These are the stories that matter most to me

I’m a mom. I want to remember jumping over lakes of imaginary lava and building forts.

I want validation for the tantrums, when the only thing that soothes is rocking a crying baby while dinner burns on the stove.

I want my grandchildren to ask me the stories behind our albums, I want to give them the visual connection it takes to help them remember they are a part of something bigger – a legacy.

I want records of how hard I worked to be the best mom possible. I want real images of my kids – exactly as they are, real, and unique.

That’s why I do what I do.

ashia & family ashia ray says Meet Ashia

Well, hello there!

Hi! – I’m Ashia. That’s me with the blue glasses – along with my busy little family.

I’ve had a camera by my side since 1998. I’ve been a mom since 2012. I also found a recipe for irresistible kale chips in 2013.

This is the life we chose. This is our story.

I graduated with a bachelor’s in studio art & photography from Clark U in 2004. Film and darkrooms were still a thing, and childhood and domesticity were weird things to photograph. Everyday childhood memories weren’t edgy, and my experiments in domestic anthropology were deemed too personal for mass production, and too ordinary for fine art.

At 19 – long before I became a mom, I thought no one would want pictures of little kids being messy and loud. No one would want photographs of story time, or jumping through sprinklers in August.

But these hectic and uneventful days fascinated me. I couldn’t help but to keep coming back to them.

I loved documenting the relationships between families and couples in their homes – not on a big, orchestrated day of a wedding, not in an artificial studio, and not in some random grassy meadow. I was fascinated by the environments people choose to spend time in, how they fill their space with the things and activities that matter to them. I saw beauty in the every-day routines.

Every parent deserves to see that the work they do matters.

A decade later, as a mother, I realize the days I live with my young sons are fleeting. These short years matter more than anything.

The only trouble is that we are so busy living it – we rarely have a moment to think about how important these memories are until the moments are gone.

These are the stories of our family. These are the stories of my sons’ journey through childhood and the most important job I’ve ever had.

That’s why what we do matters.

ashia & family

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