Browsing Category | photography

His Happiness is My Happiness

Photography by Abbey Kyhl, www.akstudiodesign.com
Photography by Abbey Kyhl, www.akstudiodesign.com
Photography by Abbey Kyhl, www.akstudiodesign.com

 

When Brady and I were engaged to be married, 4 years ago, we met with our Stake President to interview for our living ordinance & sealing recommends. We talked about each other, and being husband and wife. He gave us great counsel, but one thing he said is something I have struggled with but finally feel like I’m starting to get the hang of.

“Ashley, if you put your husbands happiness before yours, you will be happy.”

That was it. That was the big winner. It has been on my mind ever since. It sounds like one of those sayings that you hear from everybody.


Somewhere down the road I developed a very selfish attitude. I was sick of people being rude. I was sick of letting others be mean to me specifically. I developed this attitude that if someone expects something of me, they are expected of the same also. I noticed a very angry and selfish person shine through each day. Oh, you want trash talk Mormons? Well no wonder they all trash talk non-mormons. Or something like that. Oh, you want me to accept the LGBTQ community and support gay marriage in Utah? Well you better love your neighbor, the Mormon, who doesn’t support gay marriage, and THAT’S OKAY. It’s just irritating. Even writing this still brings up some of those feelings.

I hate it. I hate this person I’ve become. I hate the way I’ve changed. I’ve somehow become this very closed off, anger bottled up inside, complaining woman and I hate her. I’m tired of being her. I’m tired of feeling hurt, singled out, lonely, selfish…. I’m tired of anxiety and depression. I’m tired of the way it controls my life. I’m tired of letting my friends down by not showing up. I’m eternally sorry and I regret not being a better friend. I’m just tired of all the negativity in my life. The “nothing ever works out for me,” or how about the “well, with depression and anxiety, everything is 10x harder,” and while that may be true (that last one) it doesn’t give me the right to see myself as more-deserving than others BECAUSE of this difficulty I face each day.

What does this have anything to do with the title of my blog post? I promise, I will get there.

With this new attitude or “way of life,” it started to destroy everything in my life. My friendships, my relationships with family members, my marriage relationship/friendship, my work-life, my church-life, my health & fitness, my finances…. everything. I felt like everything was falling at the drop of a hat, and it definitely was. It was around the end of April when I met with my new friend Karli. She and my sister had planned to meet up one Saturday to do weight/measurements & meal planning. My sister said that she was a previous trainer at the gym she attends, but now she does more personal training/meal planning for others. I was interested because again, I was miserable with this way of life I was living. After the meeting was over, I thought about it for like 30 mins – 1 hour before texting Karli myself. We picked a date & time to meetup. I was serious about this life change, and I knew my health was the first place any of this wanted “change” was going to happen.

On our first meeting, we recorded my weight and measurements so we knew where we were starting. We created goals together and talked about foods that I liked (or should I say, foods I DO NOT like). A couple of hours after our meeting, she emailed me with my meal plan attached. I was so freaken scared but knew deep down, I wanted this for myself. I wanted this for myself. Fast forward to today. The day I made the decision to want to make the health change that I needed, I changed. I noticed a physical change as well as a change in my every day thoughts. I honestly wanted to spend more time with my husband. I wanted to see my family and friends more. I started making an effort to go to social events (aka hanging out with friends) even though I thought I would die from anxiety. My effort at changing my attitude about and at work started working. I started CHOOSING to feel happy, to be nice to others, to do something for my husband, to just clean the freaken bathroom. I can’t tell you exactly what it is or why things in my life started changing but they just did.

You cannot make someone change or become better, or do something different. They have to want it for themselves. And until that happens, all you can do is love them.


My life is different now. I feel different now. I’m choosing reading over social media. I’m choosing private blogging over trying to be a business blogger. I’m choosing personal photography over business photography. I’m choosing my health over temporal “wants.” I’m choosing discipline/debt snowballing over obsessive compulsive/anxiety-driven shopping. I’m choosing honesty over hiding. I’m choosing God over doubts. I’m choosing the Gospel of Jesus Christ over finding joy and peace in temporal things or people. I’m choosing to smile when I wake up because I prefer to have a better day than yesterday. I choose my husband over anyone else. I am choosing to give the benefit of the doubt. I am choose to say sorry and to admit to my mistakes.

I love my husband. He is my best friend. I love spending time with him, cuddling, watching a movie, or driving in the car together. I love that he teases me and I love that he accepts my apologies. I love that, even though times have been hard, he’s choosing to be with me forever. I love that we’re growing stronger together as a team, rather than two individuals legally married. I love him. I love him so much. He is the calm to my storm and I’d be lost in life without him. Putting his happiness before mine has truly changed the happiness I experience each day. He means so much to me and it’s important to me to make sure he is happy. His happiness IS my happiness.

I cannot end this blog post without first sharing my gratitude towards my Heavenly Father. He is always there when I need someone the most. He is always there when I’m upset about how lonely I feel each day. He comforts me in ways that I never look for comfort in. He answers my prayers when I kneel humbly each day. He has blessed with me with a beautiful life, an amazing husband, a loving family and endless opportunities. Heavenly Father comes first in my life. Without Him, everything else isn’t possible.

I’m doing my best each day and as I make these new decisions to cultivate what matters most to me and the Lord, I find myself feeling happier and more at peace.

  • Tomorrow I mail off a form that will close up my photography business forever. I have had the most amazing time these last 3 years but I know that it is time to move forward.
    • If you need any referrals for any kind of photography, I know MANY amazing photographers who are good friends of mine.
  • I am blogging waaaay more on my personal blog (private) so shoot me an email or comment if you’d like to follow. I keep it private for the sake of my family and myself.
  • You can follow me here:

Brady and I have something in the works for our cute family in the next coming months and I can’t wait to share. Be sure to send me your email for my private blog if you want in on this new adventure!

The domain for this blog expires on 08/03/2017 and I won’t be renewing. Be sure to send me your email!!

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What makes me happy as a photographer

I met up with a really good friend today and we both had a very much-needed talk. It was so great. She (probably unknowingly) helped me make decisions that I was just so afraid to make. But one of them was making the decision and move forward with it. When I started second-shooting with her last year, I was having the time of my life. My skills shot through the roof and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I can’t even tell you what it was but something just happened.

It was around the time my dad had passed away. He was my biggest connection with photography and I just wasn’t sure I could keep doing this as a business. I had invested so much time and $$$$$$$$ and I didn’t want to be a failure. It was what I needed, second-shooting. I loved it. I loved assisting and helping. I loved being that person that someone could rely on. I loved being there to help and still be apart of something so sweet and amazing and LEARN. I learned SO much from her. In fact, I learned so much from ALL of my photographer friends who let me assist and/or second-shoot. 

Things come into our lives for a reason, and lately for mine, they’ve been coming in seasons and that’s it. So, let’s get to the point so I can quit rambling. 


Remember when I blogged about stepping down and doing it as more of a hobby business? Today I finally feel ready to be true to myself and my business.

I never wanted to admit this because I didn’t want people to judge me or attack me for various reasons. I am a Mormon, I am of the LDS-faith, I am a Christian… I live, eat, sleep, breathe the gospel of Jesus Christ and God. So please don’t judge me before taking a deep breath and waiting an hour before you say something, if you do.

I only want to shoot Mormon temple exits, couples and family photos. I don’t want to shoot receptions, or engagements or bridals. I love temple coverage! I just do, it’s where I feel my strongest and most of my passion. This isn’t against anyone, this isn’t because of someone (past, present, future client, friend, family, photographer, etc). This is a personal choice based off of experiences, a lot of prayer, a lot of waiting and learning, and being patient.

But what I want even more for myself and my camera is to live my life and record the happy and everyday moments. I want to start carrying my camera around and take video and photos of my husband and I, our live, adventures, family, friends. I just want to shoot (like my sweet friend said today), I just want to shoot. I want to be me. I’m ready for the next season.

What do I shoot that makes me unbelievably happy?

• LDS Temples

• My sisters family

• Pretty flowers and nature

• Couples exiting the temple after their sealing

• Sunrises and sunsets

• Birthday photos for my nephews

• Lucy — even if they are blurry

• I love taking photographs like the ones on my Instagram

 

I love printing photos and scrapbooking. I love blogging and posting IG photos of temples and quotes to inspire and uplift. I love pretty feeds with purpose. I want to shoot these things because I want to and it’s what makes me happy and starting today, I’m going to be doing just that. I’m shooting for me, and temple coverage only (and still available for second-shooting). I’m only going to explain myself once because I need to be 100% happy and true to myself or everything else in my life will not succeed. Where my business will end up next year, I’m not sure. Am I content with shooting these things that make me unbelievably happy? You bet your bottom dollar.

***Disclaimer: my website will still be up for the year, my Facebook page will be up for the year, my Instagram will still exist. As I adjust to the changes over the coming months, these things will not change.