Photographers Jamie and Ashley Hewitt create heartfelt memories for their customers while honoring their own. The twin sisters opened a photography studio after becoming inspired over the course of a tumultuous year. They received overwhelming praise for photos they took on a summer trip to Asia, but were still strongly impacted by the death of their father from colon cancer. So the sisters opened Ash & James Photography and have chosen to donate a portion of their profits to the Colon Cancer Coalition.
The colon cancer battle
Jamie and Ashley’s father, Don Hewitt, passed away in March after a long battle with colon cancer. Jamie describes her father as a vibrant man who lived life to the fullest and loved the outdoors. “He rode a motorcycle his whole life!” she adds. When he began having digestive problems in 2007, he got the symptoms checked. A colonoscopy was performed, but his condition was diagnosed as diverticulitis. When the symptoms persisted, Don continued to pursue an answer. “He tried so hard to figure out what was going on,” explain the sisters, “he really took responsibility for his health.” Finally, in July 2008, Don went to the hospital with flu-like symptoms and was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. He was 50 years old.
Don took part in multiple clinical trials and fought his stage IV disease with tenacity. “Although our dad was living with a terminal disease, nobody could ever tell. He always lived each day to the fullest no matter how much the cancer was affecting him. He always said that he knew he could resolve any problem he was faced with in life, except his cancer. But that never stopped him from fighting.” Don lost his battle on March 5, 2010.
Now the sisters have turned his legacy of inspiration into a business. Just six months after losing their father, the sisters founded Ash & James Photography, a business that reflects their creative dreams and heartfelt mission.
“His courage sparked us to follow in his shoes in the business world, and also to do our part in supporting efforts in the fight against colon cancer.”
The studio specializes in creative photo shoots using outdoor environments and often whimsical props. “Our style could be described as the place where modern meets vintage.” A portion of the funds from each session is donated to the Colon Cancer Coalition. In addition, a photo of each customer holding the blue colon cancer ribbon is added to their commemorative gallery. “It is so important for us to be involved in the battle against colon cancer. To help with prevention and screening because of our dad’s experience. We believe we’re continuing his courageous battle where he left off.”