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Life and Work with Kyrsten Stevens

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kyrsten Stevens.

Kyrsten, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have always admired photography. It wasn’t until I had my oldest child when I picked up my first camera. I wanted to be able to document all her milestones to be able to reflect on when she was older. It was during that time that my passion began to unfold. It wasn’t until I had others start reaching out to me to document their milestones when I realized that I truly enjoyed documenting others milestones. I quickly immersed myself in the industry and haven’t looked back since. It wasn’t until earlier this year that I found my niche. I wasn’t entirely looking for my niche but I realized what I really enjoyed capturing. I realized it one night while editing a session. I was so excited. I was in awe of the emotion, the realness, the tenderness I was able to capture. I edited the whole session before I went to bed. I was so excited to share it. It was in that moment I realized, I found my calling within this industry.

Has it been a smooth road?
Absolutely not! This road has been so bumpy from those who said you will never make it, other creatives intentionally trying to tarnish your brand, to self-doubt. There have been many times during my journey I have looked at my work and compared it to other photographers that I admired. I would look at their work and wonder why mine never looked as “clear”, as “raw”, as “authentic” as theirs — it didn’t look authentic because I was imitating someone else’s work. It wasn’t until I became honest with myself and my abilities that I noticed my business really begin to flourish. It wasn’t until I said enough is enough and I stopped the comparing game. It wasn’t until I found my specialty within this competitive at times cut-throat industry. My best piece of advice to other women is to find your people, find your voice, and stop comparing yourself to others. It is okay to take risks and be seen as “different”. It is okay to think outside of the box. Your art is your art and that is nothing anyone can take away from you. There are enough clients to go around for everyone. Your ideal client is out there searching for you. Also, find other creatives who understand the industry, who want to support you and lift you up when you need it. When you find your people, love on them and love on them frequently.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Kyrsten Ashlay Photography – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am a visual storyteller and professional third wheel A.K.A photographer. I strive to capture raw emotion and authentic moments. I specialize in couples, small intimate weddings and elopements, maternity, and portrait sessions. I focus on the in-between moments rather than traditional stiff posing. I am proud that I am known by my clients as someone to invest in their sessions/clients and makes my sessions as fun and interactive as possible. I personally am most proud of my die-hard motto of “community over competition”. I want to help other creatives become the best they can become. I also love collaborating with other creatives whether it is hair and makeup artists, florists, bakers or other artists. Another thing I am known for is my adventure seeking soul. I love planning sessions all over Southern California (and the country) and I love traveling. I love being able to combine both of my passions and explore this great Earth we have been given. There are some real hidden gems out there.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve benefited from using?
I would be lost without Planoly. I also love Goal Digger by Jenna Kutcher. I wouldn’t get any editing done without Spotify. I also wouldn’t be able to run my business without Instagram. Instagram is great for networking and finding other inspiring artists.


  • Portrait Sessions $200 – $400
  • Adventure Sessions $400+
  • Elopements & Weddings $950+
  • Mentoring $100 per session

Contact Info:

  • Phone: 951-348-1633
  • Email:
  • Instagram:
  • Facebook: kyrstenashlayphotography

Image Credit:
@Sarah Savage Photography

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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