Ash Imagery

Wedding, Portrait & Boudoir Photography based in Philadelphia and traveling worldwide

Ash Imagery is a film photographer based in Philadelphia and Upstate NY.  Ash Imagery will photograph weddings and elopements in Philadelphia, Lake Placid, the Adirondacks and around the world.  Ash Imagery also offers Boudoir photographer and commercial photography such as lifestyle sessions.  Ash Imagery is considered to be a Film Wedding Photographer and a Film Photographer with a unique style and vision.  Ash Imagery is owned by Michael Ash Smith, a portrait and lifestyle photographer based in Philadelphia using film as his primary medium.

Ashley + Chris. A Bahdeebahdu Wedding in Philadelphia.

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I met Ashley a while back when we worked at a wedding together in the Philly region.  She worked for an event planning company at a popular wedding venue and I happened to work a wedding there.  Several months later I received an email from her letting me know she was engaged and her search was on for a wedding photographer.  With her first hand knowledge of the industry and also the fact that she has worked with quite a large amount of photographers, I was honored she chose me to document her wedding day.  It's always a rad feeling when colleagues in the industry feel comfortable enough with me and my work to hire me when they have so many options at their disposal.

I was pumped for Ashley & Chris's wedding right from the start.  They chose a unique Philadelphia location, Bahdeebahdu, which is basically an art installation studio in the Northeast area.  There had only been 1 wedding there prior to theirs and that just gets me more excited because its basically a blank canvas!  

Their wedding day was amazing.  Besides the fact that they got a glorious 85 degree summer day in early Spring ... the wedding was intimate, friendly, relaxed, and visually stunning.  They were both so pumped on having me there, as well as the pictures before they even saw them, which is wonderfully inspirational to me and makes my day even more enjoyable.  It was an incredible day with incredible people and I wish them all the best in marriage and life.

Rhae + Geoff. A Lake Tahoe Wedding.

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I often write how much I love 2nd shooting.  I also often write how I'd like to do it more however since I'm usually pretty busy, I don't get the chance to do it enough.

This time, however, schedules lined up for my buddy Hiram Trillo and I and he invited me out to Lake Tahoe to photograph an intimate elopement style wedding alongside him.  How could I pass that chance up?  I couldn't.  I believe his first words to me after I agreed were ... "She's wearing a red dress."  Come again?  Yeah, its not often you get to photograph a bride wearing anything but white or off-white, let alone red.  But more importantly she was "up for anything."  You tell 2 photographers that and you better be ready.

So off I went to the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe to photograph Raeh + Geoff.  Unfortunately there wasn't much snow around and we had to get up pretty high in the mountains to find some, but we did.  And honestly, it kind of worked out for the better.  They ended up with some pics in the snow and a bunch without snow giving the images a different vibe.  Basically best of both worlds.  It was a beautiful day, with beautiful scenery and although I'm pretty bias they received some beautiful images.

Be sure to check out Hiram's blog here to see his version of the wedding.


Theories & Techniques on Instant Film.

For quite some time, roughly a year or so, my friend Kiera and I talked about offering up our knowledge of instant film to others.  After hesitating for most of that time, we eventually announced the first ever Theories & Techniques on Instant Film workshop that took place at my studio in the Philly suburbs.

Honestly, I wasn't quite sure who would attend.  Or if anyone would want to.  We decided to keep it small and intimate and have a goal of 5 attendees.  We launched it only 6 weeks prior to the date we had in mind and just in that short period of time and we reached that goal in just a couple weeks.  Instant film has been gaining traction lately and it was really cool to see people interested in what is has to offer.

So on 3/29/15, we held the "Beta" workshop.  And quite honestly, it was a success.  The people/photographers that attended were absolutely amazing and super interested in the knowledge we had to divulge.  We were immersed as a group within an hour, discussing the history of instant film, where it's headed, the films and cameras out on the market, and how it's all currently being used.  A majority of the day was spent hands working with all the cameras we had to offer and even getting to spend a good amount of time photographing a model.  We fired off a whole bunch of packs of instant film graciously donated by The Impossible Project, pack film from Fuji, and even some expired film Kiera and I had lying around.  A lot of film was shot and a lot of fun was had.

Honestly, this workshop was a test.  I wasn't sure how I would feel afterwards.  But after everyone left and Kiera and I cleaned up the studio we both agreed it was amazing and we will be offering more of these in the future.  So, if you wanted to be there for this one but couldn't, don't worry, we will be announcing some new dates and locations soon.  In the meantime, check out all these stellar images taken by the group during the day.

And thanks to State Film Lab (the film lab I use and stand by 100%), Trillo & Son's Leather (which donated some wicked camera straps), and of course The Impossible Project (which gave me several packs of their film to fire off).  Thank you SO much for making this possible.

Mae + George. A Brooklyn, NYC Wedding.

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As a wedding photographer, I get to photograph friends - or friends of friends - often.  But getting the chance to photograph a really good friend doesn't happen nearly as much.  It's also, in my opinion, the most nerve racking.  I've photographed a vast amount of weddings over the years and only and handful have been for close friends.  Actually, I think I can count them on 1 hand.  So when one of your best friends ask you to photograph their wedding a few things immediately go through your mind:

1.  You're honored
2.  You're excited
3.  You're suddenly nervous

When my buddy George, who also happens to be my associate, asked me to photograph him marrying his best friend, Mae, at city hall in NYC those things went through my head.  On top of that, both George and Mae photograph weddings so they could have chosen anyone in the industry.  But mostly, I was super excited - especially knowing that George and Mae would plan something super cool and all I needed to do was tag along and document.  And that is where I tend to excel and relax the most ... documenting.  There is an added benefit of being good friends with your subjects ... they already feel comfortable around you.  I was going to be there anyway, I would just have a few cameras on me this time.

And so that is what happened.  George and Mae got ready at their apartment in Brooklyn surround by several close family and friends, did a first look on the rooftop of the complex, took the subway to Manhattan, got married in a few short minutes at city hall, took the subway back to Brooklyn, got some pics done, at a magnificent lunch, and then danced off the calories at a new bar just a couple blocks from their home.  I carried around too many cameras, fired off a ton of instant film, and just spent the day documenting a couple good friends having a blast.