. The smiles, oh the smiles on their faces could have truly powered a whole state.
My friends, it has been such an honor documenting this journey in your lives.
I am humbled with your love, by your ease, by your connection.
After sharing their full gallery (nearly 1500 images),
I've received this email, for which I will forever hold it close :
"We have spent many special hours over the past few days enjoying these with our families and friends. My goodness you are INCREDIBLE!!! The way you captured our excitement and feeling of the day as a whole is absolutely amazing. We are very lucky. It is going to be SO difficult to decide what we want to put up in our home! I can't say thank you enough for sticking with us on that crazy journey. There were so many moments over the last 6 months where I couldn't even imagine what our day would look like but going through these validates even more that we really did get our perfect day. Nick and I both loved having your magical eye (and Rachels!) on us all day long. Your passion for what you do is unmistakable. It showed in how you gave us our space for our private moments but then totally ran the show with our families. THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!"
Coordination: Pop the Champagne
Venue : Franciscan Gardens
First Look Venue : Los Rios District in San Juan Capistrano
Florals : Flowers by Kendra
Photography : Ashley Strong Photography
2nd shooter : Rachael Smith Photography
DJ : Brandon Moshenkoo
Hair and Makeup : Beauty and the Beach OC
Live Steam : Second Song
Several years, this amazing soul - Marcy Browe of Marcy Browe Photography and I were connected through a facebook group called Tuesday's Together. I wanted to do a trade with another photographer for portraits, as did she, we connected and immediately started making magic.
Back in 2017, it was the first time I had really had a photo shoot of myself. She, made it feel so effortless, the results - exactly what I wanted. Every year since then, we do this very thing. She documents me, I document her. Every year, the photo shoots become that much more special as they're more intentional, more empowering, more joyful, more of us really bringing out the best in one another. You see, we've become friends, really beautiful friends.
What is so special about this friendship is our shared passion. Although to some, this could be seen as a threat, to us, oh to us - it's so empowering, nourishing, inspiring. For each of us to share and expand our craft with one another, it just fuels our souls. We left this last photo shoot, the one you see here, with adrenaline running through our body and the biggest smiles on our faces. We genuinely played and genuinely had the greatest time!
After sending her gallery, she sent me a message, "Holy crap, you're my hero. I LOVE every photo you sent. How did you o that seemingly so effortlessly? I'm in awe. I appreciate you so much!! You brought my vision to life and made it look EASY. You're talent and a badass friend. Thank you!!!"
Marcy, thank you! Thank you for sharing your talent, your love, your journey and your inspiration. I am honored to document it each and every year! And friend, as you dive into these portraits, you can witness the variety of styled we did all in three hours. The more preparation and intention into your session, the greater the results!