the beach in the fall {phone}

We got a couple family shots while on vacation; both make me laugh.

One: We asked a woman on the ferry to snap a shot of the 7 of us. Her finger cut our 3 of us!


Two: We asked a passerby to get us with the sandcastle the boys built. It had an elaborate bridge, moat and entrance. We’ll have to remember that part in our heads!


The trip was super relaxing. We went during off-season, so we basically had the whole beach to ourselves. It was cloudy most of the days, but in a lot of ways I liked it even better than I do blue sky beach days. There was just something moody and inspirational about the weather. As a photographer, I felt inspired and refreshed. I used my iPhone quite a bit, especially on windy days.

These are some of my iPhone shots:

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

I really, really like my iPhone camera. I just use the basic camera because it is the fastest for me to get to these days. There are times I feel like my iPhone can capture what I want better than my DSLR. I am slowly learning when I personally prefer my phone over my DSLR and vice versa. I’ll share my DSLR pictures tomorrow.

I feel like all those images need captions. Most of them I posted to Instagram last week, so you can read the captions here if you really want to know more about the shot. However, seeing them all together without words provides a pretty accurate depiction of our week. It was a different kind of relaxing beach week. It felt deeper than a normal trip to the beach. Deeper for our family, deeper for me. Whether the skies were cloudy or bright blue, our days were filled with simply enjoying each other. It was good.

Then I came home to cold weather. I don’t like layers or coats or shoes or blankets or scarves. I really think my parents lied to me. I just know I was born on an island somewhere. I lived in Hawaii for a little over a year. And despite everyone telling me I would miss the seasons. I did not. I miss Hawaii.

Now to figure out how to get back to the beach without having to drive hours with kids.



The big giveaway winner is: Avenlea B. (there should be an email from me in your inbox). Congratulations!!



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  • cathie w. - Looks like y’all had an amazing time. Can’t wait to see the rest of your pictures!

  • kimberly oyler - what a glorious week! i was at the beach two weekends ago in northern california. it was chilly enough for sweaters and scarves, but it was moody and cloudy and beautiful all at the same time. i loved it. but, i miss hawaii too. 🙂

  • Alyssa - You have to laugh at those poorly captured moments! I gave a woman at Cracker Barrel my iPhone once to take a photo of my husband and I playing checkers. She held the screen up to her face … so I jumped up to show her how to use an iPhone. We got one selfie of her and one with a corner covered by her finger. Eh, good enough. 😀

  • danielle - Ha! That looks like fun, even though I am not really a beach girl. I am crazy happy about the weather. I love the cold 🙂

  • Emily - Hi Ashley! My apologies if I just missed it somewhere, but I’ve been scouring your site for your contact information. I’m 24 and ready to start exploring adoption. I was hoping you have some recommendations for websites and books that helped your family through the process. Can you help? Love the blog so much! Thanks!

  • Lex - I’m with you on the cold weather thing. Born and raised near Chicago, but I swear somehow I’m tropical. 🙂 I actually just started a new winter challenge today to help me survive the season without being totally melancholy.

  • nicole i - recently our entire family…cousins and aunts and uncles…everyone…we asked a person to take our group photo and we set it up and told them where to stand and it was as though they had never seen a camera, taken a photo or centered anything. sorta funny, sorta not.

  • Cassie - Wonderful pictures! I can’t believe you capture these with an iPhone. How do manage to get action shots of the kids that aren’t blurry? This is what I struggle with. I have an iPhone 4S and I do hear that the camera on the later versions is much better. Thanks!

  • Jillian - Looks like such a great vaca!
    If you have a moment, I’d love for you to check out this contest where you could win one of my art prints!

  • AshleyAnn - Cassie – I actually liked a lot of my iPhone 4S camera features better than the iPhone 5! The 4S has a really great camera. For action shots, just make sure you have LOTS of light…that will make all the difference.

  • Rachel - Beautiful pics! Just as a heads up, your website is running VERY slowly the last couple of days. I’ve compared it to other blogs I check on my sam browser and it’s just yours. Stay warm!!

  • AshleyAnn - Rachel – thanks for letting me know.

  • Stoich91 - Is that a SHARK!? A wharf amusement park?! Wait…okay…heading to instagram now for captions!!! 😀

  • Chrystal Smith - Haha! I relate to this on so many levels. On our Texas beach trip this summer our only family photo was one taken by a sweet lady and her not-so-photogenic finger. A true treasure 🙂 And I’m with you on the cold weather… Not my favorite either. A warm beach break in the winter doesn’t sound like a bad idea. xx

  • Kimberly @ Turning It Home - That’s ironic; that you are not a cold weather person but live in a place with cold weather. I was born and raised in Florida and I want seasons!! It’s sort of like gals with straight hair want curly and curly want straight.

    So, willing to state swap!? It’s humid and in the high 80’s here!

  • MrsFun - I too, prefer my iphone over dslr sometimes. I never post my phone pics on my blog though. I should start doing that. thanks for the inspiration.