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

Hi Ashlie, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
In 2016 I was a high school Fine Art Photography teacher expecting my first baby. I enjoyed photographing families in my free time and was craving more flexibility in work and life. I decided to leave the classroom to pursue motherhood and my own art full time and haven’t looked back! Specializing in family, newborn and motherhood imagery evolved naturally once I had kids of my own. Personal experience as a parent really fueled my desire to capture these sacred, everyday moments for others – especially moms. (It may sound cliche, but babies truly don’t keep!)

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve always had an appreciation for art. I’m so impressed by naturally gifted artists. People who were without a doubt born to draw, paint, etc. I never felt like I could be an “artist” until I inherited my grandpa’s AE-1 to use in my high school photography class. The search for light, development and print process (and call me crazy, but the smell of a musty old darkroom!) had me hooked and I continued using my camera throughout college and beyond. Whether that was photographing families in my free time, taking classes at Glassell or eventually teaching it myself, photography evolved into an important aspect of my life. My camera is never far from reach! The fact that I’m able to make an income doing something that I find so special and rewarding still blows my mind a bit! A recent “Aha!” moment was taking the time to sit down and really evaluate my own definition of success and what that looks like for me. Providing a creative service makes my work feel extra personal, so I often feel like the success of myself and my brand are one in the same. I find balance to be an essential factor in my overall success. When my time is being managed well, I hit a rhythm that allows me to be present and serve both my clients and my own family wholeheartedly. When I sense a shift in this, I know it’s time to reconsider how I’ve been allocating my time and find what needs to be tweaked to allow for more efficiency. That might mean some seasons are slower than others, and I’ve learned to be okay with that. I would much rather serve 10 clients wholly than 100 superficially. I’m endlessly inspired by the moms that I work with. Each of our journeys as mothers is uniquely our own, and I find so much beauty in taking the time to document that. There’s something special about being able to show up with my camera and document a bond that’s already so inherently beautiful. Motherhood itself is an art, if you think about it – moving, emotionally charged, wonderfully messy. I plan to focus more on motherhood imagery in the coming year, as I find that moms are all too often the ones behind the camera. Is there a framed photo in your home of you with your kids that makes your heart happy every time you walk past it and catch a glimpse? I want that for every mom! I suppose you could say that’s the “why” behind my business.

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.
We are so spoiled in Houston with an eclectic art scene – a trip to MFAH or The Contemporary Arts Museum never disappoints. Paired with drinks or brunch at B.B. Lemon or Down House, sounds like a day well spent to me! Eastern Glades and The Arboretum are also great places to go to catch up with a friend (with or without kids in tow).

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My own mom selflessly helps me in all aspects of my life, including business. She’s full of ideas and often is the person caring for my babies while I go out to photograph others! There’s no way I could be successful in any venture without the support of her and my husband. I’m very close with my family and a local organization that plays a special role in our lives is Summerhouse Houston.

Website: ashliesimon.com

Instagram: @ashliesimonphoto

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.