“Oh, oh, she’s my cover girl.”
Have you ever wanted to be the girl in the magazine? If you’re a VIVA GLAM reader, you might have already been in a magazine or on television. But it doesn’t stop you from flipping through the pages of VIVA GLAM or Vogue and getting lost in the fantasy. Not all photographers can create such fantasies, especially when it’s a professional gig. It’s not all glitz and glamour. This is where photographer Ashleigh Taylor comes in, so it is. Taylor is a Santa Barbara based photographer who is turning everyday women into models for a day, and she can give you the sexy and feminine photoshoot that you’ve always wanted!
We met up with Ashleigh Taylor to learn more about her work and how she performs her magic.
Q&A with Ashleigh Taylor
How do you go about one of your photoshoots?
I am incredibly passionate about the work I do. I love helping women to see themselves as beautiful and photogenic.Æ sometimes for the first time. There‘s actually nothing I love more than to photograph a woman who tells me she looks terrible in photos and hates to be photographed. I love a challenge and to prove her wrong. The best is when she comes back to see her photos and is crying tears of joy. It gives me chills.
My shoots are unique because it‘s like a full on fashion magazine shoot. We do a consult where I coach you on what to wear so you bring the right things. I also have a collection of pretty dresses, hair flowers, and jewelry to play with. I have a professional hair and makeup artist who makes you look amazing. And then I put the best lighting on you and pose you from the top of your head down to your toes. I encourage you to bring a loved one with.Æ your mom, sister, daughter, or partner. It‘s truly the ultimate girl‘s day out!
What makes you so different from all other photographers?
I‘m quite different I believe because I offer a full service. Most photographers these days meet you at a park or the beach, shoot you for an hour, give you very little direction and hand over a bunch of lightly edited files which sit on your computer and die. I have a studio and give you the full glam squad. Then as I mentioned I specialize in posing real women. I am an expert in angles and I can literally make you lose 20lbs just with posing. I also fully retouch all your images to a magazine quality (which usually makes my clients very excited to hear). I create heirloom photographic art for you to keep and cherish forever. Whether it be a unique gallery wall installation in your home with vintage frames (which I source myself) to a single wall portrait or a loose leaf album you can privately store, I make sure you walk away with a treasure that will be part of your family legacy. Because let‘s face it, your grandkids aren‘t going to go nuts over a thumb drive. Though, I do give you a digital copy as well so you can post to Facebook and make everyone drool with envy over how fab you are!
Why do people want to do these shoots?
There are so many reasons to do a shoot. It could be to celebrate a milestone (birthday, marriage, motherhood, anniversary, weight loss, etc.) or to get your groove back after trauma (divorce, illness, loss). But I actually believe no reason is needed. Imagine having beautiful photos of all stages of your life.Æ from a fresh-faced girl graduating high school, to when you started your career, sexy shots before marrying, and stunning photos of your baby bump and later with your kids, imagine watching your face mature and looking fabulous and forty, fantastic at fifty, sexy at sixty, and elegant at seventy. Imagine looking at yourself through the years and realizing you were beautiful at every moment. If I could photograph a woman throughout her life and remind her she‘s always beautiful, that would make me happy.
How did you get into this type of work?
I started shooting boudoir photographs for my brides in 2009 (I started out shooting weddings) and fell in love with it. In 2012, I discovered world renown photographer Sue Bryce who also takes the most incredible portraits of women. It opened my eyes to the possibility of not just shooting boudoir but photographing women throughout the various stages of life. I was lucky enough to make my dreams come true and be personally mentored by Sue Bryce and my career has totally transformed. I could not be happier. I am basically living my childhood dreams of playing dress up for a living.
Can you really make any woman look like a model?
Absolutely! I have photographed women of all sizes, shapes, ethnicities and ages. Literally from size 0 to size 18. From ages 9 to 80. I have photographed women who absolutely never dress up. Each one of them looks so gorgeous in the final photos. I even have some before and afters to prove it.
Can you share some stories of real clients with us?
I have so many clients with amazing stories it is hard to choose. But one story that really moved me this year was photographing Angie. Angie is a mother of two and also has alopecia and recently shaved her head. She is still coming to terms with the change and wanted to use this shoot as a way to feel beautiful both with and without her wig. Here‘s what she had to say:
“As someone who has recently undergone a drastic change in my appearance that was not my choice (losing hair to alopecia), it has been difficult for me to adjust and feel comfortable with my new look. The photo shoot helped me to feel beautiful and confident. . Seeing myself looking beautiful both with and without my wig was really powerful. Having this experience and seeing my beautiful images helped me to know that I am beautiful and glamorous no matter how I choose to present myself to the world. “
How do we book you? What if I don’t live in Santa Barbara?
I would love to photograph you. I personally invite you to my private studio in Santa Barbara. I have had clients from all over the country fly in for shoots. Luckily, Santa Barbara is a sunny, oceanside resort town that makes for one fabulous getaway.
I mean, it‘s good enough for Oprah right?!
Book a photoshoot with Ashleigh Taylor at
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Get her free guide with simple steps to always looking fabulous in photos here!