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Ashley from Ashley dePencier Photography chats with us about her Photography business and creating happy couples.

Evermoore Wedding Vendor Show where we chat with local wedding vendors in Central California about how they help couples getting married. This show is designed for engaged couples and for our fellow wedding vendors to learn about and from each other. Browse over 1000 wedding vendors on our Central California vendor directory. This show is brought to you by Evermoore Films, Kern County’s leading wedding videography company. If you’re looking for a local wedding videographer in Central California check out Evermoore Films.

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02 Focus on Happy Couples – Ashley dePencier Photography

Ashley: And we start talking about, you know, timelines and, and family groupings and stuff like that. And I like to kind of find out what’s important to them, you know some photographers are so insistent on a first look and some are so insistent on not, and I’m kind of insistent on my clients being happy.

Josh: Welcome to the Evermore Wedding Vendor Show, where we chat with local wedding vendors. I’m Josh from Evermore Films, the host of the Evermore Wedding Vendor Show, also the home of the Evermore Wedding Vendor Directory, where we have over a thousand local wedding vendors listed in the Central California area.

Let’s get into today’s show. Welcome to the Evermore Wedding Vendor Show, where we chat with local wedding vendors, and today we are going to be chatting with Ashley from Ashley dePencier Photography. She is one of the local photographers on our wedding dinner directory. We’ve worked with her off and on for years.

And so we’re looking forward to this conversation. I’m Josh from Evermore films, the host of the show, and we’re excited to have Ashley on to talk. Ashley, why don’t you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?

Ashley: Hey, so I’m Ashley and I am a wedding and maternity and newborn photographer here in town.

I shoot medium format film. And I just love it. I don’t know.

Josh: That’s that’s great. That’s great. I know you’ve done film for a long time. That seems to be kind of a passion of yours. Talk to us a little bit about film. I know that that’s something unique. Not everybody does. Just tell us a little, a little bit about shooting film.

Oh gosh,

Ashley: I love film. It’s, it kind of captures my vintage soul. I suppose you could say I just. Something about it, the big camera, the heavy noises, and it just, it just, I feel like it captures the color, and everything just so beautifully, especially on a wedding day, brides and grooms especially, gosh, I just love the way it captures light, and it just, there’s just something about it, I can shoot the same shot digitally, and on film, and when you put them next to each other, you just, it’s like you captured their soul, I don’t know, there’s just something about it, I just love it.

So I just, I just keep on going, man.

Josh: That’s good. That’s good. Well, I know shooting film, especially medium format does take some experience. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your background and your experience with photography and with weddings?

Ashley: Well I started shooting in 2010 after I graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography.

I left there with a portraiture degree. So I’ve done a lot of. I did a lot of learning when it came to photographing people and light. Then I came home and started my business. And I didn’t actually start with film right away. It took me a few years to pick it up, but I always, always loved it.

Jose Villa was always a favorite photographer of mine to follow all through school. I had done some stuff in school with like, Old plastic Holga cameras and in stacks and stuff like that for some like fine art classes. So that’s kind of where it started. I guess. But once I kind of got my hands on to figuring out the medium format cameras and realizing that that was more realistic option for shooting weddings, I kind of dove in head first and taught myself, how to use the medium format. I had started photography with my mom’s Canon AE 1, which is a 35 millimeter. A little easier to use, but that was actually my first camera. It’s from 1983, I believe.

Josh: Nice. Do you still have that?

Oh, man, that’s funny. Speaking of, of vintage I know that’s definitely come back around in styles. So I guess you were doing vintage before vintage was cool, right?

Ashley: Yeah. Hey, you know, that’s just me. What’s that? A country song. I was, I was country before country was cool.

Josh: I love it. I love it.

Well, so for. Or couples who are planning their weddings or maybe for other, other vendors who maybe know you. I know at weddings as vendors, we don’t always get a lot of time to chat and catch up with each other and kind of find out what’s new or what new services people are offering in their business.

And of course, as brides are researching, they usually have either never heard of us or, or, or they’re just hearing about us for the first time. Maybe they had a friend use us but they don’t necessarily know everything that we do. So. Go ahead and tell us a little bit about the services that you offer and what that does for couples who are looking for a photographer.

Ashley: Okay. Well, first of all, I do engagements and weddings, as you know I will travel. I’ve also recently started shooting newborns. I’ve gotten really into that. I love babies, love them, love them. And then I also do, which is super fun underwater maternity sessions. I shoot those in my pool summer only because it’s not heated.

But it is just so fun. It’s like a whole new world underwater. Literally.

Josh: Right. Yeah, I know. I know. I’ve seen some of your underwater and I, we’ve done some underwater work together. So the, the underwater stuff is a lot of fun. And that’s something that unique that you do, um, that not a lot of people do around here.

Ashley: No, I tend to pick up things that are unique and different and quirky for some reason

Josh: Well, that’s good i’m sure that the couples who resonate with that find you and they’re like, okay, you’re my people

Ashley: Yeah, definitely. A lot of times when I find a bride or groom or, you know family for a newborn or something that, that tends to happen.

We usually click and we know people in common, of course, because it’s Bakersfield, but there’s always something fun to talk about and.

Josh: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. So, I mean, you do, you do the weddings, you do the, the newborns. Are there any other photography services that you offer that people need to know about?

Ashley: Well, I do portraits as well, you know, families and high school seniors, and I’ve done like one year cake smash sessions and milk bath maternity sessions. Gosh, I mean, if it’s a port, if it’s portraiture, I, I do it. I just love to take pictures. So I mean I’ve even shot real estate and food before so

Josh: There you go Well loving to take pictures is a great place to start as a photographer.

So Well, I I know that you and I have worked together for over 10 years and I can definitely Attest to the fact that you do love what you do. And and you’re good at it and you have that that artistic eye So so that’s fun. Let’s see What, what would you say sets you apart? I mean, there’s, you know, hundreds of photographers what, what, what’s unique about you?

What sets you apart? As people are looking, what, what are the things that are like, okay, why should, why should we talk to Ashley?

Ashley: Well, I mean, definitely the kind of vintage film. Thing really does set me apart. I’m not sure if there’s anyone else in town that still shoots film. There were a few girls for a while.

But you know, I think that between kind of my like vintage quirky soul and I kind of offer all the services that you can grow with. Weddings. Newborns, family photos, so you can kind of grow with me as a photographer, which is really fun. I’ve got a few families that I’ve just, I’ve shot their wedding.

I’ve watched them have babies and grow up and that’s really special to be there for all

Josh: of that. Yeah, that is fun. So you’ve been doing this for a minute. What are, what are some, some of the memorable moments, stories, you know, favorite, favorite things that you remember? What are some of the fun things along the way?

Ashley: memorable. Let’s see. I mean, it could be bad, but right. I mean, I have some stories. It’s been what, 15 years? Gosh, some of my favorite memories. Oh, that is. Gosh, maybe, I don’t know, the first time I shot an underwater maternity, that was pretty cool to watch. And then, actually, I, with the help of a friend, did my own underwater maternity session, too.

Oh, okay. Yeah. It’s like underwater selfies. Right? No, well, she was my second shooter. So, I, I stole her pool and, and, you know, some helpers. And I, I… directed the whole thing and I was like, just click, just click, just press the button.

Josh: That’s funny.

Ashley: It was, it was work, man. Let me tell you. That was good.

I mean, I’ve had a lot of, you know, awesome weddings. I’ve got to, I got to shoot one of my good friend’s weddings in Hawaii. That was really cool. I got to travel to Texas to shoot one of my family friend’s weddings. And that was… Really, it was gorgeous right in the middle of the ceremony, a windstorm came up though, and her veil the whole time was like up here in the air, like standing on end just for the ceremony though.

After that, no wind all day. That was a pretty funny one, we were all like, do we wait? Do we stop? Oh man. So there’s been a lot of stuff like that that’s been really fun, you know, traveling I’ve done a lot of engagement sessions at, like, wineries and out in Santa Barbara and down in San Diego. So, I mean, really, it’s, it’s taken me a lot of places, which is.


Josh: That’s cool. So I know that weddings every wedding is unique, right? And every couple wants something different. So how do you tailor your services and style or however you work to meet the specific needs of each couple?

Ashley: Well, you know, I, I try to get to know my couples and I. Get together with them about a month before their wedding when they’re kind of in like full swing and we start talking about you know timelines and and family groupings and stuff like that and I like to kind of find out what’s important to them, you know some photographers are so insistent on a first look and some are so insistent on not, and I’m kind of an insistent on my clients being happy.

You know, I’m like, listen, you need to do what works for you. That’s, I’ve learned that over the years, you know if what’s important to you is being at the cocktail hour, we won’t play out for sunset. That’s that is your call, you know if you know, if you want to see each other before great if you don’t but you’re anxious a lot of times I’ll suggest like like a non first look, you know, where they can maybe like, exchange letters or like, just talk to each other.

Behind a wall so they don’t actually see each other. That’s helped quite a few of my couples. A lot of my brides Not a lot, but there’s been a few that they get nervous for that ceremony. Just like everybody looking at them. That’s nerve wracking sometimes so a lot of times I’m like what calms you down and they’re like, well he does I’m like All right.

This is what we’re gonna do Right before you’re gonna have five minutes of just the two of you talking and you don’t have to see each other But that’s what’s going to calm you down. You we need to plan for that You know, and I’m always On wedding days, I’m always there, like, making sure, I turn into a mom, I guess, because I am a mom.

I’m like, have you eaten anything? You need to have a sandwich before you get in your dress. Make sure you have some water. Go to the bathroom before the ceremony starts. Have you sat down today? Right. I’m always tending to my brides. I bustled their dresses almost all the time and they’re always like, Oh my gosh, it’s so difficult.

But you know, like my mom knows how to do it and I looked it up and I’m like, Oh look, a pink and blue ribbon. I got this. Mary Rita did your dress. They don’t realize that I’ve been bustling dresses for 15 years. So you know, I’ve been up a lot of backside of a lot of dresses.

Josh: So yeah. So. That’s funny because there is so much more to photography than pushing the shutter button. Oh yeah. And I mean, really with that, what are some things that you think photographers if we kind of pivot a little bit and just kind of talk about photography and photographers. What are some things that photographers need to be aware of and need to be thinking about on a wedding day?

I mean with you having, you know done this for 15 years and you know Sometimes we’ve got photographers who are like it’s their first wedding or or whatever What what are some of those things that you think are key? For a good

Ashley: photographer. Well, I think a good thing for photographers, especially if they’re just starting out is to have a good line of communication with the other vendors because they’re really If you’re in sync with your other vendors there who are going to keep your day running smooth you know, video team, DJ coordinator, it’s really important to be on the same page as those people.

Otherwise, everybody’s just going to butt heads. And you’re not going to get what the client wants and we’re all here for the client, you know that’s a big one. I think being prepared ahead of time. I remember, gosh, probably my, I think it was my second or third wedding in. I hadn’t figured out to make the family group list.

Prior to the wedding. And so we’re sitting there and this was a friend’s wedding and it was small and so it was kind of like, well, who do you want next? Well, who do you want next? Well, who do you want next? And it got overwhelming and we missed some people and everybody was okay with it and everything.

But. After that wedding, I realized, oh, maybe I should do this ahead of time, like, not everybody thinks of that, especially if it’s like their first shindig, you know so that’s definitely something I learned the hard way was if you prepare and have those shots ready ahead of time, then they go smoother, they go faster.

In terms of family shots, I always think start big and go small so you can dismiss people because the less people that are around, the less chaotic it is. And I don’t know, for me, especially the family group shots are usually the most stressful time of the day. Just managing that many people is a lot.

So, like, be prepared to be stressed and, you know, for the bride to be stressed too. It can be really stressful for her because it’s very overstimulating. So usually I try to get somebody to bring them something to drink, water or beer, maybe some appetizers just to kind of try to get them through because some of the brides will get a little hangry.

Josh: That is some excellent advice. And as a videographer for 20 years, I can concur with you that the family photo time is one of the stress points on the day. One of those bottlenecks where it all comes together and hits the fan. And If there’s a plan, that’s great. And it goes way better. And if there’s no plan, there’s no shot list that it can be a mess.

So we actually you know, I’m sure you have your own forms and a lot of photographers do. But some, some don’t. So that we actually have wedding principles on our website the evermore films website. And we have one on family photo groupings that is all about make sure you have a list for your family photo groupings.

And here’s, you know Put everyone’s names here and who do you want and grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles and because a lot of brides just don’t know where to start making a list like that. So we do have a principle for that on our website. That is helpful.

Ashley: Typically I just have them give me a list of all the people and then I put the groupings together and send it to them and I go, you have to approve this, you know and tell me if there’s anything you want to add on.

Cause I’m going to do all the standard groupings, but some people want, you know, Mom, grandma, bride, like, you know, or dad and uncles or something like that. So That’s when I have my brides come in and go. Are there any like particular special shots that I want? So it’s less to think about for them less stressful.

Josh: That’s awesome Well, thank you for sharing. All of that about family photo groupings. We as vendors know how important that is so we’re gonna go ahead and take a quick break when we come back We are gonna chat about some advice for brides who are planning their weddings If you’re planning a wedding in Central California, you have to check out the Evermore Wedding Vendor Directory.

We’ve built one of the most comprehensive directories for local wedding vendors in the Central California area. You can sort by county and by category. So you can find anything from hair and makeup to cake bakers to videographers, photographers. We have it all. Go check it out. It’s free to use for brides.

And if you’re a vendor looking to get your name in front of couples who are engaged, go get yourself listed on the Evermore Wedding Vendor Directory. It’s free to join. We look forward to seeing you there at Evermore Films. Click on the Evermore Wedding Vendor Directory tab on the top and check it out.

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Josh: Evermore Films. So Ashley what is some advice that you would have for brides who are planning their wedding and thinking about a photographer?

Ashley: Well, one thing I would tell brides is You know, get on Instagram and look around for some photographers.

Check your area, look up the venue. When you find somebody you like go to their website. Ask to see client galleries. Instagram on your website is going to be the best of the best, but you want a photographer who can handle any situation, any lighting situation, any, any kind of setup, you know, what, what did the pictures at the reception look like?

I mean, not a lot of people post those, you know, how are they photographing at night? And how are they photographing? When it’s noon and the sun’s hot and it’s the middle of the ceremony and the bride’s in light and the groom’s in shade, and you know, how are they handling all the situations where the lighting and the settings are not ideal?

Because you want somebody who can handle the good great, but can also handle the bad well. And not that it’s bad, but just not everything is an ideal circumstance all day long. So I genuinely say, you know, and find two or three. It’s always good to talk to more than one person and kind of get You know, a quote and a feel.

You really want a photographer that you drive with. That’s important because really you’re going to be with me or you, you know, pretty much the whole day. It’s your photography, video team, and you know, the bride and groom. That’s, you’re just, you’re not alone. You’re with us. So you need to be with somebody who you enjoy being with.

On the wedding day. So, you know, you need to chat with people, check out their full galleries. You know and ask, ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I’m, I will answer anything. I mean, even if it’s not photography related, like, do you need, do you want a recommendation for another vendor?

Do you want some advice on? You know, what are my thoughts on the color scheme or flowers or something? Like, you know, I mean, I’d happily give you my opinion. I mean, I’m obviously the pro at the photography, but I’m, you know, I’m here to help.

Josh: Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. So one of the things I heard you say is don’t, don’t judge how good a photographer is because they had one really cool posed shot of a couple.

Ashley: Yes, I mean, we’re going to post our best work on on Instagram. It’s a highlight reel. So you need to pay attention to the broad spectrum, you know, all the things, check out galleries. And if you can check out galleries that are either at your venue or at a similar venue, so you can get a feel for how the photographer might handle.

Your settings that day.

Josh: That’s perfect. We give very similar advice to couples looking for a videographer It’s like oh good. Don’t just watch one video, you know Watch a couple videos, you know, maybe they had a one hit wonder or whatever, you know Cuz that that can happen, you know in the world. So Yeah Well, that was some great advice.

Let’s, let’s jump to the scary one. No one wants to talk about budgeting. As, as couples are planning their wedding and thinking about photographers maybe you could just give us some broad spectrum advice about budgeting. You know, obviously most wedding photographers don’t cost 5 but also most don’t cost 10, 000.

So if you could just give couples some, some broad advice

Ashley: about pricing. I Mean, I think what you need to do is Figure out your budget and find out what’s most important to you. And that’s where you need to put your money typically at least around here I mean you’re You’re looking at three, 4, 000 for a good photographer these days, I think most of the time that includes engagement sessions and, you know, your digitals and all that stuff.

At least for me, it does. But you know, you really have to. Gosh, I hate to say it this way, but you get what you pay for, you know you need to think about that. But that’s always why I say to check out a few different people, get a few different quotes. It can be sticker shock at first, I feel like so if you have a few quotes and it kind of gives you the idea of like, okay, this is not abnormal.

This is not insanely expensive. Like you, you may feel that because you’re not sure what photography costs. You know, you don’t, you should, you do a wedding once in your life, hopefully, you know so it’s just good to get your research and get your numbers in order before you book. Don’t be afraid of the pricing and you know, the most important thing is that you jive with somebody.

So if you can find somebody that’s in your budget that you jive with, then really you’ve won.

Josh: Yeah. Yeah, that is some great advice. What are some things that bride should consider when booking with you guys specifically, like thinking about the process? You know, how long should they, you know, expect for it to take to hear back from you if they inquire and, and, you know, just some of those sorts of things.

What should they be thinking about?

Ashley: Yeah, typically when they acquire, it takes me, I don’t know, maybe a day or two, sometimes faster, it, it just depends I’m not on my email constantly, but I do try to check it multiple times per day. Same with Instagram. If you send me a message there, I do, I do try to get back to inquiries very quickly.

And I will give my phone number out. So if I have, you know, when I have clients, you so you can text me maybe don’t call it like 1 in the morning, but, you know so, you know, I try to keep things quick and respond within a day or 2 and. You know, answer whatever questions you have in terms of, you know, getting photos back.

You’re going to book with me. We’re going to set your engagement session. You know, those photos usually take, you know, 2 to 3 weeks, maybe since I shoot film, it does take a little longer on the return because I actually have to mail the film out to the lab and down in LA. And then they have to do all the processing for me.

So it takes about a week just to get through that process. And then, as far as the wedding goes, you’re looking at more like 6 to 8 weeks, unless it’s high season. And then sometimes it’s more like 9 weeks, which are really hard to stick into my window, but. Come on,

Josh: Ashley. It’s not like you don’t have a life and kids and things a lot.

Ashley: Yeah. They take a lot of time.

So, yeah, but that’s, that’s my typical, like in terms of turnaround and that’s, that’s true for portrait sessions as well. The engagement two to three weeks typically. You know, I try to rush things when needed when I can but other than that, I mean, I don’t know. I feel like that’s pretty standard.

Josh: Yeah. Yeah, that’s great let’s see. I got a pick from my last questions. What’s the best question to ask you? What is your favorite color? No, I’m kidding. What are some What are some maybe maybe a Just take a minute to kind of brag about yourself, share some testimonials or success stories. Just happy clients talk about happy clients for a minute.

Ashley: Well, let me tell you about them

Gosh, I brag about myself I’m terrible at that. I mean, I’m pretty proud of the work I do. I take it pretty seriously and I really try to Make sure all of my clients are happy. I’d say in the past 15 years, I can maybe tell you a handful of clients that have had any kind of issue.

That’s great. You know, with any, and some of them were just things that were beyond my control, even so. So I, I strive really hard to keep my clients really happy and create a bond with them and keep, you know, seeing them again. So I think I’ve done that pretty successfully. And then, you know, just, I mean, I don’t know, I feel like sometimes I feel like I’m an artist, you know with the underwater and the, the photoshopping that I can achieve thanks to school.

Sometimes it, it feels like I get to create art and that’s pretty cool.

Josh: That’s fun. That was fun. Is there anything that you feel like I didn’t ask you that you would like to share?

Ashley: Gosh, I don’t think so. I mean, okay. I feel like we covered so much Yeah, we did. I guess I guess if I ever had like little tidbits for my brides like when I’m chatting with them on the phone Some of my favorite little tidbits are When you get your dress and you go to alterations, make sure you sit down in it while it’s getting altered because when I got my dress for my wedding, I Had a ball gown and did not think I needed to sit down in it And then I went to the church and I was kneeling on the kneeler and I like could not breathe Because the dress shifts, you know, when you sit or kneel.

So that’s like one of the things that I tell every single one of my brides. When you get your dress altered, sit down.

Josh: Well, that sounds like some important advice. Breathing is a good thing.

Ashley: Right? No kidding. I know they had to stop my ceremony and give me some water. You probably remember that since you were filming it.

Josh: Yeah, yeah. I do remember that your ceremony was memorable for many reasons.

Ashley: Let’s not go into the rest of it.

Josh: Oh, that is fun. Oh, well, that is good. Yeah. So what are the ways that couples can reach out to you? How can people contact you, get ahold of you, see your work? Where can people find you?

Ashley: Well, I’m on Instagram. So you can find me there. It’s at ADP photo, but photo is spelled with an F. So A D P F O T O.

You can message me on Instagram. You can you can get to on my website and the link to my website is on my Instagram. You can message me there. There’s a, an email link there or you can just email me directly or you can call or text. I think my number is on my website. I think um, but yeah, so I’m really great at responding to texts.

Phone calls usually require a call back from me because a lot of times I’m, you know, like, in the car with my kids or driving here, you know, for a long time it was I was nursing. I’m not nursing anymore. But so a lot of times when phone calls come through, I usually have to call people back. But but you can call me anytime, you know.

Josh: Awesome. Yeah. Well, the last question is, what is the most important thing that you would like couples to know about planning their weddings with you?

Ashley: If they have me as their photographer, they’re going to have a great time and a great day because I’m awesome. No. No, they’re going to, they’re going to have a great day.

They’re going to get great photos and. You know, I’m I’m here to help them. I’m gonna help keep them calm You know keep them going and make keep them happy Like it’s my job to make sure that the couples are happy on their wedding day I mean, it’s their wedding day, you know, they should do what they want and I’m here to Advocate for them.

Josh: That’s excellent. I have a bonus question as a photographer What is your favorite lens?

Ashley: Oh gosh for a wedding for a wedding specifically. Well for a wedding I live on my 50 for sure my other favorites my 100 macro, of course especially for ring shots. I do love a good ring shot Those are probably my two favorites really I live on my 50.

What can I say? I’d probably live on my 85 if I could actually get myself to send it in for repair, but it’s been sitting there for a while. I’m, I, I get so behind on all my client work and trying to just keep up with all that that I forget to take care of myself.

Josh: Well, the cobbler’s kid has no shoes, right?

Ashley: Yeah. No kidding.

Josh: Oh, man. Awesome. Well, thank you, Ashley. This was a fun conversation and I hope that everyone enjoyed getting to know you and your business a little bit. And stay tuned for next week’s episode where we will have another vendor on to chat more and continue on the wedding planning journey.

If you liked today’s episode, be sure to like, comment and subscribe on Apple iTunes and YouTube, where we have the video version of the show. Be sure to leave us a comment or review, let us know what you liked, what you learned. And until next time, I’m Josh from Evermore Films. Be sure to tune in next week for another episode of the Evermore Wedding Vendor Show.