A Sense of Place

A Lifestyle Family Photography Course

Learn To Intentionally Incorporate Location + Place In Photography To Elevate Your Storytelling

It’s what you’ll need to learn how to incorporate environmental portraiture, and create meaningful works of art that satisfy you and your photography clients.

In this 5-week course you will learn how to gain more clients, and better serve them, by creating photographic artwork that resonates more deeply through a meaningful connection to location.
**Next course run will be AUGUST 2024**

  • Five modules with weekly assignments

  • Weekly live Q&A group mentoring over zoom

  • Editing videos

  • Location scouting guide

  • Location scouting behind-the-scenes videos

  • How to use lighting intentionally and creatively

  • How to use design + composition to uplevel art

  • How to meaningfully approach location both indoors and outdoors


Maybe it is the place you were born, the restaurant where you met while working together, the city where you started your family, the bench where you got engaged, the park where your toddler took their first steps. All these places have meaning and can be intentionally incorporated into your work to enrich storytelling.

I’M READY TO JOIN the course!

Humans naturally want to belong

We are naturally wired to connect...both to people, to the natural world around us, and to the spaces + communities we live in

Learn to intentionally incorporate photography locations to artistically express that... 

A sense of place roots us, provides us with belonging, connects us to a specific place, time, memory or chapter of our lives. 

It's in our biology

Elevate Your photographic Storytelling 







Have you ever noticed how your favorite memories are not only tied to those around you but where they happened? I truly believe these photos make an impact, especially with a sense of place at the forefront.

We’re Telling A Story through location

Start taking stunning environmental portraits, make a name for yourself, and start building a lifestyle photography business you’ve always dreamed of


Introducing …

A Lifestyle Family Photography Course

A Sense of Place

My signature 5-week program that will transform your photography business – from learning new artistic techniques and deepening your skills with lighting and design, to gaining confidence working with clients, maximizing how you use photography locations, and everything in between. 

A Sense of Place isn’t just about booking more Photography clients 

It is about a larger story of belonging 

This is a 5-module journey of transformation that’ll help you become a more intentional photographer and increase your confidence in creating art that deeply resonates with YOU and your client families.

This course will enhance your craft, expand your artistry, and help you develop a higher-value offering for your photography clients!

Set yourself apart from your competitors through intentional photographic storytelling and creative techniques.
Create powerful imagery with masterful use of light and location.
Gain the skills and confidence to attract clients who value your artistic style.
Learn how to scout idyllic locations for any photo session, no matter where you live.
Expand your offerings to clients who are looking for meaningful portraits with a sense of place.

“Ashley has incredible technical skills behind the camera, but more importantly she is a deeply caring person and a great teacher.” 

- David E

meaningful storytelling

This Photography course is for you if:

You understand that creating a thriving business takes grit, but you’re willing to put in the work to live the life you’ve always wanted and create authentic-to-you artwork.

You’re a passionate photographer wanting to grow your business and book out your calendar with clients that align with YOUR unique art.

You’re ready to offer your clients a completely new photo experience focused on multi-layered connection and meaning with locations that matter.

You’re committed to telling your clients’ stories through beautiful works of art.

You revere Mother Earth and want to honor the world around us in your photography.

You’re ready to learn from a photographer and business owner who’s been there and can teach you how to stand out from the crowd.


Your clients are about to become raving fans.

Maximize your use of family photography locations.

It’s time to create meaningful artwork through your unique eye and voice. 

Course Curriculum

What’s included?


Environmental Portrait Foundations

Utilizing the location surrounding your subjects is a crucial piece of creating artwork that feels unique and deepens meaning in your photographic storytelling. In module one, I’m teaching you the basics of environmental portraiture, why it’s important, and how to use this style to attract more clients.

In module 1, you’ll discover:


How to better serve your clients so you can turn them into lifelong customers 


The foundations of a wow-worthy environmental portrait


The importance of incorporating environmental portraiture into your work and gallery sets


How to leverage backdrop and location to deepen and expand your storytelling


The secret to gaining more quality clients through meaningful photos

Module Two

All About Location

The basis of environmental portraiture is the location you choose for your photo sessions. This module walks you through everything you need to know about finding the perfect location for each client you work with, needed gear to create stunning artwork, and behind-the-scenes videos.

In module 2, you’ll discover: 


Behind-the-scenes videos showing my step-by-step process for scouting in-home and outdoor locations


My secret to scouting the best locations + visualizing interesting backdrops


Camera bag must-haves for your photo sessions


How to select meaningful locations with your clients


My favorite methods to find new locations for your sessions


My formula for creating time-saving location selection guides for your clients


How to choose the optimal session start time to make the most out of each location

Module THREE

All About Light

Lighting has a profound effect on photography, and can greatly alter the results you get from each session. This module will walk you through different types of lighting, using light intentionally, and how to edit based on each lighting scenario.

In module 3, you’ll discover: 


An overview of the 16 (yes, 16!) different lighting scenarios you will encounter


The key to understanding different lighting scenarios


The essential steps to use light intentionally and with confidence


The specific lighting settings I use for creative storytelling


Best practices for camera manual settings to complement each type of lighting


A look at the Kelvin Scale and shooting in Kelvin


How I edit photos for each type of lighting condition (editing video included!)


Creating Unique Art Through Design + Composition

Dive into the elements of design and composition and learn to elevate your art through photographic storytelling. With a combination of design knowledge, composition techniques, and an intentional eye, you’ll be creating thoughtful and deeply meaningful images in no time.

In module 4, you’ll discover:


The essential elements of artistic design


The 12 different need-to-know compositional techniques to elevate your art


How to identify unique aspects of the locations you visit for your sessions


How to intentionally incorporate interesting elements at any location into your imagery

Module FIVE

Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices

Wrap up the course by learning my best practices to create a thriving photography business that fuels your creative heart. Learn to navigate creative business ownership and client experience like a pro while setting yourself up as an elevated, in-demand photographer. 

In module 5, you’ll discover: 


How to use art within art (trust me, it works!)


Essential tips to connect with local businesses and community organizations through your art


Best practices for dealing with difficult situations


My favorite tips for creating intentional artwork and elevating your storytelling 

In addition to everything included in the weekly modules, you also get value-packed bonuses and the option to participate in live group mentoring calls

Take advantage of my ready-made resources and weekly Q+A mentoring sessions to get on the fast track to photographer success.

Location Scouting Guide

Feel confident walking into every photo session knowing that you’ve got a secret weapon in your camera bag. My Sense of Place Pocket Guide will be your best friend when scouting new locations, composing unique photos that capture both your clients and the landscape, and creating artwork with intention for each client you work with. You won’t want to leave the studio without it!

Weekly Live Group Q+A Sessions

When you enroll in the course, you’ll gain instant access to personalized photography and business advice during my weekly live Q+A sessions. These sessions are designed so you can ask me anything - I’m an open book! And with the chance to get all of your burning questions answered, you’ll be able to grow your skills and reach your goals even faster and with more clarity. Don’t have a question every week? That’s okay! Learn from the questions asked by other members of the course and get to connect with like-minded photographers.

 Lighting Pocket Guide

I’ve created a bonus camera bag must-have to help you create beautiful works of art, no matter the lighting condition. With my bonus lighting cheat sheet, you’ll be able to quickly reference each scenario you encounter during your sessions, and know exactly how to adapt with ease. 

join now

 and so much more!


book high-value clients who can’t wait to work with you (and essentially become your marketing team)

intentionally incorporate light, design + composition effectively 

create meaningful artwork from every session

By the end of this course, you’ll have the knowledge, skill, and know-how to:

“Working with Ashley was undoubtedly the best investment I made for my business.”

“Working with Ashley was undoubtedly the best investment I made for my business. Not only is she an incredible photographer and mentor, but a genuinely rad human who cares about the big picture in life. Learning from Ashley has propelled my business so much farther than I imagined in a short period of time. I will definitely continue to work with her in the future and highly recommend Ashley! You won’t regret it.”

- Skyler K

Hi, I’m Ashley Kaplan (or you can call me Ash!) 

Lifestyle family photographer, innovator of modern environmental portraiture, six-figure artist, heart-led creative, and badass business owner

Instead, I became a passionate educator. I taught for many years working with students both at home and abroad, and I deeply loved guiding students on their learning journeys. Education and photography have always been an integral part of my path. For my masters thesis, I even designed and taught a course called "photography for social change.' Despite the signs pointing me toward photography, it would be another decade before I made the career shift. 

Welcome! I’m Ash, a small business owner and professional photographer who specializes in telling stories full of connection and creativity through my unique use of environmental portraiture. I’ve always had a deep love of photography, ever since I got my hands on my very first Kodak camera. It was in the dark room during a photography class in college that I had my first and deepest experience of the flow state.

I’ve carried my camera with me everywhere over the years - on all of my adventures, through my time in the Peace Corps, and right into adulthood. But I didn’t know that I could make a living as an artist, so I chose another path. Photography couldn’t be a real, legit-make a-living career, right? It sounded too good to be true.

After becoming a mother, I was obsessed with documenting the ever evolving chapters of my family life. Soon friends started to ask me to take their family photographs, too. Out of a necessity to make a living that would work for our family, I began to build this new business.

I thought that I would be able to find a few clients, practice my passion for taking photos, and deepen my connection with Mother Earth through environmental portraiture. What I didn’t expect was to land myself smack dab in the middle of my professional and creative dream. By the time my daughter reached kindergarten, I had grown beyond my wildest imagination and was already running a six-figure business. I was making a solid living as a creative, could contribute financially in a meaningful way, had more time to spend with my family, and was finally able to live life on my terms.

Becoming a photographer expanded my sense of self, and I saw myself as an artist for the first time when I hadn’t before. I loved the freedom I felt in running my own business as well. Then other photographers and clients asked me to mentor them, and I found it deeply satisfying to enter the education space again in this field I have a deep passion for.

Photos tell a story of a moment in time - they are cherished heirlooms, and they hold deep meaning and value. Pictures help us connect to each other, to the space and location we are in, and to ourselves. They provide belonging, beauty and meaning in our lives.

I love art and business, and I know we can thrive as creatives!

My new course offering is the culmination of what I am most passionate about - environmental photography, a sense of place and belonging, and our responsibility to this planet we call home. I also love working 1:1 with other photographers, and hosting workshops to help creatives connect to their why through their art and by building noteworthy and sustainable creative businesses.

I’m excited to dive in together, and look forward to seeing you there.

So what’s this going to cost?

Course Investment

When you click that button and enroll today, you’ll be committing to up-leveling your art, storytelling, and creative eye. The results will speak for themselves. So get ready to gain instant access to:


Behind-the-scenes scouting and editing videos


My in-depth A Sense of Place curriculum, including five value-packed modules


Bonus pocket guides designed to give you the confidence to start growing your creativity right away


Weekly live support inside my exclusive Q+A group mentoring sessions

join a sense of place

1 payment of



Start telling photographic stories of connection and belonging through environmental portraiture.

“I was lucky enough to be mentored by Ashley and it completely revolutionized my own trajectory as a professional photographer.”

“Ashley is not only an insanely talented photographer, but she’s also an equally amazing educator. I was lucky enough to be mentored by Ashley and it completely revolutionized my own trajectory as a professional photographer. She has a deep knowledge of essential photography skills, including using light, design and composition, and creative techniques. Plus, she’s a natural teacher with a positive, proactive attitude who fosters thoughtful dialogue and a fun and supportive space to experiment, reflect, and truly learn. Her combination of talent, experience, and teaching abilities makes her an exceptional photography educator.”

- Laura J

Ready to get started?

Here’s how it works


Go ahead and click that button! Enroll in the course and OFFICIALLY become a student inside A Sense of Place. After your order is confirmed, you’ll receive an email with all the details and your login information.

step 2 →


Log into your online account and get to know your way around! There are 5 weeks of modules for you to explore. I recommend you work through one module per week as this will also align with the discussion inside our live mentoring Q+A sessions. But please take your time to carefully work through each module. Don’t forget to sign on to my weekly live sessions with questions in hand!

step 3 →


Complete all course modules and reach a new level of confidence in your photography offerings. Create beautiful environmental portraits, showcase your work, and watch the bookings start rolling in!

back to step 1 →

Got questions? I’m here for you!




When you become a course member, you’ll receive a link to log in to your online account via email. Each week, a module will be released and you’ll have an at-home assignment to apply what you’ve learned. While the course is not self-paced where you have access to the entire curriculum at one time, each week is self-paced where you will have access at the beginning of the week, and will have the rest of the week to go through the lessons as you have time.

What happens when I enroll in the course?



If you’re a professional photographer interested in elevating your artistic style and learning a new approach, this course is for you! Even if you’ve been a pro for years, I promise that you’ll be able to find value in each lesson.

Who should enroll in the course?



That’s okay! Throughout the course, I will teach you how to photograph any location in an interesting and creative way. It’s all about getting comfortable with the elements of design and composition and applying those rules to wherever you are.

What if I don’t live in a very scenic area? 



This is not an entry-level course, meaning I don’t teach manual mode and the lighting module especially speaks about ISO, exposure, aperture, and shutter speed. A familiarity with those settings is an important foundation, so you can get the most value from that section. I will not be teaching the basics of using a camera, so make sure you’re comfortable with that already so you can truly invest yourself in each lesson. 

What if I’m just beginning to learn photography?



Yes! I also offer one-to-one mentorship for photographers if you’d like personalized attention, and I offer workshops to work on a specific skill. Please visit my mentorship page here.

I’m looking for something even more in-depth to take my photography business to the next level. Do you have any other offers?

Join A Sense of Place today!

Connect with Like-Minded Creatives

Invest in deepening your artistry through intentional use of locations as a lifestyle family photographer.



“She is incredibly generous with her knowledge and care, and I am sure that translates just as beautifully to her photography clients as well”

“Ashley’s warmth and pure passion for her art and work comes across immediately and it’s part of what makes her photography so incredibly beautiful. I had the immense pleasure of learning from her, and was able to see first hand her skill as a teacher, a business woman, and artist. She is incredibly generous with her knowledge and care, and I am sure that translates just as beautifully to her photography clients as well.”

- Robin W