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Daily Inspiration: Meet Ansley Van Epps

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ansley Van Epps.

Hi Ansley, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I started photography because I wanted to be able to capture beautiful photos of my one day children. I started taking night classes to learn how to use my camera and would take pictures of anything and everything. I got into newborn and babies because a few of my friends were having babies and I started studying all the online courses from Kelly Brown and anything on clickinmoms. However, my path to motherhood was not as simple as we would have hoped. We tragically lost our first pregnancy due to rare and fatal genetic condition and then spent two years trying to conceive.

During that time my husband got a “job” In New York. While there I studied everything I could on newborn and maternity photography. It became my therapy in a way. Once we moved back to Florida, we started IVF and shared our journey on Instagram and YouTube. We went through three rounds of IVF and finally were blessed with identical twins In September of 2019. While Pregnant with my girls, I decided I wanted to do more studio maternity photo sessions. It was too hot in the summer heat and I still wanted to provide beautiful images for my clients. So I set up my studio, studied all the lighting, and purchased dresses for a client closet. I am thrilled that my studio maternity sessions have taken off even in the midst of the pandemic.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The biggest struggle I have faced is the confidence in myself. I come from a performing background and still do perform and I think as a performer we all have a bit of imposter syndrome. “Am I good enough?”, “is this work worthy of being shared?”. I was on track to do my best year in 2020 and then COVID-19 hit, and I had to shut down like so many people. It really took a toll on my business, but it gave me time to really evaluate the direction I wanted to go in.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
At Van Epps Photography I specialize in capturing pregnancy, newborns and babies with a focus on studio maternity images. I love Florida and the fact that we have so many options for outdoor photoshoots, but having been pregnant, I know that being outdoors, in the middle of summer 36 weeks pregnant is extremely uncomfortable, so I turned to studio. I have multiple lights, outfits and dresses to make beautiful portraits of pregnancy indoors. I love that each session is different for the last because each pregnancy and woman is different.

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
I have done a few in person workshops and 1:1 mentoring sessions to hone my craft. I have photographers that I love that I follow from afar and when they put out mentoring sessions and/or classes I jump on it. I have taken in person classes from Ana Brandt, Jamie Sapp, Ashly Collins, and more. The mentoring has been amazing in a sense of not just how to shoot or edit but how to make life long clients. One of good friends a fellow photographer In St. Pete, Ashley Sanchez has helped me from day one. She is who I turn to in so many of my decisions for my studio. She is a power house photographer and I admire her and love that she is always willing to help me when I’m at a loss at where to go next.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Ashley Sanchez

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