After being in business full time since April 2015, I've had the honor of being mentored and inspired to dive deep within the layers of myself and those we support! With this, I've become very clear on our commitment to our clients, on the values of our clients and the deep desire to continually share these life enhancing photographic exchanges.
It has been time for a new brand, a visual representation, a logo, a tagline and mission that truly reflects the clarity behind this incredible brand where we get to share exchanges with and call friends!
My friends, we are....
Ashley Strong Photography : Vibrantly Blissful.
Love. Life. Culture.
The logo, is a visual representation of "Wings of a Flower."
The lotus being the flower. The leaves being it's wings.
Vibrantly Blissful is a reflection of each and every time capsule.
We document, share and tell the stores of love, life and culture.
There is a tattoo on the inside of my right arm.
In cursive, "Wings of a Flower." Often, I get asked what it says. I joyfully share.
Rarely, do I get asked what it means.
Wings of a Flower to me, represents discovery, strength, courage, interconnectedness, an expanding awakening, jumping outside of my comfort zone, truth, trust, community, rebirth, growth.
You see, I had this scribed on my arm in South Africa after living on Mafia Island, Tanzania the first time.
While there, I had so much space and time, to be fully present.
To sit, to listen, to take walks, to bare witness to all that was around.
There were no distractions of a TV,
no convenience of having my car, my friends, the job I had known,
everything that had made my what I thought whole at that time in my life.
This, this in itself created the space for me to truly reflect on the interconnectedness of ourselves,
each other, nature and the universe as a whole.
As one flower, tree or even individual releases itself into the ground,
it transforms, it creates nutrients, it supports, enabling one another to grow.
We are constantly evolving, growing new flowers, expanding our branches,
loses peddles, loses leaves and ultimately growing.
Not only in the life time, but many others.
This, this is Wings of a Flower.
My wings, help grow your flowers.
Your flowers help expand my wings.
Below, is a piece I wrote while living, loving and teaching on Mafia Island, Tanzania back in 2013.
These very words, this very experience contributed immensely to understanding of myself,
therefore the way in which I communicate with the world and now,
the representation my brand, the passion of a profession, the reality I live and share daily!
- With so much love,
Grateful Owner and Passionate Photographer, Ashley Strong Smith
A moment of warmth so pure, so new.
So new to the spirit.
Not the warmth of a mother's hug.
Not the warmth of an infant gripping onto your finger as tightly as their little limbs can do.
Not the warmth of your loved ones expressing their appreciation for your existence.
I am talking about the warmth of our universe.
I am talking about the warmth of a young soul's smile within our universe.
A smile with so much admiration and excitement to have an English conversation with the schools international English teacher. This warmth, it is almost indescribable.
Although you were not present for this specific sunset walk around my Kitomondo neighborhood,
I will do my best to explain what I mean by this form of warmth.
What I experienced that very evening.
Warmth from the universe.
Warmth of a young soul's smile.
Taking a solo walk, getting lost and consumed by the African forest.
New faces carrying their loads.
Exploring the emotions throughout my body.
Words swirling around in my mind.
My camera has been my form of communication for several years now.
It has been my vehicle.
It is my vehicle.
Allowing me to express my innermost being.
To the world.
To the world at large.
My photographs tell a story.
Tell my story.
One in which I experience and live each and every moment.
One in which I feel blessed to share with my community.
With all communities.
In the states, a desired weekend day is spent getting lost amongst the trails of a botanical garden.
Not one in particular, just one open for an explorer.
Taking in all the colors and reflecting on the talents of our dear mother nature.
Circle of life.
One feeding another through the death of their leaf.
Spreading the seeds.
In many cases, the wings of a flower.
Our world is abundantly interconnected.
Each part working together or in some cases against one another.
But, all creating a whole.
Providing to those whom cannot provide for themselves.
And yes, being selfish and taking only what they need with no intention of giving back.
This is our society.
This is our world.
Humans, you ask?
Not just humans.
The dirt we walk on.
The trees that provide our oxygen.
The sun creating and sustaining life.
The fish in the ocean.
The coconut way up high.
Yes, all life.
Every living thing on this earth.
In this earth.
Around this earth.
We are minuscule to that which lies beyond our present physical existence.
These gardens I speak of.
This desired weekend day is not one that is desired.
Nor is it just a weekend day.
This botanical garden I talk about is that which I am surrounded by everyday.
That which I wake up to and lies right outside my bedroom window.
That which blows above me as I walk to school in the mornings.
That which glistens in the evening sun as I run down the dirt path leading to the next village.
That which surrounds my walk into town.
Oh yes, it is true.
I am living in one ginormous botanical garden.
One that is more than the art of mother nature through that of flowers, plants, trees, birds and cows.
It is one of a human botanical garden.
Faces with smiles bigger and more curious then seen by my two eyes prior to this reality.
Ones in which colors of fabrics radiate every vibrant color known to man.
Ones with skin so dark.
Ones that sing when they have the chance to have an English conversation.
Simply saying hello, ask my name and where I'm from.
That's all they need.
That alone will do.
Everyday is a new discovery.
A more clearer realization.
A point of growth.
A moment of confusion.
Even with the confusion being thrown into the mix, I go to bed each night with so much peace in my heart.
Calmness in my body.
Openness in my mind.
I wake each day with even more inspiration and determination than the day before.
I am here.
I wake up each morning in Kitomondo on Mafia Island in AFRICA!
I am here. "