Friend's of Brie Leon - Ashleigh Brooksbank

In conversation with NZ based photographer Ashleigh Brooksbank

Ashleigh Mini Chloe Bag black matte croc, link chain necklace

Left: Ashleigh wears the Mini Abuelo Chain Necklace in Gold, the Link Chain Necklace in Gold and Mini Chloe Bag in Black Matte Croc Right: The Mini Chloe Bag in Black Matte Croc


Describe what you do for a living? What does a typical day look like for you?

I’m a freelance photographer. My partner and I have spent the last year building our business called Sapphire Studios which is focused on wedding photography & videography. We also shoot a bunch of content for businesses and campaign work.

I would say most days are quite different, but they always start with a strong coffee and some good music. I try to move my body every morning even if it’s just for 30 mins. Then, if I’m not shooting, I will usually be editing, organising work, or meeting with new and existing clients. I try to give myself some time each day to be creative and unwind whether its working on a personal project, painting, or going for a walk.

How did you start your business?

It started pretty naturally, and I definitely still have a long way to go. I was working full time as an Art Director and loved my job, I was still doing a few photoshoots here and there on the side. It wasn’t until a few friends of friends had asked if I would ever shoot weddings until I’d even considered it. It’s a growing industry and I thought there was a gap for more of a relaxed and natural style of wedding photography. We’re excited for our first full season this coming summer.


Ashleigh Brooksbank Abuelo Chain Necklace, Organica Earrings, Link Chain Necklace Gold. Brie Leon Jewelery and HandbagsLeft: Mini Abuelo Necklace in Gold and the Organica Curved Earrings in Gold. Right: Ashleigh wears the Mini Link Chain Necklace in Gold.


What was some advice you wish you were given when starting out?

Don’t expect instant success. I think it can be really disheartening to feel like you’ve put months of work into something that doesn’t pay off straight away. Things really take time, and for us, there was a good couple of months of doubt and uncertainty around when the wheels would really start to turn. After our first few enquiries and meetings, things started to snowball. As confident as you may be in your skills and what you offer, time and patience is key. It takes time for people to become familiar with your business/brand and you really have to keep backing what you started. If you back what you do, people around you will back it too.

What’s your favourite Brie Leon piece and why?

Tricky one… I love my Mini Chloe Bag, it’s the perfect size for me as I’m not usually someone who loves carrying a big bag around. Another favourite is the Link Chain Necklace, I feel like it pairs perfectly with most things I own, dressy and casual.

How do you approach your personal style?

I would say my style is quite relaxed, minimal and edgy. I wear a lot of denim, paired with boots and tee shirts, this feels super comfortable but put together.


Ashleigh Link Chain Necklace Brie Leon, Mini Chloe Bag Black Matte Croc Left: Ashleigh wears the Link Chain Necklace in Gold Right: Ashleigh wears the Link Chain Necklace in Gold, the Mini Abuelo Necklace in Gold and the Mini Chloe Bag in Black Matte Croc.


What are you reading, listening to and watching at the moment?

I really need to read more, I find myself getting way too distracted. I also have a short attention span when it comes to committing to tv shows, I recently watched a movie called ‘Anna’ which was pretty epic and I’ve rewatched a few of my old favourites. I think one of the most positive things about having so much downtime lately is curating my music playlists, I’m listening to a lot of Wings, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd etc.

What’s something exciting that’s coming up in the next couple of months?

Although we are in the midst of a weird time, we have so many weddings coming up as summer approaches which I am so so excited about shooting. I'm also itching to get back into a bunch of editorial work, and have a few film projects I’m keen to get into soon.


Thank you Ashleigh  @ashleigh_brooks