Shutterbug Ashleigh says “Don’t Be Afraid”…

October 28, 2019
Don’t Be Afraid was the best-selling print at our 2019 Pablove Shutterbugs Seattle Gallery Show. To unravel the sense of mystery behind this beautiful shot, we chatted with the photographer, 14 year-old Ashleigh from Seattle:
“I decided to take the picture because the tree almost looked fake and it reminded me of something you might see in a scary movie, which was also a bit of inspiration for the name. It also reminded me of an old, creepy hand because of the way the branch was curved over and the moss hanging down,” Ashleigh said.

Don’t Be Afraid by Pablove Shutterbug Ashleigh

But the true location of the tree was far from creepy, she adds, “it was actually really pretty!” The photo was taken during a nature walk at a location called Treehouse Point.
“Treehouse Point is just what it sounds like, a place with lots of treehouses. However, the treehouses were built by a guy named Pete Nelson, who actually has his own show on Animal Planet called Treehouse Masters,” said Ashleigh.
In 2018, when Ashleigh was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), her world turned upside down. At the beginning of her cancer treatment, Ashleigh suffered from excessive vomiting and rapid weight loss. She was fed via an NG tube during the majority of her time undergoing intense chemotherapy. She lost her hair twice during treatment and missed an entire year of school due to her immune system being too compromised to risk daily social interactions. Ashleigh struggled off and on with steroid-induced diabetes and had a reaction to one chemotherapy infusion drug. She underwent numerous blood transfusions, lumbar punctures and countless pokes throughout the first five phases of her treatment.
Currently, Ashleigh is in maintenance mode, which marks the sixth and final phase of her treatment, which will continue through 2020.

Ashleigh with her best-selling photo at the Pablove Shutterbugs Seattle Gallery Show. Photo by Catherine Abegg.

As of this fall, Ashleigh has returned to school. Her port has been removed, which allows her to get back to playing soccer, and her hair is growing back. Her mother says, “Through all of this, Ashleigh continues to amaze us with her strength, courage, bravery and positive attitude and we are counting down the days until she’s done with treatment!”
Ashleigh’s favorite thing about photography is the the way you can portray things you see in your daily life and make them look totally different. “You can give people a look at how you see the world,” she said.


Another one of Ashleigh’s images, aptly titled Looks Like a Rug, is an office favorite here at Pablove HQ.  “Haha, this picture makes me smile every time!” Ashleigh says. We can’t help but agree, and her photo is proudly displayed on our office wall.

Looks like a Rug by Pablove Shutterbug Ashleigh.


“This photo was taken at the place where we had our (Shutterbugs) classes every week, a radio station in Seattle called KEXP. This dog walked in and as soon as I saw him I instantly thought of a rug. Not gonna lie, he smelled a little but it was so fun to take pictures of him!” Ashleigh recalls.


Ashleigh’s family says that they are grateful for organizations such as The Pablove Foundation. Her mom adds, “It has meant so much to Ashleigh and our family to be given experiences that have brought us joy and smiles during extremely difficult times. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your mission. We appreciate what you do!”