For those of you that follow me, know that I love rustic designs and venues, so you should not be surprised when I tell you that I fell in LOVE with Ashley Vaughn's photos. Not only is Ashley a great wedding photographer, but she is also the owner of White Rabbit Studios - a multi-faceted artisan experience that includes not only a photographer but a videographer, DJ and a design guru. I am so excited to sit down with her today and learn more about her business and the lady behind the business.
What made you decide to start your business?
Years ago, my mother’s friend’s photographer bailed two days before her wedding. She had seen my work of landscapes and such on facebook and asked if I would be willing to shoot her wedding. I was extremely nervous, and excited! I loved every second of the wedding day, and better yet - she loved all of the photos! Up to that point, I never had a huge interest in photographing people or weddings. However, I quickly fell heads over heels for all things weddings! Now, I couldn’t even imagine life not having so many wonderful love stories that I am lucky to capture!
If you could describe your style of photography in three words, what would they be?
Timeless, heirloom, authentic
What is in your camera bag that we wouldn’t expect?
A fanny pack! I use it to carry rolls of film, a sharpie, biz cards, batteries, and other miscellaneous items for when I’m shooting.
If you could do a photo shoot of anything, what would it be?
Something Alice in Wonderland or Twin Peaks inspired!
What is our favorite part of your business?
The love! The people! The people in love! It’s such an honor to be a part of an important day in someone’s life. I enjoy the camaraderie and excitement around the newlyweds! I love that photographing weddings and elopements has given me the chance to travel to some incredible destinations.
How many weddings do you shoot a year?
It varies! Usually between 15-25. Sprinkle in a handful or so elopements as well.
What packages do you offer? Do they include an Engagement Shoot and a Bridal Shoot?
I have done away with different packages. I offer a starting price point for 6-7 hours of coverage, wedding prints from the day in a handmade wooden box, and a thumb drive of images. Everything else (from additional sessions to albums) are add-ons that are available. Since I shoot film, it’s imperative to me that I offer a tangible proof of the day with the prints. There’s nothing quite like holding such precious memories in your hands. I happily offer options for smaller budgets and elopements if full day coverage is not needed.
What is your process? Do you meet with your brides before hand?
Generally after the initial communication, I encourage couples to meet with me to discuss the details of their day, check out prints, and generally get to know each other. I have a studio space in a large arts and entertainment complex (called Lowe Mill) - it’s an 1800s cotton mill repurposed into art studios, independent businesses, galleries, and so much more. The vibe of my studio helps clients get a better feel for who I am, and in turn, I can find out more information about them!
How do you send your files to your brides?
I provide an online gallery to share with family and friends (where prints and digital downloads can be purchased). Once I have the final wedding package ready with all of their prints and the thumb drive, I love to meet with them and hand deliver the box of goodies.
Do you work with a second shooter?
Occasionally, if needed or if hired! I’m extremely lucky that my husband is my second shooter! We also own a record store as well, so it’s great when I get a destination wedding and he can come with me on the adventures!
What trends do you see with the current brides?
Instead of honing in on trends, I love to focus on the happiness of the two folks tying the knot! Whatever details or people they choose to surround themselves with on that day are important for me to capture, not to judge.
What is your favorite song that you use for your wedding videos? What’s the most popular song that couples request?
I’m just waiting for the couple that would be ecstatic to have Wanda Jackson’s “Funnel of Love” as one of the songs in their video! My videographer does an incredible job to ensure the action of the video correlates to the beats of the song - it’s mesmerizing! While we happily accept couples’ requests of songs for their videos, most of the time they leave it up to us to choose. Based on the feel of the day, Dustin and I will hand select several songs to see which ones fit oh so perfectly!
White Rabbit Studios actually incorporates 4 different vendors including yourself. What made you guys all decide to work together?
I am very lucky to have such incredibly talented friends! I asked if each would like to use their gifts in the wedding world, and they happily agreed! Matt (the DJ), Dustin (the videographer), and I all have studios at Lowe Mill as well.
Do you find working together in your different mediums helps to attract different wedding clients?
Absolutely! We generally attract clients who appreciate analog (since I shoot film and Matt spins vinyl) and want unobtrusive coverage that creates timeless imagery. My couples are very trustworthy and allow us complete artist freedom in capturing their memories or providing musical entertainment. We love them so much!
We always like to learn a little bit about the person behind the business, so...
What do you like to do when you are not photographing weddings, portraits, etc.?
My husband and I own a record shop, so our lives are centered around music and photography. We enjoy to travel and discover new places together. We have almost completed restoration on our 100+ year old house, which we’ve poured our blood, sweat, and tears into making that house our home. Evenings and mornings at home are spent cuddling our 4 (yikes...four!) cats: Sadie, Maple, Tiny, and Pookie.
What are the five presets on your car radio/ipod?
NPR, an oldies station, a pop station, a rap station, and a country station.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would your dream job be?
An actress! Not in big time Hollywood or Broadway, but doing something like the show Broad City. I was in theater in high school and college (was majoring in it before I left school). Matt (the DJ) and I are involved in an independent theater troupe called Crash Boom Bang! It would be a dream to see our talent get more attention than just from our home town.
If you give the brides one piece of advice, what would it be?
Trust the professionals you’re hiring! I’m thrilled to help my couples discuss timeline options for the wedding day so our time together can be best utilized. It’s wonderful to be able to connect with the couple, which allows more comfortable coverage and genuine smiles!
If you could tell the brides one thing about your business, what would it be?
Let’s do something wild and crazy and fun! Let me capture you and your love and tell the fabulous story between you two! I can’t wait to harness your energy and provide you with memories for generations to come! I love love and I can’t wait to meet you and yours!
Thanks Ashley for sitting down with us today. For those of you in the Alabama area looking for a wedding photographer, be sure to look Ashley up. Until then, be sure to follow her social media: