Rachel • Studio Manager
I’m a bit of a creative old soul with my toe in a little bit of everything. A painter, a draw-er, a photographer, an editor, a seamstress (I’m the weirdo who made her own prom dress). I’m a cook of diverse foods and cultures and a baker of scones. In April 2014 I married my best friend, Tom. I will gladly credit him for pushing me to really pursue my artistic abilities. He helped me to realize that there are few things I love more than creating beauty within our world and putting a smile on the faces of others. Some of my other loves include cats (I am a proud mama to the cutest Ragamuffins you’ll ever meet, Don Cornelius Bennett and Frederick Jackson. Yes, those are their full names. Go Bills!), coffee (a girl needs her fix, feel me??) and reading for hours (sometimes days) at a time. I have a rather extensive book collection :)
I’m also a hairstylist and make-up artist and educator. For 30+ years my father has owned a beautiful salon called Del Monte Hair System. I’ve been working with him there for over half of my life. We have two great locations and as Salon Coordinator my main job is to make sure that everything flows smoothly between both of them. I’m in charge of most the of decision making, advertising, branding, social media, you name it! I also love love love working on bridal parties! It’s my favorite. I could do bridal hair and make-up all day, every day. I’m surrounded by weddings in both of my career choices and I couldn’t be happier about it.
In the summer of 2013 I was blessed enough to be able to join the Ayres team. Applying for this position is one of the smartest moves I’ve ever made. It is a dream job and I truly could not ask for a better boss than Jenn. My position with Ayres Photography is a compilation of behind the scenes type work. I design our custom wedding albums. I brainstorm new and innovative ideas to help our company grow. I filter through thousands of wedding images and make sure that each wedding vendor receives photographs of their work. I submit our beautiful images for publication. I take care of anything and everything that will allow Jenn and Ben to focus more on the photography side of things and less on all the other little details. And I love every second of it :)
Nicole • Associate Photographer
I think that I have always been in love with photography…the art of capturing a moment that will never be lost. I am very sentimental and have been told that I am an ‘old soul’, so taking pictures allowed me to be able to hold onto those precious times and revisit them whenever I wanted. I started taking pictures when I was in junior high school, but really became passionate about photography when I lived in Peru for a summer before my freshman year of college. The different culture, beautiful textures, brilliant colors, and gorgeous people lit a fire in me. I was hooked. I photographed what I could, whenever I could.
I am so very blessed to share my life with my wonderful husband and our 2 beautiful children; our gifts from God. After becoming a mommy, my photography became even more meaningful. When you become a parent, the fact that time is so fleeting, becomes even more apparent. It feels as though you are in a constant race against time, and taking pictures helps ease the ache of the constant change that is always happening!
Traveling to quaint, artistic places is one my favorite things to do. I love to find different, local places to eat and I LOVE a good cup of strong coffee…I swear the coffee helps my creative juices get flowing! I love all things yellow, I love to create beautiful, cozy places in my home. I love to read, cook, and above all, I adore spending time with great friends and family over a fantastic meal.
Seeing the creativity of others is always inspiring to me and makes me feel so crazy blessed that I am able to do something I love to do and feel passionate about.
To be able to photograph someone’s wedding is one of the greatest honors! I am constantly amazed that I am able to not only witness, but document, one of THE most important days in someone’s life…and the fact that I am a complete romantic, doesn’t hurt. As a photographer, I love to be able to not only take pictures, but to be there for the bride and groom…to make their day easier, to allow them to relax and just soak it all in. I want them to enjoy EVERY. SINGLE. MOMENT.”