Well, you found me.

I’ve never been good at hellos, or goodbyes for that matter. I never know what to say other than just the standard greeting. In person I get a little quiet. But not reserved enough to be considered shy. I eventually open up. I’m much better at writing out a greeting, hence this informal way of letting you know more about me prior to canvasing this website for imagery you find appealing. And before you do that, before you go off searching for a photograph or two that makes you say “ohhh” out loud, or turn to your partner and exclaim “i love that one,” I encourage you to read this statement, this appeal, which contains a little info about me, but more info about what I can do for you.

Way back in 2009 (I can’t believe I’m referencing 2009 as “way back) I started this photography business of mine in Philadelphia. To make a very long story much shorter, the business was successful and after photographing thousands of people and hundreds of weddings, my family packed up and we moved to the Boulder, Colorado area to obtain a complete change of lifestyle. It was a bold move considering we sold almost everything we had, took our kids out of school and away from everything they knew (they agreed to this plan if you’re wondering), and moved 2/3 of the way across the country.

And so here I am today, living on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and still photographing people and weddings. But since that transition a couple of years ago few things have changed, my perspective within the world of photography and art has shifted. So many people are “photographers” now. My guess is that you know at least one person that claims they are a photographer, and maybe you even know a photographer that is incredible. The accessibility of photography, and to high quality cameras, has made it go from a skill you had to be taught in school to a skill you could pick up and learn on your own on your own time and pace. That made it enticing for people to make money. That also made photography trendy and now everyone wants a slice of the photography pie. As I watched this happen from when I first started out, I felt myself starting to pull away. I don’t have a desire for limelight or attention, it makes me feel awkward. I retreated into my own little world of photography and experimented and toyed around with cameras and mediums most people didn’t want to get involved with. All of this has led me to where I am today (in regards to the photographic medium).

How does this pertain to you? Great question.

To answer that, I’ll throw out some questions to you — if you answer “yes” to any of these then I might be a good fit for you. If you answer “yes” to all of the following questions, then I expect an immediate email and a subsequent booking because we are destined to work together.

Do you like film, and specifically black and white film? While I am considered a “hybrid” photographer — meaning I go between digital and film — I shoot a LOT of film. And if I’m using film, I prefer black and white. If you hate black and white film, you may want to click out of this website, haha. I don’t shoot exclusively black and white by any means, film but its generally used more than color. Clicking through the galleries will give you a good indication of how I feel about film. Oh, and practically every image you see on this website is film — just in case you were wondering.

Do you like instant film? Specifically Polaroid. If you are a Polaroid film nerd and want photographs that are Polaroids, please proceed. I try to use it at every session and while I don’t guarantee it, most likely my instant film cameras will come out. If you aren’t, thats ok. This isn’t a deal breaker by any means as I don’t use it THAT often … it’s just another little aspect of photograph I love and if you love it as well you’ll love my work.

Are you in Colorado? While this isn’t a deal breaker, this is where I focus my attention. I moved here for a reason, I love it. I photograph people from all over the region - Boulder, Denver, Longmont, Fort Collins, and so many other mountain towns. And if you are interested in wedding photography, I especially love mountain weddings, and specifically Steamboat Springs weddings. I adore that town and hopefully, one day, I will live in or near it.

And now for a few wedding specific questions if thats the style of photography you are seeking…

Do you like a more documentary approach to a wedding? So many photographers claim they are documentary but in reality so few are. While I definitely control a portrait session or some family photos, 90% of the day is spent watching, waiting, learning, and anticipating. This is where I thrive. This is a big reason I’m hired. I’m very good at stepping back and anticipating. I wait and try to be present at the right time in the right place. I’ve gotten pretty good at it too. This is where I shine. I’m not going to require a 2hr portrait session of you two in the middle of your wedding at all. If you give me 10 minutes, then so be it. My goal is to document, not demand.

Are you having a small wedding or elopement? You def earn points for this one. I’ve photographed over 400 weddings and to be honest, I’m over the large weddings that take 12-14hrs to photograph. If you are having that type of wedding there are so many photographers that would enjoy it … but I’ll pass on this type at this point. I thrive in smaller weddings and in more relaxed conditions. It suits my cameras, my abilities, and my style. It’s soul soothing and I believe I need to be happy with what I’m photographing so I can deliver the best images possible.

Ok, so that’s pretty much the gist. If you read all of that, thank you. If you got to this point perhaps you are interested in speaking further about what you need photographed, please use the contact link on the side or shoot me an email a michaelashsmith@gmail.com. If you do reach out, thank you, I look forward to chatting with you further.