Ashley McAfee's (@geezlouise) Instagram photos do something to me, something akin to watching a nostalgic cinematic montage of a child's day, in a place full of beautiful light, colors, and moments. Oh, and also, there's that house of hers, with its eclectically curated-ness, like it's a picture of what I could do with the things on my grocery list from Etsy's 'Handpicked' list.
So what is about Ashley's images that draws me in, apart from the stuff that makes good photos good?
It took me awhile to figure this out, but I think I have it.
It's the subtle post-processing of her work, the low contrast and faded look to her images. Maybe in addition, it's the way she shoots, maybe it's her relationship to her light source that creates this look. In any case, I'm a huge fan.
Super contrast and saturation has it's place in family photography, but many of my favorite images do not fit this bill, at all.
Sure, there was a time when I thought a stellar photograph was the one that was technically perfect and had that 'Pop!' of contrast. However, as I develop my art and seek inspiration from my peers, I find my corneas are drawn to something more subtle, more nuanced. Case in point: Ashley's Instagram feed.
I feel a sense of calm, I think it's her well crafted style of 'undone doneness'. I hope you and your eyeballs will also enjoy her images and interview below. Also don't forget to check out her Instagram feed.
Kind of off topic but just wanted to throw this out there:
At Little Bellows, we seek to inspire and welcome professional and non-professional photographers alike, and wth that said, these past few weeks, writing this feature, I've discovered so many talented mobile photographers! Thank you for following @littlebellows and hashtagging your images #littlebellows!
And, now for todays featured attaction....
Ladies and Gents, I present Ms. Ashley McAfee (@GeezLouise) and her wonderful mobile photographs! And be sure to check out her @GeezLouise IG feed. ~Over and Out, Christina
An Interview with Ashley McAfee (@geezlouise), by Christina Mallet
Q: Ashley, where are you?
A: I live in Rogers, Arkansas (originally from Oklahoma- a true 'Okie from Muskogee').
Q: @GeezLousie Ashely! Where'd you get that Instagram Alias?
A: My oldest daughter was named after both of her grandmothers that passed away before she was born. Louise is Joanna's middle name and I found myself always saying the common phrase to her 'geez louise' while in her terrible two's and from there it just stuck with me. When I uploaded the app Instagram when it was being featured on the little cards you can get at Starbucks, I thought it would be my perfect IG name since I only planned to use it for pictures of her (then came #2 and then #3, hope they don't mind).
Q: What sort of work do you do?
A: I am a stay at home mom of three that posts a ridiculous amount of pictures of my children on Facebook. I started getting messages saying "Hey, how much would you charge to take pictures of my kids?" So I went from my little Canon Rebel (thinking that I needed to do this to be "professional") and bought a used Canon 5D and haven't looked back. About 6 months ago I started writing, 'photographer' in the little box on any paperwork that I had to fill out at the doctor, school, etc. So, full time mama and part time lifestyle photographer.
Q: How has incorporating mobile photography into your personal work effected your day, either personally or professionally, or both?
A: I am THAT mom that wears sweatpants with pockets so my iPhone is at hand most of the time. I don't scrapbook, I've tried and I really don't like glue. I've bought each of my children journals to write to them but I really haven't found the time. Sometimes at night when I finally make it to bed before I set my alarm for the next day I go through the photos I took throughout that day and oddly enough it helps sometimes with that 'mom guilt' feeling - I didn't do enough, we didn't do any crafting, they went to bed with stinky feet, why did I let them eat Cheetos for breakfast, I can't believe I let Joanna say a bad word at Target, and so on. It's so easy for me to grab my phone and document the moments that I know I may forget 10 years from now and more importantly the things I want to show them when they are older. They almost lost me 15 months ago for good and I would have liked to have known that my husband would have just uploaded all the pictures off my phone for them to look at down the road and they would 'know' me. A picture says a thousand words anyway, right? And amazingly there is Instagram now - which has connected me to so many inspiring people documenting their journey as well.
Q: Do you have a process or workflow for your mobile work? What is it? What apps do you use?
A: 80% VSCO, 15% Afterglow, 5% good ol' Instagram filters. I usually use a white frame in Whitagram or Afterglow so I don't have to crop my picture uploading to Instagram.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: As a once rebellious teenager I would have never thought I would say this but my mother inspires me. We talk daily on the phone and most of the time on Sunday morning when I wake up early to go to the grocery store for eggs or milk (it's always one or the other) I'll call her and she will just be pulling in her driveway from the night before. I'll ask, "What in the world have you been doing all night?" It's always something different. Last time she responded, "Oh I went on a motorcycle ride til the sun went down, camped out with some friends then rocked climbed in the Polaris til the sun came up." I should also mention that she studied photography in college.
Q: What photographers do think of when I say "Wowsers"?
A: When it comes to drooling over photographs for hours after my kids go to bed: Amy Grace - A Beautiful Life Photography; Jonathan Canlas ( I am saving for a FIND workshop, I can't wait to meet him); Yan Palmer - Yan Photo; Travis Clancy Photography
Q: Give me a handful of your Instagram favorites, please?
A: I know none of these instagrammers personally, I'm only mildly obsessed with their feed. @jaredchambers @herwelshness @ryanmarshall_ @posyq @lindseycosta @denisebovee @kristinrogers (private IG feed--here's her site) @jess_cudzilo (private IG feed--here's her site )