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With a Little Luck and a Great Eye, Darien Bride Finds Career in Wedding Photography

As a child, Ashley Poisella, loved taking photos with disposable cameras. But only when the Darien photographer began planning her own wedding did she get to return to her true calling.

Like a lot of little girls born in the 1980s, Ashley Poisella loved taking photos with disposable cameras. Unlike a lot of her friends, however, Poisella spent hours studying and photographing still life. It was one of the earliest signs of her true calling.

“I always had a million disposable cameras,” Poisella recalled. “I was always taking pictures of flowers and things that wouldn’t move.”

Today, Poisella is still taking millions of pictures of flowers, though they’re more likely to be found in bouquets, centerpieces and aisles, the Darien-based photographer told Patch.

But if it weren’t for her own wedding in 2009, a loving nudge from her then-husband-to-be Chris Poisella, and a videographer who saw in Ashley Poisella a shutterbug destined for greatness, she may never have gotten her big shot (no pun intended).

Though many photographers study the art in college, Poisella opted for the path she thought she wanted, into a corporate advertising job.

“As time went on, working in the corporate world became less and less enjoyable,” said Poisella, who got her first real, professional camera a few years ago. “I kept revisiting the question, ‘if you could do what you wanted and money and location weren’t an issue, what would it be?'” She always came back to photography.

But dreams didn’t even start coming true until Poisella began planning her own June 2009 wedding, and, during a meeting with the couple’s videographer — who is also a photographer — her fiancé Chris bragged about her skills behind the lens. Curious, the videographer asked to see Poisella’s portfolio.

“I literally brought to this woman photos of ducks and flowers,” Poisella recalled, laughing. “She invited me to be a third photographer with her at a wedding. After shooting the wedding with her, she called me the next day and said ‘I want to talk to you about your photos.’”

The videographer praised Poisella’s “great eye” for composition, and then invited her to join her team as a second photographer for local weddings.  

That’s when everything fell into place. Poisella spent her lunch hours studying photography and learning about the industry. And just one year ago, she and Chris launched Ashley Therese Photography.

Poisella said what sets her apart is her commitment to the couples she works with. She spends time with brides, gets to know her couples and their families, and provides advice when asked.

“For me weddings are like books,” said Poisella. “In the best books, you get to know about the characters right away. With couples, I get to know how they met, how they fell in love, and their proposal story. By building a professional and personal relationship with couples, I’m able to capture the emotions of the day, not just the actions of the day.”

Taking in the most important details – such as one recent bride’s wedding dress, which was the bride’s grandmother’s dress from 1940 – helps to create the story in pictures.

Newly engaged couples looking to tie the knot next spring better make an appointment to meet with her quickly. Poisella, whose wedding-day photo packages start at $2,500, already has more than 35 weddings booked for 2011, and is starting to book 2012 weddings.

“Photography and people are what I am passionate about,” Poisella told Patch. “I have met incredible people and get to photograph and preserve emotions in time.  Capturing love stories has to be one of the most amazing experiences in the world, and I am so grateful I get to do it every day.”

To learn more about Ashley Therese Photography, call 203-202-7074 or visit ashleytheresephotography.com

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