Archive for Seniors

I am super happy to be jumping back into the blog circle this month! I have missed it dearly but with family in town, they became priority one. Don’t forget to follow the circle around to the next entry by the lovely Anna Francken coming to you from the Netherlands. Anna’s photography always cheers up my days as it is jam packed with delicious details and clean bright images. Check out her post HERE!

My brother Patrick and I are seven years apart in age. For those of you who are bad at math, that means he was in 5th grade when I was a senior in high school. As the years pass that age gap becomes harder and harder to believe, because as you grow older the age line blurs. Before he turned twenty-one, I always referred to him as Master Patrick… but now that he’s older, we figured it was time for him to become king, particularly since it’s in his hands to carry on the family name.

I recently had the joy of hosting my baby brother in my home in Germany for six weeks and I cannot even begin to tell you how heartwarming it was! It had been two years since my brother and I saw each other face to face, which in my opinion is WAY too long. I couldn’t believe it when he walked off the plane… I hardly recognized him… he was all grown up! I was now the big sister in name only as he towered above me. We were able to talk to each other like adults over adult beverages. We traded life plans and accomplishments all while having a grand sibling adventure.

Being a photographer, usually your brothers or sisters are your first target for practice and new techniques. As I had mine on hand for six weeks I wanted to make the most of it. Besides, every college student needs fantastic photos of their European adventure! Patrick and I made our way around Germany, France, and Belgium with a devil-may-care insouciance. I loved seeing his reaction to immersion into a new culture. He was more often mistaken for being Frenchman as the locals would walk right up to him speaking gregarious french. I have never been so proud.

Of all the cities we visited, I enjoyed traveling with Patrick to Berlin and Paris the most. In Berlin I was reminded how much of a historian my brother has always been. He was walking me around explaining all of the landmarks and their significance in the different wars. It was like having my own personal tour guide. I truly adore how he knows things like this and it reminds me that we are more alike in our old-souled ways than I remembered. In Paris, it was so much fun to watch his reaction upon setting eyes on some seriously famous landmarks. I feel like everyone should experience Paris in your early twenties. At that age, you are at such a remarkable time period and your surroundings make a deep impression on you at this point in your life.

Kirsten Ashley Photography & Design | Happiness Through My Eyes  - July :: King Tudor's European AdventureKirsten Ashley Photography & Design | Happiness Through My Eyes  - July :: King Tudor's European AdventureKirsten Ashley Photography & Design | Happiness Through My Eyes  - July :: King Tudor's European AdventureKirsten Ashley Photography & Design | Happiness Through My Eyes  - July :: King Tudor's European AdventureKirsten Ashley Photography & Design | Happiness Through My Eyes  - July :: King Tudor's European AdventureKirsten Ashley Photography & Design | Happiness Through My Eyes  - July :: King Tudor's European AdventureKirsten Ashley Photography & Design | Happiness Through My Eyes  - July :: King Tudor's European AdventureKirsten Ashley Photography & Design | Happiness Through My Eyes  - July :: King Tudor's European AdventureKirsten Ashley Photography & Design | Happiness Through My Eyes  - July :: King Tudor's European AdventureKirsten Ashley Photography & Design | Happiness Through My Eyes  - July :: King Tudor's European AdventureKirsten Ashley Photography & Design | Happiness Through My Eyes  - July :: King Tudor's European AdventureKirsten Ashley Photography & Design | Happiness Through My Eyes  - July :: King Tudor's European AdventureKirsten Ashley Photography & Design | Happiness Through My Eyes  - July :: King Tudor's European AdventureKirsten Ashley Photography & Design | Happiness Through My Eyes  - July :: King Tudor's European AdventureKirsten Ashley Photography & Design | Happiness Through My Eyes  - July :: King Tudor's European AdventureKirsten Ashley Photography & Design | Happiness Through My Eyes  - July :: King Tudor's European AdventureKirsten Ashley Photography & Design | Happiness Through My Eyes  - July :: King Tudor's European AdventureKirsten Ashley Photography & Design | Happiness Through My Eyes  - July :: King Tudor's European AdventureKirsten Ashley Photography & Design | Happiness Through My Eyes  - July :: King Tudor's European Adventure

So I hope you enjoy this “ode to my brother” of sorts…. he brought so much happiness to my life these past couple of months! This also gave me a chance to get creative and try new things in posing, lighting and post processing. I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments below!

Don’t forget to continue on to Anna’s happiness for the month of July in the Netherlands by clicking HERE!

Until next month y’all! May you find a small bit of happiness in every day.

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March 03, 2014


1 :: Why Hello March – I cannot believe that it is already March! Where the heck did January and February go? It’s an interesting month for Germany this year as our temperatures continue to warm up! We’re going to have a ridiculously early spring and I’m super pumped! In recent years I have longed for Texas weather in march where you can break out the shorts and t-shirts. I think I may get my wish this year!! Even my gardening is being thrown off, as I think I’m going to need to get seedlings started pronto! Thanks for being so awesome this year Deutschland. I won’t forget it!

2 :: February’s Happiness – In case you missed it, the second blog post of the “Happiness Through My Eyes” blog circle series was published this past week! February’s happiness was found once again in the heart of another French pastry: Madeleines! If you have never tried these delicious treats, I highly encourage you to dust off that shells shaped pan passed down to you from your great grandma Betty and break out the flour eggs and sugar. You won’t be disappointed! Don’t forget to follow the links to continue around the circle to London, Abu Dhabi, The Netherlands and other cities to see the work of my talented photographer friends!

3 :: Your Wedge Style – The warmer weather has been wreaking havoc with my shoe choices lately. Do I need my riding boots still? or can I break out the ballet flats for date night? Speaking of date night, I have long since given up on wearing my lovely collection of stilettos here in Germany with all the cobblestone around for me to break my neck. So this week’s shoe picks are from the wedge family, a not so dangerous solution to the stiletto problem. I had a hard time choosing this month as there are so many great ones out there! Click on a shoe to take you to shop online at DSW. 1) Steve Madden – Eddna Wedge Sandal – $49.95 2) BCBGeneration – Tala Wedge Sandal – $59.95 3) Spring Step Harlequin – Patrizia Wedge Sandal – $39.95 4) Ralph Lauren Collection – Gayle Wedge Sandal – $199.95 5) Steve Madden – Rise Wedge Sandal – SALE $39.94 6) Mia Quincy – Wedge Pump – SALE $29.94

Steve Madden Eddna Wedge Sandal | DSWBCBGeneration Tala Wedge Sandal | DSWPatrizia by Spring Step Harlequin Wedge Sandal | DSWRalph Lauren Collection Gayle Wedge Sandal | DSWSteve Madden Rise Wedge Sandal | DSWMia Quincy Wedge Pump | DSW

4 :: Southern Home Cookin’ – I have been craving some southern cooking lately. I don’t know what the deal is. D and I even hit Nick’s Southern Friend Chicken in Einsidlerhof this past weekend to satisfy the Texan within. Seems like a good idea in theory right? Well now I’m craving every single one of these southern staples and plan to make my way through them one by one here real soon! I hope you enjoy this week’s Pinterest Foodie Picks! Be sure to follow me and never miss a yummy recipe! 1) Spicy Southern Friend Chicken 2) Foolproof Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits 3) Homemade Fried Okra 4) Vanilla Bean Ice Cream via Southern Living 5) Southern Style Homemade Banana Pudding

Flaky Buttermilk BiscuitsVanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe

5 :: Instagram Pick of the Week – Meet Proper Prints! My obsession with calligraphy and paper things continues in the fabulous stylings of @properprints! Run by the sensational Margaret in Louisiana, proper prints creates everything from calligraphy stamps and birth announcements to custom stationary and party invites. Margaret’s calligraphy is absolutely stunning with a flirty insouciance guaranteed to impress! Did I mention that she too hosts calligraphy classes?!? So for those of you living near Baton Rouge or Lafayette check out her class schedule and sign up for her upcoming calligraphy and cocktails course! There’s even an advanced class which I’m dying to take! Margaret is also the co-owner of her newest project The Curious Calligrapher. TCC is a community of calligraphers from around the world who have created a fantastic resource for everything calligraphy related! Be sure to follow @properprints on Instagram. Her posts will always make you smile and get your creative juices flowing! Thanks Margaret for being so awesome! Photos below by Margaret as seen on Instagram.

6 :: Cunningham Sneak Peek – I had the awesome opportunity to capture Terrance Cunningham’s headshots this past week. He needed new photos for his business portfolio and I was happy to be a part of the project! Terrance is a web designer based out of Seattle who was visiting his sister here in Germany for the past several months! Here is a sneak peek of his session… I can hardly believe these photos are of the same person! I can’t decide which one I like best… Enjoy!

Happy Monday Ya’ll!!! It’s my hope that MIAM brightens the beginning of your week so you can power through to the end!

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July 15, 2013


1 :: Sigh of Contentment There has been a great deal going on lately. We’ve had lots of visitors this summer and plenty of surprise Air Force things thrown in the mix. Today is one of those days where I realize the craziness has passed and there is nothing but an indian summer full of photo sessions and editing that awaits me. It is impossible to tell you how much this makes my heart content. I feel like we spend most of our lives vying for time to do things we really want to do. By some miracle of God, I have been granted this wish for the next two-three months. All of those projects that have been put on hold are now in full swing! This of course means there will be a great deal more action on the blog in the coming weeks.

2 :: Contentment = Comfort – This weeks shoe highlight is known for their comfortable style. Clarks have signature “crepe sole” has been a part of the company since the first product launch in 1950. The sole is made from latex tapped from the para rubber tree and is one of natures most resilient shock absorbents and water repellents. The product is “entirely natural and sustainable” which means it’s good for mother earth too!  Clarks fit into the “laid back style” section of my shoe closet and are great for travel and the beach! 1) Billie Swing – Dark Grey Synthetic $39.99 2) Mimmey Paige – Green Synthetic $69.99 3) Plush Bea – Turquoise Leather $69.99 4) Mimmey Anne – Copper Synthetic $69.99 5) Vogue Rose – White Grey Fabric $69.99 6) Attitude Pose – Brown Leather $59.99


3 :: Content to Read The summer season always lends itself to late nights. When I lived in Texas we relished in dusk because it was the first time all day that the temperatures dropped. I used to curl up on our patio furniture to absorb my latest novel like a sponge. Something about this time of year causes me to turn off the movies and wander my library in search of stories of grand adventures and new worlds. In lieu of this shift, I bring to you this season’s book recommendations! 



Wither – The Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren DeStefano – This whole series was fascinating. If you love stories about post apocalyptic societies this book will rock your world. The writing is intensely detailed and the characters are fully developed. A must read for this summer!
Clockwork Angel – The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare – 
This series is dedicated to old souls. It’s set in the turn of the century so the mannerisms and language are old school. I also liked this series way better than Clare’s oh-so-popular Mortal Instruments “City-of” series. So if you’re a fan of the original I highly recommend the prequel series! Clare paints such vivid imagery of the shadowhunter world in the light of a Victorian Era. LOVE IT!
The Shadow of the Wind
 by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – I haven’t read a novel this fantastic in quite some time. I feel like it takes a lot to wow me these days. This book is so rich and passionate. A mystery that follows a boy his whole life with fascinating characters interacting along the way. It is set in Barcelona, Spain after the first world war, and having spent a significant amount of time there I was able to see the scenes play out like a movie. This stories is for all great lovers of books.
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting – 
Another favorite of stories held within caste societies. The heroin fights to take control of her own life in a world where everything is decided for her based on the rules of a cast. If you enjoy a power struggle this one’s for you!
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
 by Michelle Hodkin – A curious murder mystery. This book has a haunting feel that keeps you turning the pages until the very end. The good news? It’s book one of a three part series. The bad news? The third book doesn’t come out until December 2013.

4 :: Snack to your Hearts ContentSummer time in my brain equals snack time and not just any snack food will do. My favorite genre of food is seafood so this week I have researched some scrumptious seafood snacks perfect for entertaining or just filling your own tummy. Eating seafood always makes me feel closer to the beach even though I’m landlocked and at lease 6 hours away from ocean. A) Healthy Norwegian Salmon Snack B) Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with Chili Butter C) Panko-crusted Crab Cake Bites with Roasted Pepper-Chive Aioli D) Tex-Mex Shrimp Cocktail

Healthy Norwegian Salmon Snack

5 :: Content with Shooting in Sunshine – Endless days of sunshine. That’s what a German summer is all about. It’s almost enough to make you forget the 9 month rainy season. Almost. I have thoroughly enjoyed playing with the light in both sunset and sunrise. Here’s a sneak peek of the lovely Jessica Aiduk who honored me with a request to photograph her long hair before we both get haircuts next week. You’re stunning J!

That’s all for this Monday! Hope this inspired you to start your week refreshed and ready to conquer. Don’t forget to come back next week!

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June 04, 2013

Every so often, while walking through life, you come across extraordinary people. In my line of work, if you’re lucky, you get the chance to photograph such individuals. I had the honor and privilege of shooting a senior portrait session with the magnificent Miss Kathryn Parish. She is talented, kind, full-of-life, and ridiculously beautiful. Talk about incredible. She was completely energized about her session and sat patiently as I curled and styled her hair. Throughout the evening we laughed and talked while she bravely posed in ways that require an balancing act of extreme proportions.  We had rescheduled her shoot from a day prior in the week due to bad weather and I was oh-so-glad we did! The beautiful rolling hills of Germany were singing with sunlight all during her photo-shoot. Kathryn’s lovely prom dress with all of its delicate layers allowed me to capture beautiful graceful movements. Of course the glitter, high heels, and the flower in her hair made the whole shoot delightfully girly.

K, I cannot thank you enough for choosing Kirsten Ashley Photography to catch these ethereal moments before you leave Germany and head for Kansas. I wish you all of the best for your senior year and may you continue to go through life so full of promise and hope. The world is at your feet, take it an run!

Kathryn, thanks again for this fantastic day! You were so much fun to work with and I wish you all the best on your future endeavors!


April 16, 2013

I have always loved string instruments particularly the cello. Throughout my childhood/adolescent years I sat patiently at the piano during my lessons and dreamed longingly of playing something with strings. Even though I had various attempts to learn while in college it never stuck, mostly because of my lack of patience. I would get angry at the calluses that hadn’t formed, throw my hands into the air and proceed to the nearest piano to play the song on an instrument I could actually play well. That beings said, any opportunity to work with a string professional makes my heart smile, for I have a great respect for what they do.

I met Robert through the Ramstein Area Bluegrass Association. Everyone was so excited to have a professional violist in their midst for a jam session. Classically trained at the University of South Carolina, Robert had recently moved to the Kaiserslautern area here in Germany. Dana and I had the pleasant surprise of running into Rob and his kind beautiful wife Charlan at church in Ramstein-Miesenbach {It’s a small world out here, folks!}. Rob expressed interest in getting portraits taken for his website. He also teaches classes in the local area here in Germany, while giving video lessons through his Facebook page Robert Rieve’s Violin Class.

What an honor it was to photograph this amazingly talented musician! He was such a sport despite the chilly weather and we had the most amazing day of sunshine to work with. Did I mention he played the viola/violin throughout the whole shoot? Such a rare treat! I can always tell when I’m working with a professional because their posture is impeccable and their personality shines through when they’re playing. Rob I can’t thank you enough for this fantastic opportunity. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed capturing them. Here is a sneak peek of your session and I wish all the best to you and your family!

Thanks again Robert for your great attitude and awesome costume changes. The detail shots of the viola are some of my favorites! I look forward to working with you again very soon!


March 28, 2013

Oh what a lovely morning it is here in Landstuhl, Germany. The sun is peeking through the clouds and much to my dismay, I spy blue sky! Today’s topic of discussion I’ll impart in three words: location, location, location. One of the thrills of offering photography services in the Rhineland Pfalz area is the magnificent scenery that surrounds us here. Many times during the meet and greet of a session, I will have clients ask me if I know of a good place to take their photos here. My answer? Absolutely! I have a wide variety of backdrops in my repertoire. Everything from rolling hill landscapes to wheat fields to urban metropolis to quaint farming communities. If you don’t mind admission fees there are several castles in the area that provide breathtaking scenery. The point is to pick what best represents you. If you love trees, lets go shoot in a forest that would make Hansel and Gretel proud. Nature not your thing? The walkplatz in Kaiserslautern gives you architectural details that will make your glamorous style pop. The even more popular option, is to hold a session at your place of residence. I would be tickled pink to capture your family in the home you live in during your stay in Germany. These are memories you want to last forever.

This past Monday, Laura gave me an opportunity to find new locations in the area. I am happy to report that we found at least four sites, one with a pub in the middle of nowhere! I can hardly wait to use these locations when spring finally decides to stay for good. Here are some of the lovely portraits I captured of her that day. L, you are beautiful!!!!

Thanks again Laura for this awesome opportunity! I hope you enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed taking them! Here’s to many more adventures together and gorgeous weather to shoot in!



Once upon a time, in a country across the ocean from home, I wished for a camera. I dreamed of photographing shy smiles, bright futures, hands held, and lives colliding. I have seen and admired so many photographers wondering if I would ever get my chance to pursue the hobby that delighted me in a professional manner. It is with great expectations coupled with inspired hope that I introduce Kirsten Ashley Photography to you.



This company is based primarily on lifestyle photography. I want to capture you in your everyday moments with your children, your spouse, or just you! I take great pride in providing a product that will remain timeless in addition to being precious. Photographs can last a lifetime, freezing your children at that priceless age for you to enjoy.

Please contact me for more information about booking your session! I look forward to working with you!

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