Colorado Wedding photographer ashley kidder
What's your favorite part about the wedding industry?
Everyone is always full of joy, as is the nature of weddings -- it's such a celebratory + momentous occasion! I never go home from a wedding feeling bummed out -- I am always happy because it is such a pleasure (and a huge honor) to spend these important days with truly genuine + kind people.
The name of my business comes from those first few photo shoots that I did with my friend Brandon. We called them our photo safaris, so I blended that with my love for the city of Denver, hence creating Urban Safari Photography. However, I'm soon to change that name as I'll be rebranding at the start of the year to Ashley Kidder Photo.
Do you travel? What are some of your favorite destinations?
Oh yes! Traveling is my most favorite and preferred pastime. Recently, I went to Southeast Asia with my roommates. I spent a few days in Hong Kong before they met up with me in Vietnam, where we ate copious amounts of street food, played beach volleyball on a remote island and learned a ton about the Vietnam War. From there, our final destination for our trip was Thailand, where we spent time on the beach, in the jungle with elephants, and in tuk-tuks, zipping around Bangkok at night.
It's so hard to pick a favorite spot! I love Eastern Europe. It's full of history, a slower-paced culture than its Western counterparts and refreshingly less expensive than the majority of Europe. I recently went to Poland, as I enjoy learning about World War II history in person.
How did you get started in your business?
A long time ago, I was once a teacher. When I started my career in education in 2009, I thought that teaching was it for me. I envisioned myself thirty years down the road, all crotchety + gray, teaching kids how to say “I hate cats” in French.
I loved teaching so much during those first few years. Everything was new + fresh, and it hadn’t been jaded yet. It was the epicenter of my existence. It was a lifestyle, a badge I proudly wore. I really loved meeting new people and hearing them ask, “So what do you do?” Because it was so, so cool to say: “I’m a teacher”.
But, outside of teaching + speaking French, I hadn’t really quite found a hobby at the time. I spent the majority of my free moments grading papers, planning lessons, and chaperoning high school dances. Teaching engulfed my life.
Enter my dear friend Brandon Gossard. We had been friends in college and reconnected during my first year of teaching. I noticed he had started a new hobby: photography. It was neat to follow his Flickr account and see all these sweet photos that he was taking. I remember thinking, “How did he get the background all blurry like that?!”
So one day, we went on what would come to be known as a photo safari. It was mostly for us to hang out and catch up, but it turned into this all-day photo-fest that started with us doodling around downtown Denver and ended with us taking jumpy pictures into the pool at my old apartment. Instantly, during the span of that day, I was enamored with my little Canon Rebel XSi.
After that first safari, my interest in photography exploded. It soon morphed into more than just taking photos of flowers, or rocks on the side of the street, or each other jumping off of things. Once I began to post more and more to my personal Facebook page, people started asking about other photography services. I had no idea how to take a picture of a person, but I wanted to learn + practice as much as I could so I began photographing people.
Within the next year, I began photographing weddings. At first, it was simply a side gig to get some extra cash on top of teaching. However, at the end of the 2014 school year, I knew I had to make a change as my photography life was consuming more and more of my time. I eventually left education in 2014 and became a full-time photographer.
My ideal clients are nostalgic, refined + rad, all at the same time! I love city weddings and mountain weddings equally, and destination weddings, too. I love working with people who truly enjoy the experience of a wedding day and who strive to create amazing memories (and photos with me!) on their big day. I know it sounds corny, but if you love to laugh, goof around and be in the moment, I'd love to work with you!
Make sure you connect with your wedding photographer! You'll be spending the entire day with them and it's paramount that you feel comfortable with them, especially when they have a camera in their hand.
After that, it's important to take a peek at online reviews + testimonials from past clients. Additionally, it's a great idea to request to see a full wedding (not just the highlights) from a photographer to see how an entire day rolls out.
And lastly, the engagement session is a wonderful way to become more comfortable with being models in front of the camera!
No kids or a spouse -- yet! ;) For now it's just me, my career, and my corgi, Sherman! My roommates, Lindsey and Hallie, are also a huge part of my life and consider them family. Hallie has also been my hair stylist at Starling Salon for the past five years, while I met Lindsey while working at good old Red Lobster in 2008.