Behind the lens
Ashley grew up with the television as her Nanny; practically raised by MTV and the Howard Stern Show (or as she called Mr. Stern, Uncle Howie). Ever since she was a child, she’d been fascinated by the music business and wanted to shmooze with the stars. With no sense of rhythm, and a singing voice that only a mother could love, she turned to photography as her ticket into the entertainment industry. Photographing small concert events sparked overwhelming enthusiasm and admiration for both the creative and technical elements of live portraiture. Over the years, with much hard work (and a dash of being at the right place at the right time) she has grown from shooting tiny venues to vast arenas. She currently represents DJ Times magazine and has been focusing on the electronic music subculture. Ashley has photographed world renounced artists such as David Guetta, Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren, and Skrillex.
Words of wisdom
“The greatest challenge I face with performance portraiture is differentiating myself from the slew of competition in the marketplace. When everyone else is zigging, I have to zag. I’ve spent years in the photo pit, not only snapping pictures – but studying the practices of competitors. Eventually, the best tactic I’ve come up with: be bold. When a publisher is looking through 500 shots taken from side stage or 300 tight-cropped zooms, and then there’s one image where the photographer held their wide-angle lens right up in the guitarist’s face to grab a stellar shot — who has the breakaway photo? If you have a brazen personality, show it in your work. The daring images will emerge as winners. With great risk comes great reward.”
Pen in hand
“While photography is my dominant medium, I consider it passive activism. My ultimate creative expression comes from illustration. I began drawing at the age of four, finding inspiration in daytime cartoons and commercial advertisements. I used to sit two feet in front of the television with my crayons drawing pictures of the Budweiser frogs for my grandmother to hang on her fridge. Today, I continue to practice with pen and ink, spotlighting visionary surrealism and psychedelia. My illustrations have been displayed in contemporary galleries, sold at music festivals, and tattooed on strangers.”