Thursday, 11 September 2014

Hot Cup of Inspiration VI: Ashley Torchia

Hey Everybody! Today it's the sixth installment in the 'Hot Cup of Inspiration' Interviews. Each Thursday I'll be interviewing a different creative entrepreneur. We'll chat with all sorts of people - from writers, to designers, jewelry makers and photographers to see just what makes them tick.
Today I'm chatting with the Ashley, from Ashley Torchia Photography.
She's a blogger and self employed photographer of 4 years.

You can see other installments here:

Welcome Ashley! Tell me a little about what you do :
 I am a portrait photographer based out of South West Florida and I specialize in families and high school seniors.  My business is based around building self confidence, self worth, and self awareness through my sessions.  From teens up to adults my goal is to have my clients walk a little taller, smile a little bigger and see themselves in a better light after they leave my studio.  You can see my work at or catch up on the latest on my blog

How long have you been doing photography?
About 4 years since I have opened my doors.  I have been part-time for the beginning 3.5 years but since this past summer I have decided to go full time.

Did you major in a creative field at a college/university or are you self taught?
Throughout my high school  years I was in as many photography classes as possible and on the yearbook staff.  But sadly I did not realize until later on that I could actually make a career out of photography.  I went to college to study Physical Education because I had a deep love for teaching self confidence in children.

Wow! Such different fields! I wanted to be a teacher when I was younger.  
Yes, it is but the same passion is there-working with teens and teaching them self worth is all part of the heart of my business.  I just knew I didn't want to work for anyone other then myself.  Going into the photography world has allowed me to fulfill both of those desires.

What is the best thing about being a full-time photographer?
Being able to make my own destiny.  There is no corporate bull to deal with.  If I put in the effort I see the rewards.  It is very fulfilling.
What is your typical work schedule like?
I am a stay at home mama along with running a successful petite in-home studio.  I have an 8 year old that heads off to school and a 3 year old that stays home with me during the day.  My schedule usually goes something like this but as most of you parents know-kids usually have different ideas when it comes to how our day is going to be spent. Haha.  But here is a rough outline of my day.  I get up at 6am and until 7am I am getting my 8 year old ready for school, eating breakfast, and inhaling coffee.  Once I send him off to the bus me and my 3 year old hang watch cartoons, play, eat some more breakfast, I drink another cup of coffee and just enjoy waking up.  We hang out until around 8am.  We then head upstairs where I can then look over my plan for the day.  This can take around 15 minutes.  I see what I have on my plate, schedule calls, and map out how I would like the day to shape up to be.  After that I rock out my to do list until 10am.  I break for a snack and play time with my little.  This is key when dealing with kids at home.  You cannot ignore them or go, go, go all day.  My brain needs and welcomes the break and so does my little.  We hang out for about 45 minutes.  I then bust out the rest of my list or any new projects from 10:45-noon.  At noon we eat lunch.  If I have used my time wisely I shouldn't require anymore time to spend away from my daughter.  

If I am slammed (holiday season) or have a lot of projects I am working on I will return and work from 1-2pm.  Once 2pm hits I am no longer photographer and I am stay at home mama.  That is when I tidy up the house and do personal tasks for me and my family.  At 3:30 my son arrives home and until his head hits the pillow at 8 it is homework, dinner and family time. From 8 until 11pm is time to spend watching tv and snuggling up with my hubby on the couch.  This is my favorite time of the day.  Usually with a glass of wine in hand I unravel from the day and get ready to hit the next day with the same intensity.  Because my family comes first I shoot on the weekends and take one night during the week for order sessions.  

So the rest of the time is spent editing etc for clients?
I schedule everything out.  I give myself a week to get editing done per shoot.  I usually tell my clients two weeks to expect a session back but I know in my head I’m shooting for a week.  My studio is not high volume (except for holiday season) so I generally take one session a week.  I do not like to take more then that.  That way I know I can give my all to that clients experience and my family is happy as well.  The rest of the week I will batch blog posts, social media posts and marketing plans to fill in my day to day that I just talked about. 

What’s your advice for someone who’s interested in starting a photography business?
I would say if it is your passion do it!!  But passion is all well and good but you cannot go in blind thinking as long as you have a semi good camera you can just open up shop one day and boom clients will be knocking down your door.  I would say to run a successful photography studio (in-home or brick n mortar) you have to be good in business.  I would say that is where most of us fail, on the business side.  My advice is to get your ducks in a row.  Before you invest heavily I would practice, practice, practice.  Work on your technical side, composition, POSING, business and then open up shop.  If you don’t know about the business side it is OK.  There are plenty of mentors out there that can offer advice.  But just make sure they are reputable.  If they say sell 100 images for $25 RUN!! Choose someone who can help you value your worth even though you are just starting will be the best thing that can happen to a new photographer.  Get help, ask questions, and never lose that passion!

You can show Ashley some Link Love here:


  1. This woman has my dream job. Her photography is absolutely beautiful :)

  2. what beautiful photographs, I really love the last image, this should be blown up huge

  3. I've often wondered how Mom photographers juggle it all. Seem likes Ashley has a great strategy.

  4. This is very cool! I am just now getting into photography since I just got a nice camera. Very inspiring :)

  5. Awesome advice! You really do have to schedule in time for play and chores when you work from home. If you forget one it's chaos. This woman has it together!

  6. Loved the interview, her photos are incredible. I love the second one (the colouring)!

  7. How funny. I used to live in SW Florida too! She's so lucky to be able to photograph in the sunshine like that all year round.

  8. Ashley does such an amazing job! It was nice to get to know her a little more.

  9. Beautiful photography! I love getting an inside look at how people spend their work days when they're self-employed! :)

  10. What a great interview! I love the two pictures taken out in the field. Beautiful!

  11. Awesome post! What a great interview and the photos are gorgeous!

  12. I used to want to be a photographer... I just had no skill. Ha! This is great, I love seeing bios like this on fellow bloggers.

  13. The pregnancy photo is absolutely fabulous! I love hearing about people being self employed! More power to us all!

  14. Wow, her photography is so so beautiful! What a talented photographer and woman. Also, I'm now craving hot chocolate haha

    Katie <3

  15. Love the photography! I've been wanting to start a portrait business of my own as well, I'll definitely be following her blog!


I read and get back to every single comment you leave. Thank you for making my day!