Sometimes, even when beauty is all around us, we need to see it through the eyes of another to really appreciate it.
Such is often the case here in Webster. We live — literally — on the edge of one of the most beautiful natural features in our world, yet we too easily take it for granted.
Ashley Hampton is not one of those people.
Regular visitors to the Webster Neighbors Facebook group are familiar with Ashley’s work. She frequently posts strikingly beautiful photographs from the Lake Ontario shoreline, capturing blazing sunsets and striking natural features.
But what’s particularly interesting is that Ashley Hampton does not consider herself more a portrait photographer than a landscape photographer and is a bit surprised by the attention her photos have received.
“Those are literally my iPhone pictures,” she said. I always just end up running down to the lake and taking them on my phone, and then I edit them on my phone.”
Her real passion, however, is working with people and making them look as beautiful and artistic as those landscapes.
As Ashley was growing up, she knew she liked being behind a camera, but really never thought much about making a living as a photographer. The passion to find beauty in the world through a lens kind of found her.
“Ever since I was little, I’ve always been the photographer” she remembered. “Whenever I hung out with friends or go to family functions, I was always taking pictures to the point that people get annoyed because I take so many pictures.”
It was only about three years ago that Ashley decided to try to turn her passion into a career.
It was not long after graduating from Webster Schroeder High School in 2014, when Ashley moved to Arkansas to live with their daughter Kyndle and her husband Warren, a senior airman in the Air Force.
“When I moved down there, (Kyndle) became my whole entire life,” she said. But she added, “after staying home for a while, I thought, I have to start living out my dream a little.”
Touching Moments Photography was born.
“I just bought a Canon camera and I started doing relay cheap sessions, even free sessions, started getting a feel for my camera.”
As her little business grew, Warren started to help out more often with her portrait sessions. Along the way he also started to develop a love for photography, and the business because more of a team effort.
“He was behind the scenes behind me making people smile getting a reaction out of people. We thought, this is amazing that we can connect in this way…. We have the kind of minds that can click without even saying a word.”
Ashley really considers herself as much an artist as a photographer, someone who can take photography to a whole other level.
“I’m a natural light photographer,” she explained, “but I like to do a realistic approach that still gives it the look that people want to have, a dreamy, fantasy, eye-opening look.”
“I make it artwork.”
Ashley and Warren were married in June. Soon afterwards she returned to her family home in Webster to enroll Kyndle in kindergarten. Warren followed her just a few weeks ago. And now that the family is whole again, they’re looking forward to building their business, Touching Moments Photography, together.
So keep an eye out for Ashley’s landscape photography next time you’re on the Webster Neighbors Facebook group. She and the many talented photographers like her who post their work to the page are helping us all remember how beautiful the world is around us.
To find out more about Ashley and her business Touching Moments Photography, visit her on Facebook here: https://fb.me/EndlessMemoriesbyAsh
You can also drop her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org