charlottesville va wedding photographers

Wedding Photographer Planning for Maternity Leave || Lynchburg, VA Wedding Photographer

Happy Monday! Phew- what a busy weekend we had! We’re in full baby prep mode as little guy could be coming any day now! All of the sudden I want and need to get all the things done. Ha!

We’ve been working on the finishing touches for the nursery- but let’s be honest- it’ll be a work in progress for quite a while and then it’ll be in transition as he grows.  I’ve also been working really hard on making sure all of my workflows and systems are working and in place so I don’t have to work as hard as we adjust to life as a family of 4. I’ve been batch working to get everything done and scheduled, and have some super fun blog posts coming in the next few months!

Wedding Photographer Planning for Maternity Leave || Lynchburg, VA Wedding Photographer ||

If you’re a small business owner, you know how hard it can be to fully step away for any amount of time, but it’s super important to me that I am able to bond with baby, recover and rest! I’ll share later about what I’m planning on maternity leave looking like for me. To be able to have blogs scheduled, emails automated, and workflows in place allows me to ease back into work instead of trying to balance it all at once, which we all know never works out!

Wedding Photographer Planning for Maternity Leave || Lynchburg, VA Wedding Photographer ||

Here are some ways that I’m preparing my business for some time off:

1- Lists of tasks that need to be completed before my leave, and responsibilities that continue on and I’ll need to follow up on while on leave. As of right now, I’m not planning on hiring a virtual assistant or anyone to answer emails for me, so while there may be a slight delay in responses, I’ll put up an away message and know my amazing clients are prepared for it and know I’ll be getting back with them soon!

2- Set expectations. By writing about maternity leave, posting about it on social media and emailing my clients ahead of time, I’m letting clients know what to expect.  I also have an away message up for new clients, and will change it up once I’m taking more time away and responses will be a little bit more delayed.  

3- Reviewing my systems and workflows. You know I always preach about workflows and how they make my life SO much easier! Going over the past year and being able to pinpoint those moments of pain or stress really help with creating changes for the next year. With this, I highly encourage having GMail filters in place, having automatic responses in place for new inquiries, and to take advantage of canned responses to emails where you get lots of similar questions about.  

4- I’ve reached out to some amazing Lynchburg, Virginia vendors and friends to help me keep the blog alive while I’m out. I am SO excited for this- hearing from professionals in all different aspects in the industry to help Brides and Photographers/Small Business owners alike.

Wedding Photographer Planning for Maternity Leave || Lynchburg, VA Wedding Photographer ||

5- Decide on a timeline! This is so important because it can be so easy to get used to not working and start dropping the ball on important tasks that need a timeline to get moving again.  I luckily was able to take things pretty slowly the last few weeks of my pregnancy office-wise to be able to prepare.  Knowing when my next weddings are and when I need to start working on things again will help make sure no balls are dropped.  I do have weddings scheduled and on the books in the next couple of months, but have backup plans and am still limiting how many weddings and sessions I’m taking over the year for 2018.  I’ll be easing back into working full time hours again slowly to get used to adjustments!

6- Be okay with asking for help! I know that each pregnancy, delivery and recovery is very different- as is each and every baby.  With Emmie, I was able to use nap times and snuggle times to get some work done. That may or may not be the case this time- and that’s okay. I know I have people on board that can help with emails, management, and whatever else I need and I need to give myself grace and ask for help if I need it!

So, that’s my plan for this exciting- yet scary - time full of so much unknown! I’ll be sure to update after the fact with what I learned worked and didn’t work for those of you who own a business and are looking at taking some time off!

How to plan for maternity leave as a wedding photographer || Lynchburg Wedding Photos ||

Ashley Eiban is a Wedding & Portrait Photographer based in Central Virginia. Serving the Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, and surrounding areas. Available for travel world-wide.  Ashley is passionate about cultivating genuine relationships built on mutual understanding, trust and lasting friendship.  

Currently booking a limited number of wedding and portrait sessions for 2018 and 2019.  Contact Ashley today for additional information!

Behind the Camera: Planning for the Year || Lynchburg, VA Wedding Photographer

I know, I'm a little bit weird (please tell me I’m not alone in this! ha!) because I LOVE the process of planning and especially love getting a new planner and starting to organize my year. I get out my pens (of course, you know I color-code my planner!)

When I’m first plugging in dates, it seems like I have tons of free time. Everything I’m writing in are big, important dates- like weddings I’ve booked, birthdays & anniversaries, school start dates, etc.  But I learned if I don’t plan days off ahead of time, I can so easily over-book myself and feel the burnout.

One of the most important things I do when I’m first planning out my year, or when I book a new wedding, is I will, of course, block out the actual wedding day, but I will also schedule a work day AND a day off.

With a new baby on the way, this year is going to be totally different and face a whole bunch of new challenges, so setting myself up for success is going to be so important! I have a whole list of my wedding and event workflow, and know how much time I need to block off for my workflow steps- from uploading cards, culling, editing for my blog, and outsourcing steps, which is so helpful when planning ahead. I know that I most likely won’t have super long stretches of time to get everything done in one day, at least at first, so having that time set aside is super helpful.

Behind the camera: planning ahead for the year || Ashley Eiban Photography ||

I also schedule a day off for each wedding that I shoot. I learned quickly that if I don’t go ahead and block it off on my calendar, I will try to squeeze some things in on that day & end up not getting the day off. This is especially important for months like June, September and October- the super busy wedding and engagement photo sessions.  Also, taking time off for important dates, like Birthdays, Anniversaries, and planning vacation and time away with my family. It can be SO difficult to take a day off when you work for yourself, but please, take it from me, the burn out you’ll feel if you don’t is not worth it!

So tell me, am I alone in LOVING the “school supplies” and fresh starts of new calendars, planners, and color coding.  Do you schedule your work days and off days ahead of time as well?

Lynchburg and Charlottesville Wedding and Portrait Photographer ||

Ashley Eiban is a Wedding & Portrait Photographer based in Central Virginia. Serving the Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, and surrounding areas. Available for travel world-wide.  Ashley is passionate about cultivating genuine relationships built on mutual understanding, trust and lasting friendship.  

Currently booking a limited number of wedding and portrait sessions for 2018.  Contact Ashley today for additional information! 

Trivium Estate Wedding || AJ & Kimberly classic, fall wedding day

Everything about AJ & Kim's wedding day was so beautiful and classy! From her gorgeous venue at The Trivium Estate, that ahhh-mazing gown, the gorgeous florals, and her super sweet groom, that had a smile on his face all day. 

I know you've heard this before, but AJ & Kim just radiate their love for each other! It's so inspiring to be around a couple that is so happy and joyful- and you could just tell from all of their friends and family there for the day! These two needed no direction from me, they just automatically cuddled up together, laughed, kissed, and got lost in the moment. I was in portrait heaven with these two- I wish we had another hour for portraits! ;) 

Their first look was stunning & so sweet! AJ surprised Kim with the most thoughtful gifts and notes, and he was almost speechless when he saw her put together in her dress! Ahh So sweet! I've been so excited to share these photos with you guys! 

Keswick Vineyard Wedding || Andrew & Melissa's Fall Winery Wedding Day

I've been SO excited for Andrew & Melissa's wedding from our first Skype call! When they were telling me about their plans for their autumn wedding at Keswick Vineyards, I knew they were going to be a such a fun couple! They really wanted their photos to show not only their love for each other, but the joy and excitement for their big day! We all had a blast at their Oktoberfest-themed reception, which included the most amazing German food ever! You really can tell how much they love each other & how happy their friends and family were for them! 

Keswick Vineyard is seriously a stunning venue- it's so perfect for a wedding! Their bridal suite, the grooms room, complete with a pool table and the patio are so perfect for starting out the big day! Andrew & Melissa chose to have their ceremony site overlooking the mountains & gorgeous vineyard.  There are SO many amazing spots for photos here- between the pool, the vines, the house, the pond, I mean, everywhere you turn is another amazing portrait location!! 

The amazing vendors that made this gorgeous wedding day so successful! 

Venue: Keswick Vineyard in Orange, Virginia

Coordinator: Logan with Real Southern Accents in Keswick, Virginia

Officient: Dave Norris 

Bridal Gown: 


Groom & Groomsmen: Menguin Online

Florals: Plantscapes Florist in Charlottesville, Virginia and DIY 

DJ: Nathan May, DJ Fit in Harrisonburg, Virginia

Catering: The Bavarian Chef in Madison, Virginia

Cake: Sweethaus in Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville and Keswick Vineyard Wedding Photographer || Winery Wedding Photographer ||

Ashley Eiban is a wedding and portrait photographer based in Central Virginia.  Serving Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, Roanoke and surrounding areas.  Available for travel world-wide.  

Ashley has been photographing couples for over 6 years and is passionate about cultivating genuine relationships and images you can cherish forever.  Currently booking a limited number of weddings for 2018 & 2019.  Contact me today for additional information! 



Virginia Beach Engagement Session || Sam & Larissa's Back Bay Engagement

I can't believe how gorgeous these end of August evenings have been lately! We should all know by now, I loooooove summer time. The pool days, the sunshine, ice cream, waking up late. But, there's something about the end of the season where the humidity leaves the air, and things cool down just a little bit.  We had this perfect evening for Sam & Larissa's engagement session! There were even a few times where I felt a little chilly down by the ocean front! 

Sam & Larissa had such a great idea to do their session at the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.   Even after growing up in the Virginia Beach area, I had never actually visited the Back Bay refuge. I loved it here! It's in a remote, tucked away area, the views are gorgeous, and you can actually see the ocean and the bay at the same time.  We had such a blast exploring and taking in the beautiful scenes! It really was the perfect spot for their engagement session! Sam & Larissa are getting married next year at the Wintergreen Resort and I cannot wait!! 

Ashley Eiban is a wedding and portrait photographer based in Central Virginia. Serving Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads, Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Farmville, Richmond, Roanoke, and surrounding areas. Currently booking a limited number of weddings and portrait sessions for 2017 and 2018.  Available for travel world-wide.  

Ashley is passionate about capturing moments as they authentically happen to ensure a successful session that gives you time to enjoy each other and savor the wedding day moments.  Contact me today for additional information!