My name is Ashley Melchert - otherwise known as Ashley Rae. I am originally from Colesburg, Iowa - a small northeast Iowa town in Clayton county, but I have lived in Dubuque for about 10 years now. I currently live with my little family - my fiance and our three sons.
There is so much that could be said about me I suppose, but a few "fun facts" would be that I am obsessed with the TV shows 'ER' (this will always be my favorite show), 'LivePD', and documentaries about serial killers and things like that. I love to read! My favorite author is Robin Cook - he writes medial thrillers. I also enjoy coloring! KISS is my favorite band - I have had a crush on Paul Stanley since I was a little girl. :)
I started with photography back in 2012 after my son was born. It started as a hobby. I purchased a good camera in order to get great photos of him, but it quickly turned into something that I really loved and enjoyed doing. I started doing photos for my friends and their families, and it was just something I realized I wanted to do for others. I love capturing special moments for people.
I have a degree in graphic design and photo editing from Northeast Iowa Community College that I completed in 2007. I do not have a degree in photography, but I am currently looking into programs for this.
I do provide CDs with all of your edited images and a print release with every session that I do with no extra charge. I can also e-mail your photos to you with a print release.
I usually take about two-three weeks to return edited images (on a CD) back to my clients. I know it is always exciting to see the finished products, so I try to get them done in a timely manner. I do also put up a few sneak peeks on my Facebook page within two days of the session (even weddings). During busy seasons - my return time may increase to three - four weeks, but I will always communicate with my clients if that happens. I do appreciate the patience :)
What sets me apart from other photographers?:
1.) I get to know all of my clients before I take photos for them. I have surveys for each type of photo service that I offer that I will email or mail to the client to be returned to me before the session date. It has generic questions about hobbies, their families, etc. so that I can get to know them and what they are looking for.
2.) Customer service is at the top of my priority list. Along with giving you the best quality photos that I possibly can - I strive to also give my clients amazing customer service. I will never stop communicating with you during the process and up until you received your edited photos. My clients are more than just clients to me.
3.) I listen to my clients. If there is a special photo that they want to take, a pose they want to try, a concern that may arise, etc. I will always listen to what they have to say, suggest, etc. Of course I am the photographer, but I am also trying to give my clients the photos THEY want and love. I don't want them to be just another session - I want them to have a personalized session and photos they love.
4.) I do not count images. That means that you do not get a certain number of images returned on your CD - you get ALL of the amazing ones. For instance, the last senior portrait session I shot, they got over 70 photos back. The last wedding I shot, they received over 200 photos back. I do not think I should limit myself to choosing only 10 (or what ever number it may be) images of my work, nor should the client be limited.
5.) I do contests to give away free sessions. There is really no explanation needed, but yes, I do this once in a while. I do this mostly on my Facebook and Instagram pages, so be sure to follow me on both!
6.) I have a contract that protects both parties involved. That's right! I do have a contract that I have my wedding clients sign that protects both sides if something happens (photos are lost, cancellations, etc.)
Connect with me on social media:
These are my kids! These three men are the reasons why I do everything that I do! These three men are also the reasons why I understand how important family photos - and photos in general - are so important to have.
** Photo was not taken by me - it was taken by another photographer **
This is my fiance. He is my biggest supporter and my biggest fan in everything that I do.