2015 Wrap Up!

Can you believe that we are in the final days of 2015? Yikes. Since it’s the end of the year, I figured it would be a great time to share some 2015 statistics (and fun, unseen photos) with you!

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Number of booked weddings
20 (the max that I accept a year).

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Top ceremony venue
Apple Mountain coming in with 5 weddings.

Top reception venue
Yet again, Apple Mountain with 3 receptions.

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Favorite new reception venue
A 3 way tie between The H Hotel, Crooked River Weddings, and The Milestone Barn. I did lots of traveling this year.

Most popular color
It’s a tie with 7 Blue and 7 Purple.

Most popular abnormal cake flavor
Banana!!! Yey, my favorite!!!

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Best Theme
Another tie! The first was a batman themed wedding and the second was U of M themed.

Best Weather
Hands down August was the most comfortable.

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Craziest Weather
October! One week it downpoured the entire day while the next it snowed during the outdoor ceremony. There really was no predicting the weather this year. Overall, 2015 was super sunny as well.

Unique Party Favor
Flavored popcorn bar. I couldn’t keep my hands off of the caramel apple.

Most played game
The shoe game! It’s definitely had an increase in popularity within the past few years.

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Scary Trend:
A few local reception venues trying to start the idea of “One Stop Shopping”. I highly recommend asking your venue coordinator for their suggestions on a DJ, photographer, florist, baker, and so forth. They work with many different vendors every single week and can help guide you in picking the best one for your specific event. The issue that I have been seeing lately comes down to venues having these type of vendors “on-staff”. They may offer a DJ at a great price, however there is a good chance that this vendor does not have professional experience nor the proper equipment for your wedding. There is even a better chance that these on-staff vendors have a separate full time job and only do weddings on the side. I cannot stress to you enough the importance of working with a full time vendor whose career is dedicated to weddings! I have had some awful experiences with this in larger areas like Detroit and Grand Rapids and recently found myself extremely disappointed in a few local (formally reliable) wedding venues. Do your homework. Never hire a wedding professional blindly through another.
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Awesome Trend
Huge props to my clients! This year has been overwhelmingly positive when it comes down to planning ahead. You guys have really taken to heart the issues that I cover during the initial consultation. Like I said before; my consultation’s purpose is not to sell my services to you, but to go over your event in order to make it the best possible. It is easier to fix problems a year in advance rather than 20 minutes out. The timelines AND family formal lists have been dead on. When I tell you to plan for 40 minutes of post ceremony, family formals, I mean 40 minutes. Yey for off of your 2015 awesomeness! (I would still like to see those photo guides showing up 30 days in advance. I’ve had a few show up rather late this year. Cough. Cough).

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All in all, 2015 was another great year for Ashley Lynn Photography. Looking forward to 2016 means some things as well:

Website
Some of you may have noticed a new website set up. Sometimes you just wake up in the middle of the night and decide to make some major changes. I will be updating the text and adding my 2015 portfolio soon, but my January will be mostly tied up with my 12/31 and 1/9 weddings. I am also looking into changing my website address a bit. Since legally settling on “Ashley Lynn Photography” in 2010, the name has been becoming a bit too popular for me. For safe measure, I will be adding in my last name to mix. I am not a huge fan of the alliteration, but starting in 2016 I will be working under my name “Ashley Lynn Plyler Photography” for social media purposes.

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Newborns
I’m excited to say that I’ve been warming up to the little ones. So after a 3+ year hiatus, in-home newborn photography has returned! I find it to be a bit more relaxing to sit in a new momma’s living room and work around the baby’s schedule rather than forcing them to pack up and travel to me in a strange studio. I am offering special pricing for this service until March 2016. Don’t get too excited, my husband and I still have no intention of having our own children. Ha Ha!

Family Sessions
I have replaced lots of equipment this year. New cameras, new computer, new flash system; life is good. With this digital improvement, my productivity has skyrocketed. For 2016, I will be accepting regular family sessions. I have never offered this in the course of my business. Normally I do one day in the Spring and one in the Fall, this year will be anytime outside of the busy wedding weeks.

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Seniors
I’m considering it, but I’m not quite sold yet. My experiences while working with other professional studios hasn’t been the best. Senior photography requires lots of dedication to editing, communication, and administrative work. I dedicate my career to 20 weddings a year and it’s just not fair to my brides to split my time up around seniors. I will revisit the idea once I’m settled into a physical studio.

Studio
Yep, I said it. I have been a freelancing it around the Tri-City area since 2009, it’s time to settle down. My husband and I will be starting the process of selling our house towards the end of 2016. It’s a scary thing, but necessary. Our new home will include a separate studio space just for my business. Due to the all of the legal/ insurance/ zoning issues, I have no idea on when or if this will happen. Rest assured, you all will be invited to a giant housewarming party filled with 90s music, junk food, and silly games.

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See everyone in 2016!

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