Unleashed Education Blog

Ashley Summerville - Member Spotlight

member spotlights May 31, 2024

Ashley Summerville is a pet photographer in Oahu who gets to spend her days taking photos in paradise. When she is not photographing other peoples pets you will find her out in nature spending time with her two rescue mutts Quinoa, and Cooper.

She started her business in 2022 in a location where she knew no one, and can now happily say since then she has photographed way over 100 pets. Ashley started Paws for Portraits after her Lupus kept her from working a full time job. During this time in her life her husband encouraged her to start a pet photographer business because she loved photographing her own dogs, and she can happily say the rest is history.

Tell us a bit about you?

Pet photographer is my full time job. In my spare time you will find me somewhere in nature or traveling. Ashley is a dog mom to two rescue mutts. Quinoa a lab mix, and Cooper a Ridgeback mix. They are her world.

Why did you start photographing pets?

Photography has been something that runs in my genes. My dad and mom photographed my whole childhood, and no joke we have around 35-40 albums of my brother and I's childhood. When I was in college I bought my own camera, and would take pictures at family events for fun. Then I was blessed to be able to adopt my dogs, and they were the reason why I jumped into being a pet photographer. I wanted to be a photographer, but I really didn't want to focus fully on people so I was destine to capture pets.

What camera and lenses do you most often use?

I shoot with a Sony a7IV with a Tamron lens 35-150mm

What’s one thing in your camera bag you can’t live without?

One thing I couldn't live without as corny as it might sound would be my lens cleaning kit, and my 35-150 lens.

What’s the best thing about being a pet photographer?

What I love most about pet photography is being able to connect with so many pets, and building relationships with their parents. Don't get me wrong I love capturing pets personalities, but connecting with pets and their is just so special.

How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style of work as vibrant, and cheerful. I notice I focus more on capturing the personality of the pet over anything else.

What is your proudest achievement as a pet photographer?

I have two proud moments when it comes to bigger achievement. First, big achievement is being featured on a Hawaii pet show called The Pet Hui where we took a dog out of the shelters for the day and give him a photoshoot. After the photoshoot we took him around town to help him get adopted.
Second, is being able to be one of the photographer for the Hawaii Humane societies annual calendar.

What are your photography goals for the future?

My photography goal is to be able to say that I know what I am doing fully when it comes to editing my photos.

What do you do to cultivate and nurture your creativity?

I have a personal project that I would love to do with my dogs. We are about to move from Hawaii, and I would love to take each dog out to do a day of photoshoots around the island getting some epic photos.

What specific skills have improved since being an Unleashed Education member?

Since joining the Unleashed Education Premium Membership I have seen my editing skills grow. I couldn't figure out how to edit my images past the basics, and because of the live calls I was able to get feedback to my pictures that I had been dreaming of getting to be able to make my photos better than ever.

What's your favourite thing about being an Unleashed Education member?

My favorite part of the membership is the community, live calls, and editing videos.

Have you ever had something funny happen during a shoot?

I think I might have the best blooper moment. I had told a client to throw their dogs ball right at me because I wanted a up close face shot. Well she threw it exactly where I wanted it, but the dog was like nah I am not stopping for this lady she will move for me. As you might image she ran right into my camera and face, and my eye finder went right into my forehead lol.

A fun hike photoshoot

Sunrise beach fun with siblings

Sunrise with fur dad

Halona Blow Hole Oahu, HI


Follow Paws for Portraits


Paws for Portaits






Interested in becoming a Premium Member of Unleashed Education?

Join us in the friendliest online pet photography learning community in the world! Membership is always open and you can join on a monthly or yearly subscription, for access to hundreds of hours of pet photography education - courses, instructional videos, downloads and tutorials.

You can even join our interactive live group training calls with our fabulous instructors - Charlotte Reeves and Craig Turner-Bullock (that's us over there 👉).

Become a member today!

Start your pet photography journey with 100 free daily tips!

That's over 3 months worth of daily tips covering topics like working with light, obtaining expression, camera settings, shooting action, composition, using the location, dog handling tricks – and so much more. Delivered direct to your inbox so you can read and absorb straight away (no homework required).

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.