We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashleigh Cropper and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashleigh, what’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
Deciding to start a family with my husband after four years of hustle and hard work to establish my photography business. I told myself from the beginning that I would continue working after having children, and I honestly didn’t even understand the depths of exhaustion, success, determination, and joy I would experience from that commitment.

Being a “mompreneaur” is a very stretching experience in all directions. I just welcomed my second son a couple of months ago and the word “balance” keeps getting redefined. Our society pressures us to always find balance in our lives but truly, I believe, it’s about redirecting focus throughout your days, weeks, and years. One moment I may be editing a photography session with a newborn strapped to me in a front-pack.

Since being a mother, I have become more intentional with my work and amazing opportunities continue to come my way. I was able to work with ABC and The Bachelor franchise. I’ve traveled across the country while eight months pregnant capturing a beautiful wedding. I have connected more than ever to my families who I photograph. I work with numerous other wedding vendors who are moms too, and I appreciate the comradery and understanding in supporting each other on a whole new level.

It is possible to do both, and for me it is important for my wellbeing to invest in both areas of my life. I am a business owner; I am a mother. I hope one day my boys will see that their mother invested in herself, while also investing in her family. I am a better mother for doing both and can’t think of any way to better improve the world than to lead by example.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I specialize in portrait photography: anything from families, to newborns, engaged couples, and weddings. I believe my ability to connect with others is what truly sets me apart. I always say I am more of a “directive” photographer than a “posing” photographer. There will be no stiff posing, but rather relaxed and easy moments captured in-front of my camera. I am most proud when I hear that someone was really nervous to be doing a photography session, but then by the end say they feel like it was fun and even enjoyable! I have learned over the years how to connect with others so they don’t feel like a camera is in their face but rather they are with their family, or loved one embracing a wonderful moment usually somewhere gorgeous outdoors!

I got to where I am today by eight years of determination, putting in the long hours, serving my clients continually, and allowing time to build my work over the years. We hear most about the over-night success stories, but I believe so much of what really goes on behind the scenes takes years of grit. Most of my work is now based off of referrals from previous clients who appreciate my professionalism and level of care. There will be high highs and very low lows when owning a business. There will be days that may feel impossible but those are the days you will learn the most and continue to grow. I send out a questionnaire for feedback from clients to know how their experience was. I ask for it to be very honest and for anything I can improve upon. It has been the backbone to my work and continuing to improve. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as a “mompreneur” is to just keep pushing forward. Keep growing, showing up for your clients and work, show yourself and your family that you can do hard things!

What I want others to know about me and my brand is that I believe photography is one of the most important, cherished items we have in this world. When someone passes away in your life it is often the photographs that you hold closest that bring you back to those moments with that loved one. I am both storyteller and historian. I always feel like I’m capturing history as it unfolds right in front of me; like a direct gift to the children and grandchildren of those I’m photographing. It’s a very special opportunity to have others trust me and my work. I feel honored to express these stories and memories through images.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Since I am based out of Boulder I would focus around that area. I would start with a night out at Japango for the best sushi and a walk along Pearl Street Mall. There would be hiking at some of my favorite spots like Eldorado Canyon, Chautauqua and Mount Sanitas. Then back to more eating where we would get tacos from T|aco and a stop in for empanadas at Rincon Argentino. Can’t forget Zoe Mama too for the best street food! Then finish off the week with a drive up Flagstaff Road to Lost Gulch lookout and see those magnificent Rocky mountains.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
With my wedding photography work I have “second photographers” on my team. They are individuals who work alongside me on the wedding day to capture more work and assist in all that is happening with my couple. I would love to give a shoutout to Amber and Caroline. They have both been with me through my pregnancies while I am working at my weddings. Days are long and they have been there to encourage, support and help me along the way.

Then for the all around support in my life I definitely need to recognize my husband, Ian. He is the one who first bought me a camera many years ago and saw that I had a passion for photography. He is the one that makes me feel like I have no limits with my work and that I can keep excelling. He takes the babies when I need to push through long hours, finds solutions for challenges I may be facing, and encourages me to keep going especially at times when I feel stretched too thin.

Website: http://redaspenphotography.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/redaspenphotography/

Image Credits
Red Aspen Photography

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