Moon over Agoura

 

I love the hours between dusk and dawn.  Sunsets, Sunrises.  Those mysterious colors that happen before in the hour leading up to the explosions of colors.  And the dark.  The dark when the only light is from the moon or a sliver of the moon.  Stars.  The hours between dusk and dawn are some of my favorite for my personal photography.
The other night there was a half moon peeking through a cloudy dark night.
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Rock and Roll International Exhibition at MPLS Photo Center

Thanks so much to Kim of Kim Turner Photography  for sending me a message back in November letting me know about an exhibition for Rock & Roll photography happening at MPLS Photo Center .  The deadline for submission was THAT NIGHT!  But I figured why not, and pulled out a few images to send in for consideration!  A few months went by and then I got the email letting me know that TWO of my images had been selected to hang in the show.  Very excited to announce the opening of the exhibition in Minneapolis.  If you find yourself there between now and March 1st, stop by and check out all the rocking images.  Keep an eye out for my images of Bob Miller of Fear of Music and Moby outside his NYC apt!

 

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Mark Ingraham’s new project | Band Promo | Covington Portraits

Mark Ingraham gave me a last minute call when he realized that he could get all the people from his new project in the same place at the same time this past friday for a promo shot.  It can be hard to get a band together outside of a gig or rehearsal, so I knew we would had to make it work even with a forecast for rain & cold weather.  We met up in my favorite parking garage and rocked it out in about 20 minutes.  It was cold, we just needed to gitterdun before we all froze!   & now it is beautiful out.  I want it to stay beautiful.  May this awesome shoot be the last freezing shoot for a while!!    🙂

 

❤ what you do.

Pure Harmony Soaps | a Still Life Story

Pure Harmony Soaps
Seriously.  This Stuff RIGHT HERE is amazing.  I’m addicted and I keep turning people into addicts, Each kind that I try becomes my new favorite.

You should check it out.  Go here and ‘Like’ the Facebook page.  They are still working on having an online order form but as it is right now you just message them and place your order that way.   This soap will take you to your bath happy place.

 

❤ what you do.

Natalia | Headshots | Covington Portraits

The lovely Natalia came over on a beautifully windy afternoon to update her headshots.  We braved the winds for a few shots and then headed indoors to create some more beauty/studio type of shots.  Variety is the key to a great portfolio when bringing images to a new agent or casting directors.  I feel it is important to always get different looks from a headshot session.
The only look we didn’t have time to capture was a Wonder Woman shot!   Natalia looks is a Lynda Carter Ringer!  Am I right??  Stunning.

The Evolution of an Idea |a Hershey Syrup Story | Covington Portraits

I believe in challenging myself.  Sometimes a little bit too much.  I tend to take on too many projects and work around the clock because I love what I call ‘work.’  I love creating and trying out new things with my camera.  So I enrolled in an online class called project 52  with Don Giannatti.  I enrolled in the paid Pro workshop and set about it faithfully…for the first 12 weeks.  I’ll admit publicly that I have fallen off the horse due to all the things that get in the way of doing a fun extra project.   ha ha.    But I am still plugging along, in my own Taurus way, on the assignments.

The project for this particular week was ‘red balloons.’  We could do anything we wanted as long as it had red balloons as a feature in the image.   I had just gotten off a red eye flight from California when I realized the assignment was due that evening.  I actually had not even had time with my work schedule to check what the assignment was.   I read the part about red balloons and immediately went and combed the area for red balloons.  There were none in any of the drug stores that were within walking distance of where I was staying.   hmmmm.    I was also tired and feeling a bit lazy while also needing to unpack so I grabbed some pipe cleaners at one of the stores and created the first image.

Photo © Ashly Covington, CovingtonPortraits.com

Um.  No.  Even though I was tired, I couldn’t turn in something like that.  No.  I’ll admit to being somewhat of a perfectionist and the above photo was sloppy work based on sloppy inspiration.  It was lame.   And I had been on top of my assignments every week for the journey and wasn’t going to submit subpar work.  (oh back in those glory days of being current with my homework, ha ha)

Hmmm.  What else did I have handy but more importantly what was my vision.  Red Balloons.  I looked at the above photo on the back of my camera and envisioned it with a girl dangling off.  But how to create the vision and make it engaging and interesting and with what I had and in a time crunch.  Hmmm.  Just at that moment, there was a knock at my door and the incredible artist Zlata Kolomoyskaya  stopped by to do a quick sketch of my hands for a project she is working on.  She saw all my materials laid out and asked what I was doing.  We brainstormed for a few minutes and then ran to the corner deli.  There we found the tools to make a worthy image.  Cherries and Hershey Syrup.  I wanted fresh cherries but there were none to be found so we settled for the kind in the syrup.

I described to her what I wanted the girl to look like and in about 6 minutes drew exactly what I wanted with Hershey Syrup with a piece of spaghetti!!  Zlata is so incredibly talented it blows me away.

Zlata doing her thing.

The Homework Assignment

Photo © Ashly Covington, CovingtonPortraits.com

 

Diane and Jen| Covington Imagery | Senior Photography

Diane & Jen have been friends forever and they braved the one of the hottest days of the entire summer to rock out a photo shoot in Philadelphia.   They were troopers as they braved modeling for a gaggle of us photographers each taking turns trying out new ways of seeing using off camera flash as taught by Brett Jarnagin of Flashfire Workshops.   The hottest day of the year was one of the best days of the year as I had several ‘lightbulb’ moments where i realized the why’s behind the adjustments on my off camera flash.  Off camera flash can be tricky.  I love it.  I’ve been experimenting with it for some time and wanted to learn to better control it.   I loved using it for my predawn shoot with Empire Circus back in January.  Thanks again to Stevie Cliff for being the best VAL ever…
I’ve taken a few OCF workshops before but just didn’t feel like I really knew what I was doing with it, the why’s behind what it was doing.  It worked for me but always took a lot of fussing.  Enter Brett Jarnagin who cleared the cobwebs from my head and very simply and effortlessly broke down the fundamentals of OCF.  & he was darn cool and loves aviator sunglasses.  He & his wife Casey drove over 11 hours to make the workshop happen in Philly and I’m so grateful that others had pointed me in their direction.   One of the things that really drew me to his workshop was the light painting that he has incorporated into his work.  I’m addicted to light painting.  My friend jordan and I used to stay up all hours of the night playing with light up toys and I’d never seen them incorporated so well into wedding and senior photography.  Brett opened my eyes to incorporating OCF into my light painting.  Why this had never occurred to me, I have no idea.   But I am ever so grateful to have it in my brain now.   Continual education is so important and I love when I have the opportunity to learn from another photographer in person.   I can’t wait to play with the new techniques.
I’m also very grateful to Diane & Jen for being such troopers in the blazing heat and staying so enthusiastic throughout the awesomely long day.

 

Pure Harmony Soaps | a Product Story | Covington Portraits

My apartment has smelled amazing ever since the arrival of the box of Pure Harmony Soaps.  They are now my favorite soap, seriously, these things are amazing.  My favorite is the Salt bar though the Peppermint bar is a treat that makes me wait for the holidays with excitement.   If you like natural soaps that are handmade with love you should check them out on facebook here.

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a lil behind the scenes of my setup in the window in my bedroom.

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Magical Marfa (TX) | CovingtonPortraits

I went to Marfa, Texas and found it to be on the of the most amazing places on earth.  My semi last minute decision to go was because of a great friend and fellow photographer, Marissa Welsh owner of Marissa McInnis Photography.  She had told me about this cool workshop going on in a cool town with a cool photographer named Clayton Austin.  Clayton is a wedding photographer and seeing as to how I have three weddings on the books for this year, it sounded like a great idea to join her and have a little photography education vacation.  What neither of realized is that the whole experience was going to be magic.  And that is Marfa.  Marfa Magic.  The air is magic there.  The people are magic there.  The food is magic there.  We even saw the magic marfa lights.  Well, they aren’t magic, but we couldn’t explain them.  They were definitely there.  It was simply awesome and beautiful.    (Clayton’s workshop was as inspiring and beautiful as his photographs are.  Seriously, check him out.  He is amazing and a really cool guy.)2013-06-12_0009.jpg

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The dog on below is a sweetheart named angel, who clearly had an angel watching over her as she was a rescue from an animal hoarder placed into the loving care of the sweet fella that works at the Marfa Book Company.  2013-06-12_0015.jpg
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Marissa and I wanted to see a great sunset so we headed up a road that went up figuring that would lead us somewhere!  We knew the sun was setting on the other side of the mountain so up was the best option.  She spotted a pull off point and after a slight detour to make some photos of the mountains, we made it just in time to catch the last little bit of the setting sun as it raced to get dark.  As I was enjoying the view, I noticed a couple holding up an iphone of themselves with the sunset behind them to try and make a photo.  I could see by their disappointed faces each time they looked at the screen that they were getting the sunset but that they were just black shapes blocking part of it.  There was still a few minutes left so I ran to my car and switched out the battery & card, changed the lens and threw on my flash.  I ran over and asked them if they would like me to make a photo that I could email to them.  We snapped three or four images and then they told me their story about living across the country from each other.  Brandon was stationed in El Paso and Michelle lived back in Chicago.   She had two more nights on the visit and then it was back to living on other sides of the country.
It was one of those moments best summed up by Winnie The Pooh,  “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

As I was typing this, I just got an email from Michelle  as I just emailed her copies of the images  “I’m not sure if we mentioned it, but that was the first time we’d gotten to spend time together in 5 months, so these photos will always be very special to us.”
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The chance meeting lead us to an area outside of El Paso that we would never have found on our own.  While we were chatting, I asked if there were any spots around that would be cool for chilling out in the desert with our cameras after dark.  He suggested we find our way to Montana Avenue and just drive!  The best advice ever, it was so fortunate that we all met at sunset.  As we were heading out of town on Montana Ave, I spotted a road side stand with these amazing blinking swords.  They were closing up shop but I u-turned it and the gal pulled out her entire supply and I stocked up because you can never have too many blinking swords.

We drove by loads of strip clubs and eventually found ourselves in nowhere with a dirt road leading off to the right.  We spent far too many hours out there making photos and I commend Marissa for making her early flight the next morning.  My flight was 2 hours after hers and I had trouble rousing myself.  Well worth the tired eyes though.
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