By Ben Schooley
Ashley Ermis, owner of A Laugh Photography here in Boerne, has fast become a sought after photographer. Utilizing a particular knack of capturing some of the most endearing candid photos, families from throughout the area come back year over year
to capture their families.
She begins, “I’m originally from Midland. I always had a camera in my hand growing up from 2nd grade onward. My parents bought me like 6 of those disposable cameras for camp one year and I filled them in the first day so they had to send more.” She continues, “They bought me a simple camera for my 10th birthday – I would take pictures of people and things constantly. As a 10y old it was so fun for me to see the world from behind the lens. So basically, from as long as I can remember, I’ve loved photography.”
Constantly seeking exposure and knowledge with photography, Ermis began to surround herself not only with photographers, but those that would help her understand the business of photography. She explains, “In high school I found a local photographer who let me shadow her and gave me one of her old cameras so I was able to practice and learn photography. I shot everything I could find and ultimately she let me sit in on her family sessions where I found my love for capturing people. Very candid photos are my absolute favorite. I love the candid images and less of the posed images. You can see their personality, their dynamic. It’s not so stoic and I just love capturing that about a family; the kids laughing and their personalities, the ways the parents interact with the kids and their spouses, I get to meet them through their images, and I just love that.”
Entering college, of course she majored in photojournalism, but upon meeting her husband moving to San Antonio, she switched gears and enrolled at the San Antonio Art Institute. “I was exposed to a variety of different realms of photography. Fine art, studio, wedding, food – I was exposed to so much of the industry. There was one class called Business of Photography and we had to shadow a photographer in the industry we wanted to be in. I found Lauren Aycock in Alamo Heights. I cold called her, introduced myself and what I was doing, and she happened to need an assistant at the time. I interned with her for 6 weeks and then she hired me on as an assistant. I was the one to get the kids to laugh, smile, and to draw out their personalities. I knew I loved photographing families, and that really grew my appreciation for it. I also learned the business side of things. I saw my passion for people and that’s extremely important for me.”
Ultimately starting A Laugh Photography in 2010, Ermis has been honing her skills ever since while making sure she doesn’t forget the reasons why she enjoys this industry. She continues, “I definitely think my personality behind the camera separates me from other photographers. I want to be friends with my clients. Let’s be family. Let’s build a relationship. That’s how good photos happen. I want to know you and your family in order to fully capture it. Some photographers won’t invest that time, and I couldn’t do this without it. I have some families that I’ve worked with since the kids were little and are now nearing graduation and that’s due to those relationships that we built early on. I am finding that I love that so much as well; to see the families grow and change, and to be a part of that journey.”
As for the future, Ermis continues to not only grow her business, but the services it provides. And of course, increasing her talents. “I’m working on expanding my wedding photography – I love to see the LOVE at these – it’s beautiful. Seniors in high school are really fun for me too. Getting to see their excitement about a new chapter is really inspiring for me. I love learning why they chose a school and their career goals. I learn every single day, I absolutely love what I do, and making new friends with my clients forever makes me happy.”